By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated September 18, 2003 10:20 AM
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Just as it happened after Elvis’s death in 1977, sales for the last album from 71-year-old country legend Johnny Cash have soared since his death of respiratory failure last Friday, according to the latest SoundScan album charts.

Launch.com reports that Cash’s Grammy-winning “The Man Comes Around” jumped 72 spots to No. 22 this week, bringing the grand sales figure to nearly 600,000 copies — the Man in Black’s most impressive numbers in decades.

Meanwhile, sales of “Essential Johnny Cash,” a best-of compilation, are also picking up, with the title about to re-enter the charts.

Launch also notes that sales of Warren Zevon’s final CD, “Wind,” which features contributions from Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty and Don Henley, have also been on the upswing since Zevon’s death, on Sept. 7 at age 56.

Meanwhile, in other music news, the Beatles’ Apple Corps label announced Thursday that a new version of the Fab Four’s 1969 album “Let It Be” will be released Nov. 17.

As Reuters reports, “Let It Be … Naked,” as it will be called, strips the original album of Phil Spector’s lavish production effects, returning to Paul McCartney’s basic idea for the recording.

“This is the noise we made in the studio,” McCartney said of the new version. “It’s exactly as it was in the room. You’re right there now.”

For the most part, “Let It Be … Naked” will retain the same track listing as the original album, which featured songs “Let It Be,” “The Long and Winding Road,” “Get Back” and “Across the Universe.”

Missing from the new version will be background dialogue, “Dig It” and “Maggie Mae,” while “Don’t Let Me Down” will be added, says Apple Corps.