Sunday, September 28, 2008

V/A - "Til Things Are Brighter...A Tribute To Johnny Cash" (1988)

This is an early tribute album before the glut of them. I remember I had this around the time of "The Bridge", the Neil Young tribute and that NME Sgt. Pepper one. I thought it was a cool concept til it got done to death. Not to mention tributes to people who really didn't deserve one...
But no-one's gonna argue with a Johnny Cash tribute. Especially one as good as this. Put together by John Langford of the Mekons (who also did the fine cover painting). While many of the names may not jump out at you as instantly recognisable, you may know them from their bands: Steve Mack from That Petrol Emotion, Stephen Mallinder of Cabaret Voltaire, David McComb from Triffids, Marc Riley of The Fall and Creepers... Anyway, in the iTunes comments I've listed them all and where from.
Oh, and this came out before the whole Rick Rubin/Johnny Cash revival. Before the hipsters thought it was "cool". I remember seeing Johnny and Merle Haggard at The Ritz in NYC in '86 and it was all old people and country fans deigning to make the trip into the city for this great bill. A couple of them commenting to me and my friend that they were surprised and happy to see us whippersnappers getting into Johnny and Merle. I commented back that hey I grew up on this stuff (as well as a lot of crap but good stuff is good stuff and will always shine through if you're not an idiot).
Then a few short years later that same NYC audience at the new Ritz (the old Studio 54) now had plenty of spiky green mohawk'd crusties in the audience. And good thing, too.
But I digress. Back to the record (I don't know if it's ever been on CD or not):
I think it's basically the Mekons backing everyone up, and they do their own real nice version of Folsom Prison Blues.
Get it HERE.

01. One Piece At A Time (Michelle Shocked)
02. I Walk The Line (Stephen Mallinder)
03. Rosanna's Goin' Wild (Steve Mack)
04. Cry, Cry, Cry (Sally Timms)
05. Country Boy (David McComb)
06. Wanted Man (Marc Riley)
07. Straight 'A's In Love (Peter Shelley)
08. Ring Of Fire (Cathal Coughlan)
09. Five Feet High And Risin' (Tracey and Melissa Beehive)
10. Home Of The Blues (Brendan Croker)
11. Boy Named Sue (Mary Mary)
12. Folsom Prison Blues (Mekons)
13. Man In Black (Marc Almond)


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this - it was on CD very briefly... had one but somebody stole it. Been searching for years.

Pedro from Argentina said...

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Allan said...

thanks for this, I still play my LP a lot, and have also never seen a CD copy of the album.

JC was my first musical "love" and this is an excellent tribute album, though I must say that I'm not that big of a fan of the Pete Shelley track, that track just doesn't work for me.

Being a big CV fan as well, I loved hearing Mal having a go at a more "traditional" song.

I also saw JC live before the Rubin era, on the state fair circuit, there weren't that many youngsters in the audience I'll tell ya. At any rate, r.i.p. John and June.......and thanks again for your blog.

Alan said...

I have to thank you so very much for posting this. I bought this on CD in 88 or 89 but stupidly sold it for 5 bucks for beer money about a year later and have regretted it ever since. I have been searching for this for years. You are THE MAN!!!