Grammy Winning Walk the Line Soundtrack Debuts on Vinyl
Two years after his death, 2005 saw a resurgence in Johnny Cash’s popularity with the release of the biopic Walk the Line. The film had uncanny performances by Joaquin Phoenix as Cash and Reese Witherspoon as his beloved June Carter. It had a Grammy Award-winning soundtrack produced by the legendary T Bone Burnett. It had a new slant on the old hits but what it didn’t have was a vinyl release.
Well, until now.
Considering how most would be introduced to Cash’s genre defining songs via their old turntables, it was certainly surprising that the film’s soundtrack wasn’t given a similar treatment. The album served to reintroduce these songs to a new generation of fans and rocketed up to #1 on the Billboard Soundtrack chart and #3 on the Country chart. It even cracked the Top Ten overall.
Sure, this wasn’t Cash and Carter but the popularity of the music was enough to carry the release. It was a bold move to not use the original recordings, especially with Cash and Carter’s passing’s still so fresh but Phoenix and Witherspoon held their own despite some pretty big boots to fill and at least one black suit.
AllMusic.com praised the album as “A good tribute to both [Johnny Cash and June Carter], while providing some fascinating insight to the art and craft of Phoenix and Witherspoon as actors.”
Though the album would go Platinum, for some there was something missing. Now Craft Recordings is giving collectors and vinyl enthusiasts the release they were hoping for over a decade ago.
Kicking off with “Get Rhythm” you can hear in this sharp recording just how just how well Phoenix to slipped into his roll. If you didn’t know better, this could be an outtake from the original Sun recordings in 56. Yeah, even if The Man In Black isn’t singing the tune, you get a quick understanding of why the King himself, Elvis Presley, once said Cash was the only musician he was ever worried about.
Phoenix rolls through a collection of Cash’s most memorable songs including “Ring of Fire”, “Folsom Prison Blues” and, of course, “Walk the Line”. Witherspoon, however, is not simply regulated to backup capturing just the right twang of Carter’s voice for her renditions of “Wildwood Flower” and “Juke Box Blues”. The two blend perfectly for the original country duo’s hit “Jackson”.
The film and soundtrack were both fitting tributes to these iconic figures and this new vinyl release is a line you’ll want to walk over and over again.