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  • Rough Harvest
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Rough Harvest


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Audio CD, August 17, 1999
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Biography

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.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 17, 1999)
  • Original Release Date: August 17, 1999
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Island / Mercury
  • ASIN: B00000JWNW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #275,153 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Love And Happiness
2. In My Time Of Dying
3. Between A Laugh And A Tear
4. Human Wheels
5. Rain On The Scarecrow
6. Farewell Angelina
7. Key West Intermezzo (I Saw You First)
8. Jackie Brown
9. When Jesus Left Birmingham
10. The Full Catastrophe
11. Minutes To Memories
12. Under The Boardwalk
13. Wild Night (Live)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The Definitive Remaster of Rough Harvest includes newly remastered sound and upgraded packaging. Remastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering utilizing the original master tapes. Packaging will feature lyrics and complete artwork. Includes the bonus track 'Seventh Son' (From Chess Studios). Def Jam. 2005.

Amazon.com

Just when critics seemed ready to consign him to the 1980s nostalgia bin, John Mellencamp began to release some of the most surprising music of his career. Albums like Mr. Happy Go Lucky fulfilled the difficult transition the Indiana singer-songwriter began on Scarecrow from a clichéd Bruce Springsteen of the heartland to an iconoclastic, dark-witted musical poet. Those charmed by Mellencamp's '90s renaissance will find this collection of unreleased studio recordings and live tracks to be further evidence of his growth as an artist. Largely recorded during a 1997 touring break, Mellencamp deconstructs previous work such as "Rain on the Scarecrow," "Jackie Brown," and "When Jesus Left Birmingham" and recasts them with a stripped-down, rootsy sensibility that's equal parts country and blues. It's much to his credit that these unadorned songs stand effortlessly alongside covers of early Bob Dylan ("Farewell Angelina" and the gritty "In My Time of Dying," a cover from Dylan's debut), as well as a deliciously folksy version of the Drifters' "Under the Boardwalk." A live take of Van Morrison's "Wild Night" is the only track here that stoops to Mellencamp's early persona, but set against the rest of the rest of this rustic jewel of an album it's a refreshing coda. Another gratifying surprise from an artist who refuses to be pigeonholed. --Jerry McCulley

Customer Reviews

Keep that in mind and you will enjoy this CD.
J. Liesenfelt
You'll never hear these songs on eighties music stations, which is where you'll find most of John Cougar Mellencamp's work.
Matt
The other songs sounded okay acoustic,but not as good as the original songs did.
SideshowBob

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By P Magnum HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 28, 2005
Format: Audio CD
After leaving Mercury for Sony, John Mellencamp still was contractual obligated to Mercury for one more release. Instead of giving them a bunch of subpar, leftover tunes, he set about to rework songs from his back catalog. Most of the songs are album tracks or minor singles, but they are not generally considered his most popular. What Mr. Mellencamp does is strip the songs down to their skeleton and adds back just a little bit of skin. The songs have a stark, raw, personal sound that makes them sound new again. "Love & Happiness", "Human Wheels", "Jackie Brown" and "Under The Boardwalk" stand out, but there isn't a bad track in the bunch. Rough Harvest is great listen as it is interesting to hear an artist go back and revisit old songs. It would have interesting to hear him give the same treatment to more familiar songs like "Cherry Bomb' or "Jack & Diane".
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Matt on January 2, 2001
Format: Audio CD
You'll never hear these songs on eighties music stations, which is where you'll find most of John Cougar Mellencamp's work. But if you're looking for John "Cougar" Mellencamp's latest release, look elsewhere. In Rough Harvest, Mellencamp & co. cut softer, more introspective songs, similar to those of his last two albums ("John Mellencamp" and "Mr. Happy Go Lucky"). In fact one of the songs on this almbum is an alternate cut of "Mr. Happy Go Lucky's" big hit, "Key West Intermezzo (I Saw You First.)" Fans looking for a throwback to earlier Mellencamp will enjoy a live rendition of Van Morrison's "Wild Night" which Mellencamp and Me'Shell NdegeOcello covered so well. While the in-your-face style of "The Authority Song" and "Paper in Fire" are absent, Rough Harvest does include a few fast-paced songs like "Love and Happiness" and my pick for best song on the album "Human Wheels". I'd rank this album in my top ten for the 90's, with breathing room. This is a great album for both Mellencamp fans and those unfamiliar with his previous work.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Liesenfelt on December 30, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Sure John Mellencamp was fulfilling his Mercury record contract, but I like this idea much more than another greatest hits record or live album.
An early reviewer said it best this CD is Mellencamp Unplugged. Mellencamp and his band took a number of his early songs and based on old interviews or two, I think these are some of his favorite songs and reworked them. The CD sounds like the Studio C CDs put out by radio station KBCO each year.
The songs are given a country style and some come out in a more enjoyable. I especially enjoy "Love and Happiness" in this style. I've always like "Human Wheels" and the covers, "Farewell Angelina", "Under the Boardwalk" and "In My Time of Dying" are excellent. Two other gems are "Between a Laugh and a Tear" and "Jackie Brown." The whole effort gives you a feel of a concert in a small bar.
This is a CD for Mellencamp fans and shouldn't be looked at as a complement to his greatest hits CD. Keep that in mind and you will enjoy this CD.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By a man from the east coast on June 6, 2003
Format: Audio CD
An "intermezzo" is a piece of music composed for the purpose of linking two larger compositions together. Mellencamp has used this term to title one of his songs, namely "Key West Intermezzo (I saw you first)". This CD functions as an intermezzo between releases of new, original work.
This intermezzo has a function. It serves to present some of Mellencamp's best tunes in a different light, bringing their messages home ever more fully. These songs either represent Mellencamp's influences (the strikingly beautiful "Farewell Angelina" and "In my Time of Dying") or Mellencamp's most profound, and often most personal, songwriting efforts. "Jackie Brown" gets a more rythmic, percussive arrangement, as does "Between a Laugh and a Tear". "Scarecrow" gets its tempo slowed a bit, and its arrangement made stark, so that it no longer sounds like a heartland rocker's tune, but rather like something a delta bluesman would perform. Although a few songs remain faithful to their mostly-acoustic original recordings (see "Key West Intermezzo" and "When Jesus Left Birmingham"), many of these tunes utilize their new arrangements to demonstrate their strength and vitality.
Throughout his career, Mellencamp had developed from a rocker who showed occasional depth and insight into a great songwriter. The versatility of his tunes stand as a testament to his ability to communicate some fundamental truths about the realities he sees around him. By stipping down his arrangements a bit, and calling upon his blues, folk and country influences, Mellencamp enables his work to communicate more clearly the everyman experiences and insights that form the cornerstone of his best work.
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 7, 1999
Format: Audio CD
this is just a great album... it feels like a private concert with john and the band. i'd pick out my favorite track, but the album is just so good that it's hard to pick any out... my only complaint, if you could call it one, is that thefinal two tracks, under the boardwalk and wild night, were tacked on by his record company... but although they take away from the feeling of the album, they are still great tracks... all and all, this is definatley up there with the best that i could do as my favorite jm albums... now all we need is a live album and my collection would be complete...
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