Monday 1/18/2021 1am ET: Feature LP: John Mellencamp – Nothin’ Matters and What If It Did (1980)

Nothin’ Matters and What If It Did is John Mellencamp’s fourth studio album, under his pseudonym of John Cougar.   Released September 15, 1980 and produced by soul pioneer Steve Cropper, the album includes the Top 40 hits “Ain’t Even Done with the Night”, which reached No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 as the album’s second single, and “This Time”, which peaked at No. 27 as the album’s lead single.

The woman pictured on the album’s cover and seen in the music video for “This Time” is actress Edith Massey, a member of the Dreamlanders troupe who often appeared in the films of John Waters. Massey was chosen because, as Mellencamp told Rolling Stone in late 1980, “I was looking for a typical heavy woman to convey a lower-middle-class way of living.”

A remastered version of Nothin’ Matters and What If It Did was released on Mercury/Island/UMe on March 29, 2005; it includes one bonus track, “Latest Game”, which, according to the liner notes, was taken from the sessions for Mellencamp’s 1982 album American Fool.

The album is certified Platinum by the RIAA.

1. “Hot Night in a Cold Town” 3:47
2. “Ain’t Even Done with the Night” 4:38
3. “Don’t Misunderstand Me” 3:33
4. “This Time” 4:18
5. “Make Me Feel” 4:04
6. “To M.G. (Wherever She May Be)” 4:50
7. “Tonight” 3:17
8. “Cry Baby” 0:25
9. “Wild Angel” 3:13
10. “Peppermint Twist” 0:28
11. “Cheap Shot” 3:00

John Mellencamp – vocals, guitar
Doc Rosser – piano
Mike Wanchic – guitars, backing vocals
Larry Crane – guitars, backing vocals
Rick Shlosser – drums
Ed Greene – drums
Jeff Baxter – pedal steel guitar
Dave Woodford – saxophone
Kenny Aronoff – vibes
Robert “Ferd” Frank – bass guitar, backing vocals
John Barlow Jarvis – piano
Susan Duitch Helmer – backing vocals on “This Time”