American 5: A Hundred Highways CD (2006)

Artist: Johnny Cash

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Product Overview

In the months leading up to his passing on September 12, 2003, Johnny Cash had been recording new material with producer Rick Rubin. On July 4, 2006, American V: A Hundred Highways, the all-new Johnny Cash album taken from those sessions, will be released on the American Recordings label through Lost Highway. It will include the last song Cash ever wrote, "Like the 309".


Label Lost Highway
SKU 202703842
UPC 602498626962
UPC 14 00602498626962
Format CD
Release Date 7/4/2006
Author Johnny Cash
Associated Artist/Work Boxcar Willie
Associated Artist/Work Carter, June
Associated Artist/Work Cash, June Carter
Associated Artist/Work Class Of '55
Associated Artist/Work Dogg, Snoop
Associated Artist/Work Esteban (New Age)
Associated Artist/Work Jonboy Langford & The Pine Vall
Associated Artist/Work Jones, George
Associated Artist/Work Langford, Jon
Associated Artist/Work Langford, Jon (Mekons)
Associated Artist/Work Langford, Jonboy
Associated Artist/Work Lewis, Jerry Lee
Associated Artist/Work Original Soundtrack
Associated Artist/Work Perkins, Carl
Associated Artist/Work Perkins, Carl (Rockabilly)
Associated Artist/Work Presley, Elvis
Associated Artist/Work Snoop Dogg
Technical Info
Engineer David Ferguson
Producer Rick Rubin; John Carter Cash
CatalogID 0002769
Lable Name Lost Highway
Released 07/04/2006
Original Release 2006
Number of Discs 1
SPARE Code n/a
Mono/Stereo Stereo
Studio/Live Studio
UPC 00602498626962
Album Notes and Credits
Personnel: Jonny Polonsky, Matt Sweeney, Mike Campbell , Pat McLaughlin, Randy Scruggs, Smokey Hormel (guitar); Benmont Tench (piano, harpsichord, organ).
Additional personnel: Mark Howard, Marty Stuart, Pete Wade.
Johnny Cash's final album, AMERICAN V: A HUNDRED HIGHWAYS, is a moving and fitting swan song for the legendary performer. Like Cash's other recordings with producer Rick Rubin, AMERICAN V is quiet, intense, and minimal; it creates a thrilling intimacy by keeping the focus on Cash's aging voice and increasingly soulful, nuanced phrasing.
The album was produced piecemeal, with Cash's vocal tracks recorded mere months before the artist's death in 2003, and the backing tracks added two years later. Yet the album coheres remarkably well, thanks in large part to the fine musicians on hand (including ace session guitarist Smokey Hormel). But this is Cash's show through and through. Whether on covers (Gordon Lightfoot's "If You Could Read My Mind"), originals ("Like the 309," the last song Cash ever wrote), or spirituals ("I'm Free From the Chain Gang Now," the album's stirring, heartbreakingly appropriate closer), Cash sounds like no one but himself--weary, wise, and touched, perhaps, by an unseen hand
Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone (p.96) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Rubin had an immaculate sense of how to frame Cash's voice -- these stark, mostly acoustic arrangements don't try to conceal the singer's ruined instrument but find authority in its quavers and crags."
Rolling Stone (p.103) - Ranked #14 in Rolling Stone's "The Top 50 Albums Of 2006" -- "[T]here is a deep strength and dignity in his performances..."
Spin (p.83) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "The arrangements -- acoustic guitars, piano, harpsichord, a modest church organ, a small string section -- frame him impeccably."
Entertainment Weekly (p.158) - "The man's everywhere....Completely representative of the faithful old man he had become, having long ago shed his outlaw image..." -- Grade: A-
Q (p.109) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Full of humanity, declarations of eternal love and the prospect of heaven, it makes a dignified final addition to the American Recordings series."
Q (p.124) - Ranked #22 in Q Magazine's "100 Greatest Albums of 2006" -- "A fine swansong."
No Depression (p.104) - "The results are gorgeous, haunting. The moaning, tolling cellos that assist Cash down to his knees on the prayer 'Help Me', for example, transform this album opener into one of Cash's most moving performances ever."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.89) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he dignity and sharp poetic instincts on AMERICAN V are classic Cash."
Artist Bio
Johnny CashJohnny Cash (February 26, 1932 - September 12, 2003) was an influential American country music and rock music singer and songwriter and the husband of June Carter Cash.Cash was known for his deep and distinctive voice, the boom-chick-a-boom or "freight train" sound of his Tennessee Three backing band, and his dark clothing and demeanor, which earned him the nickname "The Man in Black." He started all his concerts with the simple introduction: "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash."Much of Cash's music, especially that of his later career, echoed themes of sorrow, moral tribulation and redemption. His signature songs include "I Walk the Line", "Folsom Prison Blues", "Ring of Fire", "Man In Black", and a cover of the Nine Inch Nails song, "Hurt". He also recorded several humorous songs, such as "One Piece at a Time", "The One on the Right Is on the Left", and "A Boy Named Sue"; bouncy numbers such as "Get Rhythm"; and various train-related songs, such as "The Rock Island Line".He sold over 50 million albums in his nearly 50 year career and is generally recognized as one of the most important musicians in country music history.
Disc 1
1 Help Me
2 God's Gonna Cut You Down
3 Like The 309
4 If You Could Read My Mind
5 Further On Up The Road
6 Evening Train, The
7 I Came To Believe
8 Love's Been Good To Me
9 Legend In My Time, A
10 Rose Of My Heart
11 Four Strong Winds
12 I'm Free From The Chain Gang Now
ReviewSource The Observer
Review Almost three years after his death, and with a surfeit of posthumously released compilations on the market, comes American V, the last batch of songs Johnny Cash recorded with his unlikely collaborator and soul mate, producer Rick Rubin. In many ways, it is simply more of the same: a selection of hand-picked songs that perfectly fit the enduring myth of the Man in Black, and a handful of the kind of sentimental ballads that Cash, the undimmed romantic, could never resist.
Reviewer Sean O'Hagan
ReviewRating 10
ReviewSource Now Magazine
Review It's apparent from the song selection of American V - mostly dark songs about death and higher powers - that Johnny Cash knew that his time was short and this would likely be his final recorded statement. As the consummate showman, he also would have known that a posthumous release would make his frequent references to coffin hauling, dead man's suits and graveyard boots particularly poignant. As with his last couple of releases in the American series, his voice no longer commands attention with booming authority, but there's something about that gasping frailty that makes this proud final bow even more endearing.
Reviewer Tim Perlich
ReviewRating 10
Product Attributes
Artist Cash,Johnny
Label Universal Music Group
Music Format Compact Disc
Rick Rubin “These songs are Johnny’s final statement. They are the truest reflection of the music that was central to his life at the time. This is the music that Johnny wanted us to hear.”
Filter A hefty team was assembled to do this right...and do it right they do.
Stylus Magazine ...the soundtrack to death, love, pain, strength, joy, suffering, courage, despair, and faith all at the same time.
The Guardian ...less tearjerking and portentous than IV.

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