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MoFi Johnny Cash - At Folsom Prison 2LP Numbered 180g 45RPM

Preorder Now! ETA 30/04/25

Johnny Cash already knew his way around Folsom Prison when he and his band stepped inside the institution’s forbidding walls on the morning of January 13, 1968 to record At Folsom Prison. He’d played there two years prior. But this time was different...

Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs believes that mastering systems should be neutral and transparent. The essential idea is to unveil all the detailed musical information on the original master recording without adding deterioration, coloration or other sonic artefacts.

With proprietary innovations such as GAIN 2™, general music enthusiasts and audiophiles alike have reaped the benefit of a higher consumer audio standard without investing in costly new hardware.

Johnny Cash - At Folsom Prison 2LP Numbered 180g 45RPM 2LP Numbered Edition


Track Listing

1. Folsom Prison Blues
2. Dark as the Dungeon
3. I Still Miss Someone
4. Cocaine Blues
5. 25 Minutes to Go
6. Orange Blossom Special
7. The Long Black Veil
8. Send a Picture of Mother
9. The Wall
10. Dirty Old Egg-Suckin’ Dog
11. Flushed from the Bathroom of Your Heart
12. Jackson
13. Give My Love to Rose
14. I Got Stripes
15. Green, Green Grass of Home
16. Greystone Chapel

Mastered on MoFi’s Mastering System: Mobile Fidelity Numbered-Edition 180g 45RPM 2LP Set Plays with Arresting Immediacy, Spaciousness, and Directness.

The 1968 album on which johnny cash became a legend: At Folsom Prison among the most important and potent statements of the 20th century.

1/4" / 15 IPS analog copy to DSD 256 to analog console to lathe.

Cash took the stage that day for two shows amid a darkening sociopolitical atmosphere and a raging war in Vietnam, as well as the knowledge his career and health hung on by a thread. The Arkansas native shared many of the long odds and abject failures of the inmates for which he performed. The songs he chose, and the conviction with which he delivered them, say as much. The point at which Cash transformed from a country star into a legendary artist, and a bold statement about the American prison state and its commitment to rehabilitation, the triple-platinum At Folsom Prison remains one the most important, potent, and fabled records of the 20th century.

Mastered on MoFi’s renowned mastering system at its California studio and housed in a Stoughton gatefold jacket, Mobile Fidelity’s numbered-edition 180g 45RPM 2LP set of At Folsom Prison veritably places you in the cafeteria with the hootin’ and hollerin’ prisoners with which Cash felt a mutual chemistry, sympathy, and spirit. A through-line to the no-frills rawness that helps make this landmark record among the most genuine documents ever committed to tape, this audiophile reissue presents what transpired that winter day with a fullness, directness, spaciousness, and dynamic absent prior editions.

You can hear it echo off the walls of the room; pulse through the Tennessee Three’s itchy, acoustic-based boom-chick rhythms; crackle in the announcements conveyed over the intercom; ring in the comedy of the off-cuff remarks and pair of novelty tunes; sense it in palpable energy that wells up within Cash and his audience. And you can experience it like never before via Cash’s knockout singing. The bedrock foundation of all his music, the singer’s baritone resonates with profound degrees of depth, pliability, and passion that underscore how much this appearance meant to him — and the extent he was living the narratives.

Indeed, every song on At Folsom Prison serves a purpose and speaks to the conditions — mental, emotional, physical, geographical, legal, social — the inmates confronted on a daily basis. Beginning with the explicit messages of the opening “Folsom Prison Blues,” Cash makes it clear he understands and shares many of their plights. Not for nothing did the myth of Cash having done hard time persist for decades once this record hit the streets. That’s how real it is, and how dedicated Cash remains to conveying every note with the same truth he invests in the impromptu comments he makes between and amid songs.

Listen to the sorrow, regret, pity, and loneliness of Merle Travis’ “Dark as the Dungeon,” Cash pulling syllables til they threaten to break and inhabiting the mood of bleak phrases such as “pleasures are few” and “the sun never shines.” Witness the isolation, dejection, and sadness punctuating the walking-blues “I Still Miss Someone,” matched in gravity by a solemn reading of “The Long Black Veil” — a traditional dirge that involves murder, cheating, and deception. Cash cuts even deeper on a heartbreaking solo rendition of “Send a Picture of Mother” and plainspoken version of Harlan Howard’s “The Wall,” detailing a suicide disguised as jailbreak through cliched-jaw deliveries that softly curse the impossible situation.

In chronicling temptations, mistakes, mortality, punishment, and life “inside” — for better or worse, the stories of the disenfranchised, forgotten, written-off, and unrepentant — At Folsom Prison also has a blast playing the outlaw role. Cash captures wild-eyed craziness and out-of-control mayhem on a revved-up take of “Cocaine Blues,” taking extra satisfaction in its dastardly tales by way of voice that shifts into character for the sheriff and judge. The gallows humor and racing drama of “25 Minutes to Go”; quicksilver accents and resigned acceptance of “I Got Stripes”; train-whistle blare and twangy locomotion of “Folsom Prison Blues” — all fight the law only to see the law win.

Cash remains deeply committed at every moment, and inseparably connected with the tortured souls removed from the goings-on of the outside world. No wonder all but two songs here stem from the day’s first performance that saw Cash, Luther Perkins, Marshall Grant, and company give everything. As does the Man in Black’s soon-to-be-wife, June Carter. The couple’s fiery duet on “Jackson” scorches; their combination of surrender and fortitude “Give My Love to Rose” puts us in the dying protagonist’s shoes.

And with the closing “Greystone Chapel,” famously penned by convict Glen Sherley, who watched it all happen under the watchful eye of guards, Cash separates the corporeal from the spiritual, relaying lessons about salvation and survival. Heady themes to which he’d return for the remainder of his illustrious career.


GAIN 2™ Ultra Analog™ System for Vinyl

GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ is a proprietary cutting system built and designed by legendary design genius Tim De Paravicini, with consultation from one of Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab's founding fathers - Stan Ricker, an audio engineer responsible for many of MFSL's most heralded past releases.

The GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ system is comprised of a Studer™ tape machine with customised reproduction electronics* and handcrafted cutting amps that drive an Ortofon cutting head on a restored Neumann VMS-70 lathe. (*It is worth noting that independent studies have confirmed that the GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ system can unveil sonic information all the way up to 122kHz!)

First and foremost, Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs only utilise first generation original master recordings as source material for their releases. MFSL then play back master tapes at half speed enabling the GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ system to fully extract the master's sonic information. The lacquers are then plated in a specialised process that protects transients in the musical signal. (Due to this process, there may be occasional pops or ticks inherent in initial playback, but as the disc is played more, a high-quality stylus will actually polish the grooves and improve the sound). MFSL further ensure optimum sound quality by strictly limiting the number of pressings printed for each release. These limited editions, in addition to being collectors' items, ensure that the quality of the last pressing matches the quality of the first.


Release Information

Label: Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, MFSL2-543

Series: Silver Label Vinyl Series

Format: Vinyl, 2LP, 45rpm, Limited Edition, Reissue, Remastered, Numbered

Country: US

Released: 2024

Genre: Folk, World, & Country

Style: Country


More Information
Model Number LMF2-543
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