Johnny Cash was one of the most imposing and influential figures in post-World War II country music. With his deep, resonant baritone and spare percussive guitar, he had a basic, distinctive sound. Cash's career coincided with the birth of rock & roll, and his rebellious attitude and simple, direct musical attack shared a lot of similarities with rock. However, there was a deep sense of history – as he would later illustrate with his series of historical albums – that kept him forever tied with country. And he was one of country music's biggest stars of the '50s and '60s, scoring well over 100 hit singles. Now, There Was a Song! is the ninth album by Johnny Cash, featuring songs by Ernest Tubb, Hank Williams, and George Jones. It was released in 1960 on the Columbia label.
The Man in Black shows hints of gray on American III: Solitary Man, his first studio album since being interrupted by a series of serious illnesses in 1997. While the inevitability of aging has been the downfall of many of his contemporaries, Johnny Cash's dark convictions and powerful presence have gone from rough hardwood to solid stone. The stark beauty of his 1994 release American Recordings and the warm, friendly collaborations on 1996's Unchained combine to create two distinct moods: one of living-room jam sessions with invited friends, and another of stark solo (and near-solo) songs highlighting Cash's years and stories…
All six of the iconic Johnny Cash American Recordings LP's are now available in their entirety in one box for the first time. Produced by legendary producer Rick Rubin these 6 180gsm LP's are housed in a beautiful 12x12 cloth covered box.
Albums included are: American Recordings (1994), Unchained (1996), American III: Solitary Man (2000), American IV: The Man Comes Around (2002), American V: A Hundred Highways (2006), American IV: Ain't No Grave (2010).
Compiled and designed in the manner of Love, Murder, and God, three thematically compiled Johnny Cash anthologies released to wide acclaim in the spring of 2000, Life brings together 18 songs from Cash's back catalog that in one way or another deal with the nuts and bolts of many people's existence – home, nation, work, family, surviving hard times, and celebrating good times. Of course, the nature of this theme is broader and not nearly as cleanly defined as the themes of the three previous sets, and a few of these songs might have fared better elsewhere – "Where Did We Go Right" and "You're the Nearest Thing to Heaven" would have fit nicely on Love, while "I Talk to Jesus Everyday" and "Lead Me Gently Home" would not feel out of place on God. But as a summation of the broad and idiosyncratic worldview of Johnny Cash, Life fares very well indeed; Cash could set a protest song like "The Ballad of Ira Hayes" or "Man in Black" next to the fiercely patriotic "Ragged Old Flag" and see no contradiction, and celebrate the importance of hard work ("Country Trash") while savoring the sweet prospect of punching out the boss ("Oney").