Johnny Cash, “The Total Johnny Cash Sun Collection” (Curb)
www.johnnycash.com, $ 19.99
If you’ve ever been a Johnny Cash fan, this two-disc set is a must-have for your collection.
Aside from the last few records he recorded with producer Rock Rubin, Cash’s early period, pictured here, was always the one that interested me the most.
Compiling 62 songs in total, this release is a comprehensive look at Cash’s career with the legendary Sun Records. With crisp remastering, “Cry, Cry, Cry”, “Hey Porter” and “Get Rhythm” sound better than ever. Very highly recommended.
Bullet Boys, “From Out of the Skies” (Borders)
www.bulletboys.com, $ 13.99
This has to be one of the strangest records I’ve reviewed so far this year. The Bullet Boys had their heyday on the hair metal scene of the late ’80s, and they’re back… sort of. Only singer Marq Torien remains of the original formation, in the midst of a rotating army of nearly 40 different sidemen over the years.
The opening tracks, the clichés titled “Apocalypto” and “D-Evil,” recall the band’s original sound, before the rest of the songs drifted into what feels like nothing more than personal indulgence. A sappy ballad, “Switchblade Butterfly”, isn’t even a powerful ballad, and the acoustically “Losing End Again” congas are just plain silly.