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John Mellencamp

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Audio CD, October 6, 1998
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Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Fruit Trader (Album Version) 3:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Your Life Is Now (Album Version) 3:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Positively Crazy (Album Version) 4:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. I'm Not Running Anymore 3:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. It All Comes True (Album Version) 3:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Eden Is Burning (Album Version) 3:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Where The World Began (Album Version) 3:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Miss Missy (Album Version) 3:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Chance Meeting At The Tarantula (Album Version) 4:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Break Me Off Some (Album Version) 4:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Summer Of Love (Album Version) 4:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Days Of Farewell (Album Version) 3:12$0.99  Buy MP3 

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On The Rural Route 7609 - Video Preview


A Meditation on John Mellencamp’s Life, Death, Love and Freedom
A few years ago, the Hungarian ambassador to the United States asked me to moderate a panel discussion at the embassy on “Rock & Roll as a Force for Freedom on Both Sides of the Iron Curtain.” The panel was to consist of the ambassador (András Simonyi), Tommy Ramone and me.
“In all respect ... Read more in Amazon's John Mellencamp Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 6, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Columbia
  • ASIN: B00000D9W1
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #143,884 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

John Mellencamp ~ John Mellencamp

For the multinomenclatured John(ny) (Cougar) Mellencamp, falling into loping historical pace as the "poor man's Springsteen" has been a blessing in disguise. If you're perpetually second best, to whose expectations do you ultimately answer? Certainly not your audience's--they're prepared for so-so songwriting. It's a win-win situation in which even your most lackluster material appears "Thunder Road" brilliant. Follow this train of thinking and you might hear Mellencamp's eponymous album (and first for Columbia) as something of a minor masterpiece. The self-dubbed Li'l Bastard is pushing himself stylistically, adding exotic flavors (sitar, tabla, organ) and high-tech ones (tape loops, synths) to his bass-guitar-violin foundation. This provides for some intriguing moments, such as the rhythm-tracked shuffle "I'm On My Way" and the hip-hop-scratchy exercise "Break Me Off Some." The uninitiated, however, will observe a far less sensational situation: the Hoosier's nonchalant reliance on his trademark Cougar-isms--Biblical metaphors, "Jack and Diane"-ish one-dimensional characters, and the simple, chirrupy jangle of a trusty six-string acoustic. Somewhere between the two extremes lies the artistic truth. Mellencamp is kicking desperately at his gate, and that's a good thing. But his corral remains relatively small and limited. There aren't any Ghost of Tom Joads in his immediate future. --Tom Lanham

Customer Reviews

Love the harmonica.
R. Frembgen
I generally find John Mellencamp very annoying and usually only like a few songs on each album.
I really enjoy listening to this CD.
Mary Ann Ward

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Robert Dumas on October 12, 2001
Format: Audio CD
For me, one of the pure joys of being a John Mellancamp fan has been watching this incredible singer/songwriter grow and mature as his career moved inexorably forward.
This album is a fresh start for Mr. Mellancamp. It's his first release on Columbia and is simply titled "John Mellancamp." Ironically, it's one of the finest albums he's ever released.
The key to any artist, I think, is growth. Many fans are content to be mired in the cloying repetition of the popular music world, but the best players change and evolve. Mr. Mellancamp has changed from the petulant pop star who told everyone he "needs a lover that won't drive him crazy" and that love "Hurts So Good" to a more introspective, gentle poet who, on this CD, begs the question, "Will you teach your children to tell the truth?"
The sound on this album maintains the rough folk/rock feel he first uncovered in the late `80s on albums like "Lonesome Jubilee" and "Big Daddy," but also incorporates some of the experimental tacts Mr. Mellancamp began taking on "Mr. Happy Go Lucky." All of it works rather nicely. The songs are catchy, foot-tappable and sing-alongable, yet, at the same time challenge the listener with a homogenous blend of styles, rhythms and themes.
The song "Your Life Is Now," could not have been written when Mr. Mellancamp was in his 20s. Its theme is more altruistic and portrays a man doing some serious soul searching; not poontang searching! Musically, it could have easily appeared on "Lonesome Jubilee" or just about any Mellancamp album since then. Nonetheless, the haunting melody and probing lyrics help send a lump directly to the throat.
"Eden Is Burning" is another highlight. Described by Mr.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 28, 1999
Format: Audio CD
To equal "Lonesome Jubilee" was no mean feat, and he did, from "Your Life Is Now" and "Miss Missy" to "Days of Farewell." No one mixes white rock with black roll as Mellencamp and band always have, and the drawl in John's voice is as real as his pioneer roots, and not just some Woody Guthrie/Tom Joad parody.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Hugo on March 9, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Face it: Mellencamp is a uniquely superb vocalist and has a knack for writing irresistable music with a more melodic edge than that other guy he's always been unfairly compared to...seems the critics can never get past the mention of that BS on any forthcoming review. Mellencamp's advantages have always been his ability to move the masses with his voice and intensely moving interpretations of mostly self composed lyrics more folks can relate to that have always been more easily accessable even by the casual innocent listener who falls prey to John's music while scanning the radio dial. Mellencamp unintentionally makes you FEEL his music. Though his first outing["JOHN MELLENCAMP"-1998]-this album - on his then new label, Columbia Records, is a strong lyrical effort, the diverse "sounds of the current era" Mellencamp incorporates into his unique brand of rock and roll just don't have the bite and impact he's built his reputation on and become best loved for. This man is a sincere no frills ROCKER from deep within his soul, blood, element - all the way down to his appearance and way of talking, singing...MELLENCAMP is THE MAN! Waiting 7 years to purchase this album has not changed my initial gut wrenching feeling that John had made a huge mistake by signing with's almost like the label just acquired him as a display jewel for their roster and totally ignored his immense talent altogether. Mellencamp was on a decade and a half prosperous and fruitful roll when his albums began appearing on Columbia. Promotion erroneously lacked intelligence and force from the mother label...the artist has acknowledged their indifference to his finest works. Sadly, his "King of Top 40" Multi-Platinum/Gold hit reign was interrupted at this point in time...Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Erik Vitols on January 3, 2000
Format: Audio CD
One of John Mellencamp's best CDs slipped thru the cracks, at least chartwise. We know good music isn't determined by chart position, but it is nice when great CDs get way up there. That said, this CD finds Mellencamp doing what he does best, straight-ahead, no BS rock, with some rhythmic variety thrown in for good measure. Songs like 'Fruit Trader', 'I'm Not Running Anymore' or 'Your Life is Now' stick around long after the CD has stopped playing. For those of you who think Mellencamp washed out some time back, you need to give this one a try. This one's right up there with 'Human Wheels' and 'Lonsesome Jubilee' and a far cry from the Johnny Cougar days, which classic rock stations seem to be stuck on.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Howard Baron on December 13, 2006
Format: Audio CD
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JonathanRinglefunkk on April 15, 2007
Format: Audio CD
...but, overall, not one of John Mellencamp's best.

Recently picking up his newest release ("Freedom's Road") put some perspective on several of John's late-nineties and early 2000s albums for me. While they still have far more to offer artistically than the bulk of popular music during this time-frame, they do not stand up as well to the rest of his catalogue.

"John Mellencamp" runs the gamut stylistically. "Your Life Is Now" and "Eden Is Burning" fit the "Lonesome Jubilee" era, with its violins and folk-informed acoustic guitars, while "I'm Not Running Anymore" and "Break Me Off Some" - with drum loops and scratching - clearly owe more to his mid-nineties release, "Mr. Happy Go Lucky." When the underlying song is strong enough, this mixture of styles adds flavor and benefits the entire album; unfortunately, that is only the case about half the time.

The great moments are the heartfelt, almost anthemic quality of "Your Life Is Now," the exuberance of harmonica-laden "Miss Missy," "It All Comes True," with its trademark Mellencamp-style storytelling and sincerity and quietly building insistence, and "Days of Farewell," where hip-hop style drum loops and bass meet gospel vocals/shouting (a la "When Jesus Left Birmingham" from the criminally underrated "Human Wheels" album) and violins.

The bad moments include the rhythmic challenges John encounters in his near-rap verses from "Where the World Began" (an otherwise fun, catchy song), the undeniable cheese-factor at work on "Summer of Love" (the whistles that worked so well in "Suzanne and the Jewels" - again off "Human Wheels" - push this one beyond help), and what may be the most painful vocal moment on any John Mellencamp album - the key-changing bend and reach on the line "Yeah - we had some good times...
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