American IV: The Man Comes Around

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American IV: The Man Comes Around
AmericanIV.jpg
Studio album by Johnny Cash
Released November 5, 2002
Recorded 2002 At Americans Recording Studios
Genre
Length 51:55
Language English
Label
Producer
Johnny Cash chronology
Johnny Cash at Madison Square Garden
(2002)
American IV: The Man Comes Around
(2002)
Unearthed
(2003)
American series chronology
American III: Solitary Man
(2000)
American IV: The Man Comes Around
(2002)
Unearthed
(2003)

American IV: The Man Comes Around is the 87th studio album by American music artist Johnny Cash. Released in 2002, it is the fourth in Cash's "American" series of albums. The majority of songs are covers which Cash performs in his own sparse style, with help from producer Rick Rubin. For instance, for the song "Personal Jesus", Rubin asked then-Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante to re-work an acoustic version of Martin Gore's song, which featured a simple acoustic riff that stripped down the song to a blues style. He receives backing vocal assistance from various artists, including Fiona Apple, Nick Cave, and Don Henley. American IV was the final album Johnny Cash released during his lifetime; though the Unearthed box set was compiled prior to his death (with Cash choosing the tracks – including an early version of "The Man Comes Around" – and writing liner notes), it was not released until two months after he died. It was also his first non-compilation album to go gold (selling over 500,000 copies) in thirty years. Additionally, the album won "Album of the Year" award at the 2003 CMA Awards. It was certified Gold on March 24, 2003 and Platinum on November 21, 2003 by the R.I.A.A.

The video for "Hurt", a song written by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails and originally released in 1994, was nominated in seven categories at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards and won the award for Best Cinematography. In [[2003, mere days before his 71st birthday, Cash won a Grammy for "Give My Love To Rose," a song Cash had originally recorded in the late 1950s. Cash was also nominated that year for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals that year for "Bridge over Troubled Water" with Fiona Apple. The music video for "Hurt" also won the Grammy for Best Short Form Video in 2004.

Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor admitted that he was initially "flattered" but worried that "the idea of Cash covering 'Hurt' sounded a bit gimmicky," but when he heard the song and saw the video for the first time, Reznor said he was deeply moved and found Cash's cover beautiful and meaningful, going as far as to say "that song isn't mine anymore."[1]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars link
Robert Christgau A− link
Los Angeles Times 3.5/4 stars link

Legacy[edit]

The album was included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[2]

Track listings[edit]

Various editions of the album were released. Some include an extra interview disc or a DVD of the video for "Hurt". The original vinyl pressing of the album featured a slightly different track list with two bonus tracks, Big Iron and Wichita Lineman,[3] which were later re-released on the box set Unearthed.[4]

Original vinyl issue[edit]

Side A
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "The Man Comes Around" Johnny Cash 4:26
2. "Hurt" Trent Reznor 3:38
3. "Give My Love to Rose" Johnny Cash 3:28
4. "Bridge Over Troubled Water" (with Fiona Apple) Paul Simon 3:55
Side B
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "I Hung My Head" Sting 3:53
2. "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" Ewan MacColl 3:52
3. "Personal Jesus" Martin Gore 3:20
4. "In My Life" John Lennon/Paul McCartney 2:57
Side C
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Sam Hall" Tex Ritter 2:40
2. "Danny Boy" Frederick Weatherly 3:19
3. "Desperado" (with Don Henley) Glenn Frey/Don Henley 3:13
4. "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" (duet with Nick Cave) Hank Williams 3:03
5. "Streets of Laredo" Traditional 3:33
Side D
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Wichita Lineman" Jimmy Webb 3:03
2. "Big Iron" Marty Robbins 3:52
3. "Tear Stained Letter" Johnny Cash 3:41
4. "We'll Meet Again" (with The Whole Cash Gang) Hughie Charles/Ross Parker 2:58
Notes

Re-issue[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "The Man Comes Around" Johnny Cash 4:26
2. "Hurt" Trent Reznor 3:38
3. "Give My Love to Rose" Johnny Cash 3:28
4. "Bridge Over Troubled Water" (with Fiona Apple) Paul Simon 3:55
5. "I Hung My Head" Sting 3:53
6. "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" Ewan MacColl 3:52
7. "Personal Jesus" Martin Gore 3:20
8. "In My Life" John Lennon–Paul McCartney 2:57
9. "Sam Hall" Tex Ritter 2:40
10. "Danny Boy" Frederick Weatherly 3:19
11. "Desperado" (with Don Henley) Glenn Frey/Don Henley 3:13
12. "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" (duet with Nick Cave) Hank Williams 3:03
13. "Tear Stained Letter" Johnny Cash 3:41
14. "Streets of Laredo" Traditional 3:33
15. "We'll Meet Again" (with The Whole Cash Gang) Hughie Charles/Ross Parker 2:58
Notes

Personnel[edit]

Additional personnel[edit]

  • Rick Rubin – producer
  • John Carter Cash – producer, engineer
  • Thom Russo, Andrew Scheps, Chuck Turner – engineers
  • Vladimir Meller – mastering
  • Christine Cano – art direction, design
  • Martyn Atkins – photography
  • Lindsay Chase – production coordination
  • Dwight Hume, Jimmy Tittle – production assistants

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2002) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums 2
U.S. Billboard 200 22

In popular culture[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Geoff Rickly interviews Trent Reznor". Alternative Press. 2004-06-26. Retrieved 2016-06-21. 
  2. ^ Robert Dimery; Michael Lydon (23 March 2010). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition. Universe. ISBN 978-0-7893-2074-2. 
  3. ^ "Johnny Cash – American IV: The Man Comes Around". discogs.com. Retrieved 2016-06-21. 
  4. ^ "Cash – Unearthed". discogs.com. Retrieved 2016-06-21.