Unchained, also known as American II: Unchained, is the second album in Johnny Cash's American Recordings series (and his 82nd overall). Like all Cash's albums for American, Unchained was produced by Rick Rubin. In contrast to the first American Recordings album, on which Cash played alone, on the follow-up he is backed by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, with guest appearances by Flea, bassist from Red Hot Chili Peppers, on "Spiritual", and Lindsey Buckingham and Mick Fleetwood, both of Fleetwood Mac, on "Sea of Heartbreak".
Unchained focuses more on covers and less on original material than the first album in the series. In addition to three of Cash's own compositions, Unchained contained songs by Tom Petty ("Southern Accents"), Soundgarden ("Rusty Cage") and Beck ("Rowboat"), The album also included a cover of the classic 1962 Hank Snow song, "I've Been Everywhere", written by Geoff Mack, and remakes of two songs Cash recorded early in his career for Sun Records: "Country Boy" and "Mean Eyed Cat". In comparison with the country folk sound of Cash's other American Recordings' albums this one has more of a hard, true country rock sound. The album was recorded over a six-month period with engineer Sylvia Massy at Sound City Studios, Ocean Way Studios, Rick Rubin's home studio and The Cowboy Arms And Recording Spa in Nashville, Tennessee and mastered at Oasis Mastering, Studio City, California.
|2.||"Sea of Heartbreak"||Paul Hampton, Hal David||2:42|
|3.||"Rusty Cage"||Chris Cornell||2:49|
|4.||"The One Rose (That's Left in My Heart)"||Del Lyon/Lani McIntire||2:26|
|5.||"Country Boy"||Johnny Cash||2:31|
|6.||"Memories Are Made of This"||Richard Dehr/Terry Gilkyson/Frank Miller||2:19|
|8.||"The Kneeling Drunkard's Plea"||Maybelle Carter/Anita Carter/Helen Carter/June Carter Cash||2:32|
|9.||"Southern Accents"||Tom Petty||4:41|
|10.||"Mean Eyed Cat"||Johnny Cash||2:33|
|11.||"Meet Me in Heaven"||Johnny Cash||3:21|
|12.||"I Never Picked Cotton"||Bobby George/Charles Williams||2:39|
|14.||"I've Been Everywhere"||Geoff Mack||3:16|
|U.S. Billboard 200||170|
|U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums||26|
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