Rosanne Cash: King’s Record Shop (Legacy)

Rosanne Cash
King’s Record Shop
(Legacy)

Thirty years after its initial release, Rosanne Cash’s vital album ‘King’s Record Shop’ is seeing the light of day again with this beautiful vinyl edition.

Released by Legacy Records on 180-gram vinyl, ‘King’s Record Shop’ (originally released June 26th, 1987) stands out as one of the most influential albums of the late 1980s and it still holds up strong today. Then, ‘King’s Record Shop’ was Cash’s fourth consecutive Top 10 record and her sixth overall album. It became a main staple of radio airplay giving Cash four chart-topping singles — “Runaway Train;” “If You Change Your Mind;” “The Way We Make a Broken Heart;” and “Flat Top Box.”

The 10-track album has Cash writing three of her own songs — the poppy lovers lament “If You Change Your Mind” (co-written by steel guitarist Hank DeVito), the honest ballad “The Real Me,” and the 80s rocker “Somewhere Sometime.”

Cash calls upon a who’s who of songwriters for the remaining tracks including the empowering Eliza Gilkison-penned opener “Rosie Strike Back.” “The Way We Make a Broken Heart” written by John Hiatt has a Tex Mex swing about it; folk legend John Stewart gives Cash the brilliant relationship song “Runaway Train;” and Cash covers her father’s 1962 hit single “Tennessee Flat Top Box” to perfection.

John Kulzer’s “Green, Yellow and Red” is a ballsy honky tonk number finding Cash swinging with sass and swagger. Tom Petty & the Heartbreaker’s keyboardist Benmont Tench wrote the magnificent closer “Why Don’t You Quit Leaving Me Alone?” book ending this classic release.

With the vinyl edition, you also get a trio of songs to download – “707,” written by Kulzer and a pair of live tracks – “Runaway Train” and “Green, Yellow and Red.”

Named after King’s Record Shop in Louisville, Kentucky, the album also features an all-star cast of musicians including — Rodney Crowell, Vince Gill, Patty Smith, Steve Winwood; (background vocals), Mark O’Connor (Mandola), Benmont Tench (piano, keyboards), Larry Crane, Billy Joe Walker, Jr., Randy Scruggs, Steuart Smith (guitars)

It’s hard to say Cash was at the top of her game with ‘King’s Record Shop’ because 30 years after this release, she is still at the top of her game. Here’s the thing. This Cash album is like most of her albums, her vocals pull you into the story and keep you there. Cash sings with power, grace and elegance as if she is reading a classic novel to you. You just want her to keep on singing and hope the story never ends.