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Back of The Billboards: Johnny Cash's "The Legend of Johnny Cash"

Society always celebrates the records that top the Billboard 200 album chart. Back of The Billboards is a Music Times weekly segment that looks at the opposite end: the record that finished at no. 200 for the previous week. We hope to give new life to music that you might have missed, or new life to classic albums you may have forgotten.

Week of 09/19/2013

WHO: Johnny Cash
WHAT: "The Legend of Johnny Cash"
WHY?: We don't have to tell you who Johnny Cash is, but we do have to comment that perhaps no performer (bar Elvis) has as many greatest hits compilations to their name as Cash. Those in the market for a succinct yet complete collection could use some help. If that's the case for you, we can't recommend "The Legend of Johnny Cash" enough. 

See, the problem is that the man in black had a lengthy career and he didn't lose steam at any point. Good for him, bad for those compiling his records. A lot of the Cash greatest hits collections you'll find will focus on his work with Sun Records, or just focus on his older music in general. No doubt there are a boatload of solid Cash hits to be found in earlier eras, but it'd be a shame to forget about his later American Records tracks, including the cover of Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt," which even Trent Reznor has admitted is better than the original. There's a little bit of both on "Legend."

At 21 tracks, "Legend" doesn't overwhelm the listener, coming in at just more than an hour of listening. There are compilations that will give you literally everything the man has ever recorded, but unless you're the most hardcore of Cash fans, you don't want that. A more incidental plus to buying "Legend" versus other compilations? The bada-- cover art. 

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