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Johnny Cash: The Anthology (2000)

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7.4
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Title: Johnny Cash: The Anthology (Video 2000)

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A nice, if somewhat vague, overview of a legend
30 September 2002 | by (Montreal, Quebec) – See all my reviews

Johnny Cash by all accounts is a legendary musician with a tremendous impact, not only on country music world, but on the rock music world as well. Johnny Cash is one of the few musicians who retains a remarkable sense of grace, dignity and respect this far into his musical career (especially with his most recent American recordings), yet, who also has a tremendous impact on his contemporaries such as Beck, Wilco and Will Oldham.

"Johnny Cash: The Anthology" presents two different overviews of his career, the first a 15 song guide from the past to the present and the other a biographical overview of his career. Along for the ride is commentary by the likes of Merle Haggard, Rodney Crowell, Billy Bob Thorton and Kris Kristofferson and while this may all sound good it is a disappointing viewing in the end.

The editing in both presentations is sloppy and poorly cut, particularly in the biographical portion of this video. It starts so abruptly I initially thought my DVD player had skipped a portion of the documentary. While the documentary was interesting it jumped around fairly quickly in Cash's career and pretty well skipped the 70s and 80s entirely. Though, the same sound bites from the aforementioned people appear in both presentations, it is good they didn't gloss over the bad parts of Cash's career particularly his addiction to pep pills in the 60s, but to sit through their glowing praise of Cash during the video presentation is a trial. The only reason it's worth sitting through their anecdotes are to see the tremendous footage of Cash classics. It's a real treat to see his performances from the 60s, as a lean and raw young man.

If you have the patience to sit through this, go for it, otherwise wait for a more comprehensive, better edited documentary to come along.

6/10


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