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Man in the Black Boxed Set

If you’re a Johnny Cash fan – or you love someone who is – this…

  • October 26, 2017

If you’re a Johnny Cash fan – or you love someone who is – this might interest you.

Music company UMe is releasing what may be the most comprehensive set of the recordings Cash did with producer Rick Rubin shortly before the musician’s death. It’s being released in a nine LP “audiophile” vinyl boxed set. The price isn’t too scary, so it could even make a do-able gift for the holidays.

Here’s what the company says about the set:

“In the last decade of a career that spanned half a century, Johnny Cashcapped off his musical legend with a breathtaking final act, recording a series of raw, stripped-down albums with producer Rick Rubin. Those albums reestablished Cash as a vital artist, while adding a remarkable closing chapter to his incredible body of work.

In November 2003, two months after Cash’s passing, Rubin’s label American Recordings released Unearthed, an expansive box set of material, most of it previously unreleased, recorded during the artist’s graceful twilight years.

The set was originally planned to celebrate Cash and Rubin’s decade of recording together, and the final mixes had been sent to Cash, but he passed away before receiving them.

These recordings, which run the stylistic gamut from stark balladry to punchy rockabilly to heartfelt gospel to classic covers, offer a stunning encapsulation of Cash’s wide-ranging musical vision, and provide a fitting epitaph for his iconic career.

To celebrate the Man in Black’s enduring and influential legacy, American Recordings and UMe have reconfigured this monolithic collection for its first-ever vinyl release, spreading Unearthed’s 79 songs over nine high-quality 180-gram vinyl LPs while expanding the original box’s distinctive packaging for the long-playing format.

Available November 3, the Unearthed vinyl box features a pair of cloth-bound books housed in an LP-sized black cloth slipcase.

One book holds the nine LPs, while the other is a gorgeous 60-page coffee table book that incorporates Sylvie Simmons’ extensive liner notes, drawn from five days of interviews at Cash’s home in Tennessee, as well as Cash and Rubin’s comments on every song on the set, plus a copious selection of photographs from the recording sessions, including some of the last photos ever taken of Cash.”

You can preorder Unearthed now at

If you have any of these recordings already, and you’re a Cash fan, then you know how good this work is. Songs including “Hurt” and “Solitary Man” already sound great on CD, but having them on high-quality vinyl will add a whole new quality to the experience.

We checked with Amazon, and their price for this boxed set is $234.64. A lot of money, to be sure, but not too much when you consider how much great music is included. Check it out at the link.

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