Before former Soundgarden / Audioslave front man Chris Cornell passed away last year, he recorded a song called “You Never Knew My Mind.” The track was inspired by a Johnny Cash poem and part of a larger collaboration.
Johnny Cash: Forever Words will also include contributions from Elvis Costello, Alison Krauss, and John Mellencamp. The previously unpublished songs come from various journals and forgotten lyrics from the country legend.
“I met the man once or twice in my life. And, he was so gracious and he was such an influence on me as a musician,” Chris Cornell said about Johnny Cash.
Chris Cornell Influenced By Johnny Cash
In 1996, Johnny Cash recorded the Soundgarden song “Rusty Cage” in 1996. “Since that time, I’ve felt like he’s maybe one of the bigger presences in my life; in terms of artists that I’m a fan of,” said Cornell.
Cornell wrote, “You wired me awake. And hit me with a hand of broken nails. You tied my lead and pulled my chain. To watch my blood begin to boil.” The chorus chimed in to say, “But I’m gonna break I’m gonna break my I’m gonna break my rusty cage and run…”
The song quickly changes, making Cash and Cornell sound more powerful midway through the gritty lyrics.
Collaboration Developed By Johnny Cash’s Son
As for the rest of the Johnny Cash: Forever Words album, it was all produced and delivered by his son. “I met Chris [Cornell] in the early 1990s when my father performed a show in Seattle,” said John Carter Cash.
“Chris told me then what he had been a fan of my father even when most of his friends listened to hard rock,” he added. “When I was conceiving this album years later, I reached out to him… He was excited and honored to be involved.”
The final version of “You Never Knew My Mind” is a beautiful collaboration between the thoughts of Johnny Cash and the mindset of Chris Cornell. The album will be available in April on CD, double vinyl and digital formats.
What do you think of this collaboration from these two artists?