Tag: John Mellencamp

Sunday 11/14/21 2am ET: Feature LP: John Mellencamp – Scarecrow (1985)

Scarecrow is the eighth studio album by John Mellencamp. Released in August 1985, it peaked at #2 on the U.S. chart. The remastered version was released May 24, 2005 on Mercury/Island/UMe and includes one bonus track.

This album contained three Top 10 hits, a record for a Mellencamp album: “R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.,” which peaked at #2 in the U.S.; “Lonely Ol’ Night,” which peaked at #6; and “Small Town,” which also peaked at #6. “Lonely Ol’ Night” also peaked at #1 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, his second chart-topping single on this chart.

In 1989, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Scarecrow #95 on its list of the 100 greatest albums of the 1980s, saying: “Scarecrow consolidated the band’s rugged, roots-rock thrash and the ongoing maturation of Mellencamp’s lyrics.”

Rolling Stone also reported that the band spent a month in rehearsals, playing a hundred rock and roll songs from the Sixties before going into the studio. According to the record’s producer, Don Gehman, the idea was to “learn all these devices from the past and use them in a new way with John’s arrangements.” The album was recorded at Mellencamp’s own “Belmont Mall” studio in Belmont, Indiana.

The overall theme of the album is the fading of the American dream in the face of corporate greed. Rolling Stone wrote that songs such as “Face of the Nation,” “Minutes to Memories” and “Small Town” have a “bittersweet, reflective tone.”

In his 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame exhibit, Mellencamp said: “With Scarecrow, I was finally starting to find my feet as a songwriter. Finally, for the first time, I realized what I thought I wanted to say in song. …I wanted it to be more akin to Tennessee Williams, John Steinbeck, Faulkner, as opposed to The Rolling Stones or Bob Dylan.”

Rain on the Scarecrow” – 3:46
“Grandma’s Theme” – 0:56
“Small Town” – 3:41
“Minutes to Memories” – 4:11
“Lonely Ol’ Night” – 3:45
The Face of the Nation” – 3:13
“Justice and Independence ’85” – 3:32

“Between a Laugh and a Tear” – 4:32
“Rumbleseat” – 2:58
“You’ve Got to Stand for Somethin'” – 4:32
“R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A. (A Salute to 60s Rock)” – 2:54
“The Kind of Fella I Am” – 2:55

John Mellencamp – vocals, guitar, harmonica on “Small Town”
Larry Crane – electric guitars, acoustic guitars, backing vocals
Kenny Aronoff – drums, tambourine, vibes, backing vocals
Mike Wanchic – electric guitars, backing vocals
Toby Myers – electric bass, backing vocals
John Cascella – keyboards
Rickie Lee Jones – vocals on “Between a Laugh and a Tear”
Sarah Flint – background vocals on “R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.”
Laura Mellencamp (John Mellencamp’s grandmother) – lead vocal on “Grandma’s Theme”
Mimi Mapes – backing vocals on “Minutes to Memories”
A. Jack Wilkins – saxophone on “Justice and Independence ’85”
Richard Fanning – trumpet on “Justice and Independence ’85”
Ry Cooder – slide guitar on “The Kind of Fella I Am”

Wednesday 10/6/21 12pm ET: Artist Countdown: John Mellencamp Top 30 Hits

John J. Mellencamp (born October 7, 1951), previously known as Johnny Cougar, John Cougar, and John Cougar Mellencamp, an American singer-songwriter with over four decades in the recording industry, has released 23 studio albums, two live albums, four compilation albums, 65 singles and has appeared on one tribute album and one guest single respectively.

His 1976 debut album Chestnut Street Incident (credited to the stage name Johnny Cougar) failed to make any significant impact and was therefore considered a major disappointment for his then record label Mainman. Consequently, Johnny Cougar (the artist) was dropped by Mainman, but his story did not end there. John Mellencamp refused to give up, and was eventually re-signed, (this time to Riva records) although he would continue to record under the John Cougar moniker for several more years. Mellencamp’s first album to chart on the Billboard 200 was the (then self-titled) John Cougar album in 1979, which was certified Gold by the RIAA. Mellencamp’s major commercial breakthrough came in 1982 with American Fool, which reached number one on the Billboard 200 and yielded two singles, “Hurts So Good” and “Jack & Diane”, which reached number two and number one respectively on the Billboard Hot 100. American Fool would eventually sell ten million copies worldwide (5 million in the US alone). From 1983 to 1987, Mellencamp released three consecutive albums—Uh-Huh (1983), Scarecrow (1985), and The Lonesome Jubilee (1987)—which were all certified Triple Platinum by the RIAA. Combined, the three albums spawned sixteen singles, six of which—”Crumblin’ Down”, “Pink Houses”, “Lonely Ol’ Night”, “Small Town”, “Paper in Fire” and “Cherry Bomb”—became top ten hits in the US. In 1997, Mellencamp released his first ever greatest hits collection entitled The Best That I Could Do 1978–1988. To date, this compilation has sold six million copies worldwide.

Mellencamp has charted twenty eight singles on the Billboard Hot 100, including twenty two hits in the Top 40, seventeen of which made the Top 20 and ten of those would crack the Top 10. He has scored twenty two albums on the Billboard 200, including seventeen in the Top 20 and eleven in the Top 10. Mellencamp has sold about thirty million albums in the US and over sixty million worldwide.

1Wild Night (featuring Me’Shell Ndegéocello)
2Key West Intermezzo (I Saw You First)
3R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A. (A Salute to ’60s Rock)
4Jack & Diane
5Cherry Bomb
6Small Town
7Pop Singer
8Paper in Fire
9Lonely Ol’ Night
10Jackie Brown
11Check It Out
12Hurts So Good
13Just Another Day
14Again Tonight
15Human Wheels
16Rooty Toot Toot
17Your Life Is Now
18Get a Leg Up
19Dance Naked
20Crumblin’ Down
21Pink Houses
22Hand to Hold on To
23Authority Song
24Rave On
25I’m Not Running Anymore
26Rain on the Scarecrow
27Ain’t Even Done with the Night
28Peaceful World (featuring India.Arie)
29Now More Than Ever
30Rumbleseat

Sunday 6/6/21 12am ET: Feature LP: Footloose Soundtrack (1984)

Footloose: Original Soundtrack of the Paramount Motion Picture is the original soundtrack of the Paramount motion picture Footloose. The original nine-track album was released in 1984 and reached number one on the US Billboard 200 chart on April 21, 1984, where it stayed until June 23, 1984. When it was re-released in 1998, four bonus tracks were added to the album, all of which were used in the film as well. In 2002, Sony International released the “Australian Souvenir Edition”, also titled “Australian Cast Special Edition”. Two megamixes were added to the album, featuring the Australian cast of the Footloose musical. The original soundtrack contained six Billboard Hot 100 Top 40 hits, three of which reached the Top 10, including two number-one hits, “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins and “Let’s Hear It for the Boy” by Deniece Williams, and “Almost Paradise”, a duet by Ann Wilson and Mike Reno that reached number seven, plus “Somebody’s Eyes” by Karla Bonoff climbed to number sixteen on the Adult Contemporary chart. Many people bought the soundtrack album without even seeing the film.

In 2009, Doveman released a reimagining of the soundtrack album. The original soundtrack for the 2011 remake was released by Atlantic Records and Warner Music Nashville on September 27, 2011.

  1. “Footloose” (Kenny Loggins) 3:46
  2. “Let’s Hear It for the Boy” (Deniece Williams) 4:20
  3. “Almost Paradise” (Love Theme from Footloose) (Mike Reno and Ann Wilson) 3:50
  4. “Holding Out for a Hero” (Bonnie Tyler) 5:50
  5. “Dancing in the Sheets” (Shalamar) 4:03
  6. “I’m Free (Heaven Helps the Man)” (Kenny Loggins) 3:46
  7. “Somebody’s Eyes” (Karla Bonoff) 3:33
  8. “The Girl Gets Around” (Sammy Hagar) 3:22
  9. “Never” (Moving Pictures) 3:45
  10. “Bang Your Head (Metal Health)” (Quiet Riot) 5:17
  11. “Hurts So Good” (John Mellencamp) 3:42
  12. “Waiting for a Girl Like You” (Foreigner) 4:50
  13. “Dancing in the Sheets” (Extended 12″ Remix) (Shalamar) 6:16

Thursday 5/20/21 2pm ET: Sounds of 2000

Featuring music from 2000 – 2009. This week music from John Mellencamp, Ben’s Brother, Elton John, Shania Twain, AC/DC, Goo Goo Dolls, Martina McBride, Doobie Brothers, Poison, Jack Ingram, and more . . .

Monday 4/5/21 11pm 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

Thursday 2/25/21 7pm ET: Feature LP: John Mellencamp – Lonesome Jubilee (1987)

The Lonesome Jubilee is the ninth studio album by American singer-songwriter John Mellencamp, credited as John Cougar Mellencamp. The album was released by Mercury Records on August 24, 1987. Four singles were released from the album, the first two in 1987 and the last two in 1988.

The album was one of Mellencamp’s most successful worldwide, charting in ten countries. The album was most successful in Canada where it topped RPM magazine’s Top Albums chart and became the artist’s highest certified album by Music Canada (formerly the Canadian Recording Industry Association) becoming 6x platinum.

“We were on the road for a long time after Scarecrow, so we were together a lot as a band,” Mellencamp said in a 1987 Creem Magazine feature. “For the first time ever, we talked about the record before we started. We had a very distinct vision of what should be happening here. At one point, The Lonesome Jubilee was supposed to be a double album, but at least 10 of the songs I’d written just didn’t stick together with the idea and the sound we had in mind. So I just put those songs on a shelf, and cut it back down to a single record. Now, in the past, it was always ‘Let’s make it up as we go along’ – and we did make some of The Lonesome Jubilee up as we went along. But we had a very clear idea of what we wanted it to sound like, even before it was written, right through to the day it was mastered.”

“Paper in Fire” – 3:51
“Down and Out in Paradise” – 3:37
“Check It Out” – 4:19
“The Real Life” – 3:57
“Cherry Bomb” – 4:47
“We Are the People” – 4:17
“Empty Hands” – 3:43
“Hard Times for an Honest Man” – 3:27
“Hotdogs and Hamburgers” – 4:04
“Rooty Toot Toot” – 3:29
“Blues from the Front Porch” – 2:02

John Mellencamp – vocal, guitar
Kenny Aronoff – drums, percussion, backing vocals
Larry Crane – guitars, mandolin, harmonica, autoharp, banjo, backing vocals
John Cascella – accordion, keyboards, saxophone, melodica, penny whistle, claves
Lisa Germano – fiddle
Toby Myers – bass guitar, banjo, backing vocals
Pat Peterson – backing vocals, cowbell, tambourine
Crystal Taliefero – backing vocals
Mike Wanchic – guitars, dobro, banjo, dulcimer, backing vocals

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”

Monday 1/4/2021 10pm ET: Feature LP: John Mellencamp – John Cougar (1979)

John Cougar is the third studio album by John Mellencamp. It was his first album to be released by his new record company Riva Records and to credit him as “John Cougar”. Released in 1979, following the success in Australia of the single “I Need a Lover” from his previous album A Biography (which did not receive a U.S. release), John Cougar included the aforementioned track for U.S. audiences, as well as a re-working of A Biography’s “Taxi Dancer”.

“I Need a Lover”, upon the release of this album, became a Top 40 hit in the U.S., peaking at No. 28 in December 1979, after having been a No. 5 hit in Australia in 1978 when it was released as a single from A Biography. “Miami” was also a hit single in Australia, his second Top 40 hit in that country. “I Need a Lover” was subsequently covered by Pat Benatar on her album In the Heat of the Night. In the U.S., however, “Small Paradise” was released as a single in place of “Miami”, but it was not very successful, peaking at No. 87 on the Billboard Hot 100 in February 1980. During concerts in 1979 and 1980, guitarist Mike Wanchic would trade lead vocals with Mellencamp on “Miami”.

Mellencamp recorded a solo acoustic rendition of “Sugar Marie” for his 2010 box set On the Rural Route 7609, stating in the set’s liner notes: “‘Sugar Marie’ suffered from young musicians not knowing how to present the music. I’ve always had an affection for the song, and I’ve always known it had something I didn’t get at on the album.”

On his inspiration for writing “I Need A Lover”, his first Top 40 hit, Mellencamp said: “The song’s about a friend of mine who goes to Concordia College. When that song was written, he was pretty sad. He was . . . livin’ in his bedroom. I told him, ‘You got to get the hell out of the house!’ He’d say, ‘Man, if I only had a girl, she’d make me forget my problems.’ I just said, ‘Well . . . ’”

“A Little Night Dancin'” – 3:43
“Small Paradise” – 3:40
“Miami” – 3:53
“The Great Midwest” – 4:29
“Do You Think That’s Fair” – 4:48
“I Need a Lover” – 5:35
“Welcome to Chinatown” – 3:59
“Sugar Marie” – 4:16
“Pray for Me” – 3:30
“Taxi Dancer” – 5:02
“I Need A Lover” (Single Edit) – 3:39

John Mellencamp – vocal, guitar
Brian Bec Var – piano, keyboards
Larry Crane – guitars, backing vocals
Mike “Chief” Wanchic – guitars, backing vocals
Robert “Ferd” Frank – bass
Tom Knowles – drums

Wednesday 6pm ET: Sounds of The 70s

This week on the Sounds of The 70s we feature music from:  Pablo Cruise, Bob Dylan, Cheap Trick, John Mellencamp, Elton John, Doobie Brothers, Village People, America, Hillside Singers and more . . . 

Tuesday 4pm: Sounds of The 80s

This week on The Sounds of The 80s we feature tunes from:  Leslie Pearl, Whitesnake, Chicago, Pretenders, David Bowie, Pebbles, Wham!, Erasure, Billy Idol, Alabama, John Mellencamp and more . . . 

Wednesday 4pm: Sounds of The 70’s

This week on the Sounds of The 70s:  Yes, Wet Willie, Tony Orlando & Dawn, John Mellencamp, Elton John, Rattles, Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Abba, Queen, Chicago, Billy Joel, Helen Reddy, Jackson Browne and more . .  

Tuesday 2pm: Sounds of The 80’s

This week on Sounds of The 80s we feature your requests and music from:  Boz Scaggs, John Mellencamp, Reba McEntire, Peter Gabriel, Julian Lennon, John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, Ramones, Steve Carlisle, Journey and more . . . 

Wednesday 10pm: In Concert – John Mellencamp 2019

John J Mellencamp (born October 7, 1951), previously known as Johnny Cougar, John Cougar, and John Cougar Mellencamp, is an American musician, singer-songwriter, painter, and actor. He is known for his catchy, populist brand of heartland rock, which emphasizes traditional instrumentation. Mellencamp rose to fame in the 1980s while “honing an almost startlingly plainspoken writing style” that, starting in 1982, yielded a string of Top 10 singles, including “Hurts So Good,” “Jack & Diane,” “Crumblin’ Down,” “Pink Houses,” “Lonely Ol’ Night,” “Small Town,” “R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.,” “Paper in Fire,” and “Cherry Bomb.” He has amassed 22 Top 40 hits in the United States. In addition, he holds the record for the most tracks by a solo artist to hit number one on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, with seven. Mellencamp has been nominated for 13 Grammy Awards, winning one. His latest album of original songs, Sad Clowns & Hillbillies, was released on April 28, 2017 to widespread critical acclaim.

Mellencamp is also one of the founding members of Farm Aid, an organization that began in 1985 with a concert in Champaign, Illinois, to raise awareness about the loss of family farms and to raise funds to keep farm families on their land. Farm Aid concerts have remained an annual event over the past 34 years, and as of 2019 the organization has raised over $53 million to promote a strong and resilient family farm system of agriculture.

Mellencamp was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 10, 2008. On June 14, 2018, Mellencamp was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. His biggest musical influences are Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, James Brown and the Rolling Stones. Rolling Stone contributor Anthony DeCurtis said: “Mellencamp has created an important body of work that has earned him both critical regard and an enormous audience. His songs document the joys and struggles of ordinary people seeking to make their way, and he has consistently brought the fresh air of common experience to the typically glamour-addled world of popular music.”

1. Love And Happiness
2. Paper In Fire
3. Jack And Diane
4. Lonely Ol’ Night
6. Rain On The Scarecrow
5. Check It Out
7. Martha Say
8. The Real Life
9. Rumble Seat
10. Get A Leg Up
11. Jackie Brown
12. Small Town
13. Minutes To Memories
14. Now More Than Ever
15. Pop Singer
16. Crumblin’ Down
17. R.O.C.K. In The USA
19. Hurts So Good
18. Play Guitar
20. Authority Song
21. Pink Houses
22. Cherry Bomb

Tuesday 1pm: Feature LP: John Mellencamp – Other People’s Stuff (2018)

AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
John Mellencamp gives away the intent of Other People’s Stuff with its titles: it’s a collection of covers, ten songs recorded between 1993 and 2018. Some of these songs come from tribute albums or soundtracks — “Gambling Bar Room Blues” is taken from a 1997 tribute to Jimmie Rodgers, “I Don’t Know Why I Love You” was pulled from 2003’s An Interpretation of Stevie Wonder’s Songs — but most come from Mellencamp’s studio albums. The notable exception is “Eyes on the Prize,” a song he originally performed for President Barack Obama at the White House in 2010, here given a robust new version that sits along the rest of the oldies quite easily, playing as a slice of Americana that can also be read as protest song. Not everything on Other People’s Stuff is politically charged — Robert Johnson’s “Stones in My Passway” is merely haunted, for instance — but taken as a whole, the album can be read as a summation of what Mellencamp loves about America, which amounts to a political statement in 2018. – AllMusic