The Mystery of Life is the 77th album by country singer Johnny Cash, released in 1991, and his last for Mercury Records. It includes new recordings of two songs already associated with him from his Sun and Columbia days, "Hey Porter" and "Wanted Man". "I'll Go Somewhere and Sing My Songs Again" is a duet with Tom T. Hall. The album's poor performance on the charts (it peaked at #70) and that of "Goin' by the Book", the only single to chart (at #69), coupled with Cash's unsteady relationship with Mercury, ensured his departure from the label following the album's release. In 2003, the album was re-released with "The Wanderer" from U2's 1993 Island Records album Zooropa as a bonus track. In 2006, "I'm an Easy Rider" and "Beans for Breakfast" were used in the soundtrack to the video gameScarface: The World Is Yours.
According to Cash's 1997 biography, Mercury only pressed 500 copies of the album, however this is disputed by biographer Robert Hilburn's Johnny Cash: The Life (2013).
Anita Carter - backing vocals on "The Greatest Cowboy of Them All" and "The Hobo Song"
John Prine, Debra Deklaita, Claude L. Hill, J. Niles Clement, Pat McLaughlin, Bill Maresh, Jam Dant, Cousin Bill Clement, Jay Patten, Suzanne Sherwin, Roberto Bianco - backing vocals on "The Hobo Song"