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Saturday, 5 November 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 310 - Johnny Cash - Unchained

American Recordings II: Unchained - Johnny Cash
Produced by Rick Rubin
Released 5th November 1996
US Chart #170
US Country Chart #26

    Johnny Cash - Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
    Tom Petty - Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Bass, Chamberlin
    Mike Campbell - Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Bass, Mandolin, Dobro
    Benmont Tench - Piano, Hammond B3 Organ, Vox Continental Organ, Harmonium, Chamberlin
    Howie Epstein - Acoustic Guitar, Bass
    Steve Ferrone - Drums & Percussion (1,2,3,4,5,6,10,12,14)
    Curt Bisquera - Drums & Percussion (7,8)
    Marty Stuart - Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Bass (1,4,5,10,11,12,13,14)
    Flea - Bass (7)
    Lindsey Buckingham - Acoustic Guitar (2)
    Mick Fleetwood - Percussion (2)
    Juliet Prater - Percussion (3)

No Singles were released from the album but there was a Promo CD
01. Rusty Cage - Johnny Cash
02. Rusty Cage - Soundgarden

Notes on American Recordings: Unchained
(The Links here are for the original songs and other recorded versions)
    Track 1:
Rowboat - Originally recorded by Beck for Stereopathetic Soulmanure (1994)

    Track 2:
Sea Of Heartbreak - Originally a hit single for Don Gibson (1961)

    Track 3:
Rusty Cage - Originally recorded by Soundgarden for Badmotorfinger (1991)

    Track 4:
The One Rose (That' Left In My Heart) - Originally recorded in 1930 by Jimmie Rodgers, also recorded by Larry Clinton, Bing Crosby, Art Kassel (all 3 in 1937), George Morgan, Hank Snow, and Michael Nesmith (1970), Jerry Lee Lewis (1976).

    Track 5: Country Boy - Originally recorded by Cash for Sun, appears on With His Hot and Blue Guitar (1957)

    Track 6:
Memories Are Made Of This - Originally a hit single by Dean Martin and The Easy Riders (1956)

    Track 7: Spiritual - Originally recorded by Spain for The Blue Moods of Spain (1995)

    Track 8:
The Kneeling Drunkard's Plea - Originally recorded by The Louvin Brothers for Satan Is Real (1959)

    Track 9:
Southern Accents - Originally recorded by Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers for Southern Accents (1985)

    Track 10:
Mean Eyed Cat - Originally recorded by Cash for Sun, appears on Sings Hank Williams (1960)

    Track 12:
I Never Picked Cotton - Originally recorded by Roy Clark for I Never Picked Cotton (1970)

    Track 13:
Unchained - Later recorded by Johnstone for Coming of Age (2002)

    Track 14:
I've Been Everywhere - Originally a hit single by Lucky Starr (1959) and Hank Snow (1962)


Despite not making a huge dent in the Billboard Charts American Recordings II: Unchained won the Grammy for The Best Country Album.

All of a sudden it seemed cool and trendy to listen to Johnny Cash again and lots of folks seemed to be discovering him for the first time. For me though I think I've heard the music of Johnny Cash since before I could even walk! His music seems to have been an ever present thing growing up and hardly a bad word was ever spoken about him. So I could hardly be called a bandwagon jumper when he seemed to have a fresh burst of success due to his teaming up with Rick Rubin. Plus I had purchased albums of his down through the years including those ones which were maybe not so good and even his bizzare concept albums as well.

The first album had been just Johnny Cash and his guitar but for the second in the series of American Recordings Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were pretty much his backing band with input from Flea (Red Hot Chilli Peppers), Lindsey Buckingham and Mick Fleetwood as well.

There's some great covers on this one, his 82nd Studio Album of his career! There's three Cash songs and a host of interesting stuff from Soundgarden's Rusty Cage to the amazing reading of The Carter Family's The Kneeling Drunkards Prayer (which I think is the best track on the album and was origianlly released by The Louvin Brothers in 1959 on the brilliant Satan is Real album). A tip of the hat as well to I've Been Everywhere, which I remember from the Hank Snow version from when I was a kid.


Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!
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