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):
There’s never a bad time to get re-acquainted with the Man in Black’s back catalog. Here’s one of the entries:
YEAR: 1979, Johnny Cash’s 25th anniversary in show biz — hence the title.
FACTS: No one would have faulted Cash for getting nostalgic here. Instead, he heads off in the other direction, updating his old-school sound with strings, horns and strikingly contemporary production.
HIGHLIGHTS: The updated versions of (Ghost) Riders in the Sky and Cocaine Blues are interesting if nothing else, while versions of Rodney Crowell’s Bull Rider and Billy Joe Shaver’s Lately I Been Leanin’ Toward the Blues show Cash can still pick ’em. The duet with George Jones on the tinkly honky-tonker I’ll Say It’s True is a treat too.
EXTRAS: Two more unreleased duets with Jones on updates of chestnuts I Still Miss Someone and I Got Stripes.
VERDICT: Some folks love this album; others hate it. Either way, you’ll remember.