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Johnny Cash - American IV: The Man Comes Around

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American IV: The Man Comes Around

Johnny Cash

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Produced by Rick Rubin, Johnny Cash’s legendary American recordings are not only among his major musical statements, but also its moving final will. Released in November 2002, American IV – The Man Comes Around is the last volume of the collection that was released while Cash was still alive (He passed away 10 months after its release). Using the famous “cover” recipe, Johnny Cash managed in this record to turn other musicians’ compositions, sometimes recent work, into his own unique style. Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, and Sting are all covered, and when listening to Cash’s rendition of their songs it is sometimes difficult to recall their original versions. As usual, Rubin’s work on the soundboard is devoted to Johnny Cash’s voice. Caught it its last whispers, the voice is haunting, yet never morose.


Indeed, the voice is key in “American IV”.  The material can bring chills (the video clip of Hurt is deeply moving and, after listening to the track, Trent Reznor proclaimed “It’s like I have lost my girlfriend. This song doesn’t belong to me anymore…”), Give My Love To Rose evokes a sadness that is a strike at the heart, and I Hung My Head expresses an innocence that is profoundly tender. Even when he deals with the classic repertoire of country music, many that he recorded in the past (Sam Hall, Give My Love To Rose, I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry, Streets of Laredo, Danny Boy) the Man in Black brings to his interpretation the sorrow and sensitivity of his dying condition, always with grace and dignity.


A sad yet festive funeral, the record includes many featured guest artists: Fiona Apple and Nick Cave sing, John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Marty Stuart strum their guitars, old partner Cowboy Jack Clement pulls out his dobro, Joey Waronker abandons Beck and Air to join in the rhythm section, and Benmont Tench brings in an array of keyboards including an organ, harmonium, Mellotron, vibraphone and even a Wurlitzer.


Music lovers from all over the world recognized what a masterpiece American IV – The Man Comes Around had been created, and its reception led it to be a gold record, which was Johnny Cash’s first in thirty years. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz

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American IV: The Man Comes Around

Johnny Cash

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1
The Man Comes Around Album Version
00:04:27

Rick Rubin, Producer - Benmont Tench, Organ, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Randy Scruggs, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Johnny Cash, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - John Carter Cash, Producer, Associate Producer, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andrew Scheps, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Thom Russo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Smokey Hormel, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Chuck Turner, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - David Ferguson, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2002 American Recordings, LLC

2
Hurt Album Version
00:03:36

Rick Rubin, Producer - Benmont Tench, Organ, Piano, Mellotron, AssociatedPerformer - Trent Reznor, ComposerLyricist - Johnny Cash, MainArtist - John Carter Cash, Producer, Associate Producer, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andrew Scheps, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Campbell, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Thom Russo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Smokey Hormel, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Chuck Turner, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - David Ferguson, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2002 American Recordings, LLC, under exclusive license to Universal Music Enterprises, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

3
Give My Love To Rose Album Version
00:03:27

Rick Rubin, Producer - Benmont Tench, Keyboards, Organ, AssociatedPerformer - Johnny Cash, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - John Carter Cash, Producer, Associate Producer, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andrew Scheps, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Campbell, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Thom Russo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Smokey Hormel, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Chuck Turner, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - David Ferguson, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2002 American Recordings, LLC

4
Bridge Over Troubled Water Album Version
00:03:54

Fiona Apple, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Rick Rubin, Producer - Paul Simon, ComposerLyricist - Johnny Cash, MainArtist - John Carter Cash, Producer, Associate Producer, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andrew Scheps, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Campbell, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Thom Russo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Smokey Hormel, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Chuck Turner, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Roger Manning Jr., Keyboards, Piano, Mellotron, AssociatedPerformer - David Ferguson, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2002 American Recordings, LLC

5
I Hung My Head Album Version
00:03:52

Rick Rubin, Producer - Benmont Tench, Organ, Piano, Vibraphone, AssociatedPerformer - Johnny Cash, MainArtist - John Carter Cash, Producer, Associate Producer, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sting, ComposerLyricist - MARTY STUART, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Andrew Scheps, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Thom Russo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Smokey Hormel, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Chuck Turner, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - David Ferguson, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2002 American Recordings, LLC

6
First Time Ever I Saw Your Face Album Version
00:03:52

Rick Rubin, Producer - Benmont Tench, Organ, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Ewan MacColl, ComposerLyricist - Johnny Cash, MainArtist - John Carter Cash, Producer, Associate Producer, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andrew Scheps, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Campbell, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Thom Russo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Smokey Hormel, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Chuck Turner, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - David Ferguson, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2002 American Recordings, LLC

7
Personal Jesus Album Version
00:03:19

Rick Rubin, Producer - Johnny Cash, MainArtist - John Carter Cash, Producer, Associate Producer, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Billy Preston, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Andrew Scheps, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Frusciante, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Martin Lee Gore, ComposerLyricist - Thom Russo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Smokey Hormel, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Chuck Turner, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - David Ferguson, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2002 American Recordings, LLC

8
In My Life Album Version
00:02:56

Rick Rubin, Producer - Benmont Tench, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - John Lennon, ComposerLyricist - Paul Mccartney, ComposerLyricist - Johnny Cash, MainArtist - John Carter Cash, Producer, Associate Producer, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andrew Scheps, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Campbell, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Thom Russo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Smokey Hormel, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Chuck Turner, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Roger Manning Jr., Keyboards, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - David Ferguson, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2002 American Recordings, LLC

9
Sam Hall Album Version
00:02:39

Rick Rubin, Producer - Benmont Tench, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Johnny Cash, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - John Carter Cash, Producer, Associate Producer, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andrew Scheps, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Campbell, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Thom Russo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Smokey Hormel, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Chuck Turner, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Roger Manning Jr., Piano, AssociatedPerformer - David Ferguson, Mixer, Guitar, Recording Engineer, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2002 American Recordings, LLC, under exclusive license to Universal Music Enterprises, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

10
Danny Boy Album Version
00:03:18

Rick Rubin, Producer - Benmont Tench, Organ, AssociatedPerformer - Johnny Cash, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - John Carter Cash, Producer, Associate Producer, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andrew Scheps, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Thom Russo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Chuck Turner, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - David Ferguson, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2002 American Recordings, LLC

11
Desperado Album Version
00:03:12

Rick Rubin, Producer - Benmont Tench, Keyboards, Organ, Hammond Organ, AssociatedPerformer - Randy Scruggs, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Johnny Cash, MainArtist - Glenn Frey, ComposerLyricist - John Carter Cash, Producer, Associate Producer, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - DON HENLEY, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Andrew Scheps, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Thom Russo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Chuck Turner, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Kerry Marx, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - David Ferguson, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jeff Hannah, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2002 American Recordings, LLC

12
I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry Album Version
00:03:02

Rick Rubin, Producer - Benmont Tench, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Johnny Cash, MainArtist - Hank Williams, ComposerLyricist - John Carter Cash, Producer, Associate Producer, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Nick Cave, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Andrew Scheps, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Campbell, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Thom Russo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Smokey Hormel, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Chuck Turner, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - David Ferguson, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2002 American Recordings, LLC

13
Tear Stained Letter Album Version
00:03:38

Rick Rubin, Producer - Randy Scruggs, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Joey Waronker, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Johnny Cash, Acoustic Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - John Carter Cash, Producer, Associate Producer, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Billy Preston, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Andrew Scheps, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Thom Russo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Chuck Turner, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Kerry Marx, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - David Ferguson, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2002 American Recordings, LLC

14
Streets Of Laredo Album Version
00:03:33

Rick Rubin, Producer - Benmont Tench, Keyboards, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Randy Scruggs, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Johnny Cash, Acoustic Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - John Carter Cash, Producer, Associate Producer, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andrew Scheps, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Thom Russo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Chuck Turner, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - David Ferguson, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Laura Cash, Fiddle, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2002 American Recordings, LLC

15
We'll Meet Again Album Version
00:02:58

Jack Clement, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Hughie Charles, ComposerLyricist - Rick Rubin, Producer - Johnny Cash, MainArtist - John Carter Cash, Producer, Associate Producer, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andrew Scheps, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Thom Russo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Chuck Turner, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Thom Bresh, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Ross C. Parker, ComposerLyricist - David Ferguson, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Terry Harrington, Clarinet, AssociatedPerformer - Laura Cash, Fiddle, AssociatedPerformer - The Whole Cash Gang, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2002 American Recordings, LLC

Album Description

Produced by Rick Rubin, Johnny Cash’s legendary American recordings are not only among his major musical statements, but also its moving final will. Released in November 2002, American IV – The Man Comes Around is the last volume of the collection that was released while Cash was still alive (He passed away 10 months after its release). Using the famous “cover” recipe, Johnny Cash managed in this record to turn other musicians’ compositions, sometimes recent work, into his own unique style. Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, and Sting are all covered, and when listening to Cash’s rendition of their songs it is sometimes difficult to recall their original versions. As usual, Rubin’s work on the soundboard is devoted to Johnny Cash’s voice. Caught it its last whispers, the voice is haunting, yet never morose.


Indeed, the voice is key in “American IV”.  The material can bring chills (the video clip of Hurt is deeply moving and, after listening to the track, Trent Reznor proclaimed “It’s like I have lost my girlfriend. This song doesn’t belong to me anymore…”), Give My Love To Rose evokes a sadness that is a strike at the heart, and I Hung My Head expresses an innocence that is profoundly tender. Even when he deals with the classic repertoire of country music, many that he recorded in the past (Sam Hall, Give My Love To Rose, I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry, Streets of Laredo, Danny Boy) the Man in Black brings to his interpretation the sorrow and sensitivity of his dying condition, always with grace and dignity.


A sad yet festive funeral, the record includes many featured guest artists: Fiona Apple and Nick Cave sing, John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Marty Stuart strum their guitars, old partner Cowboy Jack Clement pulls out his dobro, Joey Waronker abandons Beck and Air to join in the rhythm section, and Benmont Tench brings in an array of keyboards including an organ, harmonium, Mellotron, vibraphone and even a Wurlitzer.


Music lovers from all over the world recognized what a masterpiece American IV – The Man Comes Around had been created, and its reception led it to be a gold record, which was Johnny Cash’s first in thirty years. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz

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