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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 3 April 2014
I've been a Johnny Cash fan for over 50 years, so I was excited to hear of this "lost" album. So often albums of songs that have been 'discovered' are disappointing and sub standard. Not this one! The songs are great, the backing instrumentalists are great and Johnny Cash is absolutely 'on the button'. He has rarely sounded better. If you like Johnny Cash, go buy this album. You won't be disappointed. If you're not familiar with Johnny Cash, have a listen. You won't regret it!
11 Comment| 42 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Out Among The Stars is an album compiled from tracks recorded during sessions in 1981 and 1984. Produced by Billy Sherrill, who had produced The Baron (Cash's 1981 album) the songs were rejected by Columbia and have remained unreleased until now.

Although Cash's son, John Carter Cash, has been keen to insist this is a proper album, rather than a collection of outtakes, there's no evidence to suggest that a tracklisting was put together at the time - so which songs would have made the grade must be a matter of speculation. Having said that, the tracks do flow well and it does feel like a coherent record.

Some work had to be done though, as certain songs were unfinished. So guitar solos have been added, although these are seamless and in keeping with the original production, which is pretty sparse and uncluttered.

Highlights include the duet with Waylon Jennings on "I'm Movin' On." The brief snippet of studio chatter before the song begins illustrates that this was an off-the-cuff recording. Jennings turned up unannounced to the sessions one day and Cash decided on the spot to record this duet. It's a shame that it fades out just as it seems to get started, but presumably the take broke down shortly afterwards.

There's a couple of nice duets with June Carter Cash, of which "Baby Ride Easy" is the better of the two. Another quality song is "She Used To Love Me A Lot", although not a Cash original it has a theme that is perfectly suited to him - and like many of the songs he covered, Cash makes it his own. Although the Elvis Costello remix of the song, included as a bonus track, doesn't really work and is is an unnecessary addition to the album.

Running for around 40 minutes, this is a pretty strong collection of material that can certainly sit alongside his better albums from the 1980's and 1990's. It has a little bit of everything with a mixture of lyrical themes - some dark and some more light-hearted. Put simply, this sounds like a man who was making the music he wanted to make, although it obviously wasn't what his record label wanted, which was a pity. But with at least one more album of unreleased songs to follow, it seems that we've yet to hear all the Man in Black has to offer. Recommended.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 31 March 2014
This previously unreleased album from 1983, re-discovered after 30 years by John Carter-Cash captures Johnny at his vibrant best.

The album contains songs that are echoes of classic albums from 10 years or so previously and also some songs that would fit into the American series some 10 to 19 years later.

This is no "outtakes" album it is a genuine studio album with great sound, benefitting in no doubt from modern day re-mastering.

Why unreleased at the time? Probably due to a perception of not being "cool" at that time. Looking at this with the knowledge of history demonstrates how wrong and perhaps irrelevant the notion of being "cool" or "on trend" is with regards to music. The important element is the quality, does it tell a story, does it make you tap your feet, does it do so without being cheesy, are real instruments being played as opposed to synthesised? These are factors that make timeless, quality popular music.

All the songs are great. Here are a few that I particularly enjoyed:

"I'm Movin' On" is given a great interpretation by Johnny featuring Waylon Jennings. This is a song that Elvis fans will be aware of from his classic 1969 album "From Elvis In Memphis".

"If I Told You Who It Was", is a classic piece of Johnny Cash comedy, storytelling about a fan who is invited by a female country star to change her punctured car tyre, leading to a romantic encounter.

"I Came To Believe" is a definite look forward to the style of the American Recordings with its theme of redemption.

Another track that could easily find a place on one of those latter day, celebrated albums is "She Used To Love Me A Lot", which captures Johnny in a moment of reflection.

This album deserves to finally get it's release and I hope that it is appreciated and gains success.

I am pleased to note that this has reached No. 4 in the UK, No. 3 on US Pop and No. 1 on US Country. So, timeless quality prevails.
0Comment| 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
This is a fine Johnny Cash album. I'm very relieved to be able to say that, because previously rejected and rediscovered material might have turned out to be a load of substandard stuff cobbled together just to make money, but this is nothing of the kind. It's vintage Cash and his voice in particular is in terrific form here.

Johnny's son John Carter Cash discovered these master tapes while cataloguing his parents' recordings. It is material recorded in 1981 but rejected by the studio, presumably because it was unfashionable at the time. Now, it sounds just great - a mixture of pure country, Rock & Roll, ballads, comic songs and driving rockers, all with that inimitable Johnny Cash sound. His band is excellent, his wife June Carter Cash duets with him on two tracks and Waylon Jennings appears on one, but it's Johnny's vocals that really make this for me. He sounds simply fantastic, hitting every note smack in the middle even on the live recordings, phrasing everything perfectly, giving every song exactly the right meaning and tone, and hitting some of those spine-tingling low notes which made me fall in love with his music as a young boy over half a century ago.

I don't know whether any individual track here is a strong enough song to end up as a classic, but as a collection it's terrific. The opener is the title track, a powerful song about a desperate boy committing "suicide by police," but it's followed by the duet Baby Ride Easy with June, which just makes me smile and tap my feet. If I Told You Who It Was is an out-and-out comic song, delivered with exactly the right blend of heroic seriousness and knowing twinkle in the eye, I'm Moving On is just a great Country drifter's song...and so on. It's just a hugely enjoyable, varied album of good songs performed to perfection by a master at the top of his game.

I won't bang on any longer. The long and short of it is that this is Johnny Cash on top form. It's a delight to hear this material now that it has been unearthed and if you like Johnny Cash, you'll like this. A lot. Very, very warmly recommended.
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I have been a Johnny Cash fan for a long long time and it is because of him I love Country music. I have many of his albums in my collection from the beginning to the end of his career. I did not believe that there would be an album of new material and if there was, I thought it would be from his last record label. His last few albums were powerful but a difficult listen. He was not well, he was not in good voice and was nearing the end of his life. Raw and emotional but not fun. This album is Cash in very good voice at his best. It is a Cash who is cheerful and enjoying life. It is a Cash who is on form. Perhaps none of the songs on this album will become classics and perhaps this album is not a classic but it is entertaining and it is a great listen. It is fun (not something that could be said of the American Recordings) but still has its more serious and powerful moments. it has what one would expect in a Classic Cash album......the boom chick a boom sound, the booming deep voice, the gospel type number, the fun and the serious etc. Highlights include the duet with Waylon on the classic I'm Moving On. I drove her out of her mind and she used to love me a lot which is my favorite. Not a track to skip over. All good. The backing is modern and appropriate. A real treat and a wonderful surprise. Well worth buying if you are a Cash fan. Well worth buying if you simply like good music. Highly recommended. .
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on 1 April 2014
This really is a delightful listen. It contains 10 tracks recorded in 1984 and 2 from 1981 and as a bonus a remix of track 3 the David Allen Coe hit "She Used To Love Me A Lot" which is produced by Elvis Costello no less. In fact I probably found track 13 (the remix) the best track on this collection. However, overall it's very nice indeed and as John Carter Cash says in the sleeve notes intro Johnny is in soaring form. Only 2 tracks are Cash compositions but that certainly is no reason to put you off. The Mule.
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on 9 April 2014
I came rather late to the work of Johnny Cash but after listening to his recordings with Rick Rubin, I was advised to buy this last offering by a dear friend of mine.The man is such a legend & the item reasonably priced, I would recommend this cd to anyone who really likes music & you needn't be a country fan.
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on 1 April 2014
Having heard the single 'she used to love me a lot' played on Radio 2 i took a gamble and ordered the album. I was a little worried that it would contain a selection of sub standard material re hashed. I am pleased to say there's not a duff track on the album! Jonny Cash at his best.
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on 4 April 2014
Whoever consigned this one to the reject pile must have been stone deaf, this is Johnny Cash at his best, a treat to have some new music when the Man in Black has been gone so long. A great album!
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on 2 April 2014
I have been a Johnny Cash fan for over 50 years. Thank you John Carter Cash for finding this album it's a gem. I'm not too keen on the last track produced by Elvis Costello, would have been better without it.

Let's hope that John finds some more.
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