JOHNNY CASH "UNCHAINED"
ENGLAND IMPORT AMERICAN RECORDINGS LABEL
*** NM 9/10 ***
After 1994's American Recordings revitalized Johnny Cash's career, he and producer Rick Rubin had to come up with an encore, and in some respects 1996's Unchained was the sort of album many were expecting American Recordings to be. Instead of the solo acoustic approach of American Recordings, Unchained paired Cash with a noted rock band Rubin had worked with in the past -- Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, whose roots-conscious style and Southern heritage would seemingly make them compatible with the Man in Black. There's no arguing that Petty and his band sound fully committed on Unchained and deliver uniformly heartfelt and expert performances. However, part of what made American Recordings so effective was the opportunity to hear Cash's emotionally forceful vocals with only the most minimal accompaniment, and as good as the Heartbreakers are, in their presence Cash sounds a bit more restrained and less willing to push himself. Also, while having Cash cover Glenn Danzig's "Thirteen" worked unexpectedly well on American Recordings, taking on Beck and Soundgarden doesn't fare nearly as well here, and Cash's version of "Memories Are Made of This" may have been a better match in theory, but it doesn't quite make it in practice. But there are more than a few triumphant moments on this disc, including inspired recuts of "Country Boy" and "Mean Eyed Cat," a dignified and deeply felt interpretation of Petty's "Southern Accents," and a rollicking tear through "I've Been Everywhere" for the finale. If Unchained didn't seem like an event or an instant classic like its immediate predecessor, it confirmed Cash was still a vital artist with plenty of life in him, no mean feat for a man of 64 who'd been making records for more than 40 years. (AMDB)
Johnny Cash – Unchained
Label: American Recordings – 51011 2793-1
Series: The American Recordings – 2
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: UK Released: 1996
A1 Rowboat 3:43
A2 Sea Of Heartbreak 2:42
A3 Rusty Cage 2:48
A4 The One Rose (That's Left In My Heart) 2:26
A5 Country Boy 2:31
A6 Memories Are Made Of This 2:19
A7 Spiritual 5:06
B1 The Kneeling Drunkard's Plea 2:31
B2 Southern Accents 4:41
B3 Mean Eyed Cat 2:32
B4 Meet Me In Heaven 3:21
B5 I Never Picked Cotton 2:38
B6 Unchained 2:52
B7 I've Been Everywhere 3:17
Phonographic Copyright (p) – American Recordings, LLC
Copyright (c) – American Recordings, LLC
Manufactured By – Rhino UK
Marketed By – Rhino UK
Bass – Flea (tracks: A7)
Bass, Guitar – Howie Epstein
Drums, Percussion – Curt Bisquera (tracks: A7, B1), Steve Ferrone (tracks: A1 to A6, B3, B5, B7)
Engineer [Additional] – David Ferguson
Engineer [Assistant] – Eddie Miller, Greg Fidelman, John Ewing*, Michael Stock
Engineer, Mixed By – Sylvia Massy
Guitar – Lindsay Buckingham* (tracks: A2)
Guitar, Bass – Marty Stuart (tracks: A1, A4, A5, B3, B4, B6, B7)
Guitar, Bass, Mandolin, Other [Dobro] – Mike Campbell
Mastered By – Eddy Schreyer, Gene Grimaldi
Percussion – Juliet Prater (tracks: A3), Mick Fleetwood (tracks: A2)
Piano, Organ [B3], Organ [Vox Continental], Harmonium, Keyboards [Chamberlin] – Benmont Tench
Producer – Rick Rubin
Vocals, Guitar – Johnny Cash
Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Keyboards [Chamberlin] – Tom Petty
Comes with b&w printed lyric/photo inner sleeve.
Marty Stuart appears courtesy of MCA Records Inc.
Tom Petty and The Heartbrakers, Flea and Mick Fleetwood appear courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc.
Lindsay Buckingham appears courtesy of Reprise Records
Recorded during 1995 and 1996 at Akademie Mathematique of Philosophical Sound Research, Hollywood, CA; Sound City, Van Nuys, CA; Oceanway Recording, Hollywood, CA; NRG Recording, North Hollywood, CA; and Cowboy's Arms Hotel and Recording Spa, Nashville, Tennessee
Matrix / Runout: 5101 127931 A-1
Matrix / Runout: 5101 127931 B-1
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