Out Among the Stars

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Out Among the Stars
A black-and-white photograph of Cash dressed in black with a guitar slung around his back. The title and artist are written on top of the cover.
Studio album by Johnny Cash
Released March 25, 2014 (2014-03-25)
Recorded 1981, Columbia Studios, Nashville, Tennessee, United States and 1984, 1111 Sound Studios, Los Angeles, California, United States, with additional recording sessions in 2013
Genre Country
Length 36:37
Language English
Label Legacy Recordings
Producer Billy Sherrill
Compiler John Carter Cash
Johnny Cash chronology
Johnny Cash: The Complete Columbia Album Collection
(2012)
Out Among the Stars
(2014)
Singles from Out Among the Stars
  1. "She Used to Love Me a Lot"
    Released: March 11, 2014 (2014-03-11)[1]

Out Among the Stars is a posthumous studio album from Johnny Cash, released through Legacy Recordings on March 25, 2014. The recordings come from lost 1980s sessions with famed countrypolitan producer Billy Sherrill which were shelved by Cash's record company, Columbia and discovered by Cash's son John Carter Cash in 2012.[2] Cash also recorded the 1981 album The Baron with Sherrill in an attempt to turn around his dismal album sales but the strategy did not work, leaving his record executives eager to dump him.[3]

Release and promotion[edit]

The album was preceded by the single "She Used to Love Me a Lot" with a b-side remix of the song from Elvis Costello.[1]

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Prior to its release, Stereogum named it one of the most anticipated albums of 2014.[4]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine wrote that Billy Sherrill "winds up simply sweetening Johnny without changing his core sound. He added that the album "is generally chipper and bright" and "one of Cash's stronger '80s albums", ultimately rating it 3.5 stars out of 5.[5]

Rob Tannembaum's review in Rolling Stone mentions Cash's fading star power in the early 80s amidst the "Urban Cowboy fad." Tannembaum gives the album 3.5 stars out of 5 writing "You might expect Out Among the Stars—a set of unreleased songs he cut with Sherrill in 1981 and 1984 – to be a contract-fulfilling sleepwalk. (Cash put out several mostly mediocre LPs in those years, but left this material unfinished; it was discovered after his death.) Instead, it proves that even at his most uninterested, Cash couldn't help but make a record with weight, moral complexity and grim humor."[6]

Commercial performance[edit]

Released on March 25, 2014, Out Among the Stars debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums charts, selling 54,000 copies its first week.[7][8] As of June 29, 2014, the album has sold 149,000 copies in the United States.[9]

In the UK, the album debuted at No. 4 in the album chart. The album has sold 63,700 copies in the UK as of July 2014.[10]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Out Among the Stars" (Adam Mitchell) – 3:02
  2. "Baby Ride Easy" (Richard Dobson) – 2:43
  3. "She Used to Love Me a Lot" (Kye Fleming, Dennis Morgan, and Charles Quillen) – 3:11
  4. "After All" (Charles Cochran and Sandy Mason) – 2:47[5]
  5. "I'm Movin' On" (Hank Snow) – 3:09
  6. "If I Told You Who It Was" (Bobby Braddock, Curly Putman) – 3:05
  7. "Call Your Mother" (Cash) – 3:17
  8. "I Drove Her Out of My Mind" (Gary Gentry, Hillman Hall) – 3:01
  9. "Tennessee" (Rick Scott) – 3:27
  10. "Rock and Roll Shoes" (Paul Kennerley, Graham Lyle) – 2:41
  11. "Don't You Think It's Come Our Time" (Tommy Collins) – 2:17
  12. "I Came to Believe" (Cash) – 3:29
  13. "She Used to Love Me a Lot" (JC/EC Version) (Kye Fleming, Dennis Morgan, and Charles Quillen) – 3:23

Chart performance[edit]