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American III: Solitary Man
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Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
|1. Won't Back Down|
|2. Solitary Man|
|3. That Lucky Old Sun (Just Rolls Around Heaven All Day)|
|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. Country Trash|
|11. Mary Of The Wild Moor|
|12. Before My Time|
|13. I'm Leavin' Now|
|14. Wayfaring Stranger|
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
For younger generations of musicians, having their song cut by Johnny Cash must be a little like scaling the Washington Monument. On his third album for producer Rick Rubin's American label, Cash makes Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down" sound like a companion classic to "I Walk the Line." He transforms U2's "One" into a sturdy testament of plainspoken faith, while he plumbs the netherworld of Nick Cave's "The Mercy Seat" and Will Oldham's "I See a Darkness." Amid more familiar fare (including Neil Diamond's title track), the album's sing-along standout is the deadpan, down-and-out, talking blues of "Nobody." Cash's recent originals have the age-old purity of Appalachian music, while the traditional closing of "Wayfaring Stranger" offers bittersweet benediction. Merle Haggard, Sheryl Crow, and June Carter Cash provide vocal cameos. --Don McLeese --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
That is not to say that no stand out tracks are included on this set. No less practically half of the album reaches the status of being exceptional. Tom Petty sings along with Cash on the opening two tracks, the first being a Petty cover, I Won't Back Down. Petty's version is good but somewhat dated (Jeff Lynn produced it), Cash's version is more straight forward and much better. A similar analogy can be made of the next track, Solitary Man, a very straight forward version with a silent despair.
U2's One is another track which Cash does much much better (I am a huge U2 fan and think that their version is great). The text shines in this version and actually adds a different dimension to the song itself. After a solid and powerful start the set slows down somewhat with I See Darkness and The Mercy Seat. The latter track is a Nick Cave cover in which Cash interprets the anguish someone feels being on death row and about to be electrocuted; very powerful song and the end where the admission of guilt is followed by bar room piano playing in a macabre fashion is not to be missed.
Mary of the Wild Moor and Wayfaring Stranger are the main tracks at the latter half of this album. Although most of those tracks are not as good as the first tracks of the album, none of them have any filler feel to them.
Although I prefer IV, this album is also a must purchase for any Cash fan and those who would like to add some Cash to their collection should not let this album pass them by. Of the American Series, this may even be the most even album and probably has the most direct straight forward production, brimful of guitars and solid tracks.
When Cash covers modern artists he brings out a different patina within the song, one with hues of struggle and faith. I will never hear "One" by U2 with as much pleasure again, because I will simply pine for this version with Cash's confident vocal and Benmont Tench's bass notes on piano (sorry Bono). Cash mentions in the liner notes that he worked on "Solitary Man", "I Won't Back Down" and "The Mercy Seat" "until it felt like they were my own". This effort certainly paid off on the latter two, although I personally would categorize "Solitary Man" as the least successful cover. (Special treat for Tom Petty fans: He sings backup for both "I Won't Back Down" and "Solitary Man").
"The Mercy Seat", which sounds like it would be the outlier, actually proves a good fit. After all, it is a prison song...with a lot of religious imagery, stuff Cash is right at home with. The protagonist's paranoia isn't as evident in the presentation as in the simple tale of a man so long on death row he is not sure who is friend or foe, even himself.
Cash brings a great sense of humor to the self-deprecating vaudeville number "Nobody" and "Lucky Old Sun", and sounds like he could have just stepped out of a cabin in Cade's Cove in the 19th century as he sings "Wayfaring Stranger." He also adds some great originals: "Field of Diamonds", "I'm Leavin' Now", and my personal favorite, "Country Trash.Read more ›
I recommend American IV just as highly, and even more people like it. But check this one out as well.
Most recent customer reviews
If you were born in the fifties in North America, buy this CD with Johnny Cash singing. It will be good for your soul. You may not know but he is deep down there. Read morePublished on June 23 2007 by Lapin Bleu
When my family wasn't pickin and singing we were raised on songs by legends like Johnny Cash. Johnny got better as I grew older and music he made in the last decade of his life was... Read morePublished on Jan. 18 2004 by Joe South
Johnny Cash's third album for American Recordings was another great one. This time it was an all acoustic affair. Read morePublished on Jan. 16 2004 by Johnny Heering
My favorite song of all time is Would You Lay With Me In A Field Of Stone and to hear Johnny Cash sing it is lovely. Read morePublished on Jan. 16 2004 by Sally
I read on Bob Dylan's website that when he was asked to write a comment about Johnny Cash's passing, only one thought sprung to his mind - "Cash is King". Read morePublished on Jan. 4 2004 by K. Dennis Richard Creagh
Well where do u start with a CD as good as this??? I never thought I'd hear someone do "I won't back Down" better than Tom Petty, but gee Johnny Cash gives him a run for his money. Read morePublished on Nov. 18 2003 by Mike Prince
The most mind-blowing aspect I found about this album was the way he took songs that I didn't even necessarily like, and made them his own. Read morePublished on Oct. 27 2003 by Borne Too Loose