This compilation gathers together EP recordings by Johnny Cash from his Sun Records period that ended in 1958. The disc does a better job than any "greatest hits" in presenting a portrait of Cash's lean, mean, rockabilly rebel days. Cash's patented "boom-chicka-boom" sound is presaged here, as his acoustic rhythm guitar plays off the slap bass and angular guitar lines of his "Tennessee Two" (by '58, the addition of a drummer made it the Tennessee Three).
There are plenty of Cash's early hits here, including the devotional, key-modulating "I Walk the Line," the vengeful, hard-hearted "Cry, Cry, Cry," and the rockabilly anthem "Get Rhythm." But while those tunes are available on any number of Cash collections, this batch offers great lesser-known tunes, from the "Heartbreak Hotel" cousin "Home of the Blues" to a passel of tunes by Cash inspiration Hank Williams. For the meat of Cash's early work along with chart-toppers, try this highly recommended disc.