The Man in Black’s classic recordings will gain new life with both fans and vinyl aficionados.
Universal Music Enterprises will release a six-album box set of Johnny Cash’s American Recordings on March 24. While his work with super producer Rick Rubin doesn’t include his most mainstream hits, the critically-acclaimed recordings revitalized his career and bolstered his legacy with both old and new fans.
The first American Recordings album was released in 1994 and included some originals and unexpected covers, like Glenn Danzig’s “Thirteen.” The album received the award for Best Contemporary Folk Album of the Year at the 1994 Grammy Awards.
For the 1996 follow-up, American Recordings II: Unchained, Cash and Rubin enlisted Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers as Cash’s backing band. It included guest appearances by Flea, Lindsey Buckingham, and Mick Fleetwood, as well as an excellent cover of Soundgarden’s “Rusty Cage.” American Recordings II: Unchained received a Grammy for Best Country Album and Cash was nominated for Best Male Country Vocal Performance for his version of “Rusty Cage.”
By the time Cash recorded American IV: The Man Comes Around in 2002, his health was failing and he died in 2003. It features a gut-wrenching cover of Nine Inch Nail’s “Hurt.” The music video won a Grammy for Best Short Form Video at the 2004 Awards.
American V: A Hundred Highways and American Recordings VI: Ain’t No Grave were released posthumously and took material from the sessions for American V.
The box set will contain seven vinyl LPs, with American IV: The Man Comes Around spanning two records.