100 Best Albums of the '90s

From Moby to Nirvana, the records that defined a decade

Load Previous
Johnny Cash, 'American Recordings'

37. Johnny Cash, 'American Recordings'

It's rare when forty years into a career, an artist unleashes an indisputable masterpiece. Johnny Cash pulled it off, though. American Recordings was the brainchild of Cash and producer Rick Rubin, who had the genius to recognize that Cash's incomparable voice alone with an acoustic guitar and a clutch of great songs was a can't-miss proposition. Cash's own tunes ("Drive On") align perfectly with apt selections by the likes of Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen and (no joke) Glenn Danzig. American Recordings is stark, stirring and, at times, even funny. Best of all it restored a master to much-deserved pre-eminence.

Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time: Johnny Cash's 'American Recordings'

Photos: Intimate, All-Access Shots of Johnny Cash

Listen: Johnny Cash's Early Demo of 'Get Rhythm'

Back to Top