American V: A Hundred Highways
|American V: A Hundred Highways|
|Studio album by Johnny Cash|
|Released||July 4, 2006|
|Recorded||May 2003–September 2003 at Recording Americans Studios|
|Label||American and Lost Highway|
|Johnny Cash chronology|
|American series chronology|
American V: A Hundred Highways is the 93rd overall album and a posthumous album by Johnny Cash released on July 4, 2006. As the title implies, it is the fifth entry in Cash's American series. Like its predecessors, American V: A Hundred Highways is produced by Rick Rubin and released on Rubin's American Recordings record label via Lost Highway Records, as they currently distribute country releases from the American Recordings label. It was certified Gold on August 18, 2006 by the RIAA.
|Robert Christgau|| link
|Pitchfork Media||(7.8/10) link|
- "Help Me" (Larry Gatlin) – 2:51
- "God's Gonna Cut You Down" (Traditional) – 2:38
- "Like the 309" (Johnny Cash) – 4:35
- According to Johnny Cash: The Life by Robert Hilburn (2013), this was the last song written by Cash and it was recorded during Cash's final day in a recording studio before his death a few weeks later.
- "If You Could Read My Mind" (Gordon Lightfoot) – 4:30
- Originally recorded by Lightfoot for Sit Down Young Stranger (1970)
- "Further On Up the Road" (Bruce Springsteen) – 3:25
- Originally recorded by Springsteen for The Rising (2002)
- "On the Evening Train" (Hank Williams) – 4:17
- "I Came to Believe" (Johnny Cash) – 3:44
- This song was previously recorded by Cash in the 1980s during the recording sessions that would ultimately result in the posthumous 2014 release Out Among the Stars.
- "Love's Been Good to Me" (Rod McKuen) – 3:18
- "A Legend in My Time" (Don Gibson) – 2:37
- "Rose of My Heart" (Hugh Moffatt) – 3:18
- Written in 1981 or 1982 and recorded by many artists, including Moffat for Troubadour (1989)
- "Four Strong Winds" (Ian Tyson) – 4:34
- "I'm Free from the Chain Gang Now" (Lou Herscher, Saul Klein) – 3:00
- Originally recorded by Cash for The Sound of Johnny Cash (1962)
As with the other American series albums, the album includes covers, originals, and a re-recording of a song. The originals on this album are "I Came to Believe" and "Like the 309", the latter of which was the last song Cash ever wrote before passing away. Recorded on August 21, 2003, "Like the 309" was the next-to-last song Cash ever recorded; the last being "Engine 143" which was recorded for a Carter Family tribute album produced by John Carter Cash.
The album takes its name from a lyric on the track "Love's Been Good to Me" by Rod McKuen; the opening verse begins (emphasis added):
I have been a rover
I have walked alone
Hiked a hundred highways
Never found a home
The liner notes of Unearthed, a box set composed of outtakes from the first four entries in Cash's American series, claim "around 50" songs were recorded during the American V sessions before Cash's death on September 12, 2003. However, to date only two albums worth of material have been released, including American VI: Ain't No Grave, which was released in February 2010. In March 2014, Cash's son John Carter Cash, promoting the release of Out Among the Stars, a collection of recently unearthed recordings from the early 1980s, confirmed that "three or four albums" worth of unreleased material exists from the American sessions, with Rubin confirming that at least one additional album -- a follow-up to Unearthed -- is planned for future release.
Cash engineer David "Fergie" Ferguson (assisted by Jimmy Tittle) and Rubin oversaw the completion of the recordings. Other musicians on the album include keyboardist Benmont Tench and guitarists Mike Campbell, Smoky Hormel, Matt Sweeney and Jonny Polonsky.
- Johnny Cash – vocal, guitar
- Laura Cash – fiddle
- Dennis Crouch – bass guitar
- Smokey Hormel – guitar
- Pat McLaughlin – guitar
- Larry Perkins – guitar
- Jonny Polonsky – guitar
- Randy Scruggs – guitar
- Marty Stuart – guitar
- Benmont Tench – organ, piano, harpsichord
- Pete Wade – guitar
- Mac Wiseman – guitar
- Martyn Atkins – photography
- Christine Cano – art direction, design
- John Carter Cash – executive producer
- Lindsay Chase – production coordination
- Greg Fidelman – mixing
- Paul Figueroa – mixing assistant
- Dan Leffler – mixing assistant
- Vlado Meller – mastering
- Rick Rubin – producer, liner notes
- David Campbell - string arranger
- Mark Santangelo – mastering assistant
- Jimmy Tittle – assistant engineer
American V: A Hundred Highways topped the Billboard 200 with the album. It was his first No. 1 album since 1969's Johnny Cash at San Quentin with 88,000 copies sold in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
|U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums||1|
|U.S. Billboard 200||1|
|Canadian Albums Chart||4|
- CNN.com - EW review: Johnny Cash's brilliant finale - Jun 27, 2006
- Robert Hilburn, Johnny Cash: The Life. (New York: Little, Brown & Co., 2013), p. 624
- "Johnny Cash: 'four or five more albums in the works', says his son". The Guardian. March 26, 2014. Retrieved March 15, 2015.
- Cash's official website
- "American V: A Hundred Highways" Review on "Cool Album of the Day"
- USATODAY.com - Johnny Cash's final work yields 2 more albums
- E! Online News - Johnny Cash's Last "American" Song
- THE POP LIFE; Johnny Cash's Legacy Of Emotions, on CD's. New York Times (reprinted on JohnnyCashMusic.com). November 27, 2003.
- Cash Earns First No. 1 Album Since 1969. Billboard July 12, 2006.
- Luma Electronic's Johnny Cash discography listing
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