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Johnny Cash — Rusty Cage
Album: Unchained
Avg rating:
7.8

Your rating:
Total ratings: 3466









Released: 1996
Length: 2:43
Plays (last 30 days): 3
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.

But I'm gonna break
I'm gonna break my
Gonna break my rusty cage and run.
I'm gonna break
I'm gonna break my
Gonna break my rusty cage and run.

Too cold to start a fire
I'm burning diesel, burning dinosaur bones.
I'll take the river down to still water
And ride a pack of dogs.

I'm gonna break
I'm gonna break my
Gonna break my rusty cage and run.
I'm gonna break
I'm gonna break my
Gonna break my rusty cage and run.

When the forest burns along the road
Like God's eyes in my headlights.
When the dogs are looking for their bones
And it's raining icepicks on your steel shore.

I'm gonna break
I'm gonna break my
I'm gonna break my rusty cage and run.
I'm gonna break
I'm gonna break my
Gonna break my rusty cage and run.
I'm gonna break
I'm gonna break my
Gonna break my rusty cage and run.
I'm gonna break
I'm gonna break my
Gonna break my rusty cage and run.
Comments (434)add comment
His voice will live forever 
Rusty cajun runs... sounds like a something you get during Mardi gras.
 jamesshoemark wrote:
Would be nice to hear some Soundgarden here
 
Always.  There's an overdose of Pearl jam on RP and hardly any Soundgarden.
bumping from a solid-9 to 10
NOTHING TO SAY, NOTHING TO ADD. BRILLIANT
 BBoyes wrote:
This whole album is worth a listen, along with the rest of the series he did not long before leaving this mortal coil.
Love the second section, after the short bridge.
"Gonna break my rusty cage... and run". That, he did.
 

I have the full Rick Rubin-produced box, Cash Unearthed. Freakin' amazing, start to finish. The duet with Strummer on Songs of Freedon makes me cry, every time.
PBS's Ken Burns series on country music has some great insights into the making of this album.
 jp33442 wrote:

Since your from a failed country called Canada, STFU
 Now there is an irrelevant comment!
What has one got to do with the other?
However you feel about Canada I wouldn't say it is a failed country musically.


 oldsaxon wrote:

Well...thank you. I'm sure Johnny has a lovely voice and is very skilled at using it but the guys on the desk did most of the work here. JC is a singer, and he plays a bit of guitar. That song was not written by him, was not recorded by him, not mixed and edited and tweaked and massaged into this recording. Engineers and producers made this song, Johnny just sang it. He did do a fine job of his part though.
 
Wow... how dismissive, condescending, and patronizing. 

Johnny just sang it, did he? So nice of him to do a "fine job" with his "part".  You know that part that is the HEART of the performance.

"It sounds like a song he could have written..."  Chris Cornell - triple j, 1997

"When your lyrics are delivered a certain way or by a certain person, it’s almost as if the meaning changes, even though it’s the same words." 
Chris Cornell - Spin, 2011



I freakin' *LOVE*  this version. Cash rocks. R.I.P.
Love Johnny. From the heart from the veins dark grit beauty I’ll go 8 on this one
 DocStrangelove wrote:
SAD!
 
Since your from a failed country called Canada, STFU
 DocStrangelove wrote:
SAD!
 
How presidential of ya!  I'm at a 7 on this, though it's more of a 6.5 to me...still...Long Live RP!!
Thank you John!
Cash does SoundGarden...   no clash there...  it's perfect!  :)
 DocStrangelove wrote:
god this is horrible
flat, tuneless
 
totally agree Doc....  such a boring lifeless song.. 
I'm in the minority, but I really don't think much of his music at all.. 
Would be nice to hear some Soundgarden here
 oldsaxon wrote:

Well...thank you. I'm sure Johnny has a lovely voice and is very skilled at using it but the guys on the desk did most of the work here. JC is a singer, and he plays a bit of guitar. That song was not written by him, was not recorded by him, not mixed and edited and tweaked and massaged into this recording. Engineers and producers made this song, Johnny just sang it. He did do a fine job of his part though.
 

What is the point of this? At the end of the day who are you going to remember? The guy who sat behind the desk or the performer? Elvis comes to mind.
 ImaOldman wrote:
Johhny Cash was an american Icon and could do whatever he wanted so please just shut the fuck up and listen!

 
No, I refuse!
still a terrible song
(sad)
cool
DocStrangelove wrote:
SAD!
 
hey doc - how do you REALLY feel about this song?
SAD!
{#Bananajam}
Johhny Cash was an american Icon and could do whatever he wanted so please just shut the fuck up and listen!
god this is horrible
flat, tuneless
When Bill plays a track I don’t like (this one for example) I realise that RP is not my personal radio station. It is ever so close though!
This whole album is worth a listen, along with the rest of the series he did not long before leaving this mortal coil.
Love the second section, after the short bridge.
"Gonna break my rusty cage... and run". That, he did.
Rockin' til the bitter end; gotta love Johnny.
I like this version of the song, though I still prefer the original by Soundgarden, much more powerful. 
love this song 100% Cash
 DocStrangelove wrote:
please stop playing this song — his worst

 
I think it's one of his best.....go figure :^ /
 DocStrangelove wrote:
not only the worst song by Cash, simply a really bad song.

please stop playing this abomination

 

Feel free to hit PSD.  
 DocStrangelove wrote:
please stop playing this song — his worst

 
His worst is still damn good.
 Bone wrote:



 
This song is excellent, this photo too❤️
Go Johnny Go!
A very good song of the old Cash.
 oldsaxon wrote:

..... I'll just say now that this is a great song.

 
Damn right. 
 easmann wrote:

@oldsaxon: Some more than others. Johnny worked with many different producers, each of which had an effect on the overall sound, yet there's no mistaking that voice or percussive style.

Johnny Cash worked with producer Rick Rubin (known for rap and hard rock) on the album American Recordings

"For years Cash had often been at odds with his producers after he had discovered with his first producer, Sam Phillips, that his voice was better suited to a stripped-down musical style. Most famously he disagreed with Jack Clement over his sound, Clement having tried to give Cash's songs a "twangy" feel and to add strings and barbershop-quartet-style singers, and his successful collaboration with Rick Rubin was in part due to Rubin seeking a minimalist sound for his songs."

Wikipedia: American Recordings (album).

Cash worked with Rubin again on this album. Your question makes it sound as though Rick Rubin is largely responsible for Johnny Cash's sonic style. In this case Johnny had that style before Rick Rubin was born, but I think it's fair to say that Rick helped him achieve his sonic goals. However it's also fair to say that some producers exert more influence over an artist's sound than others.

Wonderful things happen when talented producers and performers collaborate effectively. Here's a list of influential producers with a sampling of tracks each has produced: 50 Of The Most Influential Producers. Neat list even if you disagree with the rankings.

 
Excellent info...spent ages reading it thanks for the links. I will agree that it is a colaboration for the best, but often it is the guys on the desk that make the hit...eno, lanois, the list goes on, but without the artist's there just ain't no show. I'll just say now that this is a great song.
 buddy wrote:

Yeah, I'm pretty sure Johnny Cash didn't just show up and do what some "producer" told him to do.  Probably more like he told the producer not to get in the way.

 
Yeah, what the hell would Rick Rubin know anyway?...  Perhaps the stripped down accoustic style that this song was recorded in.  That or nothing, I suppose.

How about we check out Rick's own words on the recording of this very song?:

Q: Did you have any strategies you put into play to get him to record something he might not otherwise have wanted to record? Something like Soundgarden’s “Rusty Cage,” for instance?

A: That was one where I had to re-record the song to present it to him, because when he heard the original recording of the song it really terrified him (laughs). He thought it was unrealistic and that I was crazy for suggesting it. But then when I recorded it more the way I imagined him doing it, just as a demo, he really liked it.

I think as time went on, as the trust in our relationship grew from working together and enjoying the work together, if there was a song I really felt strongly about, I might pitch it a bit harder than the typical, “Here are all the songs that I like.” “Hurt” was one of those where I was like, “This really has the potential to be something great. I think it could be a really important song, and I really hope you do it.” But again, if he didn’t like something, then we wouldn’t do it. It’s just that he might have listened a bit closer because of the pitch I made.


 easmann wrote:

oldsaxon has asked a legitimate, honest question and it's sparked some debate. There is an excellent series currently running on PBS entitled soundbreaking which I find fascinating. Episode One: The Art of Recording covers the role of the producer and includes interviews with a number producers including George Martin, Daniel Lanois, Brian Eno, and others, as well as some artists they worked with. In it Rick Rubin and Johnny Cash discuss their sessions. I think it's fair to say that Rick helped Johnny find his way back to his most authentic voice and sound, but you make up your own mind.

It's very enlightening and worth your time I think.

 
Well...thank you. I'm sure Johnny has a lovely voice and is very skilled at using it but the guys on the desk did most of the work here. JC is a singer, and he plays a bit of guitar. That song was not written by him, was not recorded by him, not mixed and edited and tweaked and massaged into this recording. Engineers and producers made this song, Johnny just sang it. He did do a fine job of his part though.
I just saw Chris Cornell do a nice acoustic version of this a couple weeks ago at a show at Ravinia outside Chicago.

That said, Johnny's cover is a nice take as well. 
 oldsaxon wrote:

Really, the producer does that, doesn't he?

 
Yeah, I'm pretty sure Johnny Cash didn't just show up and do what some "producer" told him to do.  Probably more like he told the producer not to get in the way.
Wow, fantastic transition just now from Sackcloth n' Ashes to this! Nice job.
 oldsaxon wrote:

Really, the producer does that, doesn't he?

 
I must be missing something.  Is that the producer singing?
Cool ! icepicks on steel shore, so blue-ring topsnail.
 Djoy wrote:
These lyrics are the perfect vehicle for JC's rusty, powerful voice & station at the time. 
Ride 'em Johnny!

 
Exact-o-mundo Djoy! and Bone's photo is the most perfect "FUCK YOU!"  : )  Luv this song 
I like it!
Thanks Bill, a nice treat from a true musical idol.
 helgigermany wrote:
Awful!

 

I think this is stunningly good. So is this whole CD, made not long before his death, because he wanted to and could and didn't care what anyone thought. He still had such a powerhouse of a voice. Like a purring diesel locomotive.
Awful!
PSD 
We're all burning dinosaur bones , unfortunately.   Great song.
His last few albums/cd's were among his best.  He shares that distinction with Leonard Cohen. R.I.P.
What a great album this is. Johnny,  you're one true legend. 
 garyalex wrote:
I love the way Johnny took this song and made it his.  He took an already great song and added his unique style and timing.  I love it.  Thanks Johnny.

 
Really, the producer does that, doesn't he?
Here's a guy who can't sing worth a damn, worse singer than Neil Young ferpetessakes! An American institution/legend somehow. His songs radiate such pain and soul-torture they still make the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Godlike? Hell yes.
I love the way Johnny took this song and made it his.  He took an already great song and added his unique style and timing.  I love it.  Thanks Johnny.
These lyrics are the perfect vehicle for JC's rusty, powerful voice & station at the time. 
Ride 'em Johnny!
Not a good song, if you ask me!
 scraig wrote:

 




 
Too cool to ignore...



fredriley wrote:

When I was a crude adolescent we thought Johnny Cash was a Durex vending machine. 

I'll get me pullover...


  
Now fred, confess: you have a bottomless drawer of these, don't you? {#Dancingbanana_2}
Ah Johnny, I know you're enjoying your eternal reward but man I miss you.
The one and only.
Same here!
 

cormatic wrote:
I love this guy!
 

 


 oldfart48 wrote:


any jc's better than none............

  And for me, this is equal to his best. Some of which are -huge-. 
Johnny rocks this one too!!
I like the rockin at the end - let those tubes growl! {#Guitarist}
Didn't know cash did soundgarden too. Might have to check the album out for other surprises.
{#Motor}{#Cowboy}
The lyrics are full of powerful images, and Cash's voice is a fabulous vehicle to deliver them.
It's almost as if this song was written for Johnny Cash - sounds like something written in the 50's!
Love it and the original too. 
 Stingray wrote:
SUCKO!
 
Stingray, you shouldn't yell at the mirror so much. 
SUCKO!
Dear Bob,
     Your playlist for Sunday March 3rd 2013 was fantastic! Being used to a lot of repeated singles and odd flows of genres—- we much appreciated the flow and cohesive build of the day. Lots of great tunes were heard, keep it up!{#Dance}
 
I love this guy!
 
 jchrise wrote:
Ya know Bill, there exists a zillion OTHER Johnny Cash songs...why is this mediocre JC song the one that always gets played?

As a footnote, is JC's appeal more about fans thinking it's cool to be a JC fan, or because the music itself is cool. Quite frankly, I've never quite understood the appeal. His voice is not that great, and he talks mostly, doesn't really sing the lyrics. I do understand the "feel his pain" thing blah blah blah, but HE'S NOT THAT GOOD still!

 

any jc's better than none............
 jchrise wrote:
Ya know Bill, there exists a zillion OTHER Johnny Cash songs...why is this mediocre JC song the one that always gets played?

As a footnote, is JC's appeal more about fans thinking it's cool to be a JC fan, or because the music itself is cool. Quite frankly, I've never quite understood the appeal. His voice is not that great, and he talks mostly, doesn't really sing the lyrics. I do understand the "feel his pain" thing blah blah blah, but HE'S NOT THAT GOOD still!

 

idiot
He spent a hard lifetime making music that speaks to many...
The Irish love this guy!
Two unique and iconic voices. One great song.
{#Guitarist}

 peterneorr wrote:
First time I've felt the need for an 11!  {#Dancingbanana_2}
 
....made it for you....

Maybe an icon - still I do not like this music!


Just break your rusty cage... and run!
First time I've felt the need for an 11!  {#Dancingbanana_2}
Happy birthday to Rosanne Cash!
Abso-freakin-awesome.
 martinc wrote:
Recently went to Roger Daltry concert playing Tommy and some who hits. He did a Johnny Cash medley noting when he was young working in a tin shop they had no music but they use to sing Johnny Cash songs while they worked away. It was a great medley

  Would love to have heard that medley!


I'm not sure, but is he going to break his rusty cage?
Recently went to Roger Daltry concert playing Tommy and some who hits. He did a Johnny Cash medley noting when he was young working in a tin shop they had no music but they use to sing Johnny Cash songs while they worked away. It was a great medley

 DaveInVA wrote:
When I grew up in Chicago in the 60's there was a DJ that always played a recording of a toilet flushing just ahead of every Johnny Cash song he played and he called Johnny Cash a "Pay Toilet". Regardless I love Johnny's music but I still in my mind hear that toilet flushing every time a Johnny Cash song because of that damn DJ. 
 
When I was a crude adolescent we thought Johnny Cash was a Durex vending machine.

I'll get me pullover...

 xouba wrote:
Whoa. Whatever Cash sings sounds tougher, even if the original was already a rocker.
 
 

yep.
Johnny. Oh, Johnny. Not your best.
Ya know Bill, there exists a zillion OTHER Johnny Cash songs...why is this mediocre JC song the one that always gets played?

As a footnote, is JC's appeal more about fans thinking it's cool to be a JC fan, or because the music itself is cool. Quite frankly, I've never quite understood the appeal. His voice is not that great, and he talks mostly, doesn't really sing the lyrics. I do understand the "feel his pain" thing blah blah blah, but HE'S NOT THAT GOOD still!

Is there any cover from any band as good as any Johnny did?
If you look in the dictionary under "icon" you'll see Johnny's photo.
 drews wrote:
when the tempo drops and the bass line goes deep the spine tingles
 

I THERE TOO
When I grew up in Chicago in the 60's there was a DJ that always played a recording of a toilet flushing just ahead of every Johnny Cash song he played and he called Johnny Cash a "Pay Toilet". Regardless I love Johnny's music but I still in my mind hear that toilet flushing every time a Johnny Cash song because of that damn DJ. 
 drews wrote:
when the tempo drops and the bass line goes deep the spine tingles
 
thanks blighty
i'll check that out

when the tempo drops and the bass line goes deep the spine tingles
somebody explain johnny cash to me and maybe i'll git it
Whoa. Whatever Cash sings sounds tougher, even if the original was already a rocker.
 
 calypsus_1 wrote:

 tumblr_l5xzmq5ND71qcsxeeo1_1280by Nuclear Ukeleles
Jessica Sherry
https://www.flickr.com/photos/nuclearukeleles/

Johnny Cash & Bob Dylan

Copyright All rights reserved

——————————————————————————————————

Johnny Cash & Bob Dylan - You Are My Sunshine, Live (1969):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wV33suWqAiM     *



*  " This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Web Sheriff."

you should have nothing to do .....also reveal ignorance and contempt for history. This is the most petty, miserable and obscure part of the Web.


  Most interesting photo. Two guys who couldn't really sing in the usual way but who made very successful, and worthwhile careers using great lyrics.


Now we're talkin'!!!!
Bumping this from 9 to 10.  The late Johnny Cash knew more about pain and heartache than anyone in Soundgarden. Sure, Soundgarden "rocked" this, but Mr. Cash owns it now.
great remake, but come on people, Soundgarden rocks this song!
 nojyor wrote:

Jonny had so many songs that i can relate to or just make me smile


 
Except that this one is not a Johnny Cash song.  It was originally written by Chris Cornell of Soundgarden.  Johnny's interpretation is pretty cool however.

Jonny had so many songs that i can relate to or just make me smile


dig it
I remember hearing this song on the radio in Burlington VT and thinking: "Huh, I didn't know Johnny Cash wrote this song!"    I love the Soundgarden  version, too.  But Johnny really owned it. 
 jomercer wrote:
This is a perfect song for today—we just found out our despised boss is retiring.....
 

hahaha nice.

 tumblr_l5xzmq5ND71qcsxeeo1_1280by Nuclear Ukeleles
Jessica Sherry
https://www.flickr.com/photos/nuclearukeleles/

Johnny Cash & Bob Dylan

Copyright All rights reserved

——————————————————————————————————
Johnny Cash & Bob Dylan - You Are My Sunshine, Live (1969)
     *



 OmegaConcern wrote:


I think Hurt carries particular relevance with Cash in that it's being sung by someone older with the curse of retrospection.  I think it updates it in taking that older point of view.  Kind of something I hope to never have to sing autobiographically.

I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
The only thing that's real
The needle tears a hole
The old familiar sting
Try to kill it all away
But I remember everything


What have I become
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know goes away
In the end
And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt

I wear this crown of thorns
Upon my liar's chair
Full of broken thoughts
I cannot repair
Beneath the stains of time
The feelings disappear
You are someone else
I am still right here


What have I become
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know goes away
In the end
And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt

If I could start again
A million miles away
I would keep myself
I would find a way

 
Well, of course Trent Reznor wrote "Hurt" about his wicked heroin addiction and who better to offer his interpretation than a former and much older addict who has the hard life creds to offer some "improvements" to an already anguished tune.  I think it's these hard life creds together with his obvious musical talents that gave JC the ability to approach all these different covers as a C&W star and have them stick with just about anybody who hears them.  Some might say that the very stripped, simple execution of his guitar and his voice puts the tunes in as intimate and personal a form as is possible and it's almost like he's singing directly to each of us.  Very potent.


I may like this more than the original, and that's an impressive feat.
good album
Gotta love Johnny; rawking out 'til the bitter end.
This is a perfect song for today—we just found out our despised boss is retiring.....


 martinc wrote:
My parents took me to see Johnny when I was in grade nine. I was a beatles and stones fan then and was not happy about going to see this country guy. I am sure glad I went. I had never seen a perform reach out and get the audience feeling like we all his best friend. And so my surprise the music and band were pretty good. The next show I saw was Jimi at the bank street theatre.
 

I hate you. :)