Johnny Cash – Orange Blossom Special (1965/2014) [FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Johnny Cash – Orange Blossom Special (1965/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 33:49 minutes | 338 MB | Genre: Country
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Columbia Nashville Legacy

Even if the best and most popular songs on this 1965 album are the ones most likely to show up on greatest-hits compilations (“The Long Black Veil, “Orange Blossom Special,” “It Ain’t Me Babe”), it certainly rates as one of Cash’s finer non-greatest-hits releases. If nothing else, it would have historical importance for the inclusion of three Bob Dylan covers, at a time when Dylan was just starting to get heavily covered by pop musicians (and not often covered by country ones). “It Ain’t Me Babe,” with duet vocals by June Carter, was the most notable of them, although hearing it these days, some may be taken aback by the mariachi horns. Ditto for “Mama, You Been on My Mind” (which Dylan himself had not released when Cash recorded it), where it’s startling to hear Boots Randolph’s yakety sax come in for a bit. “The Long Black Veil,” though, is an ageless classic, and the title cut one of his best train-oriented songs. The rest of the album is respectable and diverse, if not as outstanding, and includes the stark Cash original “You Wild Colorado,” more duet vocals from Carter on the Johnny Horton cover “When It’s Springtime in Alaska,” a bouncy rendition of the Carter Family’s “Wildwood Flower,” the spiritual “Amen,” and, less successfully, a sentimental reading of “Danny Boy.” The 2002 CD reissue adds three bonus tracks that were previously unavailable in the United States (and had been included on the Bear Family box set The Man in Black: 1963-1969), among them an acoustic cover of A.P. Carter’s “Engine 143” and a different version of “Mama, You Been on My Mind” (this time with mariachi horns!). ~ Richie Unterberger


01. Orange Blossom Special
02. The Long Black Veil
03. It Ain’t Me Babe
04. The Wall
05. Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right
06. You Wild Colorado
07. Mama, You Been on My Mind
08. When It’s Springtime in Alaska (It’s Forty Below)
09. All of God’s Children Ain’t Free
10. Danny Boy
11. Wildwood Flower
12. Amen