- JOHNNY CASH: AMERICAN RECORDINGS: 1994: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: For nearly 20 years Johnny Cash’s career had been in decline not only commercially but critically. His late career signing with Rick Ruben and American Recordings would begin one of the great comeback’s in music history. Had his career ended in the direction it was going- his legacy was already complete but in my opinion the final decade of his life is my favorite Johnny Cash- the albums he did with American Recordings. They may not have given him hit singles but they returned him critically to the top. The album is Johnny Cash and his guitar and great material. It was his best album in decades. Of course The Dean of Rock Criticism Robert Christgau didn’t care for it!
- JOHNNY CASH: UNCHAINED: 1996: 4 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: With the second American Recordings album Johnny Cash and Rick Ruben proved that the success of their first album together wasn’t a fluke. While this album doesn’t have the power of the debut it is another strong release. Cash would win a Grammy for Best Country Album and was nominated for Best Country Male Vocal Performance for his cover of Chris Cornell’s “Rusty Cage.” Not only does he cover Soundgarden but Beck, The Carter Family and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers who also back him on the album.