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Qobuz’s experts gather all the essentials of each genre. These albums have marked music history and become major landmarks.

With the Ideal Discography you (re)discover legendary recordings, all whilst building on your musical knowledge.

Albums

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Country - Released September 21, 2018 | Capitol Records Nashville

Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
More than eight and a half hours of music! Bobby Gentry absolutely deserves such a generous celebration, even though her glory years only really lasted about a decade. Retiring in the early 1980s into total anonymity, this great voice of the 1960s and 1970s is presented here in a deluxe selection. Across 8 records, 177 tracks are brought together: her six studio albums for Capitol (Ode to Billie Joe from 1967, The Delta Sweete and Local Gentry from 1968, Touch ‘Em With Love from 1969, Fancy from 1970 and  Patchwork from 1971), the record she made with Glen Campbell in 1968 and over 70 unreleased tracks including alternative takes, demos, BBC live recordings and all kinds of rarities! Hidden behind the mystery of her premature retirement and the cult following which has only grown with time remain these songs. Bobbie Gentry was more than just a simple country, folk and pop singer like so many others of her generation. Only Bobby could’ve written hits like Mornin' Glory, Fancy, Okolona River Bottom Band, Chickasaw County Child and most famous of all, covered the world over, Ode to Billie Joe, the fascinating story of the suicide of the mysterious Billie Joe McAllister who leapt from Tallahatchie Bridge. In France, Joe Dassin would go on to put a French spin on the song: Billie Joe became Marie-Jeanne and the Tallahatchie Bridge became the bridge over the Garonne…There is class, freedom and striking sensuality in Bobbie Gentry's voice. There are also brilliant arrangements and an instrumentation that line up perfectly with the songs, from slightly kitschy lounge strings (but they're so cool) to a simple guitar that clings to the contours of her voice. Bobbie Gentry was never fully country, fully pop, fully soul or fully folk. She was Bobbie Gentry. Full stop. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Country - Released July 24, 2015 | Rhino Atlantic

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
A revelation upon its release, this album is now a collection of standards: "Illegal Smile," "Hello in There," "Sam Stone," "Donald and Lydia," and, of course, "Angel from Montgomery." Prine's music, a mixture of folk, rock, and country, is deceptively simple, like his pointed lyrics, and his easy vocal style adds a humorous edge that makes otherwise funny jokes downright hilarious. © William Ruhlmann /TiVo
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Country - Released April 3, 2015 | RLG - Legacy

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Country - Released October 3, 2014 | Sony Special Products

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Billy Joe Shaver slipped onto the recording scene very quietly in 1973. He was already heralded a fine songwriter by Jerry Jeff Walker, Willie Nelson, and Waylon Jennings, but even they'd recorded one or two songs of his up to that point. After the issue of this debut album, however, the floodgates opened for Shaver with the aforementioned trio and Johnny Cash himself recording Billy Joe's songs -- a trend that continued 30 years later. Old Five and Dimers Like Me reveals a songwriter at the height of his power, a songwriter who undersells his case via quiet melodic music steeped in Texas country, folk, and the blues. While the title track is best known and the most often recorded (Waylon based his entire Honky Tonk Heroes around that track as the basis for an album of Shaver's tunes), each of this CD's 14 songs are gems. "Fit to Kill and Going Out in Style" became an anthem of the outlaw movement, and "Black Rose" echoes the Band's "Cripple Creek" with its funky country shuffle. The old-time honky tonk blues of "Played the Game Too Long" features a Dixieland horn section in the middle, and "Willie the Wandering Gypsy and Me" became David Allan Coe's theme after "Long Haired Redneck." And "Low Down Freedom" is the most poignantly written song about what it costs others when a man decides he needs to be free. Shaver was a study in contradictions on this album and proved to be so in life as well. He was a big man on the cover, a rough and tumble farmer who liked his music hot and simple and wrote words like a poet laureate. His performances of his own songs have been derided in the past because of the supposed limitations in his voice. But though he may not produce the performance drama that some of his peers can, his versions of these songs are far more poignant than any cover version of them. Shaver has always possessed an elegant and humble sense of dignity; it's on this recording, and on each one that followed. Old Five and Dimers Like Me is a masterpiece not only as a genesis for outlaw country, but of American songwriting at its very best. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Country - Released November 5, 2013 | Omnivore Recordings

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Omnivore's 2013 double-disc set Buck Em! The Music of Buck Owens (1955-1967) provides an interesting spin on Buck Owens: through a collection of mono singles, live tracks, alternate takes, early 45s, and other rarities, it tells an alternate history of Buck's prime years. If there's a hit on this 50-track collection, it's almost always in a version that's slightly different than what usually shows up on a standard greatest-hits. "Second Fiddle," "Love's Gonna Live Here," "I Don't Care (Just as Long as You Love Me)," "I've Got a Tiger by the Tail," and "Before You Go" are all in mono, there's an early version of "Ain't It Amazing Gracie," and "Act Naturally" is live, so they're familiar enough to not feel jarring and they do provide the core of a collection that winds up wandering into some pretty interesting territory. This is one of the rare comps to take into consideration, sides Owens recorded before he signed to Capitol -- or, in other words, before he developed Bakersfield and his signature train rhythm -- opening with the pure honky tonk of "Down on the Corner of Love" and the rockabilly swing of "Hot Dog." With these pip singles included, the birth of Bakersfield Country is all the more dramatic and, as this ends in 1967 when Buck & the Buckaroos were still riding high on top of the country charts and before Owens' stardom was slightly tarnished by the cornpone Hee Haw, this focuses directly on his prime, when he was undoubtedly the biggest country star in America. True, Buck 'Em! may not have all the hits and it may take a few detours, but those detours are picturesque and necessary for fleshing out what winds up as a potent portrait of Buck at the peak of his powers. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Country - Released February 26, 2013 | Nonesuch

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio - Stereophile: Recording of the Month
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Country - Released January 1, 2013 | Mercury Nashville

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Grammy Awards
Kacey Musgraves could easily be contemporary country's next big thing. She's a sharp, detailed songwriter with a little bit of an edge, and while it's tempting to think of her as another coming of Taylor Swift, say, she's got the kind of relaxed sureness about what she's doing as a songwriter and performer that puts her closer to a Miranda Lambert. On her first nationally distributed album, Same Trailer Different Park, she definitely sounds more on the Lambert side of things, with a sparse, airy sound that lets her lyrics shine, and she'd as soon use a banjo in her arrangements as a snarling Stratocaster. From her debut single, the marvelous "Merry Go 'Round" (which is included here as the third track), Musgraves showed an intelligent, careful writing style that is as pointed as it is poignant, and even though the song seems to skewer small-town country life, it does it without malice or agenda, and is really more just telling it true than anything else, a trait that ought to be treasured in Nashville but usually isn't. Nashville wants one to tell it true as long as that telling conforms to the template, which Musgraves isn't likely to do. "Merry Go 'Round" might be the best song here, but there are others that are nearly as good, like the lilting, wise opener, "Silver Lining," the implausible "Dandelion" (one wonders how she manages to make such a winning song out of such a metaphor, but she does), and the gutsy (and again, wise) "Follow Your Arrow," all of which feature clear-eyed observations, unintrusive but appropriate arrangements, and a certain flair for telling it like it is and making it sound like bedrock, obvious wisdom. Musgraves has a sense of humor, too, and all of these traits add up to make Same Trailer Different Park more than a collection of songs just aiming for the country charts. © Steve Leggett /TiVo
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Country - Released January 1, 2010 | Capitol Nashville

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Same Train, Different Time is Merle Haggard's affectionate tribute to Jimmie Rodgers. Haggard provides narration between the songs, offering tales of Rodgers' life and music. While the album is rooted in the past, the key to its success is how Haggard updates these traditional songs without losing sight of their roots. There are contemporary folk, country and blues influences scattered throughout the record, adding depth to the music and proving that Rodgers' music is indeed timeless. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Country - Released August 11, 2008 | Rhino - Warner Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Gram Parsons fondness for drugs and high living are said to have been catching up with him while he was recording Grievous Angel, and sadly he wouldn't live long enough to see it reach record stores, dying from a drug overdose in the fall of 1973. This album is a less ambitious and unified set than his solo debut, but that's to say that G.P. was a great album while Grievous Angel was instead a very, very good one. Much of the same band that played on his solo debut were brought back for this set, and they perform with the same effortless grace and authority (especially guitarist James Burton and fiddler Byron Berline). If Parsons was slowing down a bit as a songwriter, he still had plenty of gems on hand from more productive days, such as "Brass Buttons" and "Hickory Wind (which wasn't really recorded live in Northern Quebec; that's just Gram and the band ripping it up live in the studio, with a handful of friends whooping it up to create honky-tonk atmosphere). He also proved to be a shrewd judge of other folks material as always; Tom T. Hall's "I Can't Dance" is a strong barroom rocker, and everyone seems to be having a great time on The Louvin Brothers's "Cash on the Barrelhead." As a vocal duo, Parsons and Emmylou Harris only improved on this set, turning in a version of "Love Hurts" so quietly impassioned and delicately beautiful that it's enough to make you forget Roy Orbison ever recorded it. And while he didn't plan on it, Parsons could hardly have picked a better closing gesture than "In My Hour of Darkness." Grievous Angel may not have been the finest work of his career, but one would be hard pressed to name an artist who made an album this strong only a few weeks before their death -- or at any time of their life, for that matter. © Mark Deming /TiVo
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Country - Released July 3, 2007 | Epic - Legacy

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
The Fabulous Charlie Rich follows the same formula as its predecessor, Set Me Free, but to more successful results. For starters, the record has a more consistent set of material -- these are songs that Rich can really sink his teeth into, as evidenced by the beautiful, melancholy "Life's Little Ups and Downs" (written by his wife, Margaret Ann) and his own "Sittin' and Thinkin'." Furthermore, the core of each song -- from the bluesy "July 12, 1939" and "Bright Lights, Big City" (which is done essentially as a Jimmy Reed medley, performed in the style of Ray Charles) to the soulful "I Almost Lost My Mind" and the country-pop stylings of "San Francisco Is a Lonely Town" and "Love Waits for Me" -- is more apparent, thanks to Billy Sherrill's relatively trimmed-down production. There are still strings, vocal choruses, and horns throughout the album, but Sherrill has incorporated them into Rich's style more effectively. Occasionally, there is a fairly uninspired number, but The Fabulous Charlie Rich does capture the eclectic nature of Rich's music better than the great majority of his albums, even if the sumptuous production will make it less palatable for country purists. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Country - Released November 14, 2005 | Arista

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
Given the tightly controlled nature of American Idol, it's a wonder that the televised talent contest has never produced a winner who specialized in country music, since there's no segment of modern popular music that is controlled tighter than contemporary country. Maybe this thought was in the minds of Simon Fuller and the rest of AmIdol's 19 management when they went into their fourth season in 2005, since as soon as fresh-faced Oklahoma blonde Carrie Underwood showed up in the audition rounds, the judges -- alright, specifically Simon Cowell -- pigeonholed her as a country singer, even if there was nothing specifically country about her sweet, friendly voice. From that point on, she was not only the frontrunner, but anointed as the show's first country winner, which apparently proved more enticing to the voters and the producers than the prospect of the show's first rock & roll winner in the guise of the Southern-fried hippie throwback Bo Bice. Which makes sense: cute, guileless young girls have a broader appeal than hairy 30-somethings. They're easier to sell and mold too, and Underwood proved particularly ideal in this regard since she was a blank slate, possessing a very good voice and an unthreatening prettiness that would be equally marketable and likeable in either country or pop. So, the powers that be decided that Underwood would be a contemporary country singer in the vein of Faith Hill -- she'd sing anthemic country pop, ideal for either country or adult contemporary radio, with none of the delightful tackiness of Shania Twain -- and her debut album, Some Hearts, not only hits this mark exactly, it's better than either album Hill has released since Breathe in 1999. Which isn't to say that Carrie Underwood is as compelling or as distinctive as a personality or vocalist as Faith Hill: Underwood is still developing her own style and, for as good a singer as she is, she doesn't have much of a persona beyond that of the girl next door made good. But that's enough to make Some Hearts work, since she's surrounded by professionals, headed by producers Mark Bright and Dann Huff, who know how to exploit that persona effectively. While some of the songs drift a little bit toward the generic, especially in regard to the adult contemporary ballads, most of the material is slick, sturdy, and memorable, delivered with conviction by Underwood. She sounds equally convincing on such sentimental fare as "Jesus, Take the Wheel" as on the soaring pop "Some Hearts," and even if she doesn't exactly sound tough on the strutting "Before He Cheats," she does growl with a fair amount of passion. In fact, the worst thing here is her chart-topping post-American Idol hit "Inside Your Heaven," which is as formulaic as the mainstream country-pop that comprises the rest of Some Hearts, but with one crucial difference: the formula doesn't work, the song is too sappy and transparent, the arrangement too cold. On the rest of Some Hearts, everything clicks -- the production is warm, the tunes inoffensive but ingratiating, it straddles the country and pop worlds with ease, and most importantly, it's every bit as likeable as Carrie was on American Idol. Which means that even if she's not nearly as sassy or charismatic as Kelly Clarkson -- she's not as spunky as Nashville Star finalist Miranda Lambert, for that matter -- Carrie Underwood has delivered the best post-AmIdol record since Clarkson's debut. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Country - Released August 30, 2005 | Rhino Atlantic

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
If Shotgun Willie played a bit like a concept album, Phases and Stages was a full-blown one, tracing the dissolution of a marriage and devoting one side to the wife's perspective, the second to the husband's. If anything, Willie overplays his hand a bit, insisting on grafting the "Phases and Stages" theme between crucial songs to the point of genuine irritation. But, pretend that never happened, erase it from your mind, and Phases and Stages is easily the equal of its remarkable predecessor, a wonderful set of music that resonates deeply, as deeply as the words. Make no mistake -- the deceptively relaxed arrangements, including the occasional strings, not only highlight Nelson's clever eclecticism, but they also heighten the emotional impact of the album. And this is a hell of an emotional record, where even each side's celebratory honky tonk numbers (the medley "Sister's Coming Home/Down at the Corner Beer Joint" and "Pick Up the Tempo," respectively) are muted by sadness. Then, there are the centerpieces: "Walkin'," where the woman decides it's time to move on; "Pretend I Never Happened," perhaps the coldest ending to a relationship ever written; "Bloody Mary Morning," a bleary-eyed morning-after tale that became a standard; "It's Not Supposed to Be That Way," a nearly unbearably melancholy account of a love gone wrong; and "Heaven and Hell," a waltz summary of the relationship. Any two of these would have formed a strong core for an album, but placed together in a narrative context, their impact is even more considerable. As a result, this is not just one of Willie Nelson's best records, but one of the great concept albums overall. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Country - Released February 8, 2005 | Rhino - Warner Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Tony Joe White's self-titled third album, Tony Joe White, finds the self-proclaimed swamp fox tempering his bluesy swamp rockers with a handful of introspective, soul-dripping ballads and introducing horn and string arrangements for the first time. The album -- White's 1971 debut for Warner Bros. -- was recorded over a two-week period in December 1970, in two different Memphis studios (one was Ardent Studios, where Big Star later recorded their influential power pop albums). His producer was none other than London-born Peter Asher, who had just produced James Taylor's early hits for the label (he would continue to produce hits for Taylor and Linda Ronstadt on his way to becoming one of the most successful producers of the '70s). One can surmise that Warner Bros. may have put White and Asher together as a way for the producer to work his magic with an artist who had much promise. White had already scored big with 1969's "Polk Salad Annie" for Monument, and he was having success as a songwriter too: "Rainy Night in Georgia" was a huge hit for Brook Benton in 1970. As you might expect, there aren't really too many surprises here, despite the addition of the Memphis Horns and other Muscle Shoals sessioners. The songs are fairly standard and straightforward, nothing too out of place or experimental, and White's husky southern warble remains the album's key focus. Many of the songs will remind the listener just how turbulent the cultural climate of the late '60s and early '70s was in the U.S. White's soulful southern-tinged spoken drawl introduces "The Change" (as in a "change is gonna come"), then a potent theme and oft-spoke clarion call that, indeed, the times they were a changin'. "Black Panther Swamps" and "I Just Walked Away" (the album's first single) are also successful at what they attempt. Meanwhile, over on the more sentimental side, "The Daddy" concerns itself with the generation gap between father and son, and mentions the son cutting his long hair ("a little respect will never hurt you"). The mawkish "Five Summers for Jimmy" will appeal to fans who liked Bobby Goldsboro's "Honey." On a more positive note, "A Night in the Life of a Swamp Fox" was White's somewhat-frustrating look at what was going on in his life, playing his sole hit for fans but wanting something more out of his career. Unfortunately, this album never did bring him the success he craved, although it deserves another listen. In 2002, Tony Joe White was reissued for the first time in the U.S. on CD by the Sepia Tone label. © Bryan Thomas /TiVo
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Country - Released February 24, 2004 | Rhino - Warner Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Emmylou Harris' major-label solo debut quickly establishes the pattern that the vast majority of her subsequent work would follow: Pieces of the Sky is bravely eclectic, impeccably performed, and achingly beautiful. Amid a collection of songs that ranks among her most well-chosen -- ranging from the catalogs of the Beatles ("For No One") to Boudleaux and Felice Bryant ("Sleepless Nights") and the Louvin Brothers (the hit "If I Could Only Win Your Love") -- the record's centerpiece is one of Harris' rare original compositions, "Boulder to Birmingham," her stirring tribute to fallen mentor Gram Parsons. © Jason Ankeny /TiVo
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Country - Released February 24, 2004 | Rhino - Warner Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
While Emmylou Harris spent much of her career carrying on the legacy of Gram Parsons, Elite Hotel ranks among her most overt tributes to his genius, thanks to its covers of the Flying Burrito Brothers' "Sin City" and "Wheels," along with "Ooh Las Vegas" from the Grievous Angel album. In addition to the usual eclectic mix of covers -- which includes the Beatles' "Here, There and Everywhere" and Hank Williams' "Jambalaya" this time out -- Elite Hotel offers renditions of the country perennials "Together Again" and "Sweet Dreams," which were, respectively, Harris' first two number one chart hits. © Jason Ankeny /TiVo
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Country - Released March 25, 2003 | Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
As documented by the Smithsonian Folkways reissue The High Lonesome Sound, Roscoe Holcomb, like contemporaries Dock Boggs and Bascom Lamar Lunsford, was the real thing, a raw, solitary musician who expressed the inexpressible, a yearning out of time and place, a sense of the wild, the unseen, the unknowable, perhaps even the unspeakable. The title of this second volume of Holcomb's recordings comes from Bob Dylan, who was describing what he heard in Holcomb's music. And he's right, he knew how to get that sound, how to seek and find the mercurial ghost inside whatever instrument he was playing, the banjo, a guitar with a jackknife, or from that graveyard, sorrowful voice of his. His was able to channel the wisdom and tragedy of the ages and allow for both possibility and despair, even in his a cappella numbers. His is the sound of Appalachian midnight, somewhere past bluegrass, folk, and country. These recordings were made not in 1959 like the material on the other volume, but later, between 1961-1973, when Holcomb was touring, though in declining health and spirits. And, while some the material is duplicated on this set, the versions are very different, and, if anything, this material is somehow spookier, deeper in the trenches of both sorrow and resignation. Some of these tunes were recorded in New York City and in concert in Cambridge, MA, and others on Holcomb's front porch in Daisy, KY. The settings hardly matter; this includes his versions of "Little Maggie," "Frankie and Johnny," the knife-guitar take of "Foggy Mountain Top" that is only rivaled by Maybelle Carter's, his 1961 version of Carter Stanley's "Man of Constant Sorrow" (which is the definitive version of the song done a cappella), and his read of "I Ain't Got No Sugar Baby Now" (which rivals Dock Boggs' earlier version). The truth in all of these songs is the way the blues, bluegrass, ancient folk traditions, and Holcomb's uncompromising and truly unusual sense of rhythm and phrasing collide and, rather than cancel each other out, bring one another to life. His blues songs, such as "Milk Cow Blues" and "Sitting on Top of This World," are fraught with edges and trail-offs that unsettle the listener, seeking a kind of completion that could only come from a singer who didn't hold the song as a living, breathing presence that haunts him. The bravado in the latter is offset by the irony that Holcomb's life had been an image in direct opposition to what the braggadocio in its lyrics offers. There is no grain in Holcomb's voice and banjo style; his voice is the grain, the American Grain in all its rough-hewn glory and grace and desolation. It is majestic in its reediness and singular in its power. This is an essential collection for anyone interested in American traditional music -- be it folk, blues, country, or bluegrass -- and is a primer for those who seek to discover what it was that all of those musics sought to express. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Country - Released January 1, 2003 | American Recordings

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Country - Released July 16, 2002 | Rhino - Warner Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Combining acoustic bluegrass with traditional Appalachian melodies (and tossing one contemporary tune, Paul Simon's "The Boxer," into the mix), Roses in the Snow ranks among Emmylou Harris' riskiest -- and most satisfying -- gambits. © Jason Ankeny /TiVo
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Country - Released January 1, 2002 | American Recordings

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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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Country - Released January 1, 2002 | Capitol Nashville

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
With all due respect to the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers, it took the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band until this album to come up with a merger of rock and country music that worked for both sides and everyone involved. The opening number, "The Grand Ole Opry Song," set the tone for the album, showing that this band -- for all of their origins in rock and popular music -- were willing to meet country music on its own terms, rather than as a vehicle for embellishment as rock music. The result, without a false or strained note anywhere among its 37 songs, was an all-star country project that worked (and transcended its country and rock origins), with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band serving as catalyst and intersecting point for all of the talent involved, who gave superbly of themselves. Not only did this album result in exposure to a new and wider audience for the likes of Mother Maybelle Carter, Roy Acuff, Earl Scruggs, Merle Travis, and others, but this was the first real country album that a lot of rock listeners under the age of 30 ever heard. Thus, it opened up pathways and dialogue in all directions, across several generations and cultural barriers; the dialogue between Doc Watson and Merle Travis alone was almost worth the price of admission. © Bruce Eder /TiVo