Home Read Classic Album Review: Johnny Cash | Ride This Train: American Milestones Series

Classic Album Review: Johnny Cash | Ride This Train: American Milestones Series

Cash pioneers the concept album with this ambitious travelogue of Americana tales.

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This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


To celebrate country legend Johnny Cash’s 70th birthday, the folks at his record label Sony threw quite a little party in his honour — by releasing a couple of greatest-hit collections, a star-studded tribute disc, and reissues of five of the Man in Black’s classic discs from the ’50s and ’60s.

In typical fashion, the quintet — The Fabulous Johnny Cash, Hymns by Johnny Cash, Ride This Train, Orange Blossom Special and Carryin’ On With Johnny Cash and June Carter — were all remastered and augmented with bonus tracks, copious liner notes and even anecdotes from Cash himself. Here’s the lowdown on one of them. You can use the search box to find the rest:

 


Johnny Cash
Ride This Train

The Year: 1960.

The Back Story: Always the artistic rebel, Cash pushes the boundaries of recording and pioneers the concept album with this ambitious travelogue of grassroots Americana tales, linked by folksy narratives and plaintive train whistles.

The Hits: The chain-gang boogie of Going to Memphis is one of his coolest tracks, bar none; When Papa Played the Dobro is kin to Tennessee Flat Top Box.

The Extras: Four dandies, including the snappy Fable of Willie Brown and Smiling Bill McCall, along with the previously unavailable plaintive maternal fable Ballad Of The Harpweaver. No new stories, though, sadly.

The Final Verdict: All aboard!