The Box In Black: Johnny Cash’s Beloved Unearthed Collection Returns As 9-LP Vinyl Box Set On November 3

In the last decade of a career that spanned half a century, Johnny Cash capped 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. To celebrate the Man in Black’s enduring and influential legacy, this monolithic collection has been reconfigured for its first-ever vinyl release. Unearthed is available for pre-order now and out globally on November 3 via American Recordings.

The newly designed set expands on the original box’s distinctive packaging for the long-playing format. Spreading Unearthed’s 79 songs over nine high-quality 180-gram vinyl LPs, the box set also features a pair of cloth-bound books housed in an LP-sized black 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. In addition, the book captures 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.

Initially released in November 2003, two months after Cash’s passing, Unearthed arrived as 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. The 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.

Unearthed is divided into five thematic sections. Who’s Gonna Cry focuses on acoustic solo recordings, and finds Cash revisiting several classic songs from his legendary catalogue. Trouble In Mind is oriented towards electric performances, and includes guest appearances by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Carl Perkins and members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, as well as Cash’s wife and longtime duet partner June Carter Cash. Redemption Songs is largely acoustic, and features duets with Joe Strummer, Fiona Apple, Nick Cave and Glen Campbell. My Mother’s Hymn Book demonstrates Cash’s lifelong affinity for gospel music, encompassing 15 time-honoured gospel standards. Best of Cash On American offers a memorable 15-song selection of highlights from Cash’s first four albums with Rubin.

In its original CD format, Unearthed was acclaimed as an instant classic. Rolling Stone named it as one of the “100 Best Albums of the 2000s” and declared the set “a slice of American culture as monumental, and as enduring, as Mt. Rushmore.”

Indeed, in the years since Cash’s passing, the artist’s legend has grown and his music has gained in power. It’s hard to think of a more appropriate and impressive sendoff for this one-of-a-kind American original than the massive musical statement that is Unearthed.

Unearthed (Monolithic Nine-LP Vinyl Box Set Collection) Track Listing:

Who’s Gonna Cry

Side A

Long Black Veil
Flesh And Blood
Just The Other Side Of Nowhere
If I Give My Soul
Understand Your Man
Side B

Banks Of The Ohio
Two Timin’ Woman
The Caretaker
Old Chunk Of Coal
I’m Going To Memphis
Side C

Breaking Bread
Waiting For A Train
Casey’s Last Ride
No Earthly Good
Side D

The Fourth Man In The Fire
Dark As A Dungeon
Book Review
Down There By The Train
Trouble In Mind

Side A

I’m A Drifter
Trouble In Mind
Down The Line
Side B

I’m Movin’ On
As Long As The Grass Shall Grow
Heart Of Gold
The Running Kind
Side C

Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby
Brown Eyed Handsome Man
“T” For Texas
Devil’s Right Hand
Side D

I’m A Drifter
Like A Soldier
Drive On
Bird On A Wire
Redemption Songs

Side A

A Singer Of Songs
The L & N Don’t Stop Here Anymore
Redemption Song
Father And Son
Side B

Chattanooga Sugar Babe
He Stopped Loving Her Today
Hard Times
Wichita Lineman
Side C

Big Iron
Salty Dog
Gentle On My Mind
Side D

You Are My Sunshine
You’ll Never Walk Alone
The Man Comes Around
My Mother’s Hymn Book

Side A

Where We’ll Never Grow Old
I Shall Not Be Moved
I Am A Pilgrim
Do Lord
When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder
If We Never Meet Again This Side Of Heaven
I’ll Fly Away
Where The Soul Of Man Never Dies
Side B

Let The Lower Lights Be Burning
When He Reached Down
In The Sweet By And By
I’m Bound For The Promised Land
In The Garden
Softly And Tenderly
Just As I Am
Best Of Cash On American

Side A

Delia’s Gone
Bird On A Wire
Side B

The One Rose (That’s Left In My Heart)
Rusty Cage
Southern Accents
The Mercy Seat
Side C

Solitary Man
Wayfaring Stranger
I Hung My Head
Side D

The Man Comes Around
We’ll Meet Again