‘Stars’ out of reach for Johnny Cash’s lost album

By Pat Quinn

Johnny Cash’s newest album, “Out Among the Stars,” doesn’t quite do it for this Cash fan.

Cash passed away 11 years ago, but record company Legacy had an archive of recordings done in the 80’s that it used to make “Out Among the Stars.” While most of the album’s songs are forgettable, there are a few I wouldn’t mind listening to again.

“Out Among the Stars”

The first track is a major disappointment.

The idea behind the song is strong, but it’s poorly executed with weak lyrics. Cash doesn’t sing but rather talks to the listener in meter. At the end of the song, a choir jumps in and the song goes from being not so great to absolutely terrible. “Out Among the Stars” sets the tone of this easygoing country album for most of the remaining tracks.

“Baby Ride Easy”

“Baby Ride Easy” brings back the vintage Cash and is the best song on the album. It has a traditional finger-snapping, acoustic guitar feel. The more important aspect of the song is it features Cash’s wife, June Carter Cash. The balance of vocals between husband and wife brings back the memories of listening to their song, “Jackson.” It highlights the connection between the two artists and allows the music to glide underneath them.

“I’m Movin’ On”

“I’m Moving On” is the second and only other decent track on “Out Among the Stars.”

This song features country music singer Waylon Jennings, which adds a little more pizazz. The keyboard part has classic country-rock bounce, making listeners want to dance. It’s a shame the better tracks of the album, such as “I’m Moving On,” are the shortest. This song is barely longer than three minutes.


“Tennessee” justifies the album’s existence. At the time this album was recorded, Cash was around 50 years old. He was having a hard time with his drug addiction and his personal life because this song reflects that. His lyrics aren’t as catchy. Cash sings about picking flowers and about living the lazy life. The stories he tells with his older songs tell listeners of Cash falling in love, drinking, abusing drugs and playing country rock. Those themes are nowhere to be found in this song or the rest of the album.