íThe Legend Of Johnny Cash Vol. IIí
The legendary Johnny Cash just may be the success story of the new Millennium. Now "The Legend Of Johnny Cash Vol. II" (Island/UMe), released November 21, 2006, continues the musical story that began on last year's double platinum "The Legend Of Johnny Cash", which reached #5 Pop and #2 Country and as of this writing remains on the Billboard Top 200.
Spanning his monumental career from 1956 to 2003 with 20 selections from his years with Sun, Columbia, Mercury, and American, "The Legend Of Johnny Cash Vol. II" features nine Top 10 Country hits, including five #1s; performances with June Carter, Bob Dylan, Waylon Jennings, and Hank Williams Jr.; and the live orchestral version of the Leonard Cohen classic "Bird On A Wire" previously available only on the 2004 "Unearthed" box set.
From his Sun Records era, the collection brings together the '50s tracks "There You Go" (#1 Country), "Home Of The Blues" (#3 Country), "Ballad Of A Teenage Queen" (#1 Country) and "The Ways Of A Woman In Love" (#2 Country). Moving to the Columbia label, he concludes the decade with "I Still Miss Someone" and "Don't Take Your Guns To Town" (#1 Country).
His '60s output is represented by the Native American tribute "The Ballad Of Ira Hayes" (#3 Country), pop-flavored "It Ain't Me Babe" (with June Carter) (#4 Country), "Daddy Sang Bass" (#1 Country) and a pair of Celtic-based tracks, "Girl From The North Country" (with Bob Dylan) and "The Long Black Veil." His Columbia tenure closes with the album's sole '70s contribution, the decade opening "Flesh And Blood" (#1 Country). From his Mercury days in the late '80s "The Legend Of Johnny Cash Vol. II" connects two Hank Williams related recordings -- "The Night Hank Williams Came To Town" (with Waylon Jennings) and "That Old Wheel" (with Hank Williams Jr.).
Cash's popular resurgence with a new generation took place on Rick Rubin's American Recordings. Included in the retrospective are "The Beast In Me" and "Unchained" from the '90s and "I Won't Back Down", "I Hung My Head", "Bird On A Wire" and "In The Sweet By And By" from the early '00s.
Cash's death at age 71 on September 12, 2003, closed a career spanning nearly half a century. Thanks to the Oscar-winning 2005 biopic "Walk The Line", new compilations, and even a new album -- this year's posthumous #1 Pop-charting "American V: A Hundred Highways" -- the Cash legend continues to grow.
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