Friday 4/22/22 10pm ET: Feature LP: John Mellencamp – American Fool (1982)

American Fool is the fifth studio album by John Mellencamp, released under the stage name John Cougar on April 12, 1982. The album was his commercial breakthrough, holding the No. 1 position on the Billboard album chart for nine weeks.

According to a 1983 article in the Toledo Blade, the song “Danger List” originated when Mellencamp heard his guitarist Larry Crane playing some chords in a basement rehearsal room. “I turned on the tape recorder and sang 30 verses,” Mellencamp explained. “I just made them up. Then I went and weeded out the ones I didn’t like.”

A remastered version of American Fool was released on Mercury/Island/UMe on March 29, 2005; it includes one bonus track, the previously unreleased title track.

Hurts So Good” – 3:42
Jack & Diane” – 4:16
Hand to Hold On To” – 3:25
“Danger List” – 4:28
“Can You Take It” – 3:35
“Thundering Hearts” – 3:40
“China Girl” – 3:34
“Close Enough” – 3:38
“Weakest Moments” – 4:07
“American Fool” (2005 re-issue bonus track) – 3:46

John Mellencamp – lead vocals, guitar, tambourine
Larry Crane – guitar, background vocals
Mike Wanchic – guitar, background vocals
Kenny Aronoff – drums
George “Chocolate” Perry – bass
Mick Ronson – guitar, background vocals
Robert “Ferd” Frank – bass, background vocals
Eric Rosser – keyboards
Dave Parman – background vocals