Johnny Cash – I Walk The Line

More Johnny Cash

I Walk The Line

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  • This Columbia 360 label pressing has KILLER Triple Plus (A+++) sound or very close to it on both sides
  • Both sides here are big, full-bodied and present with a solid bottom end and plenty of energy 
  • “Many of these songs have become American classics–“I Walk the Line,” “Get Rhythm,” and “Folsom Prison Blues” being three instantly recognizable numbers… This is another in the numerous sets which serve as helpful introductions into Cash’s voluminous output…” – All Music

This vintage Columbia 360 label pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records can barely BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to “see” the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the band, this is the record for you. It’s what vintage all analog recordings are known for — this sound.

If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it — not often, and certainly not always — but maybe one out of a hundred new records do, and those are some pretty long odds.

What amazing sides such as these have to offer is not hard to hear:

  • The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
  • The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1964
  • Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
  • Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the instruments having the correct timbre
  • Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space

No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.

What We Listen For on Walk The Line

  • Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
  • Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren’t “back there” somewhere, lost in the mix. They’re front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would put them.
  • The Big Sound comes next — wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
  • Then transient information — fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
  • Tight punchy bass — which ties in with good transient information, also the issue of frequency extension further down.
  • Next: transparency — the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the instruments.
  • Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

I Walk The Line  
Bad News
Folsom Prison Blues
Give My Love To Rose
Hey Porter
I Still Miss Someone

Side Two

Understand Your Man
Wreck Of The Old 97
Still In Town
Big River
Goodbye, Little Darlin’ Goodbye
Troublesome Waters

AMG Review

These 17 songs are offered with no information, but they are, in fact, some of the cornerstone songs and recordings of Johnny Cash’s long and remarkable career. Set opener “Hey, Porter!” for instance, was his first recording for Sam Phillips and Sun Records.

Many of these songs have become American classics–“I Walk the Line,” “Get Rhythm,” and “Folsom Prison Blues” being three instantly recognizable numbers. “Luther Played the Boogie” pays tribute to Luther Perkins, who was part of Cash’s first band and instrumental in shaping his combo sound (Perkins perished in a fire less than a decade after his seminal recordings first appeared). This is another in the numerous sets which serve as helpful introductions into Cash’s voluminous output…