It's hard to discern what the title of Sony Music Special Products' The Many Sides of Johnny Cash means, since most of the songs seem to spring from the same side. Perhaps it's simply a way to add more meaning to a collection that's essentially just a budget-line sampler of highlights from his Columbia recordings. Clocking in at ten tracks, and just over a half hour, The Many Sides may be a little brief, but it has to be said that it's exceptionally good for a sampler. It may not show too many sides -- there's a novelty, some somber storytelling, a few Western tales, a couple patriotic numbers and a handful of classic hits, all of which are unmistakably Johnny Cash -- but with such songs as "(Ghost) Riders in the Sky," "Ragged Old Flag," "The Ballad of Ira Hayes," "Daddy Sang Bass," "I Still Miss Someone" and "Ring of Fire," a budget-minded casual listener really can't lose.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine