Country,  Roots Rock

Sea of Heartbreak / Rosanne Cash + The Boss

“Sea of Heartbreak” is one of those classics you recognize when you hear it, you enjoy it, but you really know nothing about the history or origin of the song. Well, that’s my experience anyway. After hearing Rosanne Cash‘s new version, with Bruce Springsteen on harmonies, and listening about 5-6 times in a row, it was time to hit All Music and get to the bottom of it.

The song was written by Hal David and David Hampton. Far as can tell, it was originally recorded by Don Gibson in 1961. Rosanne’s old man Johnny covered the song on his 1996 Rick Rubin-produced album Unchained, an album that features Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers as the session band.

It’s the first single from Rosanne’s forthcoming album The List, due out October 6th. The story goes that Johnny gave Rosanne a list of 100 essential country songs when she was 18 years old. Juuust a few years later, she’s taken a handful and made The List.

I think Rosanne’s voice is flawless. Love it. And add the Boss to the mix? Sheesh. Fuhgetaboutit.
I think I’ll listen to it 5-6 more times…

Buy the single on Rosanne Cash - Sea of Heartbreak (feat. Bruce Springsteen) - Single

Visit: Rosanne Cash’s Official Site


  • Judd6149

    I agree. This is a great version, Pete. The Boss compliments Rosanne very well…that deep, rich drawl he uses works perfectly. I want that list! The album too!

    If they ever try a Wilburys Vol.4, Bruce & Gram Nash should get in there.

  • Dave Lifton

    Fantastic version. I’m so used to Petty’s harmonies on the Unchained version that hearing Bruce singing a different part sounded strange at first. But it’s a more poignant version.

  • Uncleshag

    Pete, love the site and will be around. Rosanne Cash – I have listened to forever since Seven Year Ache and this version of Sea of Heartbreak is too cool. Gotta get out of the indie music aisle, I guess.


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