Thursday, April 18, 2019

Sheryl Crow released “Redemption Day” duet with Johnny Cash

Redemption Day

Sheryl Crow with Johnny Cash

Writer(s):Sheryl Crow (see lyrics here)

Released: April 18, 2019

First Charted: --

Peak: --

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 1.34 video, -- streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

I’ve joked for years that the biggest artists don’t let little inconveniences like death prevent them from releasing new music. Johnny Cash was no exception. When he died in 2003, he was in the midst of a phenomenal career renaissance. He’d released four albums with the Rick Rubin-helmed American Recordings label. The collections were built around stripped-down covers of unexpected songs. In the final months of his life, he recorded sessions which led to two posthumous releases – American : A Hundred Highways (2006) and American VI: Ain’t No Grave (2010).

The latter included a cover of Sheryl Crow’s “Redemption Day,” a song she featured on her self-titled 1996 album. According to Crow, Cash told her, “This will be the cornerstone of my next record. It’s important right now.” EW She told Southern Living magazine “Having Johnny Cash record one of my songs was my biggest accomplishment as a songwriter…Talk about bringing weight to a song. He owned it.” SF

Cash’s version was more “about personal redemption” while Crow’s original recording was about “personal redemption.” SF She wrote it as a protest to the Bosnian War after she visiting the country on a USO trip with Hilary and Chelsea Clinton. WK1 She was struck by the suffering of the people and the question of why the United States invested in some countries, but not others. SF

After the Cash version was released, Crow incorporated his vocals and footage of him into her on-stage performance of the song. She said, “I felt like I couldn’t deny the importance of him being heard.” EW When she was preparing what she claimed would be her last studio album (2019’s Threads) she decided to include a newly-recorded version of the song which incorporated Cash’s vocals. She noted what an outspoken American he was and thought he’d be proud of the new version, as the song’s ultimate message is about being “better caretakers of our planet and each other.” EW


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First posted 5/7/2020; last updated 12/18/2023.

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