Thursday, December 17, 2015

Previously Unheard Johnny Cash Live Album Scheduled for March Release

Artist: Johnny Cash
Album: Unchained in a Rusty Cage: New York Broadcast 1996
Label: Zip City
Release date: March 11, 2016

In a career in which two key live albums helped define his career, Johnny Cash's use of that recording medium is as important as any other artist in history. Several live authorized "bootleg" albums have been released to successful commercial appeal since his passing as well. Now Cash fans will have a newly unearthed live performance album to add to their collection of projects. In the midst of his Rick Rubin-produced American Recordings resurgence, this new album recorded in 1996 in a New York club performance features a couple of songs from his Unchained album.

After Columbia Records dropped Johnny Cash from his contract in 1986 - a record company with whom Johnny had recorded since 1957 - it may have appeared to many that the career of this legendary country performer and composer was all but over. Indeed, Cash had not made a successful album for the best part of a decade prior to this point and the trend continued when he signed a short deal with Mercury in 1987 - a label for whom he made a string of equally unsuccessful records between then and 1991. In 1993 though, Cash sang 'The Wanderer' on U2's album Zooropa, bringing him to the attention of a younger audience and following this, although no longer sought after by major labels, he was offered a contract with producer Rick Rubin's American Recordings label, which had recently been rebranded from Def American, under which name it was better known for rap and hard rock. Under Rubin's supervision, Johnny recorded American Recordings (1994) in his living room, accompanied only by his Martin Dreadnought guitar - one of many Cash played throughout his career. The album featured covers of contemporary artists selected by Rubin and received much critical and commercial success, winning a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album. Cash wrote that his reception at the 1994 Glastonbury Festival was one of the highlights of his career, and the album was the beginning of a decade of music industry accolades and commercial success. In 1996, Cash enlisted the accompaniment of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and released Unchained (also known as American Recordings II), which won the Best Country Album Grammy in 1998. The album was again produced by Rubin with Sylvia Massy and recorded at Sound City Studios, featuring guest appearances by Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood and Marty Stuart.

Unchained in a Rusty Cage: New York Broadcast 1996 Tracklisting:

  1. Folsom Prison Blues
  2. Get Rhythm
  3. Sunday Morning Coming Down
  4. Ghost Riders In The Sky
  5. Oh, Bury Me Not (Introduction: A Cowboy'S Prayer)
  6. I Never Picked Cotton
  7. Unchained
  8. Rowboat
  9. Rusty Cage
  10. Southern Accents
  11. Memories Are Made Of This
  12. Ring Of Fire
  13. I Walk The Line
  14. Big River
  15. I Still Miss Someone
  16. Orange Blossom Special
  17. Far Side Banks Of Jordan

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