There have been no shortage of Johnny Cash compilations over the years, particularly of his classic Columbia recordings. There's something for whatever your taste — single-disc compilations with just the hits and extravagant multi-disc box sets tracing his entire career. Man in Black: Greatest Hits falls somewhere in between, presenting a comprehensive 30-song overview of (primarily) Cash's work for Columbia. That means the bulk of his groundbreaking Sun work is missing — "I Walk the Line," "Ballad of a Teenage Queen," and "Guess Things Happen That Way" are here, but classics such as "Get Rhythm," "Cry! Cry! Cry!," and "Folsom Prison Blues" (included in a later live version) aren't — but they're all available on Rhino's excellent Sun Years collection; this is notable for being an affordable and relatively exhaustive overview of the Columbia years, which is something that hasn't been attempted before this collection. There may be a few hits and cult favorites missing from this compilation, but it does a stellar job in featuring the best, most important cuts from Cash's prolific years with the label, and it makes an excellent companion to The Sun Years for the serious Cash fan on a budget.
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Get the CD Now! Johnny Cash - The Man in Black: His Greatest Hits