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American V: A Hundred Highways

8 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 13.36 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

  • American V: A Hundred Highways
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  • American IV: The Man Comes Around (Bonus DVD)
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Total price: CDN$ 43.71
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 9 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B0002W18MU
  • In-Print Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #9,937 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Help Me
2. God's Gonna Cut You Down
3. Like The 309 (the last song Johnny wrote & recorded)
4. If You Could Read My Mind
5. Further On Up the Road
6. The Evening Train
7. I Came To Believe
8. Love's Been Good To Me
9. A Legend In My Time
10. Rose Of My Heart
11. Four Strong Winds
12. I'm Free From The Chain Gang Now

Product Description

Product Description

The album is a continuation of the highly popular and critically acclaimed series of American recordings produced by Rick Rubin. The series began with 1994's acclaimedAmerican Recordings, followed by Unchained (1996), American III: Solitary Man (2000) and American IV: The Man Comes Around (2002). AMERICAN V contains 12 tracks and includes one Johnny original, 'Like The 309' (the last song that Johnny wrote and recorded before he died).

The ethical questions surrounding this final album in the American Recordings series are as unavoidable as they are, ultimately, peripheral. While the vocal tracks were recorded in the months just prior to Johnny Cash's passing in September 2003, the arrangements weren't undertaken until two years later. And though producer Rick Rubin had become a trusted friend, the Man in Black wasn't around to approve or disapprove, let alone guide, the final sessions. However, if the pure power of these recordings doesn't quiet the skeptics, nothing will. With Heartbreakers Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench and slide guitar session pro Smokey Hormel on board (all three of whom appear on earlier Cash albums), along with guitarists Matt Sweeney and Johnny Polansky, the sound is stately and acoustic, but rarely staid, even as the dynamics of earlier recordings in the series are absent. Instead, the songs have a measured, elegiac intensity, the sound of musicians choosing their notes carefully and making just the right choices.

The songs Cash sings are, unsurprisingly, confessional and reflective: his mortality and his mistakes, his maker and his salvation, and the loss of his wife June and the end of his career may have weighed on his mind, but in these songs he both embodies and transcends his personal history. On "God's Gonna Cut You Down," as the musicians clap and stomp behind him, his voice cuts through the air like that same avenging hand. On the new original "Like the 309"--the last song Cash ever wrote--he cops to being short of breath, and that voice becomes a metaphor for what each of us will one day face. On Gordon Lightfoot's "If You Read My Mind," Rubin flirts with overwhelming the damp bittersweetness of Cash's phrasing in tasteful atmospherics, but the voice is implacable, hitting and finding notes one never expected he'd have the will to find. Likewise, it's hard to believe this is his first recording of Ian Tyson's "Four Strong Winds"; the elemental narrative seems to have been written for him. Two songs, however, Cash has recorded before: the born-again hymn "I Came to Believe" and the final spiritual, "I'm Free from the Chain Gang Now." The latter especially is a definitive testament, as is his version of Bruce Springsteen's "Further On (Up the Road)." "One sunny morning we'll rise, I know / And I'll meet you further on up the road," he sings. If only, John, if only. --Roy Kasten

More Cash

At Folsom Prison

American Recordings

At San Quentin

American IV: The Man Comes Around

The Legend

The Complete Sun Recordings 1955-1958

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Wade A. Alexander on July 11 2006
Format: Audio CD
Johnny Cash's last two CDs are among the best country music CDs I have ever heard. You can literally feel his soul through these songs and even though his voice is shaky in a couple of songs it doesn't matter. It makes the songs even stronger, because it gives them even more importance and a feeling of urgency.

It's almost as if this is his deathbed confession and he's giving it to us.

Amazing work. Johnny, you will be missed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen YO! on Oct. 10 2006
Format: Audio CD
when I first heard it. It is by far his best album from start to finish. I love If You Could Read My Mind the way he says "you know that ghost is me." There is just so much humanity in his voice all through the album but mostly that line. I love how he turns Further On Up the Road into the mean western that BRUUUUUUUCE! so desperately wants to write these days. I cried when I heard On the Evening Train cause its like the saddest thing ever. Four Strong Winds takes the cake though. I think that song on this album is just one good enough excuse for the existence of mankind.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By B. Anderson on Jan. 5 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
While I strongly agree with most of the reviews rating this CD very high, it seems some of the reviewers have missed what seems to me to be the point of this series of five albums.

This series gave Johnny the opportunity to give a nod to a mostly younger generation of songwriters whose work he admired by recording their songs in his own unmistakable style. Tempered, of course by Rick Rubin's production and the input of numerous session players and other stars, not least of which were most of The Heartbreakers, Johnny did take the opportunity to re-interpret some of his own compositions as well.

Before commenting on Johnny's songwriting in songs such as "I Hung My Head" however, reviewers might take a moment to read their liner notes and then offer their compliments to such songwriters as Sting ("I Hung My Head"), Tom Petty ("Southern Accents") and the many others whose work impressed Johnny Cash enough to inspire him to re-interpret it himself.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a blow-me-away CD by Johnny Cash. His own "I Came To Believe" speaks deeply about John and his beliefs. My thanks to Rick Rubin who was the catalyst for John's third singing career.
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