Johnny Cash - Trilogy: Songs Of Our Soil/Hymns By Johnny Cash/Greatest!
STYLE: Country RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 16178-16659 LABEL: Not Now Music NOT3CD041 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 3
Reviewed by Paul Loader
'Trilogy' is extremely good value for money, especially if you are looking to expand your Johnny Cash collection with just under 50 lesser known songs being drawn mostly from recordings made in 1959 with bonus tracks from the early '60s. The first album of the trilogy 'Songs Of Our Soil' has a somewhat doom-laden feel in that the majority of songs are about death and mortality as Cash by his own admission was becoming fascinated by death during this time part due to his growing amphetamine and barbiturate dependence. "Don't Step On Mother's Roses" is about a family losing their parents, "The Caretaker" is the story of a cemetery caretaker who is wondering who will mourn him when he dies. Several other songs including "The Man Of The Hill", "Hank And Joe And Me" and "Clementine" conclude with death. That being said 'Songs Of Our Soil' is classic Cash and good opener for this collection. The second album 'Hymns' was in fact recorded and released prior to 'Songs Of Our Soil' and is classic traditional gospel performances with songs like "Are All The Children In" containing a Cash narration to the tune of "I Come" the favourite hymn for the service ending repentance appeal throughout the '50s and '60s. "The Old Account" and "Lead Me Father" took me right back to my childhood in the Brethren gospel halls and it was a fond memory I can assure you. "Snow In His Hair" is probably one of the strongest songs suggesting three possible meanings from the story of the Prodigal Son, our relationship with our heavenly father or indeed a sons moving reunion with his own aging father. The album conveys a real mood of gospel nostalgia that should, if listened to undisrupted, bring back many fond memories and point to a time when our faith was perhaps a little less complicated. The final CD of the trilogy is another release from 1959, the 'Greatest' album. The record features tracks like "Katy Too" which defined what Cash was all about at the end of '50s as well as the wonderful "Luther Played The Boogie" and Hank Williams' "Hey Good Looking" acting as an upbeat and lively anecdote to 'Songs Of Our Soil'. As a snapshot in gospel and country music history this budget price three piece is well worth a punt.
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