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American 3: Solitary Man

Johnny CashAudio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (156 customer reviews)


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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 14 Songs, 2002 $9.49  
Audio CD, Original recording reissued, 2002 $9.48  
Audio CD, 2007 --  
Vinyl, 2014 $25.17  
Audio Cassette, 2000 --  

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Beginning his career as an outlaw to the Nashville establishment, Johnny Cash has come to define country music over the last 40 years. At first, his unique mix of hillbilly music with gospel and blues made him a perfect fit at Sam Phillips' Sun records, where he recorded such classics as "Folsom Prison Blues" and "I Walk The Line." From there, Johnny signed with ... Read more in Amazon's Johnny Cash Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 13, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B000WS4OZM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (156 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,104 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. I Won't Back Down
2. Solitary Man
3. That Lucky Old Sun (Just Rolls Around Heaven All Day)
4. One
5. Nobody
6. I See a Darkness
7. The Mercy Seat
8. Would You Lay with Me (In a Field of Stone)
9. Field of Diamonds
10. Before My Time
11. Country Trash
12. Mary of the Wild Moor
13. I'm Leaving Now
14. Wayfaring Stranger

Editorial Reviews

With all of the massive hype around at the moment regarding Johnny Cash, largely due to the movie 'Walk The Line', the time is right that these fantastic American Recordings titles are available again. Cash's American Recordings albums were critically acclaimed, and captivated a younger audience than his previous albums - they inspired a whole new legion of Johnny Cash devotees. All at Mid Price, these albums deserve to be in any serious record collection

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
83 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Would You Lay With Me In A Field Of Stone? October 18, 2000
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
There's something irresistable about an old, wise rebel singing songs of despair and melancholy. Johnny Cash has carved out this niche for over 45 years. He's walked the line and gone down in a burning ring of fire. He's surpassed illness and critics. "American III: Solitary Man" follows "American Recordings" (1994) and "Unchained" (1996) as Cash's third cd produced by Rick Rubin (Beastie Boys et al.) Cash shines on remakes like Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down", Neil Diamond's "Solitary Man", U2's "One", Nick Cave's "The Mercy Seat". When Cash is dark, he's very dark like the lyrics in "I See A Darkness". He can turn on a dime and produce sad, painful comedy like "Nobody" and "Country Trash". He never loses the heart and soul of country/folk playing and singing. At 68, Cash is the oldest, coolest artist in my collection, and I look forward to each of his recordings because it seems like he always has some new way of seeing life and relationships. Some artists have nothing to say or make a few cds and then have nothing to say, but Johnny Cash continues to show the wisdom of age and experience and its value in our lives. I don't like country music much, but I sure do dig Johnny Cash. "American III: Solitary Man" stands on its own.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A late life Cash convert November 6, 2005
Format:Audio CD
I never liked Johnny Cash, and I've been a music fan for most of my 55+ years. Then, a year ago, I was in a used record shop in Norwich, England, when I heard something that stopped me in my tracks. "Who the hell is that?" I asked the kid behind the counter. "It's Johnny Cash," he said. And so it was, Johnny Cash singing "Spiritual", from one of the American records. I was stunned and overwhelmed by the lean beauty of that song, and the courage of the man singing it. Since that trip, I've bought all the American albums. This one, though, is simply my favorite. Cash's cover of Neil Diamond's Solitary Man is brilliant. And "The Mercy Seat" is just overwhelming in its emotional intensity and its deep ring of the truth. Was I ever wrong for all those years about The Man in Black. This music, spare, lean, intense, haunted, and brave, is unlike any American music I have ever heard. It comes closest to the raw intensity of the best of the blues. But it's all Johnny Cash, the one and only. Hear it, weep, and rejoice. This is a consummate artist at the peak of his career, even at its end.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Stellar Effort From An American Treasure October 19, 2000
Format:Audio CD
Faced with his own mortality, Johnny Cash is still rediscovering his artistry. "American III: Solitary Man" is his third solid release in the last six years. Working in collaboration with Rick Rubin, Cash has produced another thoughful and moving album. Johnny contributes for songs, while covering the likes of Tom Petty, David Alan Coe, U2, Nick Cave, Bert Williams, Will Oldham (!) and Neil Diamond (don't laugh, its a great song).
Cash and Rubin once again take chances, and the result is wonderful. If Cash's vocals are a little rougher than last time out (1996's "Unchained") it just adds to the emotional wallop of the music. This man has made such great music for so many years. I've been listening to Johnny Cash for almost all my life and, even during the long period in which he was phoning it in in the recording studio, Cash was more interesting than almost any other musician. The fact that Johnny Cash is still making great music is a marvel, and I hope everyone that reads this gets to hear this terrific album.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Who would imagine that an ageing Johnny Cash could reach out and cover dark and strange songs like these? OK, it's uneven, with one or two cuts actually sub-par, but "I see a darkness" is perfect, "One"--who could believe anyone could turn this into such a great song? And then, there is the utterly savage version of "Mercy Seat." Far better than any Nick Cave version, Johnny does it straight and without the histrionics. It is totally gripping--I was never an anti-death penalty person, or even particularly anti-death, but this song just blows you away. It's not the killing part that is so powerful, it's the mere fact of death itself, and the consciousness of walking to that chair like a mouse gingerly pushing down the bar on a trap while knowing what is about to happen....

And yet the song is unsentimental. The most important part, and the real hook, is the protagonist going from his "tough guy" persona in which he sticks by his story, damn your eyes, to, only at the last minute, admitting that he did lie, and that he is guilty. I find this the most powerful part of the song (and the barroom piano really brings it out in the coda). I think if it hadn't been for this song, I would have never had the courage to admit, even to myself, that I too had tried to ride on a lie all the way through the judicial system. All that time I was playing the innocent victim, I wasn't. I don't know if I deserved what I got, any more than the protagonist deserved to have his brain melted, but the first thing is to start with honesty.

That and his version of Wayfaring Stranger--a little bit strained--really spoke to me. But even the ones that didn't have a personal meaning were generally excellent ("Lucky Old Sun," "Won't Back Down"). A stunning depth and delivery. Even if you don't like his other stuff, you've got to listen to this. He can make Neil Diamond (a great song writer but not a tornado of energy as a singer) seem tremendous. [38]
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