- JOHNNY CASH: AMERICAN III: SOLITARY MAN: 2000: 4 1/2 STARS: i had forgotten it had been four years between the second American recording and the third. In this installment Johnny covers- Tom Petty, Neil Diamond, U2, Nick Cave, David Allan Coe, Will Oldham and four JC originals. He takes well known songs- and somehow makes them his own. Johnny won the Best Male Country Vocal Performance for Solitary Man.
- JOHNNY CASH: AMERICAN IV: THE MAN COMES AROUND: 2002: 4 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The last Johnny Cash album released during his lifetime. His version of Trent Reznor’s Hurt still blows me away- and the video is just as powerful- one of the best videos ever. More interesting choices- Personal Jesus- from Depeche Mode, i Hung My Head- Sting, In My Life- The Beatles, Bridge Over Troubled Water- Paul Simon, Wichita Lineman, Hank Williams, The Eagles, Marty Robbins.
- VAN MORRISON: MOONDANCE: 1970: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Van’s most accessible album and a commercial success-whereas the brilliant Astral Weeks didn’t even make the Top 100 albums in the US. Every song on this is outstanding- if I had to take a Mount Rushmore of Greatest Songs on this album- how about Into The Mystic/ Caravan/ And It Stoned Me/ Brand New Day.