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THE COVERS OF CASH

April 26, 2018

In Johnny Cash’s hands, any song was a potent force. His own compositions, of course, were the most powerful items in his repertoire, but the Man In Black also worked with traditional folk songs and, occasionally, the work of other contemporary musicians.

Here’s six of the best.

‘Hurt’ – Nine Inch Nails

Perhaps the most well-known example of a cover superseding the original. Cash stripped Nine Inch Nails hissing slice of electronica down to a threadbare vocal and slowly building guitar. Tragic and triumphant.

‘Rusty Cage’ – Soundgarden

Cash’s trad-country version of Soundgarden’s ’91 smash hit won him the 1996 Grammy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance. Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell would return the favour, contributing a track to the ‘Johnny Cash: Forever Words’ album shortly before his death.

‘I Won’t Back Down’ – Tom Petty

Cash and Petty already had history – Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers served as Cash’s backing band on his ‘Unchained’ album. So it was no surprise that Petty himself was happy to lend harmonies to this gruff, Cash-ified rendition from 2000.

‘Redemption Song’ – Bob Marley

As if proof were needed that music links us all, Marley’s legendary tribute to emancipation fits perfectly into Cash’s world of hope deferred. This version is made all the more precious by the appearance of the late Joe Strummer, in LA on vacation, who joined Cash on the track during the 2002 sessions for ‘American IV: The Man Comes Around’.

‘The Mercy Seat’ – Nick Cave

Both often walking a common ground of grim, biblical balladry, it’s no surprise that Cave and Cash’s spirits should be kindred, and ‘The Mercy Seat’s tale of an unjustly condemned man is the perfect meeting place. Cash’s cover is from 2000’s ‘American III: Solitary Man’.

‘Girl From The North Country’ – Bob Dylan

Another duet, this time two titans of American music, Cash and Dylan, join forces to perform one of the latter’s most enduring classics. Recorded live for The Johnny Cash show in 1969, the rare network appearance from Dylan was a sign of the esteem in which he held the host.

The spirit of Johnny Cash – his passion and his pain – comes to life for a new generation on ‘Johnny Cash: Forever Words.’ The new album features Cash’s unknown poems and lyrics set to music by artists inspired by The Man In Black, from Chris Cornell to John Mellencamp to Elvis Costello.

AVAILABLE NOW

THE COVERS OF CASH

THE COVERS OF CASH

In Johnny Cash’s hands, any song was a potent force. His own compositions, of course, were the most powerful items in his repertoire, but the Man In Black also worked with traditional folk songs and, occasionally, the work of other contemporary musicians.

Read more
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JOHNNY CASH: FOREVER WORDS – OUT NOW

JOHNNY CASH: FOREVER WORDS – OUT NOW

The spirit of Johnny Cash – his passion and his pain – comes to life for a new generation on ‘Johnny Cash: Forever Words.’ This new album, featuring Cash’s unknown poems and lyrics set to music by artists inspired by The Man In Black, is available everywhere now.

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Johnny Cash – Top tracks playlist
Show tracks
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    Johnny Cash
  2. Hurt
    Johnny Cash
  3. I still miss someone
    Johnny Cash
  4. A boy named Sue - Live
    Johnny Cash
  5. Jackson
    Johnny Cash
  6. and lots more!
    ...
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Listen to a new live recording of ‘I Walk The Line’…

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Folsom Prison EPK

Johnny Cash