Listen to Chris Cornell's Cover of Johnny Cash's "You Never Knew My Mind"
Before his tragic death last May at the age of 52, Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman Chris Cornell contributed to Johnny Cash: Forever Words, an album of adaptations of Cash’s poems that also features Elvis Costello, Willie Nelson, the Jayhawks, Rosanne Cash and Kris Kristofferson, among many others.
Now, Cornell’s contribution to the album—a haunting cover of Cash’s “You Never Knew My Mind”—has been released. You can hear it above.
Cash himself covered Soundgarden’s 1991 song, “Rusty Cage,” for his 1996 album, Unchained. In a 2016 interview that was posted to YouTube yesterday, along with the release of the cover, Cornell said that Cash was “One of the bigger presences in my life, in terms of an artist that I’m a fan of.”
“The very first challenge really was crossing that threshold of changing one word,” Cornell said of the process of adapting Cash’s poem to music. “I think I had to cross that right away, where I’m thinking ‘I want to make a good song out of this, so that’s going to have to be repeated, and this line’s going to have to happen twice,’ and that was a little scary.”
Johnny Cash: Forever Words is set for an April 6 release via Legacy Recordings. You can preorder it here, and watch the full interview with Cornell below.