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The Beast In Me by Johnny Cash

Album: American RecordingsReleased: 1994
  • This was written by Johnny Cash's former stepson-in-law Nick Lowe. The English singer-songwriter originally recorded the song on his 1994 The Impossible Bird album, but he had the song in his locker for years previously.
  • Lowe told Mojo April 2009 about Cash's version of his song: "He came round to hear it with his entourage and it wasn't really finished. I was so embarrassed to play him this song with his roadies, nannies and June (Carter Cash) crammed into our little sitting room that I never wanted to hear this song ever again. But he said that it was a really good idea - but not quite right. The problem was that the first verse was so great and says absolutely everything: you try and take it somewhere else and it doesn't want to go: it sounds like a thin version of what you've already said. One time he was playing at the Albert Hall, and he'd always call me and get me to come and do a tune with him. I had really mixed feelings about this. On the one hand I was ever so pleased and proud that, even though me and Carlene weren't together any more, we were still friends. On the other hand, I was a Johnny Cash fan and I knew how I would feel if I'd gone to see him at the Albert Hall and some bloomin' bloke who you could see for two bob down the road got up with him; get this guy off! I told him this, and he couldn't believe it, laughed his head off-it sounded like distant thunder! Nonetheless, he said, 'It's too late now, you've got to get up and do a couple of tunes.' That was the last time. He also asked about The Beast In Me, and for some reason something clicked and the thing just rolled out-12 years after he'd first heard it. I recorded it very basically, the version on The Impossible Bird, and sent it to him. When he sent me a copy of American Recordings I was absolutely thrilled. It really is a good song, and the fact that he dug it so much is something to be really proud of."
  • This song played over the closing credits of the pilot episode of the HBO TV series The Sopranos.
  • American Recordings was ranked #364 in Rolling Stone Magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums.
  • American Recordings won the award for Best Contemporary Folk Album of the Year at the 1994 Grammy Awards.
  • The dogs photographed on the American Recordings album sleeve were called Tess (on the left) and Ted (on the right).
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