Sunday, March 31, 2024

More '80s Torch and Twang


A 2011 Guardian article discusses the release of the 1988 Johnny Cash tribute album, "Til Things are Brighter" by many British performers and the career difficulties faced by Cash at the time, including being dropped by his longtime label, Columbia.  The author notes Cash’s appreciation of the project and how it ultimately re-energized him.  While the article does fail to mention the popularity of The Highwaymen supergroup Cash was in (with Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, and Waylon Jennings) in the mid-1980s, it reminds me of how the career comeback for 50’s artists like The Everly Brothers, Roy Orbison, and Jimmy Scott only really became a thing in the 1980s.  (I’m excluding Elvis’ comeback special for several reasons, mainly because it was only 10-12 years after his heyday.) 

           Now, I’m not going to claim that Cash’s albums from the 80’s are masterpieces, but there’s a definite charm to the Brand New Dance cut on this compilation from his Johnny 99 album.  I’d also recommend K.D. Lang’s Shadowland, Uncle Walt’s Band’s An American in Texas, and, of course, George Jones’ I Am What I Am. 


Bruce Springsteen
I'm No Stranger To The Rain
Keith Whitley
I Feel The Blues Moving In
Del McCoury
End Of The Line
The Traveling Wilburys
Gun Sale at the Church
The Beat Farmers
On The Wings Of A Nightingale
The Everly Brothers
Cowboys from Hollywood
Camper Van Beethoven
Like Calling Up Thunder
The Gun Club
Now and Forever
Blue Rodeo
Turn It Around
Bob Neuwirth
As The Crow Flies
Uncle Walt's Band
West Texas Waltz
Joe Ely
Brand New Dance
Johnny Cash
Our Little Angel
Elvis Costello
Busy Being Blue
K. D. Lang
Have You Forgotten
The Del Fuegos
If Drinkin' Don't Kill Me (Her Memory Will)
George Jones
Here Comes A Regular
The Replacements