Johnny Cash / American Recordings

In May, Universal Muisc Enterprises will release American Recordings, a seven-LP vinyl box set compiling Johnny Cash‘s releases recorded with Rick Rubin for his American Recordings label.

All six of the albums are included: American RecordingsAmerican Recordings II: UnchainedAmerican Recordings III: Solitary Man, American Recordings IV: The Man Comes Around (2LP)American Recordings V: A Hundred Highways and American Recordings VI: Ain’t No Grave.

The music was recorded during the last decade of Cash’s life and the last two albums were posthumous releases after his death in 2003.

The American Recordings box set will be released on 4 May 2015. The price on Amazon Italy is significantly cheaper than the UK price at the time of writing.

Summary of albums from the press release:

LP1 – American Recordings (1994)

Released in 1994, American Recordings is a raw, stripped-down album recorded in a living room with just Cash and his acoustic guitar. The album ranks No. 366 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list, has earned a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album Including Best Ethnic or Contemporary Folk Recording and hit number 23 on the Country Albums chart and number 110 on the Billboard Top 200. American Recordings not only features Cash-penned tracks such as Redemption, Like a Soldier and Drive On, he also puts his stamp on a wide variety of covers such as Glenn Danzig’sThirteen, Leonard Cohen’s Bird on a Wire, Tom Wait’s Down There by the Train and Nick Lowe’s The Beast in Me.

LP2 – American II: Unchained (1996)

In 1996 Johnny Cash teamed up with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and recorded American II: Unchained which earned a Grammy Award for Best Country Album in 1997 and hit number  26 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart and number 170 on the Billboard 200. Included are tracks such asCountry Boy, Mean Eyed Cat and Tom Petty’s Southern Accents. Other songs are cover versions of Beck’s Rowboat, Soundgarden’s Rusty Cage and The Kneeling Drunkard’s Plea written by June, Anita, Helen and Mother Maybelle Carter.

LP3 – American III: Solitary Man (2000)

Once again teaming up with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Solitary Man was released in 2000 and earned Cash a Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance for his rendition of Neil Diamond’s Solitary Man. The album reached number 11 on Billboard’s Country Albums chartand number 88 on the Billboard 200. Other songs presented are Tom Petty’s I Won’t Back Down, U2’sOne and Field of Diamonds featuring backing vocals by June Carter.

LP4 (Double Album) – American IV: The Man Comes Around (2002)

Released in 2002, The Man Comes Around is the last studio album released by Johnny Cash before his death in 2003. It reached number 2 on the Billboard Country Albums chart and number 22 on the Billboard 200. The Man Comes Around earned a Country Music Association Award for Album of the Year and features the single Give My Love to Rose which won a Grammy Award for Best Country Male Vocal Performance. Also featured is his re-defining cover of Nine Inch Nails’ Hurt, which won a 2003 Grammy Award for Best Short Form Video and 2003 Country Music Association Award for Single of the Year and Music Video of the Year. It was nominated for six MTV Awards, winning in the Best Cinematography category. Hurt also reached number 33 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, number 56 on the Country Singles chart and number 34 on the Hot Digital Songs chart.

LP5 – American V: A Hundred Highways (2006)

Cash’s highly anticipated posthumous album A Hundred Highways was recorded in 2002-2003 and released in 2006. It reached number 1 on the Billboard 200, Country Albums and Top Internet Albums charts consecutively, with the track God’s Gonna Cut You Down earning a Grammy Award for Best Short Form Music Video in 2007. Other performances include a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s Further On (Up the Road) and Cash’s last original, Like the 309, a song about a train taking his casket away.

LP6 – American VI: Ain’t No Grave (2010)

In 2010 American Recordings/Lost Highway Records released American VI: Ain’t No Grave, an album featuring music recorded during the American V: A Hundred Highways sessions. It debuted at number 1 on the Top Digital Albums chart, number 2 on the Top Country Albums chart and number 3 on the Billboard 200 becoming Cash’s third Top 10 in the U.S. Featured are tracks such as I Corinthians 15:55,Redemption Day written by Sheryl Crow, Cool Water by Bob Nolan, and Can’t Help But Wonder Where I’m Bound by Tom Paxton.

7 responses to Johnny Cash / American Recordings

  1. Pingback:Johnny Cash / American Recordings | superdeluxeedition

  2. Patrick says:

    I wish I had known this was forthcoming last year when I bought the individual album reissues! I would like to have had them all together in one box!

  3. Joey says:

    I pre-ordered this set on 2 weeks ago for $124 CAD, or approximately 64 GBP. The very next day I saw the price go up to $186, where it has stayed since then. This is still a very good price for this set as compared to prices globally, but it may go down again prior to the release date (which incidentally is listed as March 31 on so if you pre-order you will get the lowest price and if it doesn’t drop, you can always cancel the order before the release date. In regards to the CD box set, my guess it will eventually appear, but not before they sell a few of these vinyl sets first… I already own all these releases on CD but look forward to having these on vinyl because they are all great albums that will become timeless classics, IMHO. :)

  4. Edward says:

    ChristopherM – “My Mother’s Hymn Book” was originally released in the boxed set ” Unearthed”, along with various outtakes, alt versions and a best of. I don’t know if that’s the reason why it isn’t in this set.

  5. ChristopherM says:

    I wonder why “My Mother’s Hymn Book” isn’t included in this set. It’s Johnny Cash, it’s Rick Rubin, and my copy at least carries the American inverted-flag logo. It also happens to be Cash’s own favourite of all his albums.

  6. paul says:

    Hi Paul this looks great but I’d much prefer a complete CD box set , do you know is there one or is there likely to be one

  7. Friso Pas says:

    Don’t know about the European releases, but the US vinyl wil be pressed at QRP. It seems that lovers of vinyl prefer those pressing.

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