In April 1994, 62 year old Johnny Cash’s career was about to be resurrected. The last comeback of his journeyed musical life, which began that very week, with the release of American Recordings, was a risk, as producer Rick Rubin was best known for his work in hip-hop and heavy metal working with bands like Slayer and the Beastie Boys. However, Rubin’s stroke of genius resonated with a generation who may have never heard of Johnny Cash before. They were struck by his emotional voice and drawn in the by the songs that were written for Cash by musicians like Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen, who worshipped at his altar.
“The Man in Black” went on to record five more albums, including some covers of song by Bob Marley, Soundgarden, U2 and Tom Petty. His later body of work, especially his 1996 version of Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt” now has the same respect as his earlier most impactful songs. This image (below) from a shoot at the Westbury Music Fair, and was eventually used on the cover of Cash’s album “Solitary Man”.
You can see more of Danny Clinch’s work on the Levine/Leavitt site.