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American Recordings Original recording reissued


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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, March 5, 2002
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Delia's Gone 2:17$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Let The Train Blow The Whistle 2:15$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. The Beast In Me 2:45$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Drive On 2:23$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Why Me Lord 2:20$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Thirteen 2:29$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Oh, Bury Me Not (Introduction: A Cowboy's Prayer) 3:52$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Bird On A Wire 4:01$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Tennessee Stud 2:54$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. Down There By The Train 5:34$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. Redemption 3:03$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen12. Like A Soldier 2:50$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen13. The Man Who Couldn't Cry 5:01$1.29  Buy MP3 

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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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Frequently Bought Together

American Recordings + Unchained + American III: Solitary Man
Price for all three: $26.98

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 5, 2002)
  • Original Release Date: 1994
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued
  • Label: American
  • ASIN: B000062X9D
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (133 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,758 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Out of print in the U.S.! Johnny Cash had already recorded some of the most important Country albums in the history of the genre, yet, although he was still making quality music throughout the '80s, record sales and label support were the lowest he'd ever experienced in his entire career. By the early '90s, he was without a label for the first time in four decades. Longtime fan, label owner and producer Rick Rubin stepped in, asked Johnny to return to his roots and together, they re-created the legend of the Man In Black. Features Cash performing his own compositions as well as songs from Loudon Wainwright, Leonard Cohen, Nick Lowe, Tom Waits and Glenn Danzig. American Recordings earned Johnny a 1995 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album. A stunning return to form. Warner.

Amazon.com

In 1994 Cash stunned the music world with this commanding collection of 13 solo acoustic performances that roll from gospel to cowboy to sarcastic folk. Minimalism had long been Cash's meal ticket, but this time around, producer Rick Rubin stripped it all away, recording the bulk of the record in Cash's cabin or his own living room (two cuts were captured live at the Viper Room in front of an emphatic audience). Cash offers five typically direct and vivid originals, but he also seizes control of songs by Kris Kristofferson, Nick Lowe, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, and Loudon Wainwright. Forty years after "Hey Porter," Cash delivers a pure, naked, and incredibly moving record that, dare we say, rivals the impact of his greatest achievements. --Marc Greilsamer

Customer Reviews

This is simply one of the best albums ever.
D. B Pepper
Every song sends a chill down your spine, not least because Cash -- recording here near the end of his life -- makes every word so convincing.
Charles K. Cowdery
In 1994, country music legend Johnny Cash agrees to cut an album produced by rap producer Rick Rubin for Rubin's American Recordings label.
A. Wolverton

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

182 of 191 people found the following review helpful By A. Wolverton VINE VOICE on September 21, 2003
Format: Audio CD
It was a completely unexpected move. In 1994, country music legend Johnny Cash agrees to cut an album produced by rap producer Rick Rubin for Rubin's American Recordings label. The result: The first of four priceless recordings that rival anything else from Cash's outstanding body of work.
The collection includes old songs, new songs, songs written by Cash, and songs written by others. Cash's music has always been marked by great storytelling and honesty, but this recording takes the Man in Black's storytelling and honesty to a whole other level. When you listen to "The Beast in Me," you hear the raw honesty in Cash's voice and you know that he's lived every word of Nick Lowe's lyrics. "Drive On" addresses one of Cash's most passionate topics: the trails and tribulations of Vietnam veterans returning home and the people who don't understand them. "Thirteen" is a dark, brutally exposed portrayal of a life gone wrong, one that has never been on track and never will be. Who else but Cash can convincingly sing the lyric "I pray you don't look at me/I pray I don't look back"?
It took a lot of courage for Cash to do this album. Think about it: Columbia Records had dropped him years before. Now here he was, making a recording not with his band, but with only his voice and his guitar. With one man and one guitar, there's not much you can hide. If the music is true and honest, it'll come through. If it's not, that'll come through too. But the result is true, naked, honest, courageous music. It doesn't get any better than this. Johnny Cash lays it all on the line like no one else ever has...and probably never will.
DISC TIME: 41:52
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288 of 313 people found the following review helpful By Andrew on June 2, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I listen to every and all kinds of music. Until I went to college, that was true for all genres except country. I liked the western stuff my dad played, but I didn't think it was the same. But I had been playing guitar for several years and I was looking for folk music I could play. Then two things happened. 1) I saw the video for Delia's Gone while flipping through cable channels. I was drawn to it, and then 2) I saw the five star review it got in Rolling stone magazine, so I gambled my 14 bucks, or whatever. My life was changed. In the early 90's, while Kurt Cobain screamed about the world that didn't pick him for kickball in gym class, or Eddie Vedder sang about, well, whatever, Johnny Cash sang about real people who felt guilt and regret, not ironic resentment/jealousy. The voice was like listening to an old testament prophet. His words seem to be more than emotion, they seem to be truth. It's often said that God speaks to us like a still, quiet voice. This IS Johnny Cash' American Recordings. I have cried to this album many times, esp. to Like A Soldier, and The Beast In Me. Accepting one's own contradictions is the key to loving yourself. Johnny's album helped me to do this. It is the most important sound recording I own. Do yourself a favor and buy it.
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53 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Fairportfan on September 13, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Facing a landing in the balcony staircase in the Roxy Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia, there is (or was, i haven't been there in a while) an almost life-size, autographed poster of the cover of this album, an amazing photo which has always reminded me of one of the less amiable prophets from the Old Testament just before he told some particularly egregious sinners where to head in.
And the "prophet" image is appropriate for Cash; sometimes in the sense of "a prophet without honour in his own country", as Cash has fallen from favour with the country music establishment more than once...
On their CD "Old Dogs", Waylon, Mel Tillis, Jerry Reed and Bobby Bare engaged in a joyful chomp at the hand that doesn't feed older country stars so well any more in a song by Shel Silverstein called "(Nashville is) Rough on the Livin' (But Surely Speaks Well of the Dead)", an indictment of the way in which the country music industry has tended to cast aside the older acts who created it in favour of the Hat of the Day, remembering them only in time for a hypocritical display when they die.
For a while, a few years ago, it looked as if that was going to be the way that Johnny Cash was going -- the majors seemed less and less interested in him, and he pretty much only got airplay on nostalgia-oriented programs.
And then he and Rick Rubin electrified the music world with this album, which cut a swathe across all genres and brought Cash back to the forefront.
This album was incredible when released, and it's still amazing now.
The weakest tracks on it are "Bird on a Wire" and "Man Who Couldn't Cry", which don't really suit Cash's delivery -- and they are Very Good.
Read more ›
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Bill R. Moore on January 22, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Growing up in Oklahoma, I developed, as you can well imagine, a justifiably inherent dislike for anything labeled "country music." This, unfortunately, kept me away from the music of Johnny Cash for years. I now sincerely regret what I have missed. I finally decided to try out the man's music after constantly hearing about him through many of the artists I most love and admire: Bob Dylan, Nick Cave, and Tom Waits (all of whom Cash has covered), among others. Needless to say, I am truly glad I decided to take the plunge. Though certain aspects of the music - Cash's twang, some of the subject matter, "A Cowboy's Prayer" - may well fall under the realm of country, the man's music - on this album is particular - is far too broad and diverse to be considered anything but Americana. With nothing to get in the way of his voice and guitar, Cash here gives us 13 great performances without any window dressing - just pure, brutal, honest, real music delivered in Cash's powerful and unmistakable baritone, "the most male voice in Christendom", as Bono put it, in one of his rare on-target quotations. In several great originals - the opening murder ballads Delia's Gone; the bleak, stubborn Let The Train Blow The Whistle; and the mournful, longing Like A Soldier, among others - Cash shows his talent as a songwriter and performer. That said, the highlights of the album, for me, are the covers. Cash proves that he his, perhaps, the best interpreter in the music business with deft covers of artists as startingly diverse as Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Danzig, Loudon Wainright III, Kris Kristofferson, and Nick Lowe. It is amazing that, as Cash was on the plus side of 60 when this album was recorded, his voices sounds just as good as - indeed, arguably better than - it ever did before. A truly worthy album that I reccommend to fans of any type of music.
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