Saturday, October 27, 2012

Traditional Country Music Hall of Fame

image from talentondisplay.com

The website offers little explanation of the Hall, including when it began or if it is even still operational, but acknowledges is neither has a building nor gives actual tangible awards to inductees. Categories include artists, songs, session players, writers, publishers, sidemen, background vocals, producers, and humor. Inductees in the “artists” category are listed below.


A

  • Roy Acuff
  • Alabama
  • Rex Allen, Sr.
  • Rex Allen, Jr.
  • Tommy Allsup
  • Jimmie Ammons
  • Bill Anderson
  • Lynn Anderson
  • Eddy Arnold
  • Ernie Ashworth
  • Asleep at the Wheel
  • Chet Atkins
  • Bobby Austin
  • Gene Autry

B

  • Moe Bandy
  • Bobby Bare
  • Jack Barlow
  • Joe Berry
  • Eddie Bond
  • Johnny Bond
  • Owen Bradley
  • Jim Ed Brown
  • Jimmy Bryant
  • Jimmy Buffett
  • Pearl & Carl Butler
  • Johnny Bush

C

  • Archie Campbell
  • Glen Campbell
  • Bill Carlisle
  • Carter Family
  • Anita Carter
  • June Carter
  • Maybelle Carter
  • Wilf Carter
  • Johnny Cash
  • Tommy Cash
  • Guy Clark
  • Roy Clark
  • Jack Clement
  • Vassar Clements
  • Patsy Cline
  • Jerry Clower
  • Hank Cochran
  • David Allen Coe
  • Tommy Collins
  • Jessi Colter
  • John Conlee
  • Earl Thomas Conley
  • Spade Cooley
  • Wilma Lee Cooper
  • Carolina Cotton
  • Floyd Cramer
  • Billy Crash Craddock

D

  • Vernon Dalhart
  • Lacy J. Dalton
  • Jose Daniel
  • Charlie Daniels
  • Mac Davis
  • Skeeter Davis
  • Delmore Brothers
  • Jimmy Dean
  • Kathy Dee
  • Iris Dement
  • John Denver
  • Al Dexter
  • Little Jimmy Dickens
  • Col. Buster Doss
  • Pete Drake
  • Roy Drusky
  • Dave Dudley

E

  • Stoney Edwards
  • Ralph Emory
  • Dale Evans
  • Everly Brothers

F

  • Donna Fargo
  • Narvel Felts
  • Freddy Fender
  • Flatt & Scruggs
  • Red Foley
  • Tennessee Ernie Ford
  • Whitey "Duke of Paducah" Ford
  • Forester Sisters
  • Mary Ford
  • Four Guys
  • Di Anne Foxx
  • Janie Frickie
  • Lefty Frizzell

G

  • Larry Galtin & the Gatlin Brothers
  • Crystal Gayle
  • Geezinslaws
  • Don Gibson
  • Kenny Gill
  • Mickey Gilley
  • Johnny Gimble
  • Glen Glenn
  • Vern Gosdin
  • Claude Gray
  • Jack Greene
  • Lee Greenwood

H

  • Merle Haggard
  • Tom T. Hall
  • George Hamilton IV
  • Emmy Lou Harris
  • Freddie Hart
  • John Hartford
  • Willie Harris
  • Don Helms
  • Hazel Dickens
  • Harlan Howard
  • Jan Howard
  • Lou Hobbs
  • Homer & Jethro
  • Johnny Horton
  • Ferlin Husky

I-J

  • Alan Jackson
  • Stonewall Jackson
  • Wanda Jackson
  • Sonny James
  • Norma Jean
  • Waylon Jennings
  • Jim & Jesse
  • Lost John
  • George Jones
  • Grandpa Jones
  • Jordanaires
  • Bill Jorgenson

K

  • Kendalls
  • Doug Kershaw
  • Hal Ketchum
  • Pee Wee King
  • Kris Kristofferson

L

  • Brenda Lee
  • Jerry Lee Lewis
  • Light Crust Doughboys
  • George Lindsey
  • Hank Locklin
  • Lonzo & Oscar
  • Loretta Lynn
  • Charlie Louvin
  • Louvin Brothers
  • Lulu Belle & Scotty
  • Bob Luman

M

  • Uncle Dave Macon
  • Rose Maddox
  • Fred & Maddox Brothers
  • Barbara Mandrell
  • Grady Martin
  • Hack Martin
  • Troy Martin
  • David Mayfield
  • Leon McAuliffe
  • O.B. McClinton
  • C.W. McCall
  • Joe Manuel
  • Del McCoury
  • Mel McDaniel
  • McGee Brothers
  • Ron McMunn
  • Roger Miller
  • Ronnie Milsap
  • Bill Monroe
  • Patsy Montana
  • Bob Moore
  • George Morgan
  • Col. Robert Morris
  • Moon Mullican
  • Anne Murray

N

  • Ken Nelson
  • Willie Nelson
  • Jimmy C. Newman
  • Juice Newton
  • Roy Nichols
  • Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

O

  • Oak Ridge Boys
  • Molly O'Day
  • Old Joe Clark
  • Osborne Brothers
  • Bashful Brother Oswald
  • Paul Overstreet
  • Buck Owens
  • Vernon Oxford

P-Q

  • Johnny Paycheck
  • Billy Parker
  • Dolly Parton
  • Minnie Pearl
  • Joe Penny
  • Carl Perkins
  • Webb Pierce
  • Bill Phillips
  • Stu Phillips
  • Ray Pillow
  • Elvis Presley
  • Ray Price
  • Charley Pride
  • Jeanne Pruett

R

  • Eddie Rabbitt
  • Boots Randolph
  • Eddy Raven
  • Collin Raye
  • Jerry Reed
  • Del Reeves
  • Jim Reeves
  • Donn Reynolds
  • Charlie Rich
  • Jeannie C. Riley
  • Tex Ritter
  • Hargus "Pig" Robbins
  • Marty Robbins
  • Kenny Roberts
  • Texas Jim Robertson
  • Harold Rogers
  • Jimmie Rodgers
  • Johnny Rodriquez
  • Kenny Rogers
  • Roy Rogers
  • Fred Rose
  • Johnny Russell

S

  • Jeannie Seely
  • Billy Joe Shaver
  • Jerry Shea
  • Jean Shepard
  • T.G. Sheppard
  • Billy Sherrill
  • Ricky Skaggs
  • Cal Smith
  • Carl Smith
  • Connie Smith
  • Margo Smith
  • Sammi Smith
  • Warren Smith
  • Hank Snow
  • Red Sovine
  • Joe Stampley
  • Stanley Brothers
  • Statler Brothers
  • Ray Stevens
  • Wynn Stewart
  • Cliffie Stone
  • George Strait
  • Marty Stuart

T-U-V

  • Hank Thompson
  • Mel Tillis
  • Floyd Tillman
  • Tompall & The Glaser Brothers
  • Randy Travis
  • Merle Travis
  • Conway Twitty
  • Ernest Tubb
  • Justin Tubb
  • Tanya Tucker

W

  • Porter Wagoner
  • Jimy Walkey
  • Billy Walker
  • Cindy Walker
  • Doc Watson
  • Gene Watson
  • Jerry Jeff Walker
  • Freddy Weller
  • Kitty Wells
  • Dottie West
  • Karen/Onie Wheeler
  • Slim Whitman
  • Wilburn Brothers
  • Don Williams
  • Hank Williams Sr.
  • Leona Williams
  • Bob Wills
  • Mac Wiseman
  • Sheb Wooley
  • Tammy Wynette

X-Y-Z

  • Dwight Yoakam
  • Faron Young
  • Eddie Zack

Resources:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

James Brown is recorded live at the Apollo 50 Years Ago Today

First posted 10/24/2011; updated 6/14/2019.

Live at the Apollo Volume 1

James Brown


Recorded: 10/24/1962


Released: May 1963


Charted: 6/29/1963


Peak: #2 US


Sales (in millions): 1.0 US


Genre: R&B


Quotable: “There is no more exciting document of live performance in the history of R&B.” – Barney Hoskyns, Amazon.com


Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.)

  1. Introduction by Fats Gonder – Opening Fanfare
  2. I’ll Go Crazy (2/22/60, #73 US, #15 RB)
  3. Try Me (11/10/58, #48 US, #1 RB)
  4. Instrumental Bridge
  5. Think (5/2/60, #33 US, #7 RB)
  6. Instrumental Bridge
  7. Lost Someone (12/18/61, #48 US, #2 RB)
  8. Please, Please, Please (4/7/56, #95 US, #5 RB)
  9. You’ve Got the Power (5/2/60, #86 US, #14 RB)
  10. I Found Someone
  11. Why Do You Do Me Like You Do)
  12. Night Train (4/14/62, #35 US, #5 RB)

    Note: chart peaks are for studio versions.


Review:

“There is no more exciting document of live performance in the history of R&B.” AZ James Brown is now widely acclaimed as “The Godfather of Soul,” but at the time of this album’s release, he was “still widely unknown outside the African-American community.” JD On top of that, his studio albums failed to do “justice to his dynamic performance style.” NRR Brown asked his record label to record one of his shows. When they refused, he bankrolled the project himself, TL knowing “his live performances contained electricity unable to be reproduced in the studio.” RV

“By the end of these thirty-two minutes, no one will doubt that James really was the hardest working man in show business (and this without even seeing him dance!).” AMG The setting was Harlem’s Apollo Theater, “the ultimate shrine of black American music.” AZ “The Apollo audience, hysterical with adulation, plays as big a part in Live at the Apollo as Brown himself.” AZ

“Brown puts on a flawless show of dynamism that lost nothing in the transfer to vinyl.” TL The band “is in stellar form, tight as a fist (especially the horn section) and supporting their leader with both strength and subtlety,” AMG moving “like a single organism, with the horns ‘answering’ Brown’s guttural moans and bone-rattling wails, the bass and the rhythm guitar prompting an impossible-to resist swaying of the hips, and the tight snare drum hits on two and four sweeping us up, hypnotizing us, and virtually reprogramming our heartbeats in time with Brown’s.” JD Through it all, though, “Brown is truly the star of this show.” AMGLive at the Apollo left no doubt in anyone’s mind that he was a live performer without peer, and that his talent could communicate just as strongly on tape as in person.” AMG

Apollo “predates the brittle but powerful funk grooves which would later make Brown the most sampled man in show business and focuses on his earlier and (relatively) more conventional hits, the building blocks of his pioneering sound are all here in high-octane live versions.” AMG

“Deftly swinging from up-tempo grooves to romantic ballads (albeit delivered with Brown’s typically abundant enthusiasm),” JD Apollo “captures the sound of Brown baring his soul with an almost unbearable intensity, which drives the audience into a manic chorus of shouts and screams.” AMG

“The album seems like one continuous medley – Brown follows hit after hit with staggering verve.” RV “The set contains only six full songs, and most of those clock in at under two minutes. The entire performance is linked by instrumental bridges as the band builds up to the big medley – a six-minute merger of bits and pieces…then hurtles through the frantic farewell of Night Train.” JD

“Some listeners have suggested that the length of the recording and the effect of alternating the pounding, up-tempo grooves with the seductive slow jams evokes an expert session of lovemaking…One thing is for sure: The tone of the banter between Brown and the audience (especially the women) is positively orgasmic at times, as during the languorous, drawn-out version of Lost Someone.” JD “The song builds with intensity until the bottom drops, a…move that sends the audience into hysterics.” RV and “is one of the most heart-stopping moments in soul.” AZ

“Only a few thousand copies of the original were pressed, but demand became so great (it ultimately sold well over a million) that DJs played the album in its entirety.” TL It ended up on the Billboard charts for more than a year, peaking at #2 and becoming “a watershed album, both for James Brown and for the burgeoning soul music movement.” AMG It has also gone “down in history as one of the best live albums ever made.” JD


Review Source(s):


Awards:


Monday, October 22, 2012

Led Zeppelin released its second album: October 22, 1969

image from 3news.co.nz


Release date: 22 October 1969
Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.) Whole Lotta Love (11/22/69, #4 US, #21 UK, sales: 0.5 m) / What Is and What Should Never Be / The Lemon Song / Thank You (12/17/94 *, #8 AR) / Heartbreaker / Living Loving Maid (She’s Just a Woman) (3/14/70, #65 US) / Ramble On / Moby Dick / Bring It on Home

* live version by Robert Plant and Jimmy Page

Sales (in millions): 12.0 US, -- UK, 24.5 world

Peak: 17 US, 11 UK

Rating:


Review: This is “macho metal the way it was meant to sound.” VB When Led Zeppelin burst onto the scene in 1969, their “hard-edged” TM debut “suggested much of the preceding activity in British blues-rock had been child’s play.” TM With demand high for more product, the group their second album in the midst of their first American tours. The resulting Led Zeppelin II “doesn’t have the eclecticism of the group’s debut, it’s arguably more influential.” AMG It “provided the blueprint for all the heavy metal bands that followed it” AMG by foreshadowing “the basic guitar attack of heavy metal.” TM

With little opportunity to write new material, the group tapped into the blues tradition of “borrowing” and “recast lyrics and melodic ideas from old blues standards” TM they performed in concert. AMG The Lemon Song reinterpreted Howlin’ Wolf’s “Killing Floor” while “the crunching Whole Lotta LoveDBW was a reworking of Willie Dixon’s “You Need Love/Woman You Need Love.” The tune, often associated with Muddy Waters, drew lawsuits settled out of court which gave Dixon co-writing credit on subsequent pressings. TM

Whole Lotta Love

There was, however, no denying Led Zep’s talent for recrafting blues songs “into a startlingly visceral, grab-you-by-the-throat sound that changed rock forever.” TM They may not have written the songs, but they came “to fully own them.” TM They simplified the riffs, pumped up the volume, and added extended instrumental solos for a sound which is “heavy and hard, brutal and direct.” AMG They “radically revamp the outlines of the music until it speaks with a bold, sometimes brutal fury.” TM “Robert Plant’s irony-free wail, John Bonham’s power drumming, and Jimmy Page’s squeaking, squawking, screaming guitar riffs casued a nation of hippie-dippie longhairs to put down their flowers and grab their crotches.” VB

Living Loving Maid

The album ranged from “heavy rock songs…like Living Loving MaidJA to “lighter, folk-tinged tunes, such as What Is and What Should Never Be…[which would] anticipate the mystical airs Zeppelin would pursue later, most successfully with the epic ‘Stairway to Heaven.’” TM Thank You and Ramble On also “sport light, acoustic touches.” AMG The latter features “nice melody and some terrific bass playing from Jones.” DBW

Living Loving Maid


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Award(s):


Friday, October 19, 2012

Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition performed for first time: October 19, 1923


Check the Dave’s Music Database Facebook page for daily music-related posts. Also check out books by Dave Whitaker, including the collection of past blog entries, No One Needs 21 Versions of “Purple Haze”…And Other Essays from a Musical Obsessive.



Modest Mussorgsky composed “Pictures at an Exhibition” in June 1874 as a piano suite However, Maurice Ravel redid it for orchestra, premiering its first performance on October 19, 1923. Proving that any good work can be reinterpreted multiple ways, the piece resurfaced as “one of the seminal documents of the progressive rock era” BE when Emerson, Lake, & Palmer put their stamp on it.

Mussorgsky’s original work was inspired by a memorial retrospective of some 400 drawings and watercolors by Viktor Hartmann. Hartmann was a St. Petersburg artist, architect, and stage designer, who was friends with Mussorgsky.



It was edited for publication in 1886 by Rimsky-Korsakov. Over the next century, more than a dozen versions surfaced, “but none that challenge the finesse, subtlety, and cumulative impact of Maurice Ravel’s (1875-1937).” RD In 1913, Ravel, “France’s foremost living composer,” RD was commissioned to score what had been omitted from Rimsky-Korsakov’s version. BD He went on to lead “the world and American premieres (the latter with his Boston Symphony in 1926).” RD

Prog-rock group Emerson, Lake, & Palmer performed it live in 1971. The performance was released as an album and “made its way into the collections of millions of high-school kids who never heard of [Mussorgsky or Hartmann].” BE “It wasn’t the first treatment of a classical piece in this manner by any means…but it was the first to reach a mass audience or get heavy radio play (at least of excerpts), and introduced the notion of ‘classical rock’ to millions of listeners.” BE




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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Jackson 5 land fourth consecutive #1 with "I'll Be There": October 17, 1970


Michael Jackson was only 11 years old when The Jackson 5 hit #1 with “I Want You Back”, their chart debut. Less than a year later, “I’ll Be There” became the group’s fourth consecutive chart topper, making them the first black male group to achieve such a feat. WK It was the group’s biggest hit and the most successful Motown single from their 1959-72 Detroit era, WK but it would be the last time the Jackson brothers would collectively peak in the pole position, but Michael would go on to hit the top slot thirteen times as a solo act.

Motown chief Berry Gordy decided for a change of pace after three upbeat singles from The Jackson 5. Instead of relying on the stable of Motown songwriters known as “The Corporation”, he turned to Hal Davis, Willie Hutch, and Bob West for this ballad. In the song, a man declares eternal dedication to a former lover, saying that she can always come back to him. Michael and older brother Jermaine share the lead vocal, but this is really Michael’s showcase. “Rarely, if ever, had one so young sung with so much authority and grace,” AMG bringing “perfect aplomb…to material that ought to be both more romantic and more dramatic than he could possibly comprehend.” MA

Michael also demonstrates how well he was learning from his mentors at Motown. His mastery of phrasing and “the way he oohs his way out of the choruses” MA are taken from Diana Ross and Smokey Robinson. MA “The harmonies rival those of the Temptations” AMG and he even ad-libs a line (“Just look over your shoulder, honey!”) in tribute to The Four Tops’ “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)”.

More than twenty years later, Mariah Carey scored her own #1 version of the song on the pop charts. It was a last minute addition to her 1992 MTV Unplugged appearance, performed as a duet with R&B singer Trey Lorenz. WK Her version was even more successful than The Jackson 5’s original on the adult contemporary and UK charts where it went to #1 and #2 respectively.




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Monday, October 15, 2012

The Haydn Quartet charted with "Sweet Adeline": October 15, 1904



As “the signature barbershop song,” DS “Sweet Adeline” may represent the sound of the first decade of the 20th century, WHC maybe even the first two decades, DS more than any other song. WHC The term wasn’t used until the 1920s, LW but the format of four-part male harmony with little or no musical accompaniment was introduced in the late 19th century. LW

The song began life in 1896 WK as an instrumental called “Down Home in New England.” The composer, Henry W. Armstrong, was a barbershop quartet enthusiast and tapped Richard Gerard to add lyrics, resulting in “You’re the Flower of My Heart Sweet, Rosalie.” RCG When they couldn’t find a publisher, they changed the title to “Sweet Adeline,” inspired by the “legendarily beautiful” LW opera singer Adelina Patti, although prima donna Adeline Gerard has also been cited as an inspiration. RCG

It was common for barbershop songs of the day to drift into “minstrel or vaudeville shtick,” DS but the Haydn Quartet, who scored their sixth #1 with “Sweet Adeline”, generally stuck to more straightforward harmony. DS The song was the biggest hit of 1904. WHC The Columbia Quartet and the duo of Albert Campbell & James F. Harrison also charted with versions that year, taking the song to #1 and #2 respectively. The Mills Brothers had a top 10 with it in 1939. The song also became identified with Boston Mayor John F. “Honey” Fitzgerald PM who used it as his campaign song in 1906.

“Sweet Adeline” established the foundation for vocal groups for decades to come. The Everly Brothers; The Beach Boys; Crosby, Stills & Nash; and even The Beatles’ penchant for “tight harmony singing” can all be traced back to the barbershop movement. LW




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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Louis Armstrong charts with "What a Wonderful World": October 14, 1967



Music critic Dave Marsh called Louis Armstrong “the greatest musical talent this country has produced.” MA Some musical scholars say that popular music as we know it today wouldn’t exist without the vocal techniques he pioneered in the 1920s. TB Through that decade and the next, “Satchmo” charted more than 50 U.S. pop hits. From the 1940s through ‘60s, he mustered less than half the chart singles as during his first two decades, but certainly hadn’t disappeared. He even pulled off a #1 hit in 1964 with “Hello, Dolly!,” a feat which made Armstrong the oldest artist in the U.S. to land the top spot, improbably dethroning the Beatles’ fourteen-week run on top with three consecutive #1’s. However, it was one of his last hits, recorded three years before he died, which proved the most immortal.

“World” hit #1 in the UK in 1968, which gave him the distinction of being the oldest artist (66) to top the British charts. TB In the U.S., the song didn’t even dent the Billboard Hot 100 – until twenty years later. The song’s initial failure could be attributed to tight radio formatting at the time, but also because Larry Newton at ABC Records hated the song and wouldn’t promote it. TB However, the song regained life after being featured in the 1987 movie Good Morning, Vietnam. It went top 40 on the U.S. pop charts and reached #7 on the adult contemporary charts, besting its original #12 peak. “It sounds at least as modern as anything on the charts in 1988.” MA

The song’s “saccharine, improbably sweet view of life on earth” MC could justify Newton and other detractors. However, Armstrong’s “pained gravel voice pitted against lush strings” MA also evokes a “peaceful aura that makes it a perfect antidote to harsh reality,” MC making for “one of the warmest, wittiest specimens of musical humanity.” MA




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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

John Lennon was born: October 9, 1940 / His Top 40 Songs

image from musicwallpapers.net

With the Beatles and as a solo artist, John Lennon is one of the most significant contributors to rock ‘n’ roll in music history. In honor of his birth on this date in 1940, Dave’s Music Database presents its list of Lennon’s top 40 songs with and without the Beatles (songs marked by *). Only Beatles’ songs which featured Lennon as the prominent vocalist and/or songwriter are featured on this list.

As with all DMDB lists, this list was created by aggregating multiple best-of lists with sales figures, chart data, and awards.


John Lennon’s Top 40 Songs
1. Imagine (1971)
2. Strawberry Fields Forever (1967) *
3. Help! (1965) *
4. Just Like Starting Over (1980)
5. Come Together (1969) *
6. In My Life (1965) *
7. Instant Karma (We All Shine On) (1970)
8. All You Need Is Love (1967) *
9. Twist and Shout (1963) *
10. Woman (1980)
11. Ticket to Ride (1965) *
12. Revolution (1968) *
13. Working Class Hero (1970)
14. Jealous Guy (1971)
15. Watching the Wheels (1980)
16. I Am the Walrus (1967) *
17. Give Peace a Chance (1969)
18. #9 Dream (1974)
19. Happy X-Mas (War Is Over) (1971)
20. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) (1965) *

21. Nobody Told Me (1984)
22. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (1967) *
23. Nowhere Man (1966) *
24. Mind Games (1973)
25. Whatever Gets You Through the Night (1974)
26. God (1970)
27. Love (1970)
28. Mother (1970)
29. Cold Turkey (1969)
30. Oh Yoko! (1971)
31. Happiness Is a Warm Gun (1968) *
32. Stand by Me (1975)
33. The Ballad of John and Yoko (1969) *
34. Real Love (1996) *
35. Rain (1966) *
36. Across the Unverise (1970) *
37. Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy) (1980)
38. Power to the People (1971)
39. You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away (1965) *
40. Tomorrow Never Knows (1966) *

* songs by The Beatles which featured Lennon as the predominant vocalist and/or songwriter


Awards:


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Sunday, October 7, 2012

John Mellencamp was born (October 7, 1951)/ His Top 30 Songs

image from caesarswindsor.com

America’s premiere heartland rocker was born on October 7, 1951. With his version of straightforward rock and roll in the same vein as Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty, he catapulted to stardom in 1982 with his #1 album, American Fool, which sported “Hurts So Good” (#2) and “Jack and Diane” (#1). His 1985 album, Scarecrow, was an even bigger seller with top ten hits “R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.,” “Small Town,” and “Lonely Ol’ Night.”

By the 1990s, his hit-making days had waned and he, arguably, had a bit of a creative lull as well. However, in the 21st century he has roared back with a trio of overlooked albums (2007’s Freedom’s Road; 2008’s Life, Death, Love and Freedom; and 2010’s No Better Than This) which serve up Americana, Mellencamp style. The list below focuses on Mellencamp’s hits, but my personal list would include treasures from his recent work. They demonstrate how Mellencamp hasn’t lost any of his ability to write a catchy hit (“Our Country,” “My Sweet Love,” “Ride Back Home,” “No Better Than This”) even if radio has moved on. Mellencamp is also one of America’s best artists at making strong commentaries on his observations of life for the oppressed and disenfranchised (“Jena,” “Rural Route,” “Easter Eve”) or the effect policians have on people’s live (“Rodeo Clown”).

Sometimes he just makes a poignant statement about how he wants to be remembered when he’s gone (“If I Die Sudden”) – but let’s hope there are many more Mellencamp birthdays to celebrate before that day comes.


John Mellencamp’s Top 30 Songs
1. Jack and Diane (1982)
2. Hurts So Good (1982)
3. R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A. (1985)
4. Pink Houses (1983)
5. Small Town (1985)
6. Wild Night (with Me’shell Ndegeocello, 1994)
7. Crumblin’ Down (1983)
8. Authority Song (1983)
9. Lonely Ol’ Night (1985)
10. Cherry Bomb (1987)
11. Paper in Fire (1987)
12. I Need a Lover (1978)
13. Rain on the Scarecrow (1985)
14. Ain’t Even Done with the Night (1981)
15. Check It Out (1987)

16. Again Tonight (1991)
17. Pop Singer (1989)
18. Jackie Brown (1989)
19. Get a Leg Up (1991)
20. Human Wheels (1993)
21. Hand to Hold Onto (1982)
22. This Time (1980)
23. Key West Intermezzo (I Saw Her First) (1996)
24. Rumbleseat (1985)
25. Dance Naked (1994)
26. Just Another Day (1996)
27. Your Life Is Now (1998)
28. Play Guitar (1983)
29. Peaceful World (with India.Arie, 2001)
30. I’m Not Running Anymore (1998)


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