From the Vault...


John Mellencamp
"Cuttin' Heads"

© Columbia Records

Year of Release: 2000

track listing
  • Cuttin' Heads
  • Peaceful World
  • Deep Blue Heart
  • Crazy Island
  • Just Like You
  • The Same Way I Do
  • Women Seem
  • Worn Out
    Nervous Condition
  • Shy
  • In Our Lives

  • 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

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    John Mellencamp
    "Cuttin' Heads"

    September 26 John Mellencamp History: On this date, in 1982, John Cougar Mellencamp reached #1 on what would be his only #1 Pop song, "Jack And Diane." Also, on the Albums Chart, his American Fool was spending its 4th week at #1. Both of these credits labeled his name as "John Cougar," a name of which he despised since he first emerged on the music scene. It was all from his record company, Riva Records. The name "Johnny Cougar" was also to be used, as Mellencamp had to swallow what they gave him. As his popularity grew more famous, he would add his real last name to John Cougar Mellencamp, and even better, remove the Cougar from his name all together. By the year 2000, his name was his given one, and Cuttin' Heads would achieve a song that was very popular, "Peaceful World."

    In looking at this album, the American flag is shown in the background of the album cover, as John Mellencamp's music clearly defines Americana music. Every song easily fits this particular style.

    The title track I do recall getting some radio airplay. It has a style of the Rolling Stones of their later years, even from one of their earlier albums, Goat Heads Soup. The odd thing about this song, is how rapper Chuck D gets to vocalize his rap talents. The sound of "Deep Blue Heart" asks this question: Is this considered "today's Country" or Americana? In either case, it is a very good song.

    "Crazy Island," "Just Like You," "Women Seem" -- all have the typical Mellencamp Americana Rock style; all very nice tunes. "The Same Way I Do" is another cool tune; it's good, it's cool, and a little bluesy.

    "Worn Out Nervous Condition" has a good rocking sound, with Mellencamp's low-key sounding vocals. "Shy" is just a shy different, yet easily fitting the Americana style. The last track, "In Our Lives", is a good Mellencamp rocking song to end the album.

    Americana is John Mellencamp. He has achieved this style thoughout his post-Cougar career. He has been very outspoken on the topic of how the Internet destroyed the Music Industry. "I think the Internet is the most dangerous thing invented since the atombic bomb. It's going to destroy the music business too." Mellencamp has a point in stating that the Internet has is dangerous; this media source has pratically put alot of record stores out of business. There are good points and bad points to this observation.

    I tend to agree, to a point... Before the internet, there were various record stores, where you could easily find the latest and current music, and more importantly, the older music. Sure, nowadays, you can go to a record store and purchase / look at the recent trends in today's music. But, if you discover a band or artist from decades ago, it it virtually impossible to locate them in the recent stores. Oh sure, today's store may have these older recordings too, but the stores from decades ago, would virtually stock up on almost every album an artist or band had ever recorded.

    Now, you can locate any recording of an album (used or new) on the Internet. The only bad thing about this, is at a record store, you can look at the album or cd. Used record stores of the past would let you listen to a used cd, before you bought it. Online, you have to buy the cd, and pay for shipping. And of course, with the topic of piriting, you can easily go to video sites, such as YouTube, and convert the video to mp3. To a point, the idea of not making any money off of the music you record is stealing, yet the plus side, is that if you don't sell it yourself, and use it for personal use, this is ok. Personally, it's better to purchase the cd: You get the complete album in clear quality sound, you get the booklet and other info related to the album, in either a nice jewel case, or digipak format.

    The whole Metallica and Napster issue was one thing. My only complaint in how Metallica made a lot of online radio stations force to charge their customers, is the fact that Metallica was not hurting where it came to money. The whole internet radio concept is to entertain its audiences. Not to steal anyone's music. It's used better off to promote music. Many independent bands and artists may never get the chance to record a major label album. The internet radio business easily lets its audience to tune in, and listen to what talent is out there, whether or not they actually pay for it. Paying for internet radio is an option, there are some that require it (thanks, Metallica), or not.

    But putting that all aside, John (Cougar) Mellencamp has proven over the decades, that he is a talented musician, songwriter, and performer. His music does represent the Red, White & Blue of Americana music. Like Metallica, his opinions regarding the Internet Music Industry is his business. Whether we tend to agree or disagree, his music is still enjoyed by many.

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    Previous Review: #1221
    Bill Anderson--Whispering Bill: Greatest Hits Volume Two
    Next Review: #1223
    Andrews Sisters--Their All-Time Greatest Hits