Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Johnny Cash vs. Grunge

If you've followed my blog for any length of time you should know by now that I love Soundgarden and I'm not alone in that.  Johnny Cash loved them, too, or at least one of their songs.  Before we talk about that, though, I'd like you to look at something.

This is the art installation -- A Sound Garden at Magnuson Park in Seattle --that gave the band it's name.  Cool, isn't it?  Obviously they thought so (the dog disagrees, though). 

Soundgarden formed in the mid 80s in Seattle.  Some of them were attending the University of Washington, some weren't, but they thrashed around building a local following for years before they hit it big.  In 1991 they released their second major label album Badmotorfinger on A&M and it opened with this week's song, "Rusty Cage."  The video was heavily rotated on MTV and the song was also used in a couple of racing video games including Road Rage.

Warning:  If you have Photosensitive Epilepsy do NOT click the first vid.  Choose the second one instead. 

It also came to the attention of Rick Rubin who produced Johnny Cash throughout the 90s.  I don't know that Cash actually released this as a single from Unchained in 1996 but I do know that he won a Grammy for that album.  Yep, that's Tom Petty there as a session musician.  I love this version even more than I love the Soundgarden version, and that's saying something.

It sounds like a train song in his hands, doesn't it?  I think I might make a project of counting exactly how many songs about trains Johnny Cash recorded...that should keep me occupied till next Wednesday.  Have a great day!


  1. I loved Cash singing "Personal Jesus" (Depeche Mode) in a voice that was a little shaky by the time he did it. He obviously listened to or was aware of a lot of stuff beyond the boundaries of country / western.

  2. @Kurbiss...the shakiness of his voice adds something to it, I think,

    @Frenz...there's a local import record store that is famous for it's dedication to carrying every punk recording ever made. The only other thing they carry is Johnny Cash.


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