Off Topic Messages

Johnny Cash: the big box update!

Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:23 pm

Well, finally it arrived today - the 63 CD boxed set of Johnny Cash's Columbia output. It contains 59 albums over 60 CD, plus a compilation sun material and 2CD of assorted singles, oddments and rarities. It's housed in a handsome boxe with a flip lid. Each album is in a replica cardboard-sleeve, with a spine so you can take them out of the box and find them easily amongst your CDs which, in my case at least, means they will get played more than if they are kept in the box. Also included is a 220 page cd-sized booklet with a 5000 word essay and track listings for all CDs, with release information, recording dates and personnel.

The good news for Elvis fans is that the whole thing has been mastered by Vic Arnesi.

And it's this point which raises questions...how can a 63CD set of Cash material newly remastered cost a mere £121, and yet an Elvis set released by the same company, containing less music and remastered by the same man, cost £400, and not be released at retail level? (and remember that Sony owns all Presley's masters before 1973 outright - that is not the case for Cash). But then perhaps cash (literally) is the answer, along with the fact that Elvis fans will buy anything and at any price, no questions asked.

Re: Johnny Cash: the big box update!

Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:24 am

poormadpeter wrote:Well, finally it arrived today - the 63 CD boxed set of Johnny Cash's Columbia output. It contains 59 albums over 60 CD, plus a compilation sun material and 2CD of assorted singles, oddments and rarities. It's housed in a handsome boxe with a flip lid. Each album is in a replica cardboard-sleeve, with a spine so you can take them out of the box and find them easily amongst your CDs which, in my case at least, means they will get played more than if they are kept in the box. Also included is a 220 page cd-sized booklet with a 5000 word essay and track listings for all CDs, with release information, recording dates and personnel.

The good news for Elvis fans is that the whole thing has been mastered by Vic Arnesi.

And it's this point which raises questions...how can a 63CD set of Cash material newly remastered cost a mere £121, and yet an Elvis set released by the same company, containing less music and remastered by the same man, cost £400, and not be released at retail level? (and remember that Sony owns all Presley's masters before 1973 outright - that is not the case for Cash). But then perhaps cash (literally) is the answer, along with the fact that Elvis fans will buy anything and at any price, no questions asked.

Darn, I envy you! :wink: Enjoy! :smt023
Received a message this afternoon that my copy has been shipped, should arrive tomorrow (hopefully).
Sometimes the postman doesn't even bother to ring the bell and just puts a note in the mailbox that I can pick it up on the next work day at my local post office!

Who is Vic Arnesi by the way? :mrgreen:

Really look forward to this big mother. Can't really tell you why it's so much cheaper, though. Maybe you're right with your assumption.

Re: Johnny Cash: the big box update!

Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:35 am

The one downside is that the first half of Any Old Wind That Blows still has that weird muffled sound that the LP had - not quite sure what happened when they recorded those songs, but the engineer needed to be sacked! it's a shame, as it's one of my favorite Cash albums.

But hey, at least it's at the right speed, right?!

Re: Johnny Cash: the big box update!

Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:08 am

poormadpeter wrote:But hey, at least it's at the right speed, right?!



Have you checked all 63 CDs? :)

Re: Johnny Cash: the big box update!

Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:11 am

TJ wrote:
poormadpeter wrote:But hey, at least it's at the right speed, right?!



Have you checked all 63 CDs? :)


No, but there were a couple of songs on the Christmas album I heard tonight that i wanted to speed up!

Anyway, as it's Sony I guess I should expect about 10% of the discs to have a fault of some kind. That's the going rate I believe.

Re: Johnny Cash: the big box update!

Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:33 am

Yeah, "The Christmas Spirit" was never one of my favorite Christmas or Cash-albums.

I wonder how come that the first half of "Any Old Wind That Blows" sounds that muffled?
Can't say anything about it as I don't know the album (yet) - still waiting for my box to arrive... :)

I recall how disappointed I was when I bought the re-releases of Kris Kristofferson's early albums - some of them were just taken from vinyl and no-noised to death...

I wonder if Anesini had access to all the original master tapes?

Keep your fingers crossed that I'll receive mine today!

Re: Johnny Cash: the big box update!

Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:24 pm

poormadpeter wrote:The one downside is that the first half of Any Old Wind That Blows still has that weird muffled sound that the LP had - not quite sure what happened when they recorded those songs, but the engineer needed to be sacked! it's a shame, as it's one of my favorite Cash albums.

But hey, at least it's at the right speed, right?!


Would it really matter with Johnny Cash? In fact it may be a more enjoyable listen at the wrong speed. :lol:

Re: Johnny Cash: the big box update!

Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:42 pm

luckyjackson1 wrote:Yeah, "The Christmas Spirit" was never one of my favorite Christmas or Cash-albums.

I wonder how come that the first half of "Any Old Wind That Blows" sounds that muffled?
Can't say anything about it as I don't know the album (yet) - still waiting for my box to arrive... :)

I recall how disappointed I was when I bought the re-releases of Kris Kristofferson's early albums - some of them were just taken from vinyl and no-noised to death...

I wonder if Anesini had access to all the original master tapes?

Keep your fingers crossed that I'll receive mine today!


I have to say the Cash Family Christmas is considerably more perky!

As for Any Old Wind, I always thought it was my vinyl at fault, but then downloaded it from itunes a year or so ago and it was the same, so something to do with how they were mastered, I guess. It seems there was no remixing here, or the problem might have been corrected - but for £2 a disc, you can hardly complain.

Re: Johnny Cash: the big box update!

Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:44 pm

Received it yesterday and it's wonderful! Unfortunately I didn't have much time to check and within an hour I'll be gone for the rest of the weekend and by next week I'm moving to another place. But I'll let you know what I think of the sound quality on "Any Old Wind That Blows". All I can say is the mono masters sound great, sometimes I really like them better than the stereo masters as found on the Bear Family boxes or the other official releases.

Have a great weekend!

Re: Johnny Cash: the big box update!

Sat Dec 08, 2012 4:38 pm

I have been enjoying the set very much, and it's great to have some gems on CD for the first time, particularly some albums from the mid-70s. The John R Cash album is a delight (despite the opening number being rather distasteful), as is the live album Strawberry Cake (complete with evacuation of the building due to a bomb scare). The I Walk the Line album from 1963 is another title which hasn't been released in it's original form on CD, which is a surprise as it too is extremely good. The Survivors live album with Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins is a blast, and Rainbow, from 1985, is a forgotten gem with the song Here Comes That Rainbow Again being classic Cash,

Re: Johnny Cash: the big box update!

Sat Dec 08, 2012 5:23 pm

Damn, my Stepdad would LOVE this set! He's a HUGE Johnny Cash fan.

Re: Johnny Cash: the big box update!

Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:50 pm

It's odd hearing something like the 1978 Prague concert - it's hits and fan favorites all the way through in full-length, committed versions. How different from Elvis the year before.

Re: Johnny Cash: the big box update!

Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:59 am

I am wondering if a similar box set might be released of all Elvis's original albums. It would make an equally great set.

Re: Johnny Cash: the big box update!

Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:35 am

I wonder if I should spring for it. I might. I have only about a half-dozen Cash albums - not even the Christmas album, or a religious album. Just the most famous, and his Sun stuff.

I think I will. (I will wait, though, as I'm tapped out for music this year.)

One interesting tidbit: Cash's cool factor is soaring! You see so many tee-shirts and posters with that picture of him flipping the bird! Like that's THE coolest thing, ever. It's been around a while, that picture, and other cool pics of him. But recently, he's Mr. Cool. Hmm.

rjm

Re: Johnny Cash: the big box update!

Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:21 am

poormadpeter,
That's all I needed. Now you've got me wanting
another box set.

Re: Johnny Cash: the big box update!

Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:29 am

rjm wrote:I wonder if I should spring for it. I might. I have only about a half-dozen Cash albums - not even the Christmas album, or a religious album. Just the most famous, and his Sun stuff.

I think I will. (I will wait, though, as I'm tapped out for music this year.)

One interesting tidbit: Cash's cool factor is soaring! You see so many tee-shirts and posters with that picture of him flipping the bird! Like that's THE coolest thing, ever. It's been around a while, that picture, and other cool pics of him. But recently, he's Mr. Cool. Hmm.

rjm



Death helped, as did the fact that he did some well-received work in his final decade. The film has also been a factor.

Sometimes I think that Elvis needs to drop out of the public consciousness more, particularly regarding the '70s cliches, so that he can be rediscovered.

Re: Johnny Cash: the big box update!

Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:02 pm

It's a wonderful set. Even the cardboard sleeves are very well done. I have not heard the entire set yet, far fom it but the mono discs I've heard sound very good even though I have been concerned about how they would compare sonically to the stereo mixes.

An elvis box set like this one would be a nightmare, imo. Elvis' music works great in chronologically session order whereas Cash' music works better as albums. I have all the Bear Family sets but I don't listen to them very often as they're not really a good listening experience due to the sequencing. .

Re: Johnny Cash: the big box update!

Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:39 pm

Claus wrote:It's a wonderful set. Even the cardboard sleeves are very well done. I have not heard the entire set yet, far fom it but the mono discs I've heard sound very good even though I have been concerned about how they would compare sonically to the stereo mixes.

An elvis box set like this one would be a nightmare, imo. Elvis' music works great in chronologically session order whereas Cash' music works better as albums. I have all the Bear Family sets but I don't listen to them very often as they're not really a good listening experience due to the sequencing. .


Yes, I found the same with the Bear boxes. And you are right about the sleeves, they have a big spine and therefore can be read easily. The only niggle is that there are some tracks missing - I would have prefered Sony to have ditched the "best of Sun" CD and used that disc to make a third disc of "The Single Plus". For example, Six White Horses is missing, as are the two duets with George Jones previously issued on the Silver CD. It's also a shame to lose the extra tracks that were added to San Quentin, Folsom and Osteraker concerts a decade or so ago, but that is more understandable.

Re: Johnny Cash: the big box update!

Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:55 pm

poormadpeter wrote:The only niggle is that there are some tracks missing - I would have prefered Sony to have ditched the "best of Sun" CD and used that disc to make a third disc of "The Single Plus". For example, Six White Horses is missing, as are the two duets with George Jones previously issued on the Silver CD. It's also a shame to lose the extra tracks that were added to San Quentin, Folsom and Osteraker concerts a decade or so ago, but that is more understandable.


I see your point about the Sun compilation but I think it's a nice disc. Songs like I Walk The Line and Get Rhythm are huge in the Cash catalog and they would be missed if they weren't included, at least by me.

Could you make a list of what's missing?

I know these albums are missing:

The Lure of the Grand Canyon (1961)
Destination Victoria Station (1975)
A Believer Sings The Truth (1979) Available in the "Bootleg series"

Re: Johnny Cash: the big box update!

Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:00 pm

Claus wrote:
poormadpeter wrote:The only niggle is that there are some tracks missing - I would have prefered Sony to have ditched the "best of Sun" CD and used that disc to make a third disc of "The Single Plus". For example, Six White Horses is missing, as are the two duets with George Jones previously issued on the Silver CD. It's also a shame to lose the extra tracks that were added to San Quentin, Folsom and Osteraker concerts a decade or so ago, but that is more understandable.


I see your point about the Sun compilation but I think it's a nice disc. Songs like I Walk The Line and Get Rhythm are huge in the Cash catalog and they would be missed if they weren't included, at least by me.

Could you make a list of what's missing?

I know these albums are missing:

The Lure of the Grand Canyon (1961)
Destination Victoria Station (1975)
A Believer Sings The Truth (1979) Available in the "Bootleg series"


Yes, all three of which are losses to the set. Although Believer was on the Bootleg series, it should have been included here, and Destination is an extremely hard to find item (Ive never come across it). I don't have access to a complete sessionography sadly, but there are certainly many tracks included in the Heroes and Friends bootleg series which are not here, including many collaborations - but whether they were recorded for Columbia originally, I'm not sure.

Re: Johnny Cash: the big box update!

Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:47 pm

poormadpeter wrote:
Claus wrote:It's a wonderful set. Even the cardboard sleeves are very well done. I have not heard the entire set yet, far fom it but the mono discs I've heard sound very good even though I have been concerned about how they would compare sonically to the stereo mixes.

An elvis box set like this one would be a nightmare, imo. Elvis' music works great in chronologically session order whereas Cash' music works better as albums. I have all the Bear Family sets but I don't listen to them very often as they're not really a good listening experience due to the sequencing. .


Yes, I found the same with the Bear boxes. And you are right about the sleeves, they have a big spine and therefore can be read easily. The only niggle is that there are some tracks missing - I would have prefered Sony to have ditched the "best of Sun" CD and used that disc to make a third disc of "The Single Plus". For example, Six White Horses is missing, as are the two duets with George Jones previously issued on the Silver CD. It's also a shame to lose the extra tracks that were added to San Quentin, Folsom and Osteraker concerts a decade or so ago, but that is more understandable.

Fully agree with you guys about the sequencing - maybe that's why I almost never played them. Might be a better listen now. Of course it's strange to return to the obsolete (if original) prison live albums but every true Cash fan owns them anyway, I guess :wink: (although I still don't own the Osteraker disc).
Peter, thanks for spotting the missing tracks - do you have an exact overview of what exactly is missing?
As an huge Marty Robbins fan I was also thrilled about the inclusion of "Song Of The Patriot" (written by Robbins and Shirl Milete!!).
I really enjoy this set very much and everybody who's into Johnny's music I can only recommend it.

I never had a complete sessionography either so years back I created an overview by myself, which I can update now with the given recording dates (especially for the 70's stuff).

And by the way, Peter, the sound on "Any Old Wind That Blows" is indeed a little muffled. But I just listened to it for the first time and immediately liked it! Maybe some of the strings are a little too much and, sorry, but June just couldn't sing. :wink: