American III: Solitary Man

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American III: Solitary Man
Studio album by Johnny Cash
Released October 17, 2000
Recorded 2000 at American Recordings
Length 42:15
Label American Recordings
Johnny Cash chronology
Love, God and Murder
American III: Solitary Man
The Essential Johnny Cash
American series chronology
American III: Solitary Man
American IV: The Man Comes Around

American III: Solitary Man is the third album in the American series by Johnny Cash released in 2000 (and his 85th overall album). The album was notable for being Cash's highest charting (#11 Country) solo studio LP since his 1976 One Piece at a Time, an album that reached No. 2 Country based on the title cut. To the present day, Cash's studio albums for the American series have continued to sell and chart extremely well, as evidenced by the Platinum No. 22 POP, No. 2 C&W American IV: The Man Comes Around (released one year before his death) and the gold, No. 1 on both charts, American V: A Hundred Highways.

Between Unchained and Solitary Man, Cash's health declined due to various ailments, and he was even hospitalized for pneumonia, and the illness forced him to curtail his touring. The album American III: Solitary Man contained Cash's response to his illness, typified by a version of Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down", as well as a version of U2's "One". Changes to Cash's voice due to his health problems are noticeable on most tracks when compared to his most recent preceding albums. Graeme Thomson has characterized "Solitary Man" as an act of emotional preservation.[1]

American III: Solitary Man, just like Cash's two previous albums produced by Rick Rubin, was a Grammy winner, taking home the award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance for Cash's version of the Neil Diamond classic "Solitary Man". Cash continued to receive critical appreciation for his American series of albums – on aggregate review site the third album in Cash's American series received a score of 80 (despite middling reviews from publications such as L.A. Weekly and Rolling Stone magazine).[2]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[3]
Robert Christgau (2-star Honorable Mention)[4]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[5]
Pitchfork 8.6/10 stars[6] (8.6/10)

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) notes Length
1. "I Won't Back Down" (with Tom Petty) Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne originally recorded by Tom Petty for Full Moon Fever (1989) 2:09
2. "Solitary Man" Neil Diamond originally recorded by Neil Diamond as a single (1966) 2:25
3. "That Lucky Old Sun (Just Rolls Around Heaven All Day)" Haven Gillespie, Beasley Smith originally a hit for Frankie Laine (1949) 2:35
4. "One" Bono, Adam Clayton, The Edge, Larry Mullen originally recorded by U2 for Achtung Baby (1991) 3:53
5. "Nobody" Bert Williams originally recorded by Bert Williams in 1906 3:14
6. "I See a Darkness" Will Oldham originally recorded by Will Oldham for I See a Darkness (1999) 3:42
7. "The Mercy Seat" Nick Cave, Mick Harvey originally recorded by Nick Cave for Tender Prey (1988) 4:35
8. "Would You Lay with Me (In a Field of Stone)" David Allan Coe originally recorded by Tanya Tucker for the album of the same name (1974) 2:41
9. "Field of Diamonds" Johnny Cash, Jack Routh originally recorded by Cash and Waylon Jennings for Heroes (1986) 3:15
10. "Before My Time" Johnny Cash   2:55
11. "Country Trash" Johnny Cash originally recorded by Cash for Any Old Wind That Blows (1973) 1:47
12. "Mary of the Wild Moor" Dennis Turner originally recorded by The Louvin Brothers for Tragic Songs of Life (1956) 2:32
13. "I'm Leavin' Now" (with Merle Haggard) Johnny Cash originally recorded by Cash for Rainbow (1985) 3:07
14. "Wayfaring Stranger" traditional old folk song previously recorded by countless artists 3:19


  • Johnny Cash – vocals, guitar
  • Martyn Atkins – photography
  • Norman Blake – guitar
  • Billy Bowers – digital editing
  • Mike Campbell – guitar
  • John Carter Cash – associate producer
  • June Carter Cash – vocals (9)
  • Laura Cash – fiddle
  • Lindsay Chase – production coordinator
  • Danny Clinch – photography
  • David Coleman – art direction
  • Sheryl Crow – vocals (9), accordion (12,14)
  • Richard Dodd – additional engineering
  • David Ferguson – engineer, mixing
  • Merle Haggard – guitar, vocals (13)
  • Will Oldham – vocals (6)
  • Larry Perkins – guitar
  • Tom Petty – vocals, organ (1), vocals (2)
  • Rick Rubin – producer
  • D. Sardy – additional engineering
  • David Schiffman – additional engineering, mixing (9)
  • Eddie Schreyer – mastering
  • Randy Scruggs – guitar
  • Marty Stuart – guitar
  • Benmont Tench – piano, organ, harmonium
  • Chuck Turner – digital editing


Chart (2000) Peak
U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums 11
U.S. Billboard 200 88


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[7] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[8] N/A 186,000[9]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ Thomson, G. (2011). The Resurrection of Johnny Cash: Hurt, Redemption, and American Recordings. Jawbone Press, pp. 218-219.
  2. ^ "Johnny Cash: American III: Solitary Man". CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved 2010-07-12. 
  3. ^ American III: Solitary Man at AllMusic
  4. ^ "Robert Christgau: CG: johnny cash". Retrieved 30 August 2017. 
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-04-09. Retrieved 2017-08-24. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "British album certifications – Johnny Cash – Solitary man". British Phonographic Industry.  Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Enter Solitary man in the search field and then press Enter.
  8. ^ "American album certifications – Johnyn Cash – Solitary man". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  9. ^ "8ask". Billboard. 19 February 2003. Retrieved 2 April 2018. 

External links[edit]