Friday, 4 December 2009

Orange Blossom Special

Here is a fact for you, up to 1965 Johnny Cash had released 20, get that, 20!! albums. Its that 20th album that I listened to on my commute in this morning. It may be Johnny’s 20th but it is my favourite Johnny Cash album, Orange Blossom Special. Orange Blossom Special is the first of a week of Cash albums by the look of it.
I love this album more than any other Cash album because of the songs, obviously, but the choice of songs is more perfect than the preceding 19 or the subsequent 76, all great in their own way, but not as fantastic as Orange Blossom Special.
I can even forgive 3 Dylan songs on this album as in the case of It Ain’t Me Babe, it stops becoming Dylans and Cash claims it, the same could be said for Mama, You've Been on My Mind. The third Dylan track is Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright and this further cements the relationship that Dylan and Cash would have throughout Cash’s life. Great versions.
The album, at least on this version, but the albums highlights for me are two of my favourite Cash tracks. On any given day When It's Springtime in Alaska is my favourite Cash song, its so damn sparse, yet so beautiful, possibly only bettered by The Far Side Banks Of Jordan, that doesn’t appear on this album though. Another contender for Cash’s best is (I'm Proud) The Baby is Mine, appearing here as a bonus track. I man re-affirming his love for a woman that takes the pint. It’s a great song, stunning.
Another highlight of the album in a bonus track form is Engine 143, re-recorded later in Cash’s life and another one of the songs that using train imagery to get its point across, along with the title track of course. Engine 143 in its re-recorded version was the very last song that Johnny recorded, at least according to Wikipedia, I thought that honour befell to the beautiful Like the 309, but that actually may have been the last one he wrote. I have digressed a little.
Enough to say this is another perfect Cash album, 10 out of 10.

When It’s Springtime In Alaska by Johnny Cash

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