Chris Cornell’s ‘Johnny Cash: Forever Words’ Song ‘You Never Knew My Mind’ Released
We've seen the worlds of rock and country intersect frequently throughout the years, and one artist who has dabbled in both worlds is Chris Cornell. Before he passed last year, Cornell had gotten involved with the Johnny Cash: Forever Words project, and the song he took on, "You Never Knew My Mind," debuted today (Feb. 26) on Zane Lowe's World Record show on Beats 1.
Johnny Cash's son, John Carter Cash, co-produced the album, which saw a number of artists across multiple genres take on some of the words and poems that Johnny Cash had written and turned them into newly recorded songs.
Speaking with Lowe, John Carter Cash explained, "I reached out to Chris Cornell and I said, 'Would you like to be a part of this?' He was very excited. Chris told me that he loved my dad. Chris said that he was listening to those live albums of my dad's, and his concept records from the '60s. You know, when nobody else knew in his circle of friends exactly who Johnny Cash was [he was a fan]."
Cash continued, "He also had felt everything that was in those words. He had been there. He had gone through the loss of relationships. I can't help but listen to it and still be brought back to the first time that I heard the song. It immediately impacted me. The guitar and the tempo were almost exactly the same. It's been quite a journey to go through these works of my father, and everyone followed their heart and that's what this project Forever Words is about."
He adds of Chris Cornell's version, "Chris, there were actually two pieces -- there was 'You Never Knew My Mind' and 'I Never Knew Your Mind' -- they were they were basically the same lyric that was written from two different standpoints. And Chris took the two pieces and put them together in this one."
About the song's origin, he explained, "He wrote 'You Never Knew My Mind' in 1967. I assume and I'm fairly certain it was written for his first wife, Vivian. That was the year that their divorce was legal. It was also the year where his love for my mother flourished. So 'You Never Knew My Mind' was not something that he would have released at that time because my mother was standing beside him."
The Johnny Cash: Forever Words album will arrive on April 6 via Legacy Records. The set includes newly recorded music from Chris Cornell, Brad Paisley, Kris Kristofferson, John Mellencamp, Jewel, Elvis Costello and more. Hear John Carter Cash's full interview below.
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