Without Love

Nick Lowe covers Johnny Cash’s classic, “Without Love.” This is one of those rare instances when I think I prefer the cover to the original. Cash’s version is just a little too morose for me, but YMMV.

Love you all, readers and commenters! (Well, most of you, anyway.) I’m off to a conference tomorrow at an insanely early hour. I’ll check in if I can, but I’ve got lots of conferencing to do in just 36 hours or so.

0 thoughts on “Without Love

  1. Well, since Nick Lowe wrote the song, I don’t think it’s fair to call his version the “cover.” Johnny Cash was at one time NL’s father-in-law and he recorded a couple of Lowe songs, possibly even before NL did. I’d call Cash’s version the cover…


  2. Just wondering if there is any version of any song performed by Cash that wouldn’t qualify as morose?

    Maybe a few here or there, but I love that dark, freight-train steamin’ quality to his music. He is the man in black, after all.


  3. Holly–I’ve heard that before about Lowe, but I’ve never found any documentation on the Lowe-Cash relationship (online, anyway. I’ve never made it the focus of any serious research.) Was he married to Rosanne Cash? That’s the version of the tale I’ve heard before.

    I didn’t realize that Lowe might have recorded it before Cash–and I always had the impression that Cash’s recording predated Lowe’s.


  4. For anyone interested in Cash, can I offer a quick plug for my colleague Leigh Edwards’s book _Johnny Cash and the Paradox of American Identity_?


    Historiann, if it’s not cool with you to put such plugs and links in the comments, I won’t be offended if you delete it. It’s your blog, after all!

    I don’t know if Leigh talks about the Cash / Lowe thing–I read it a while ago, and I just can’t remember–but it’s a fine book.


  5. Lowe was married to Carlene Carter, June Carter Cash’s daughter, Johnny’s step-daughter, and Roseanne’s half-sister. Roseanne was married to Rodney Crowell. Their break-up became the fodder for Crowell’s album Diamonds and Dirt which is the country equivalent to Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors. A painful masterpiece about love and loss. I am under the impression that Lowe and Cash did not like each other much. Crowell and Cash, however, remained great friends even after the break-up of the marriage. When I saw Roseanne Cash on a double bill with Lyle Lovett years ago at the Tower, she told a funny story about how men form alliances. When she told her dad she was getting a divorce he told her, “you know that won’t change Rodney and me goin’ fishin’, right?” She then kicked into “Woman is smarter” by way of “I don’t care if this song was written by some damn man.” Great show.


  6. Funny, I think this cut of Lowe’s song is closer to the Johnny cash cover than Lowe’s original, which I always felt was too poppy (not that it wasn’t a great song) Maybe age and experience has something to do with whether one is fearing or experiencing the “without” part of the song.


  7. Ah, the Tower. Saw Emmylou Harris there one time, back in the wayback. Philly has (had) such a great range of venues. Like the Keswick Theatre on the northburban side of town. Was the Main Point still running when you were at Bryn Mawr, Historiann? I saw Commander Cody there, who was dating one of my housemates, and who was a mild mannered guy named “George” when he came by the house. Sorry for the side-riff…


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