ARTIST: Johnny Cash
TITLE: Ride This Train
YEAR RELEASED: 1960
CHART ACTION: None
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Going to Memphis
LINEUP: Johnny Cash, Luther Perkins, Johnny Western, Shot Jackson, Marshall Grant, Gordon Terry, Floyd Cramer, Buddy Harman
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A concept album about a train trip through rural America, with each song prefaced by an anecdote recited by Cash.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Johnny Cash was one of the first artists to realize that albums and singles were totally different mediums, and that albums could be constructed with a theme and concept. So, many of his 60’s albums didn’t have singles, but revolved around a concept.
This is about a train ride through the US, and each of the eight songs is prefaced with a story by Cash. He tells these in the first person, but it’s obvious these are just tall tales (or at least didn’t happen to Cash himself).
The songs and performances are first rate, but the tales get in the way at times, and one wishes they were separated in the tracks.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: There is obviously another performer in “Going to Memphis” but he is uncredited.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, a few bonus tracks about the West.
GRADE: B-: Sometimes the anecdotes are endearing, but they get in the way of some good music at times.