July 24, 2006

GOT MY LIBERTY:

Into the black: In Johnny Cash's last days, it took Rick Rubin's unlikely friendship to bring out his final statement (BRAD WHEELER, 7/24/06, Globe & Mail)

The world-shaker was winding down. He couldn't walk much, couldn't see much. His adored wife had died. All Johnny Cash had left was his voice, and some days he didn't even have that.

It was all he had left in him to churn out one of the best albums of his career.

Before he died in May, 2003, Cash laid down the vocals to 60 or so tracks. A dozen of them made their way on to the just-out American V: A Hundred Highways, the fifth release in a series of records produced by Rick Rubin, the serene bush-bearded enigma who owns his own imprint, American Recordings. The four previous discs all won Grammy Awards: American Recordings (1994); Unchained (1996); American III: Solitary Man (2000); and American IV: The Man Comes Around (2002). A sixth album, with material drawn from the same sessions as American V, is in the works.

Rubin (a vegetarian longhair who loves speed-metal, yoga and professional wrestling) and Cash (a deeply spiritual hell-raiser) began working on the fifth album the day after the fourth album was completed in 2002, with the pace accelerating with the death of June Carter Cash in the spring of 2003. "The schedule changed; it got more intense," Rubin recalls. "Johnny called me and told me, 'I need to work every single day.' "

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 24, 2006 8:57 AM
Comments

oj,
Johnny Cash, as opposed to almost all peformers with his longevity, only got better as time progressed.
While I only have "American:IV" of that series, I do have his superb trilogy "Love God Murder", in addition to others. And, since I have IV and will be buying V, the preceding ones will be included in purchase
His very best remembrance, however, is the superb music of his daughter, Rosanne. If you only own one of her CD's, make sure it's "Rules of Travel". Includes "September When it Comes" with Dad.
Mike

Posted by: Mike Daley at July 24, 2006 10:53 PM

September When it Comes is terrific as are all the Americans and the trilogy.

Posted by: oj at July 25, 2006 11:28 AM
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