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Category:    Home > Reviews > Concert > Country > Johnny Cash DVD/CD Behind Prison Walls set

Johnny Cash: A Concert Behind Prison Walls (DVD/CD Set)

 

Picture: C     Sound: B     Extras: B     Program: B+

 

 

The death of Johnny Cash really hit the world in a strange way.  People that never really listened to him started to recognize his achievements and the people that were fans or had been fans revamped their attention towards the singer/songwriter and his legacy.  It is sad that it takes a persons death to make people recognize how talented and influential they are, but I doubt that Cash would have cared anyway.  He was a simple man that lived on the edge in terms of how he thought and what he did.  He was also a man of change who later in his life, despite not caring what others thought, decided to become an outspoken ‘saved’ man, who believed in God and almost regretted much of what he did in his life.  Johnny Cash: A Concert Behind Prison Walls includes the talents of Foster Brooks, Roy Clark, Johnny Cash, and Linda Ronstadt, who appear with Johnny circa 1982.

 

This is a reissue with the same DVD as before (reviewed elsewhere on this site), only now we have a CD included, which runs a total time of 60-minutes.

 

DVD Tracklisting:

 

Folsom Prison Blues

Sunday Morning Coming Down

Jacob Green

Desperado

You’re No Good

Rolling in My Sweet Baby’s Arms

That Honeymoon Feeling

Shuckin’ The Corn

Half As Much

Love Has No Pride

Silver Threads and Golden Needles

Hey Porter

Orange Blossom Special

A Boy Named Sue

 

CD Tracklisting:

 

Folsom Prison Blues

Sunday Morning Coming Down

Jacob Green

Comedy Routine

Desperado

You’re No Good

Rolling in My Sweet Baby’s Arms

That Honeymoon Feeling

Shuckin’ The Corn

Half As Much

Love Has No Pride

Silver Threads and Golden Needles

Hey Porter

Wreck of the Old Ninety-Seven

Orange Blossom Special

A Boy Named Sue

 

This is a really terrific set and a good way to introduce many to Johnny Cash, but you can tell after seeing the two track listings that there are some songs not included in the DVD presentation that are on the CD.  The video is in a standard full frame format and does have a dated look to it, which gives away its early 1980’s appearance.  Colors are not well defined and the analog source is very evidence as well.  The picture is quite soft, but still manages to get the job done.  Notice the outfit that Ronstadt is wearing and how faded it appears. 

 

Audio can also be disappointing as well since this comes in Dolby Digital Stereo and Dolby Digital 5.1, which does not come close to what DTS would offer.  The CD sound is a bit better in terms of noise reduction as well and the biggest difference with the 5.1 mix is that more texture is added in the rears, but not enough as some might hope.  Bass management is also a problem from time to time as well, which is where DTS would have helped.  It is common for most Dolby only discs to pump up the bass a bit more in order to try and compensate and sound fuller, but here we are given a more flatlined performance.  Overall the program works, but knowing the limitations of Dolby and with the CD (with its less compressed PCM signal) to use as a comparison, it’s pretty hard to fool even and uneducated consumer with certain programs like this.

 

As I already mentioned this is a good introduction to Johnny Cash and maybe even a nice way to get a decent CD out of it as well, but one should also consider that this is a live performance, which can be distracting at times, however an artist like Cash is also quite good in his roughest moments.  For audiophiles this is probably not the best disc for demo material, but it is hard to get older live material to really shine no matter what is done.

 

 

-   Nate Goss


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