Song Of The Day 5/13/2013: Johnny Cash - "The Man Who Couldn't Cry"

Quarterly Covers Report: When Johnny Cash entered the final bracketed phase of his career with Rick Rubin and American Recordings he put out a record, expediently titled American Recordings, that was darker than any album he'd ever released. This was the 1994 album that opened with "Delia's Gone," drove through Nick Lowe's scariest song, "The Beast In Me," received a song from Glenn Danzig called "Thirteen," and turned to songs by Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits for levity. That's how dark it was. The two most upbeat moments on the record were both recorded in front of a small audience in the Viper Room in L.A.: a remake of the folk standard "Tennessee Stud," and the closing cover of Loudon Wainwright III's "The Man Who Couldn't Cry." It's a comic reinvention of the story of Job with some Noah's Ark allusions thrown in at the end, updated to account for the pestilence brought on by theatre critics, shrinks, theologians and poorly-trained prostitutes. I never tire of Cash's version, a document made at the cusp of his last inventory.

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