Tuesday, February 12, 2008

No. 364: American Recordings

Band: Johnny Cash
Album: American Recordings
Why Rolling Stone gets it right: Johnny Cash's comeback album is something of a revelation and one of Rick Rubin's greatest triumphs. Combining traditional country songs and slightly off-the-wall covers, Cash makes his presence known again.
Why Rolling Stone gets it wrong: This is actually ranked almost exactly where I'd expect. It's good, but not a superlative album, but it's entirely pleasant.
Best song: "Thirteen," a Danzig cover, is amazing.
Worst song: I don't love "Like a Soldier."
Is it awesome?: It's very, very good.

At the risk of sounding curt, the reason this album is on here is because the American Recording series is responsible for this:


kellydwyer said...

I don't know about that. Had Cash passed before that last album, I think it would have been on there. It's an incredible disc that took in quite a bit of praise in its day.

As someone who was a Cash fan then, and when the "Hurt" single came out, I'd say that the reaction and praise behind the initial Cash/AR album was a bit stronger back in 1993 than it was in 2002.

taotechuck said...

I agree with Kelly that the inclusion of this has little to do with "Hurt." Honestly, if that song were the reason for the presence of an AR disc, wouldn't RS have put IV on the list instead of I?

But more to the point, Cash was always about redemption, and this album was the redemption of The Man In Black. This was the album that opened the door for a whole new generation of people to discover Cash's music.

It also cemented Rubin's place as one of the most important people in rock... just in case it hadn't already been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt.