|2. SEA OF HEARTBREAK|
|3. RUSTY CAGE|
|4. THE ONE ROSE (That's Left In My Heart)|
|5. COUNTRY BOY|
|6. MEMORIES ARE MADE OF THIS|
|8. THE KNEELING DRUNKARD'S PLEA|
|9. SOUTHERN ACCENTS|
|10. MEAN EYED CAT|
|11. MEET ME IN HEAVEN|
|12. I NEVER PICKED COTTON|
|14. I'VE BEEN EVERYWHERE|
"Unchained" picks up where "American Recordings" left off, only this time Cash is given a veritable "Who's who" of backing musicians (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Lindsey Buckingham and Mick Fleetwood, former Duran Duran sideman Steve Ferrone, Red Hot Chili Pepper bassist Flea, as well as the Nashville axe slinger Marty Stuart who got his start as a touring guitarist with Cash ages prior) well-equipped to support a sublime choice of material (a Dean Martin standard given a lovely solo treatment that would be at home on "American Recordings", a grunge anthem from Soundgarden that Chris Cornell couldn't have either recognized or exceeded, Petty's own "Southern Accents", which sounds as though it was written for Cash all along, as well as the talking blues highwayman classic "I've Been Everywhere" and a redux of old Sun Records-era Cash originals "Mean-Eyed Cat" and "Country Boy").
This album just cranks from start to finish...Alternative/Indie god Beck's "Rowboat" sounds like it's been a country standard for decades, and those songs that actually HAVE ("The One Rose" and "Sea Of Heartbreak") sound as though they could have been written exclusively for this album.Read more ›
This was the second album Johnny and Rick recorded together and it contains many of the elements you expect from them. Tom Petty and his band provided the musical backing - and they certainly did a good job.
There are some stunning covers including Sea of heartbreak (Don Gibson), Rusty cage (Soundgarden), Memories are made of this (Dean Martin), Southern accents (Tom Petty) and I've been everywhere (Hank Snow). Actually, most of the songs are covers and they are all excellent.
There is a new version of Mean eyed cat, a song Johnny wrote and recorded in the fifties. In the liner notes, Johnny says that the original version was unfinished, but was released anyway, so he finally completed the song more than forty years later. Johnny also wrote Country boy and Meet me in heaven.
Johnny has a long and varied recording career behind him, but this is one album that appeals to both country fans and rock fans. It has that indefinable something that cuts across musical preconceptions. Regardless of your own musical preferences, forget your preconceptions about country music and enjoy this excellent album.