file Johnny Cash

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02 Okt 2002 18:24 #15971 von Obi-Wan
Johnny Cash wurde erstellt von Obi-Wan
With the release of "The Man Comes Around" now imminent, here is a peek/ear inside.
This may be my favorite album of the four American releases. It has polish and style. It is not raw, like "AR," but it has great force. That is not to say the power is in the form of bombast, because it is not. John does not do bombast any more. The voice was different on "SM," and that IS his voice now. But this album has great emotion to it. I would also say that it will probably not be controversial, which may or may not be to Rick Rubin's renegade liking. There are no Delia's, and the Mercy Seats are far more mainstream this time around. It seems to me that, with some exceptions, this is an album John wanted to do, without gimmicks or trendiness, the contemporary choices notwithstanding. There are a number of traditional choices here, with the title cut being the only new song, but true to form, John defies labels. I don't know which Grammy category this one will go into; even with songs from Trent Reznor and Sting, for example, this might be a folk album. Or it might be MOR. Not necessarily country, though. In any event, this one FEELS like Johnny Cash. And for me, that makes it a winner.

The tracks:
1. The Man Comes Around. The title cut leads off the album, and it is my favorite. What a song! It is filled with imagery and prose, and is driven--truly DRIVEN--by the thumping, pounding acoustic guitars of Randy Scruggs and Smokey Hormel, who plays for Tom Waits and Beck. This is a song about the end of the world, of Armageddon, written by John. As such, the fundamentalist vision is powerful. It is a gospel song, it is an eternal song. I don't know what radio station would understand it, let alone play it, but they should. This is a perfect song in these uncertain days. Remember "Goin' By the Book"? Forget it. This becomes the new anthem. You have to hear it for yourself, but how about this snippet:

Hear the trumpets, hear the pipers
One hundred million angels singing
Multitudes are marching to the big kettle drum.
Voices calling; voices crying.
Some are born and some are dying.
It's alpha and omega's kingdom come.

And talk about power! I have NEVER heard him sing with more authority. It's been said before: If God had a human voice, He would sound like John R. Cash.
2. Hurt. Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails wrote this one, so it will be one of those that the critics will point to. It has Rubin's fingerprints on it, and doesn't do much for me.
3. Give My Love to Rose. Another Cash original, first recorded for Sun in 1957, but not usually associated with that period. This was his first "saga" record and, like "Don't Take Your Guns to Town," which was written about this time, has been much recorded. This is the third studio version. This time around, when John gives voice to the dying ex-con, his voice evokes the plaintive pleading perfectly. Benmont Tench is on organ and Mike Campbell on acoustic guitar.
4. Bridge Over Troubled Water. This Paul Simon song has been done so many times, I had a hard time believing even John could say anything more. How wrong I was! This is the sleeper of the album. John was reluctant to do it himself, since it is usually done as a "production" number, but in his hands, with Fiona Apple adding vocals, it becomes lyric-driven, and will absolutely drive you to tears. With Mike Campbell again, plus a piano, chamberlain and "mellotron," this should be on everyone's playlist. Simply stunning. More than that. Absolutley wrenching. Breathtaking.
5. I Hung My Head. Less successful is this version of Sting's killing song. Marty Stuart plays on this, as does Tench again, this time adding organ and vibes to the piano. It is done very straight-forward, but seems to lack an edge.
6. First Time Ever I Saw Your Face. John seems to rip each and every word of this song from some deep, deep place. The production is so sparse, so minimal, that it is almost seems a cappella. Have you ever loved so deeply, so overwhelmingly, that it actually hurts? This is not the dreamy, misty song you know; this is torn from the same burning pain as "Ring of Fire" was 40 years ago. Not gorgeous, like Roberta Flack's original; rather, it is searing. He literally bites and chokes on every word. Every feeling counts. By the time this one is through, you will be gasping.
7. Personal Jesus. Depeche Mode's Martin Gore wrote this, and it was a top 20 song for that group. John puts his stamp on it, helped by a good acoustic from Red Hot Chili Pepper John Fruciante and by Billy Preston on piano. This song is said to have come after Gore heard a televangelist preacher asking listeners to send money in return for a gift of "your own personal Jesus." John's take is not as cynical; it's about finding that someone, or something maybe, that you can hold onto. This was a great song choice.
8. In My Life. John hesitated on doing this Beatles number, but was persuaded that the lyric was more important than its history. He should have gone with his first instinct. This is my least favorite song on the album. It is backed with orchestral bells.
9. Sam Hall. Another remake, this one from 1965's "Ballads of the True West" album. John has great fun with this, and I far prefer it to the original. He is in fine form. He takes composer credit for this version; in the original, he acknowledged its roots as an old folk song. Actually, it was written by an English comic minstrel in the 1850's, based on the true story of Jack Hall, a chimneysweep who was hanged in 1701. John's success with it this time reflects his own folk roots. All togther now, "My name is Sam Hall..." Believe me, you'll be saying it soon.
10. Danny Boy. Just John and Benmont Tench on the pipe organ in St. James' Episcopal Church in Santa Monica. Again, much better than 1964's original, which appeared on "Orange Blossom Special" the following year. John ditches the original's ponderous opening narration and, like "Bridge" above, avoids the high production that this song is so known for. Instead of a soaring hymn (as in the hands of an Irish tenor, for example), John's takes the dying father's plea and makes it a heartbreaking personal prayer. Don't get me wrong, though: this polished piece stands up well against any arrangement. You can whisper to God as easily as shout to him. Stunning.
11. Desperado. One of those "All-Star" outings. Backed by no less than three guitarists--old band member Kerry Marx, Scruggs, and Jeff Hannah (of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, whose contribution was returned by John, who wrote and sang a song about Sara and Maybelle Carter for the Nitty's next Circle project, number 3, coming out in a couple of weeks), plus Tench on the wurlitzer, AND with vocals by the song's co-writer Don Henley, this version REALLY sounds like a desperado song should. A lot of versions of this classic Eagles song are graceful (and I love them; it is one of my favorite songs); John reminds us that this is a song about growing old, after all, and gives it what the lyric tells us it should have: a plea, a prayer to the over-the-hiller to "come to his senses." Different approach, and it works.
12. I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry. Well, we got us a country song! And a Hank Williams one at that. Unlike John's first crack at this one, in 1960, which we must assume was done as an homage to the deceased St. Hiram--complete with Don Helms' steel guitar-- this one is all John (well, all John and Nick Cave, who guests), and all John is even better than all Hank. This is the I'm-So-Lonesome-I-Could-Cry-tour-de-force. It would never get airplay today (God, even Terry Bradshaw once had a semi-hit with it!) but that doesn't mean it's not a classic. It is, in every way. If you think you've heard this song, you haven't until you push track 12.
13. Streets of Laredo. There was much discussion about this one. It's hard to imagine anything new which could be brought to this old western number, written in 1876 by Francis Henry Maynard based on another old Irish ballad (John likes old Irish ballads. Good Lord, there has never been anyone lke this man. Treasure him while we have him; we will NEVER see his likes again.) But John added new words, and "now the song makes sense." There's the twist. With John himself on acoustic and fiddler virtuoso (virtuosa?) daughter-in-law Laura Cash adding a cry.
14. Tear Stained Letter. Yes, this is the Cash original, which showed up on "A Thing Called Love," not the Joel Sonnier song. You'd better get ready. We've got Joey Waronker (REM, Smashing Pumpkins) on drums and Billy Preston on piano, so this ain't your father's Tear Stained Letter! This one bounces along, and yet again, John defies all expectations by improving on the already-great. How DOES he do it? This one could get some mainstream country (which isn't actually COUNTRY anymore, mind you) airplay. Anybody want to lay odds? Uuuhhhh no. Includes some new lyrics as well. You might want to dance to it.
15. We'll Meet Again. Just when the alternativers lay claim to him, and when the rockers lay claim to him, and when the country--no wait, they don't want him, that's right--anyway, he goes and throws us for a giant loop. Here, he unearths this old Ink Spots chestnut and fairly CROONS his way through the song. There is no end to the turns he takes, especially on this one. He hinted back on "Memories Are Made of This." Here, there are no hints. He's a crooner! And wait for the surprise at the end of the song.
And this is the first album to ever feature cover art with John wearing glasses. Once again, no games. This is a serious effort that has to rank up there with his best efforts. It is not Johnny Cash 1969 or 1955 or whenever, and should not be compared to those periods. This is Johnny Cash 2002, interpreting songs given his life today. When he is in pain, or when he laughs, or when he contemplates the end of the world, listen up! Like no other of my lifetime, he has something to say.
Although it is hard to believe Rick Rubin, the master marketer, would go for a straight-forward album like this, maybe he realizes that this is the ultimate hook. I am truly excited about this album, and expect to be playing it for a long time. Sony and American are no longer together; this one is being distributed by Universal. I haven't heard any buzz yet, but there had better be a roar. This one is a Keeper.

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02 Okt 2002 23:39 #16048 von Copperhead
Copperhead antwortete auf Johnny Cash
Wie beim letzten Album: Les' ich die Tracks im Vorfeld, denke ich mir bei dem einen oder anderen, ob das wirklich sein musste...und nachher sind sie wieder alle überirdisch gut. Aber "and all John is even better than all Hank" will ich erst hören...
Wann kommt die denn raus? November?



<!--EDIT|copperhead| 2. 10. 2002, 23:39-->

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02 Okt 2002 23:43 #16050 von Obi-Wan
Obi-Wan antwortete auf Johnny Cash
5.11, aber die LP mit Bonustracks ("WICHITA LINEMAN" und "BIG IRON")ist bereits raus.

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02 Okt 2002 23:45 #16051 von Copperhead
Copperhead antwortete auf Johnny Cash
Mit LP meinste jetzt Vinyl?

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02 Okt 2002 23:57 #16054 von Obi-Wan
Obi-Wan antwortete auf Johnny Cash
Aber natürlich. :grin:
Das Album als Schallplatte.

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03 Okt 2002 00:00 #16056 von Copperhead
Copperhead antwortete auf Johnny Cash
Nur, weil ich zu allen Formaten LP sage <_< .
Aber super, Vinyl ist eh das, was ich will...

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03 Okt 2002 00:14 #16057 von Obi-Wan
Obi-Wan antwortete auf Johnny Cash
Ah so, habe ich mir aber schon gedacht, dass du daran Freude haben wirst.

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03 Okt 2002 00:15 #16058 von Obi-Wan
Obi-Wan antwortete auf Johnny Cash
Ach ja, die zwei Bonustracks gibt es auch exklusiv nur auf dem vinyl release.

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03 Okt 2002 00:26 #16059 von Copperhead
Copperhead antwortete auf Johnny Cash

Ach ja, die zwei Bonustracks gibt es auch exklusiv nur auf dem vinyl release.

...damit es auch ne schön teure Doppel-LP wird - mit vier Songs und knapp 12 Minuten Spielzeit pro Seite :angry: (die letzten beiden Dylan-Scheiben auch; kaum haste dich hingesetzt, kannste schon wieder zum Plattenspieler gehen); freu mich trotzdem...



<!--EDIT|copperhead| 3. 10. 2002, 00:27-->

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03 Okt 2002 11:19 #16075 von Taniolo
Taniolo antwortete auf Johnny Cash

Dann macht mir mal 'ne schöne Kopie Jungs (Vol. 1 - 4) ! :devil: :up:

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03 Okt 2002 13:03 #16088 von Copperhead
Copperhead antwortete auf Johnny Cash
ich hab das Zeug original nur auf Vinyl, für die CD hab ichs mir aus dem Netz gezogen; soll ich Dir das kopieren und zuschicken (kommt ja eh nicht an)?

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03 Okt 2002 13:23 #16089 von Obi-Wan
Obi-Wan antwortete auf Johnny Cash
Ich kaufe mir die CD lieber so. Komprimierte mp3s sind nicht so mein Fall.

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03 Okt 2002 13:34 #16091 von Taniolo
Taniolo antwortete auf Johnny Cash
@Coppy: Kein Problem, coppy. Ich such demnächst mal im Netz!

@Denis: Gern würde ich sie mir auch kaufen, aber ich bin im Gegensatz zu Euch nur ein Schüler und vielleicht irgendwann mal ein Student. Aber nächstes Jahr hab ich Konfirmation und da lassen die Tanten und Omas vielleicht 'nen Euro springen. :up:

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03 Okt 2002 14:26 #16099 von Obi-Wan
Obi-Wan antwortete auf Johnny Cash
Das verstehe ich. Da ich bald auch als Zivi bzw. arbeitslos auf der Straße stehen werde, kann ich mir das schon vorstellen. Aber das good ole Tanny, der Schrecken von Nashville, nicht diese Cash Alben besitzt, wundert mich schon ein wenig. To each his own, wie viele der Englisch-Versessenen hier sagen würden. ;)

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03 Okt 2002 15:01 #16101 von Taniolo
Taniolo antwortete auf Johnny Cash

Cash hatte ich früher vieles auf LP, aber kaum was auf CD (original).
Dafür habe ich ja Garth Brooks, Clay Walker, Randy Travis, Clint Black, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Trisha Yearwood, Faith Hill, Billy Ray Cyrus, Travis Tritt, Junior Brown und wie sie alle heissen ... ;)

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