Wanting to take advantage of one of the coupons I got in the mail for 40% off one item, I stopped off at Half-Price Books in Cedar Rapids last night. Half-Price Books has a deal a couple of times a year where they send out one week of coupons where you start out with 40% off and it decreases 10% every two days through the course of the week, but then ends up with a 50% coupon on Sunday. There wasn’t much in the CD bins this trip, but there was a lot in the vinyl area and I had to make some judicious selections. I’ll be back on Sunday with some stuff to sell to take advantage of the 50%.
Johnny Cash – At Folsom Prison (LP, Columbia CS 9639, 1968) ($2.99) This was the one I got the 40% off on since it was a $4.98 one. Is anyone else noticing that the prices are going up at Half-Price? The record is in very good condition with only a slight bit of surface scratches. The sleeve has some edge wear and some face wear, but no ring wear which is incredible considering this record turned 40 this year! This record was a popular one around the house growing up. Dad was a big Johnny Cash fan in the 50’s and 60’s. I love this cover with Johnny big as life on the cover looking askance and sweat running down his face. On the back are hand-written liner notes describing the day-to-day of a prison inmate in the 60’s as well as explaining how he had to convince Columbia to release a live recording made in a prison. In retrospect it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, but I guess it must have been kind of shocking at the time. The movie “Ring of Fire” uses this show as its point of departure for the flashback that makes up the movie of Johnny’s life. This record is pretty interesting from the standpoint that it doesn’t have all of the “big” hits on it. In includes classics like “Folsom Prison,” “Jackson,” and “Orange Blossom Special” but doesn’t include “Walk the Line” or “Ring of Fire.” When this was remastered and re-released on CD in 1999 they added the missing songs “Busted,” “Joe Bean,” and “The Legend of John Henry’s Hammer.” A brilliant, landmark record that really transcends time and the genre of Country music.
Neil Young – Harvest (LP, Reprise MSK 2277, 1972) ($3.98) Wow! This was a big find. This copy is pristine! In a dust jacket, NO sleeve damage, includes the lyric sheet. The paper sleeve is torn, but there isn’t any printing on the sleeve so no art loss. What is there really to say about this record that hasn’t been said before? Brilliant record, regarded by most to be the pinnacle of Neil’s career and certainly his commerical high-point with the #1 single “Heart of Gold.” The story goes that Linda Ronstadt and James Taylor were appearing on the Johnny Cash TV show in 1971 and Neil coaxed them to come over and put vocals on “Heart of Gold” and “Old Man.” The country/folk-ish formula that created Harvest was so successful that Neil was able to base his 1992 album Harvest Moon from it and in my opinion repeated the commercial and critical success.