Out Among the Stars
The previously unreleased recordings on Out Among the Stars fill in a lost chapter in Johnny Cash’s career. Recorded between 1981 and 1984, the album’s tracks (produced by Nashville hitmaker Billy Sherrill) were rediscovered by Johnny’s son John Carter Cash in 2012. The music here captures the country legend in fine voice as he tempers his dark persona with a sense of gratitude and a touch of rowdy humor. Cash is in his best storytelling mode as he unreels a gritty morality tale in the title number and fantasizes about ending it all with a perverse twist in “I Drove Her Out of My Mind.” There are echoes of his wilder days in “I’m Movin’ On” (a duet with Waylon Jennings) and the rockabilly-slanted “Rock and Roll Shoes.” June Carter Cash joins Johnny on the lighthearted Western number “Baby Ride Easy” and the uplifting bluegrass tune “Don’t You Think It’s Come Our Time.” Cash honors his Southern roots in “Tennessee” and testifies to his sustaining faith in “I Came to Believe.” “She Used to Love Me a Lot” is the album’s standout, a moody narrative of love and regret in the classic Man in Black fashion.