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PostPosted: Tue August 8th, 2017, 10:04 GMT 
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I've been listening to the Rick Rubin produced Johnny Cash albums (American Recordings, Unchained, Solitary Man, The Man Comes Around, A Hundred Highways, Ain't No Grave, Unearthed) and a memory of a Bob Dylan interview about Johnny Cash's later career popped into my head, where he said something negative about Johnny's later career, calling some albums 'low-rent stuff' or something similar to that phrase.
Does anyone have an interview they can point me at that contains this exchange?
Does anyone think he was referring to these American Recordings albums, or would it be the earlier 80s early 90s albums that Bob was referring to?


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PostPosted: Tue August 8th, 2017, 10:13 GMT 
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I remember this, though I don´t have the exact quote, but I do believe he was referring to the American recordings.
I would have to partly agree with Bob. I do like these records, very much, but they could have been so much more if he had simply recorded better songs, rather than playing songs by artists that are nowhere near his level. And yes, I admit that some of those renditions are really cool, like his already classic cover of Nine Inch Nails Hurt, or Soundgarden´s Rusty cage.
But Johnny´s voice at this time was IT. It was really something. The (possibly) greatest voice in the history of rock ´n´roll, with all the experience and feeling accumulated through such an intense life time? Yes, please. How great if he would have used it to sing timeless songs of beauty and sadness *tries his best to avoid reference to Bob´s standard records*
The closest he came to this I´d say was American V, in which there are no modern pop singles, which is why to me that one is by far the best of the American series.


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PostPosted: Tue August 8th, 2017, 11:19 GMT 
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If all you've ever heard of Johnny Cash are the American Recordings, you're seriously missing out. For example, here's his original recording of the first song off the first American album:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rlLS6ImG18


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PostPosted: Tue August 8th, 2017, 11:30 GMT 

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Jakob Dylan publicly criticized Rubin on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast over his experience making the stark 2010 acoustic record "Seeing Things." “I don’t need a guru,” he said flatly. “I like everybody in the room to talk in musical terms.” Dylan also went after Rubin where it really hurts, calling the sacrosanct American series recorded with Johnny Cash “a card trick” that verged on exploitation.

Somebody said, "If the Grand Canyon could sing, it would sound like Johnny Cash."


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PostPosted: Tue August 8th, 2017, 12:29 GMT 
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jimmiepreston wrote:
I've been listening to the Rick Rubin produced Johnny Cash albums (American Recordings, Unchained, Solitary Man, The Man Comes Around, A Hundred Highways, Ain't No Grave, Unearthed) and a memory of a Bob Dylan interview about Johnny Cash's later career popped into my head, where he said something negative about Johnny's later career, calling some albums 'low-rent stuff' or something similar to that phrase.
Does anyone have an interview they can point me at that contains this exchange?
Does anyone think he was referring to these American Recordings albums, or would it be the earlier 80s early 90s albums that Bob was referring to?


Rolling Stone interview 2009:

When I ask him if he thinks much about Cash, who died in September 2003, he turns somber.

"Yeah, I do. I do miss him. But I started missing him 10 years before he actually kicked the bucket."

"What does that mean?" I ask.

"You know," he says, "it's hard to talk about. I tell people if they are interested that they should listen to Johnny on his Sun records and reject all that notorious low-grade stuff he did in his later years. It can't hold a candlelight to the frightening depth of the man that you hear on his early records. That's the only way he should be remembered."


For a man with a history of cranky interviews, the 2009 one is a stand-out, although Mr. D. does avoid calling Cash a wussie or x or the ghost of a Hells Angel. I always thought he was channeling a sour, old bluesman for the bulk of this interview, as most of responses seem more ill temper than anything. Plus, it's worth mentioning that he has had nothing but praise for Cash in other interviews, as well as his MusicCares speech.


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PostPosted: Tue August 8th, 2017, 12:46 GMT 

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You'd think he'd praise Rubin for going to simpler, cleaner recording. Cash means almost nothing to me but he had a very interesting voice and sang well on the early Rubin stuff. And Rubin got it faithfully recorded which was a change from 1980's style recording. As for Sun Records I can't think of a sillier song than Folsom Prison Blues (well, maybe the Teenage Queen song). Maybe Sing Me Back Home. Country profundity!


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PostPosted: Tue August 8th, 2017, 13:13 GMT 
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Bob has a long history of trashing people and then correcting it later on. The Musicares speech was a textbook example. He has a VERY vicious side to him. The good news is that he has used that deep vein in his system to superbly attack racism, hatred, and war, and basic human injustice by combining it with his otherworldly poetry set to music. Thanks El Bobo! Encore!


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PostPosted: Tue August 8th, 2017, 13:29 GMT 
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Somebody Naked wrote:
If all you've ever heard of Johnny Cash are the American Recordings, you're seriously missing out. For example, here's his original recording of the first song off the first American album:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rlLS6ImG18


I love the Sun stuff, and some of the early Columbia material. there's a few albums late 60s/early 70s that I like too.


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PostPosted: Tue August 8th, 2017, 13:38 GMT 
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wormington wrote:
I remember this, though I don´t have the exact quote, but I do believe he was referring to the American recordings.
I would have to partly agree with Bob. I do like these records, very much, but they could have been so much more if he had simply recorded better songs, rather than playing songs by artists that are nowhere near his level. And yes, I admit that some of those renditions are really cool, like his already classic cover of Nine Inch Nails Hurt, or Soundgarden´s Rusty cage.
But Johnny´s voice at this time was IT. It was really something. The (possibly) greatest voice in the history of rock ´n´roll, with all the experience and feeling accumulated through such an intense life time? Yes, please. How great if he would have used it to sing timeless songs of beauty and sadness *tries his best to avoid reference to Bob´s standard records*
The closest he came to this I´d say was American V, in which there are no modern pop singles, which is why to me that one is by far the best of the American series.


I think I agree a bit too. When the material is right the American Recordings stuff is up there with his best, but some of it comes across as someone else's (often bad) idea for a cover or collaboration (Bridge Over Troubled Water springs to mind...) rather than the more inspired choices, or Johnny's often great material he was still capable of producing (The Man Comes Around, )

Does seem a little mean of Bob to call his friend's material 'low-grade' though, especially after he'd passed. Perhaps he was trying to take a pop more at the producer(s)/collaborators approach rather than Johnny himself.


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PostPosted: Tue August 8th, 2017, 15:45 GMT 

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One of the key reason I love Bob Dylan is the fact he has evolved into many ways, doing things his own way (as much as it seems). Miles Davis, Pablo Picasso, Stanley Kubrick and numerous of other great artists in the past have embrassed the same pattern: being ahead (or out) of the public expectations, being a free artist. I totally disagree with Dylan (if he did say so) that Johnny Cash should be remembered ONLY for his Sun recordings. It seems to me to be a total contradiction of Dylan himself to not recognize Johnny Cash's own will to do things a different way in what would become his later years. I found strange of Dylan to not aknowledge that if Cash did these recordings, it's because Cash himself wanted to do them the way he has done them.


If Dylan prefers Johnny Cash' Sun recordings, that's okay for him, I don't mind learning about Dylan's preferences (of course), but not to the extent of pontifying on how we SHOULD remember Johnny Cash artistry. That belongs to everyone of us, individual members of the public, who listen to Johnny Cash recordings, whatever the era we choose to pay attention to. I love the Sun recordings of Johnny Cash AND many items of his Columbia years AND many things from his American recordings, the same way I love the Folky Dylan AND the mid-sixties electric one AND the country Dylan & the Gospel Dylan AND the Dylan-Lanois recordings...AND the Bob Dylan recording of "Must Be Santa" (once in a while, it's funny)!

Posterity will decide what should remain "historic" and what may not... In the meantime, everyone of us can still approach the artistry of Johnny Cash or Bob Dylan as a very personnal experiences that suit us the best of who we are when we encounter or experience it.


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PostPosted: Tue August 8th, 2017, 17:38 GMT 
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I used to really love the American recordings but I've kind of soured on them over time. I much prefer the earlier Cash stuff now and hardly ever listen to the American albums. I agree with comments above, the song selections (with some exceptions) are pretty weak and seem almost gimmicky to me.


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PostPosted: Tue August 8th, 2017, 18:06 GMT 
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I heard Won't Back Down on the radio the other day - and Johnny Cash was singing it. It was kind of a weird experience to be honest.


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PostPosted: Tue August 8th, 2017, 18:32 GMT 
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Hard to characterize the the first (solo, acoustic) American album as low grade. Surprised Zim would feel that way about that one. I put that one up there with the best of Cash's work. The rest of the American series has some moments here and there, but they overdid it.


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PostPosted: Tue August 8th, 2017, 19:07 GMT 

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Bob is usually sour in his Rolling Stone interviews. These people annoy him. Can't blame him.

As for Johnny Cash, like Bob I'd listen to him do anything. I thought some of his American Recordings worked quite well. I think Cash could turn base metal into gold. I regard that version of Stink's 'I hung my head' as brilliant.


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PostPosted: Tue August 8th, 2017, 22:22 GMT 
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Bob was just jealous that Johnny still had a listenable voice as he entered his seventies.


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PostPosted: Tue August 8th, 2017, 22:39 GMT 

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boo
https://giphy.com/gifs/bob-dylan-boo-BnMxOs3SrH3na


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PostPosted: Tue August 8th, 2017, 23:05 GMT 
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Nightingale's Code wrote:
I used to really love the American recordings but I've kind of soured on them over time. I much prefer the earlier Cash stuff now and hardly ever listen to the American albums. I agree with comments above, the song selections (with some exceptions) are pretty weak and seem almost gimmicky to me.


I'm like you. I loved the first one, and liked the second. Good song choices and Cash also contributed some strong material. By the time of the 3rd, I could do without hearing him do "I Won't Back Down", "Solitary Man", and "One", and after that it was very spotty with some real bad song choices. It makes me wonder who was the driver behind some of this. I know Cash had some personal favorites he's always liked and wanted to do (i.e. memories are made of this) and I think Rubin brought some of the more obscure stuff to the table (i.e. Mercy Seat), but the whole effort could have used a bit more of an editor on board. Someone who would say, "you know, bridge over trouble water was an interesting choice, but it doesn't really work".

I get the mortality angle in that Johnny wanted, I assume, to get as much out as possible in his later years, but a lot of it is pretty weak (which is unfortunate because even after the first two each subsequent album had at least a couple of killer tracks on them).


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PostPosted: Wed August 9th, 2017, 04:15 GMT 

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trent_vinyl wrote:
Nightingale's Code wrote:
I used to really love the American recordings but I've kind of soured on them over time. I much prefer the earlier Cash stuff now and hardly ever listen to the American albums. I agree with comments above, the song selections (with some exceptions) are pretty weak and seem almost gimmicky to me.


I'm like you. I loved the first one, and liked the second. Good song choices and Cash also contributed some strong material. By the time of the 3rd, I could do without hearing him do "I Won't Back Down", "Solitary Man", and "One", and after that it was very spotty with some real bad song choices. It makes me wonder who was the driver behind some of this. I know Cash had some personal favorites he's always liked and wanted to do (i.e. memories are made of this) and I think Rubin brought some of the more obscure stuff to the table (i.e. Mercy Seat), but the whole effort could have used a bit more of an editor on board. Someone who would say, "you know, bridge over trouble water was an interesting choice, but it doesn't really work".

I get the mortality angle in that Johnny wanted, I assume, to get as much out as possible in his later years, but a lot of it is pretty weak (which is unfortunate because even after the first two each subsequent album had at least a couple of killer tracks on them).


I think what Dylan was objecting to was not so much the music as the exploitation of Cash's frailty in service of the music. Given Jakob's negative experience with Rubin, I also wonder if Dylan wasn't settling that score by criticizing the Cash American Recordings. Personally, I love the American Recordings, which almost uniformly let me hear the songs--many of which I love-- in new ways. Come to think of it, there are no Dylan songs in the six volumes of the American Recordings... Could that be why he's pissed off about them?


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PostPosted: Wed August 9th, 2017, 06:13 GMT 
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Everyones allowed their own opinion, bobs no different. The quote about missing cash 10 years before he passes on could have been and may well be written about bob. I can listen to johnnys covers and enjoy them, i get no enjoyment from bobs later covers.
Towards the end of his life, when he lost his wife, cash recorded a lot of stuff to keep himself occupied.


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PostPosted: Wed August 9th, 2017, 14:45 GMT 
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escapeedrifter wrote:
Everyones allowed their own opinion, bobs no different. The quote about missing cash 10 years before he passes on could have been and may well be written about bob. I can listen to johnnys covers and enjoy them, i get no enjoyment from bobs later covers.
Towards the end of his life, when he lost his wife, cash recorded a lot of stuff to keep himself occupied.

It is a bit of the pot calling the kettle black. I agree that every American Recordings album Johnny did there were at least a couple of songs on them I liked. With Bob's recent cover albums, I too get no enjoyment from them. Listened to them once and that's gonna be it.


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PostPosted: Wed August 9th, 2017, 14:53 GMT 
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I had a listen to some of the albums again today, its funny theres no dylan originals, it is peppered with a few tracks dylan himself did cover, live or in studio.


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PostPosted: Wed August 9th, 2017, 19:15 GMT 
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escapeedrifter wrote:
I had a listen to some of the albums again today, its funny theres no dylan originals, it is peppered with a few tracks dylan himself did cover, live or in studio.

I find it highly unlikely that Cash didn't record any Dylan songs, considering how much a fan Johnny was of Bob. Maybe they just haven't been released yet.


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PostPosted: Wed August 9th, 2017, 19:35 GMT 

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Cash said in an interview that he recorded 'You're Gonne Make Me Lonesome When You Go' with Petty and the Heartbreakers for 'Unchained' (1996), but it was never released or even bootlegged.


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PostPosted: Wed August 9th, 2017, 19:44 GMT 

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escapeedrifter wrote:
I had a listen to some of the albums again today, its funny theres no dylan originals, it is peppered with a few tracks dylan himself did cover, live or in studio.


I'm still surprised he didn't do "Man in the Long Black Coat." It's such an obvious, perfect choice. The cover of the first album even looks like he's posing as the man.


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PostPosted: Wed August 9th, 2017, 22:28 GMT 
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Its hard to imagine how each song might have sounded with cash's later voice. Some interesting tracks work when they shouldn't and others sound cringe worthy, imo. I would think not dark yet might have worked but who knows.


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