From the Vault...


John Cougar Mellencamp

© Riva Records

Year of Release: 1985

track listing
  • Rain On The Scarecrow
  • Grandma's Theme
  • Small Town
  • Minutes To Memories
  • Lonely Ol' Night
  • The Face Of The Nation
  • Justice And
    Independence '85
  • Between A Laugh
    And A Tear
  • Rumbleseat
  • You've Got To Stand
    For Somethin'
  • R.O.C.K. In The U.S.A.
    (A Salute To 60's
  • The Kind Of Fella I Am

  • WSVNRadio Archives
    A B C D E F G H I J K L M
    N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

    John Cougar Mellencamp related sites:
    John Cougar Mellencamp Website
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    John Cougar Mellencamp

    A great choice for the month of July, around Independence Day: John (Cougar) Mellencamp's 1985 release, Scarecrow. Likewise, Mellencamp makes his official debut on the WSVNRadio website. 1985 -- A triumphant year for me with personal memories, and for the career of John Mellencamp. Despite hearing many tunes on the radio from this album, let's count them -- 6 out of 12 -- many felt that his music was overplayed. Whether the fact remains true or not, Mellencamp's music has portrayed him as the working-class hero, an All-American musician, next to the likes of another popular artist in the same time period, Bruce Springsteen (Born In The U.S.A.).

    Almost 20 years later, Scarecrow sounds as fresh and entertaining, and now, cannot be classfied as being overplayed.

    Radio favorites were "Rain On The Scarecrow," "Small Town," "Minutes To Memories," "Lonely Ol' Night," "Rumbleseat," and "R.O.C.K. In The U.S.A." "Lonely Ol' Night" is never tiring; it is a great song of energy and lifting spirits, despite the Lonely title. "Small Town" has become a song of Americana, the video of this song also represents the small-town boy from Seymour, Indiana, and how life is enjoyed in such a small town: "No I cannot forget where it is that I come from, I cannot forget the people who love me, Yeah, I can be myself here in this small town, And people let me be just what I want to be."

    "Rain On The Scarecrow" has a somewhat eerie effect, yet you can't help but enjoy the song, as it grabs your interest, with the guitars being the driving force. "Minutes To Memories" is another well-known tune, as it became yet another Mellencamp radio favorite.

    "Rumbleseat" is a cute pop ditter, and it has the pop status of Bruce Springsteen. However, there is one song that did get kind of tiring for me, and that was "R.O.C.K. In The U.S.A. (A Salute To 60's Rock)" With the great references to 1960s idols, this song did get quite tiring, not only hearing it on the radio, it was also a song performed in a band I was in at the time, and since I never could compare my vocal styles to that of Mellencamp's, I was the fortunate one to take on the vocals on this tune in my band, yet I never thought it was not one of my finest moments.

    Just clocking under a minute, "Grandma's Theme" is from Mellencamp's public domain; this little tune was sung by Laura Mellencamp, John's grandmother. What a treat to include on an album, having family members participate. Especially parents and/or grandparents, knowing the fact as the years and decades go by, you will always have a warm feeling hearing your relatives again, and also sounding fresh and vibrant, despite that they may be alot more older, or have passed away.

    "The Face Of The Nation" and "Justice And Independence '85" are just as equal as the other radio favorites; they're great to listen to, and it's always a treat to listen to the less-than-popular tunes of a well-known artist.

    "Between A Laugh And A Tear" is a great lost album track. Having the common sound of Mellencamp, it can also be compared to the later years of Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band. The guitars on "You've Got To Stand For Somethin'" is the giveaway -- it's easily identified as John Mellencamp, and is another good album track. A harder-edged Mellencamp is heard on the closing number, "The Kind Of Fella I Am," where Mellencamp rocks out just a little bit harder than the standard so-called pop style most fans are familar with.

    Mellencamp's Scarecrow is a classic. It represents Americana at its finest. Mellencamp, like Springsteen, displays himself as the average working-class American worker, and always making a name for himself in working hard, and accomplishing popularity with his fans. No doubt, Mellencamp did just that, and he has been popular ever since. His future albums may not have been as his heyday years of say, 1982-1985, yet Mellencamp's fans can easily be proud of his American representation, of being a great in the U.S.A.

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    Previous Review: #792
    Elvis Presley--Spinout/Double Trouble
    Next Review: #794
    Reba McEntire--It's Your Call