Johnny Cash - At Madison Square Garden/Live In Denmark 1971

Published Saturday 25th April 2009
Johnny Cash - At Madison Square Garden/Live In Denmark 1971
Johnny Cash - At Madison Square Garden/Live In Denmark 1971

STYLE: Country
RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 74705-15126
LABEL: Sony BMG
FORMAT: CD Album
ITEMS: 2
EXTRAS: DVD

Reviewed by Dave Brassington

These recordings from 1969 and 1971 capture Johnny Cash and his entire show in excellent form. Vocally he never sounded better and I thought, watching the DVD, he never looked happier. Only a few years before he was literally at death's door and by the time of these recordings not only had he recovered physically and spiritually but his career had taken off to such an extent that he could sell out Madison Square Garden weeks in advance! Despite the claims on the CD sleevenotes that this recording had never previously been issued, I obtained a copy several years ago. Opening with "Big River" and closing with the gospel classic "Suppertime" we are treated to 26 tracks including a couple that Johnny had not previously released on record. You name a Johnny Cash classic and it is somewhere on this album plus we have his entire road show at the time including the great Carl Perkins, The Statler Brothers and The Carter Family minus June his wife who was at home having a baby! As a life long Johnny Cash fan it is hard to pick a favourite but "Were You There (When They Crucified My Lord)" is simply outstanding with Anita Carter reaching heights I've never heard before from any other lady singer, and with fine backing from The Statler Brothers. The DVD 'Live In Denmark 1971' with which the Madison Square CD is packaged was a complete surprise to me, as whilst I have an LP recorded in a Swedish prison I never realised that the man in black had recorded any other concerts in Europe. It is a TV type studio recording with a small audience. Commencing with "A Boy Named Sue" we get 19 tracks culminating with the most astonishing version of "Children Go Where I Send Thee" where Johnny, Carl Perkins, The Carter Family and The Statler Brothers simply blow up an unbelievable gospel storm! Never having seen any live concerts with Mother Maybelle, I was simply blown away with watching her. Johnny and The Carter Family sing a song directly to her, "A Song To Mama", which is very moving. Just to sum up, simply everybody involved in this concert was on top form and Johnny never sounded better than when launching into "Man In Black"! An historic and amazing release.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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