Have I got a great one for you here! In this Classic Album Review, it’s a look back at a vintage release from Rosanne Cash. “Somewhere in The Stars” was the follow-up to her smash hit album/single “Seven Year Ache”. Released in June, 1982, it didn’t do quite as well as its predecessor, which hit number one. “Somewhere in The Stars” only peaked at six, while climbing as high as seventy-six on the pop side.
Three of the album’s ten tracks would find their way as 45 rpm a-sides, starting with “Ain’t No Money”, followed by “I Wonder”, and “It Hasn’t Happened Yet”. Only “It Hasn’t Happened Yet” failed to peak in the top ten, stopping at fourteen, while the first two would peak at four and eight, respectively. “Ain’t No Money” is one of several country-rockers on the album. The guitar-laden intro has a feel of familiarity to it, and has had that since the first time I heard it in 1982,. However, I know of no song with a similar intro.
“I Wonder” is a slower, bluesy number that is one of the album’s strongest tracks. “It Hasn’t Happened Yet” is from the pen of John Hiatt, and is a strong mix of country and pop, with just a hint of a rocker, though not quite the tempo to truly be. I loved this single when it came out, yet for some reason, it fell short of the top ten.
Speaking of songwriters, the crop, here, is excellent. In addition to the Hiatt, there’s Rosanne, herself, her husband at the time, Rodney Crowell, Susannah Clark, and Tom T. Hall all with songs in the mix, here.
“Down on Love” is a slightly haunting rock-edged track that shows off Rosanne Cash’s fine vocal work. But honestly, all the tracks on the disc are vocally stellar. “Oh Yes I Can” and “Looking for A Corner” aren’t standout tracks, but are very good. On many albums, they would be among the highlights. That’s the strength of this album, ten tracks that are at worst, very good, and more often than not, excellent works of music.
Rosanne goes more country on her fine cover of the Tom T. Hall penned “How I Got to Memphis”, as well as the Amazing Rhythm Aces’ hit, “Third Rate Romance”. “How I Got to Memphis” has a nice little bonus with a guest appearance by her legendary father. “Third Rate Romance” is a track that the work funky comes to me when I hear it. Best description I can give, and it works.
I tend to like songs that have lots of key changes or rather odd chord combinations. To me, it can make a track really stand out. “I Look for Love” fits the bill. Another John Hiatt number, it’s probably the most rocking track on the disc.
But The album’s highlight is the closing track, which is also the title cut. “Somewhere in The Stars” is this slow, dreamy, track that gives you the image of being in those wide open western spaces under the stars. I love this track, I think it’s one of the best non-single album tracks I’ve ever heard; the album’s highlight. A perfect ending to the album, it takes you to that wide-open space, then leaves you almost sad that both the song and the album are over; you’re left wanting more of what she is offering with an outstanding vocal performance. So, though you’re almost sad it’s all over, you’re also feeling quite satisfied with the time invested listening to this album.
Good news, here, is this album is still available in both the CD and MP3 formats, and of course, used copies can be found, as well, the album originally being released on vinyl and cassette.
Overall, there’s not any real weak material, here. Every song ranges from very good to excellent. Give kudos, as well, to the songwriters for some fine work. Rosanne Cash albums tend to be strong, overall, and this one certainly rates right up there towards the top. I give it a 5 out of 5.
About Thy Author
Mike the Country Musicologist is a lifelong music and radio fanatic, lover of vintage agriculture, and big sports fan, including the Colts, Reds, Hurricanes, Pacers, Purdue & Butler Universities. He has collected records since childhood, focusing on classic country and top 40 oldies music. After convincing Vincennes University in Indiana to give him an Associate’s Degree in broadcasting, he has spent most of his adult life on the radio, having worked for several stations in Indiana and North Carolina, including his current gig, hosting the weekly World Famous Ultimate Twang Radio Show. Hear the show Thursdays, 4-7p ET on WSFM-LP/AshevilleFM, which is at 103.3 FM in Asheville, North Carolina, as well as online at ashevillefm.org. Be sure to follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.