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on 22 March 2014
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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#1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERon 20 March 2014
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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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.
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on 6 March 2017
The most recognisable name in music, of all denominations, has to be the great Johnny Cash. I bought my first Johnny Cash record way back in the early fifties and just into my teens, after being brought up listening to my older sisters country music collection, and I am still buying his music today. It's difficult to select a favourite album from his long and varied recording career starting with Sam Phillips at the Sun studios, but he was so much more than, Walk The Line, I Got Stripes, Five Feet High And Rising, the songs that put him on track for an amazing recording career, and gave so much pleasure to all music lovers everywhere. Albums like, The Fabulous Johnny Cash, Songs Of Our Soil, Ride This Train, Orange Blossom Special, Ring Of Fire, Folsom Prison, San Quinten, to name but a few, will long be remembered for generations to come. When 'Out Among The Stars' was released as new / forgotten songs, It was a must have, and I was not disappointed. I thinks its one of his best, I love all the songs, Its a pity 'I'm Moving On' a duet featuring the great Waylon Jennings, was cut short, and played to a fade out, Its a great song. Hope this review was helpful.
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VINE VOICETOP 1000 REVIEWERon 31 March 2014
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 17 April 2014
As a lifelong JC fan, anything new by him is going to catch my attention. The American recordings in particular were a wonderful addition to the canon, but were tinged with sadness by the last couple of releases as Cash's voice failed along with his health, making listening a bittersweet experience. Out Among the Stars by contrast presents an artist at the peak of his powers, vocally and creatively.

The songs on offer are a solid mix of Cash's preferred topics; love and loss, faith, struggles against an uncaring world and celebration of the ordinary man all make appearances here, along with a good dash of humour. The whole package feels like a big hug from a better time and leaves the listener feeling both upbeat and grateful for the chance to hear Cash on top form one more time. If we're very lucky and the album sells as well as I expect it to, maybe there will be further releases of such excellent archive material. If not, this is the best way to cap his recorded output, with the Man in Black going out on a high.

The only (slight) niggle is the entirely superfluous 'bonus' track, an Elvis Costello produced remix of She Used to Love Me a Lot, which appears to believe that adding distorted guitars which sound as though they have been recorded in a sewer pipe over a sub-reggae beat somehow improves an already great track. It doesn't. I promise that you'll listen to this once and subsequent plays will get along quite nicely without it.

A great album by a great artist. Recommended.
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on 31 March 2014
"Out Among The Stars" is a previously unreleased album by country icon Johnny Cash, who died in 2003 at the age of 71. John Carter Cash found his father's lost recordings, that were recorded in the early ‘80s and originally produced by Billy Sherrill, while combing through the family archives. With none of the twelve songs heard anywhere before as performed by Johnny, and the sound and production technology brought to modern standards, this album is an absolute must for fans of the legendary "Man In Black."

The album-opener “Out Among The Stars” starts out with the famous Johnny Cash train-track rhythm and his deep baritone singing about crime and retribution, and instantly became my favorite on this album. Other highlights are the ballad “She Used To Love Me A Lot,” the bluegrass duet with June Carter Cash "Don't You Think It's Come Our Time" and "I Came To Believe," a track with some gospel influences. Other personal favorites are the catchy “I’m Moving On” which is a duet with Waylon Jennings, the darkly humorous "I Drove Her Out Of My Mind" and the even more fun “If I Told You Who It Was.”

So, some 30 years after these sessions were originally recorded, we get to - posthumously - enjoy a great record and the fact that this was shelved – and forgotten - is surprising as these songs show that Cash was in the prime of his voice and thus the album “Out Among The Stars” is a great final legacy of “The Man In Black."
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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!
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on 5 April 2014
Firstly, let me tell you, this review is from a true Country music fan who has many Cash albums in their collections.

When i bought this new 'Cash' album, it was with some trepidation as the reviews have ranged from the euphoric to the downright negative, and, even nasty.

This collection of previously unreleased tracks of Johnny Cash is a masterpiece. It is as good as any album released during Cash's lifetime and a number of the tracks would surely have been hit singles had they been recorded and released in the 60s or 70s. Cash's voice is as fine and powerful as ever and he really sounds as if he's having a ball singing them.

The duet with June Carter Cash 'Baby Ride Easy', 'I Drove Her Out Of My Mind' and 'I Came To Believe' are particular favourites of mine.

Rumour has it- i don't know if its true or not- that the reason these tracks remained unrelased for over 30 years is that some record company executives didn't think they were good enough to release. If that is true, then there really are some people out there in the wrong job as they certainly don't understand good music.

If you're a Johnny Cash fan, trust me, buy this- you'll love it!. Let's hope there are more unreleased tracks waiting for us.
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#1 HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERon 25 June 2014
The public had been led to believe that Billy Sherrill only produced one album for Johnny Cash (The baron, in 1981). In fact, he also produced a second album in 1984 but Columbia chose not to release it. That album is the basis of this release, although it also features two tracks recorded for The baron (Tennessee, Don't you think it's come our time) but omitted from it. There is also an alternative version of one of the 1984 songs (She used to love me a lot) produced by Elvis Costello.

Most of the songs were new to me when I bought the album, but I recognized Baby ride easy (here recorded by Johnny and June, but originally recorded by Dave Edmunds and June's daughter Carlene) and I'm movin' on (the Hank Snow classic) revived as a duet featuring Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings.

This is a great album all the way through, although I particularly like the title track, I drove her out of my mind and the duet with June, Don't you think it's come our town.

The album is great in its own right, but this special edition features a bonus CD of Johnny's music The Classics. That is a very strong collection of Johnny's music from his years with Columbia, which I have reviewed separately.
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