American Recordings

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Johnny Cash was in the unenviable position of being a living legend who was beloved by fans of classic country music without being able to interest anyone in his most recent work when he was signed to Rick Rubin's American Recordings label in 1994. Rubin, best known for his work with edgy rockers and hip-hop acts, opted to produce Cash's first album for American, and as he tried to brainstorm an approach that would introduce Cash to a new audience, he struck upon a brilliant idea -- doing nothing. For American Recordings, Rubin simply set up some recording equipment in Cash's Tennessee cabin and recorded him singing a set of songs accompanied only by his acoustic guitar. ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Johnny Cash was in the unenviable position of being a living legend who was beloved by fans of classic country music without being able to interest anyone in his most recent work when he was signed to Rick Rubin's American Recordings label in 1994. Rubin, best known for his work with edgy rockers and hip-hop acts, opted to produce Cash's first album for American, and as he tried to brainstorm an approach that would introduce Cash to a new audience, he struck upon a brilliant idea -- doing nothing. For American Recordings, Rubin simply set up some recording equipment in Cash's Tennessee cabin and recorded him singing a set of songs accompanied only by his acoustic guitar. The result is an album that captured the glorious details of Johnny Cash's voice and allowed him to demonstrate just how emotionally powerful an instrument he possessed. While Rubin clearly brought some material to Cash for these sessions -- it's hard to imagine he would have recorded tunes by Glenn Danzig or Tom Waits without a bit of prodding -- Cash manages to put his stamp on every tune on this set, and he also brought some excellent new songs to the table, including the Vietnam veteran's memoir "Drive On," the powerful testimony of faith "Redemption," and a sly but moving recollection of his wild younger days, "Like a Soldier." American Recordings became a critical sensation and a commercial success, though it was overrated in some quarters simply because it reminded audiences that one of America's greatest musical talents was still capable of making compelling music, something he had never stopped doing even if no one bothered to listen. Still, American Recordings did something very important -- it gave Cash a chance to show how much he could do with a set of great songs and no creative interference, and it afforded him the respect he'd been denied for so long, and the result is a powerful and intimate album that brought the Man in Black back to the spotlight, where he belonged.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/13/2007
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 886971770728
  • Catalog Number: 717707

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Johnny Cash Primary Artist, Guitar, Vocals
Technical Credits
Johnny Cash Composer, Liner Notes
David Ferguson Engineer
Stephen Marcussen Mastering
Rick Rubin Producer
Karen Adams Contributor
Dick Toops Composer
John R. Cash Liner Notes
Martyn Atkins Art Direction, Cover Photo
Karl Silbersdorf Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Just Guitar and Voice. Totally Awsome Cash!!

    This is an album of a long time career, where he is at his best. Mr. Rubin has a knack of using barebone instrumental backing to create a unique recording. It is all here for lifelong Cash listeners and fans. God, Love, and Murder is all here. Awsome CD.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The World's Greatest Rendition of ''Bird on a Wire''

    Every passenger in my car has heard this album on my cassette player; although, because I try to be a good host I do not 'inflict' music on anyone riding in my automobile. As a fan of Johnny Cash, however, I must protest that B&N's review does not give any indication of just how funny Mr. Cash is on this album: ''Delia'' or Louden Wainright III's little ditty about about tears. And, in my little corner of the world, there has been unanimous agreement, even among friends who consent to hear just one song, that Leonard Cohen could not have imagined that anyone could sing, ''Bird on a Wire,'' better. This is a subtle album, because Mr. Cash is an ARTIST in more ways than one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews