Johnny Cash‘s son, John Carter Cash, has said that he has several albums’ worth of unreleased recordings by the Man in Black in his archive, as well as enough outtakes from his father’s “American Recordings” sessions with producer Rick Rubin to fill another multi-disc box set.
“There are a few things that are in the works right now – probably four or five albums if we wanted to release everything,” John Carter Cash told The Guardian. “There may be three or four albums’ worth of American Recordings stuff, but some of it may never see the light of day.” Out Among the Stars, the posthumous Cash album recorded in the Eighties, was released this week and is currently streaming online.
Since Cash’s death in 2003, Rubin has released two posthumous albums, American V: A Hundred Highways in 2006 and American VI: Ain’t No Grave in 2010. Cash and Rubin had begun working together in the early Nineties, and the country trailblazer’s first record on Rubin’s American Recordings label – an LP also titled American Recordings, released in 1994 – helped revitalize his career. It was his first album to chart in the Billboard 200 since 1976.
Two months after Cash’s death, American released a five-disc box set, Unearthed, which contained outtakes and alternate versions of songs from the first four “American Recordings” albums, as well as a disc of gospel songs; it has since been certified gold. When American V came out, it claimed the Number One spot on the Billboard 200. A Bootleg series of Cash’s live albums have come out since his death, as has expanded “legacy” versions of his official live albums from the Sixties, At Folsom Prison and At San Quentin.
“We released the work we had been planning to release along with John [Carter Cash] and the idea of the Unearthed box set of outtakes was his idea,” Rubin told The Guardian. “We will probably put out additional Unearthed material recorded since the last Unearthed box, in keeping with John’s wishes.”
Out Among the Stars contains 12 previously unreleased Cash recordings from sessions in 1981 and 1984. They include duets with June Carter Cash and Waylon Jennings, but after the country star’s label at the time scrapped the recordings, they languished in a vault until 2012 when John Carter Cash uncovered the tapes. “We were like, my goodness, this is a beautiful record that nobody has ever heard,” John Carter Cash told the Associated Press in 2013. “Johnny Cash is in the very prime of his voice for his lifetime. He’s pitch-perfect.”