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Johnny Cash - Bootleg 3: Live Around the World

  by Jon Rogers

published: 11 / 10 / 2011



Johnny Cash - Bootleg 3: Live Around the World
Label: Sony Music
Format: CD

intro

Flawed and mainly inessential double CD of largely unheard material from the late Johnny Cash


The commercial and artistic achievements of Johnny Cash, perhaps one of the most important and influential singer-songwriters in popular music, may have had their ups and downs over the years. Before his American recordings at the twilight of his life, The Man in Black's career was stuck in a cul-de-sac. Still, it's tough to criticise someone whose musical influences stretched the entirety of the blues, folk, country, gospel and rock 'n' roll and often blended them up seamlessly. It's not too many singers that could pull off including the likes of the comical (and rather silly) 'A Boy Named Sue' and 'Were You There (When They Crucified My Lord)' in the same set. Most people really wouldn't bring into question Cash's singing and songwriting ability, would they? Where this third volume of this 'Bootleg' series really falls down is actually the entire concept itself. Much like Bob Dylan's own 'Bootleg' series, surely the model Cash's own series has been modelled on?, firstly there's the problem of the trade description of legitimately releasing a recording but then calling it a bootleg. Surely that's an oxymoron? Seeing as Sony has the license to release this material, it's no longer a bootleg? And how can it be a bootleg if 11 of the 50 tracks have already been released perfectly legally? Perhaps the Adverting Standards Association would like to answer that one? That's a minor quibble though compared with the fact that all too often these extensive trawls through an artist's unreleased back catalogue really amounts to little more than someone scraping the bottom of the barrel to dredge up any old artefact, tag it as being 'historically significant' and then watch it sell like hot cakes. Certainly some unheard or forgotten about recordings will be discovered this way - and that's a good thing - but all too often this just means dusting off yet another version of an artist's best loved songs. To be specific about this 'Bootleg' volume, it's got three versions of 'I Walk the Line' on it. Why, when I have countless other versions of the song, would I want three more? And it's not like there is anything particularly different about these songs. No radical reworking, no alternate version, no new lyrics or anything to make the versions here particularly stand out. Or even stand out from any of the other versions I have on endless box sets, live recordings or even those proper bootlegs. Is there a compelling reason to have the live performance from New River Ranch in Maryland from 1962 apart from allowing über-fans the chance to complete their collections? As with a lot of reissue or archive releases where 'previously unheard' takes on songs are allowed to see the light of day, there's often a very good reason why they weren't released at the time - they just weren't good enough to make the cut. There's nothing wrong with 'I Walked the Line' from New River Ranch, just that there's nothing special about it either. Just another take on the song to be filed along with all the others. Which is perhaps being rather overly harsh on this collection of live Cash recordings as this double CD package mixes up some great live recordings with some genuinely historically interesting archive material. No doubt of most interest is the famous 1970 peformance at the White House in front of the then president Richard Nixon, who also introduced the show and the entire 12-song set is featured and features a great version of 'Jesus was a Carpenter' as well as '(There'll Be) Peace in the Valley'. And while it has been released before 'Bootleg' also contains his famous 1964 appearance at the Newport Folk Festival and sees Cash cover Dylan's 'Don't Think Twice, It's Alright'. There's also the curious gig when Cash travelled to Vietnam in 1969 to entertain the US troops stationed out at Long Binh. Along with the more familiar 'Jackson' and 'Ring of Fire' there's nifty takes on 'Cocaine Blues' and a rousing finale of 'Daddy Sang Bass' (despite some sound problems). So while 'Bootleg Vol 3' does fall somewhat into that trap of barrel scraping there is still quite a bit to interest the keen fan and quite a bit of interest. Still, a lot of the stuffing could have been taken out.



Track Listing:-
2 So Doggone Lonesome
3 I Walk The Line
4 Get Rhythm
5 Country Boy
6 I Still Miss Someone
7 Cotton Fields
8 I Walk The Line
9 Perkins Boogie
10 Impersonations
11 Rock Island Line
12 The Rebel - Johnny Yuma
13 Introduction - Pete Seeger
14 Big River
15 Folsom Prison Blues
16 I Still Miss Someone
17 Rock Island Line
18 Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
19 I Walk The Line
20 Ballad Of Ira Hayes
21 Keep On The Sunny Side
22 Big River
23 Wreck Of The Old '97
24 Tennessee Flat Top Box
25 Remember The Alamo
26 Cocaine Blues
27 Jackson
28 Long Legged Guitar Pickin' Man
29 Ring Of Fire
30 Daddy Sang Bass
31 Introduction - President Richard M. Nixon
32 A Boy Named Sue
33 Five Feet High And Rising
34 Pickin' Time
35 Wreck Of The Old '97
36 Lumberjack
37 Jesus Was A Carpenter
38 What Is Truth
39 (There'll Be) Peace In The Valley (For Me)
40 He Turned The Water Into Wine
41 Were You There (When They Crucified My Lord)
42 Daddy Sang Bass
43 The Old Account
44 Sunday Morning Comin' Down
45 The Prisoner Song
46 That Silver Haired Daddy Of Mine
47 City Of New Orleans
48 Ragged Old Flag
49 One Piece At A Time
50 Hey Porter


Band Links:-
https://www.facebook.com/johnnycash
http://www.johnnycashonline.com/
https://twitter.com/JohnnyCash
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLwdOhL6TKbmjRtZ8wIr-Bg
https://plus.google.com/+johnnycashofficial


Label Links:-
http://www.sonymusic.co.uk/
https://twitter.com/sonymusicsouth
https://www.facebook.com/SonyMusicSouth
https://www.youtube.com/user/essonymusic
https://instagram.com/sonymusic
https://plus.google.com/+sonymusic/posts



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