Life is full of little surprises. And with 2014 merely a few days old, it's certainly fun to read about surprises, especially when they may impact us in a good way. On March 25, Legacy Recordings will release a truly lost full album recording from Johnny Cash. The title of the album is Out Among the Stars. Here's the story behind it:
Back in the '80s, music began to change dramatically. A new generation of listeners was emerging. Their tolerance for the music of the '50s, '60s, and parts of the '70s were being replaced by the music of the late '70s and early '80s coming into full swing, bolstered by the popularity of MTV at the time. Many artists from the earlier periods were unable to gain a foothold. Many just gave it up. The competition was too severe and definitely ego-bruising.
Johnny Cash was one of these artists. With a flagging career, Columbia paired him with rising producer Billy Sherrill. After a time, the two completed an album that was expected to be released. That album was designed to bring a new audience to Cash, and not let the gap widen. Strangely, the album was shelved and forgotten.
Of course, that was a time when Johnny Cash was like any other artist. He was highly revered, but his time was passing. Eventually, he would move into "legend" status, but Out Among the Stars would not contribute to that designation.
Recently, Johnny Cash's son found the old recording and pulled it out to clean it up for a possible release. Once Columbia realized the the full album had been in the vaults, they elected to bring it to the fans who deserve everything that Johnny Cash has created, especially an unreleased complete album.
Out Among the Stars will contain 12 "new" songs, with the digital download version receiving a bonus extra track. It is important to emphasize that this is not an album of outtakes from any previous sessions, nor are they curio selections assembled to create an album to capitalize on Johnny Cash's name and status. This is an album of previously unreleased tracks that was recorded by Cash as an album in its own right. And that makes this album an important one.
Out Among the Stars, which will be released in CD, DD and LP formats, will contain Cash originals and a helping of covers that include Hank Snow's "I'm Moving On." Mark March 25 on your calendar if you're a serious Johnny Cash fan.