The Best That I Could Do 1978 - 1988
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The Best That I Could Do 1978 - 1988

November 18, 1997

Song Title
I Need A Lover
Ain't Even Done With The Night
Hurts So Good
Jack & Diane
Crumblin' Down
Pink Houses
Authority Song
Lonely Ol' Night
Small Town
R.O.C.K. In The U.S.A. (A Salute To 60's Rock)
Paper In Fire
Cherry Bomb
Check It Out
Without Expression

Product Details

  • Label: Island Def Jam
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 58:46
  • Genres:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #478 Paid in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 Paid in MP3 Albums)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of his early years July 18, 2001
Format:Audio CD
Initially this collection was envisioned as a lengthy single-disc career overview of the noted rocker, with 17 singles spanning his twenty years on the Mercury label. Ultimately, it was pared back to 14 singles emphasizing the first decade, with such recent hits as "Get A Leg Up," "Wild Night," and "Key West Intermezzo (I Saw You First)" being dropped from the lineup (the prolific Mellencamp deserved a double-disc retrospective anyway, so hopefully we will see a second set highlighting his more recent material in the not too distant future).
After Mellencamps's first couple of albums on Mercury in 1979 and 1980, it was hard to envision that such a long, substantial career lie ahead. As represented here by initial hits "I Need A Lover" and "Ain't Even Done With The Night," Mellencamp (then known as John Cougar) came across as a rebel with a few good riffs (copped from the Rolling Stones?) and simplistic lyrics which rarely went beyond stud-boy prowling (a la Eddie Money). This trite image would thankfully be altered by 1982's American Fool album and, especially, its second single "Jack and Diane," a slice of life saga of a boy and girl growing up in the midwest (as Mellencamp did). The lyrics remained simple, but they acquired a nostalgic eloquence to which a broader audience could relate.
1983's Uh-Huh (with its enclosed singles "Crumblin' Down," "Pink Houses," and the raucous "Authority Song") showed even more of an emphasis on heartland reflections, while Mellencamp hit his artistic peak with 1985's thematically varied Scarecrow album. His odes to rock and roll heroes ("R.O.C.K. In The U.S.A.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A near-perfect compilation June 14, 2000
Format:Audio CD
Anyone who's ever stepped foot in a bar or put money in a jukebox is more than familiar with the work of John Mellencamp. His earthy pairing of rock and country, not to mention lyrics that often celebrate the American dream as well as its disillusions, produces a down-home feel that appeals to any hard-working guy sidling up to the bar for a cold one. Listening to a Mellencamp record always sounds like you're sitting in on a jam session; the musicianship is tight as can be but it still sounds like everybody's hanging loose. This compilation, then, featuring almost all of his major hit singles, sounds like a party from start to finish.
Early hits like "I Need a Lover" and "Ain't Even Done With the Night" still hold up well, and even the most modern rock would be hard-pressed to match the weight of the grooves found in "Hurt So Good" and "Jack and Diane." The songs that proved him heir to the Springsteen throne, "Pink Houses" and "Small Town," still sound as earnest as they did upon release, and if ever a pair of pop songs justified testing the volume limit of your stereo, they would be "Lonely Ole Night" and "Crumblin' Down."
To have the collection stop at 1988 is puzzling, however; this leaves out his amazing cover of "Wild Night" with Me'shell N'Degeocello, and the two major VH1 staples from his "Mr. Happy Go Lucky" release, "Key West Intermezzo (I Saw You First)" and "Just Another Day." Had these been included (instead of the less-deserving "Check it Out," a "Cherry Bomb" knockoff) the compilation would have felt a touch more complete.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars John Mellencamp - Just The Hits Folks October 8, 2007
Format:Audio CD
This album is exactly what the title implies, a collection of Mellencamp's singles recorded during his first decade. For what it is the album is a decent enough collection. You get no album cuts here, just the big hits and as the title implies there is nothing from any of his albums after 1988. So, there is a lot missing here. If you are just looking for the hits this is ok, but Mellencamp's work goes much deeper than this.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great album! January 7, 2000
Format:Audio CD
i don't actually have this album... my mom does. i used to find it embarrassing that she would blast this album from her car stereo while she was driving. but then i really started to listen to the songs on here and started to find some meaning in them. john mellencamp is now one of my favorite artists. the best songs are jack & diane, hurts so good, pink houses, and my favorite, paper in fire. some people think i'm weird because i'm 13 years old and i like john mellencamp- but at least i know good music when i hear it! go buy this album RIGHT NOW i guarantee you will love it.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A first rate anthology January 5, 2002
Format:Audio CD
Creating a good "Best of" CD is not nearly as easy at it seems, which is why there are so many medicre ones out there. "The Best that I Could Do," however, is exactly what it ought to be as it uncanilly hits just about all of the high points of John Mellencamp's first decade as a recording artist. Thankully, it includes only two tracks released before his breakthough "American Fool" ablum, "I Need a Lover" and "Ain't Even Done With the Night," which are probably the only two songs from his early Johnny Cougar days worth hearing. After that, the collection includes all of the best cuts from "Fool," "Uh-huh," "Scarecrow" and "The Lonesome Jubilee," many of which were staples of FM rock radio and MTV during the 1980s. Mellencamp also gets a plus for only taking up space on this CD with one "new" track, the catchy "Without Expression" that closes the CD.
Overall, "Best that..." is a first rate anthology album for fans who don't want to put up the coin for all of the original albums. It also leaves you looking forward to CD that will cover the next ten years.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good listening once in awhile
This is not my favorite CD but it will be good to rotate through my truck CD's. There are some good songs on it.
Published 12 days ago by Sharon C.
5.0 out of 5 stars love it
It's John Mellencamp!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What's not to love.....if you like Jack and Diane, Little Pink Houses, Crumblin Down, I need a lover.....what's not to love... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Melanie
5.0 out of 5 stars no more control issues
my ferret loves to be out of her cage and there is no better way to do that than to use a harness and leash. she did not like it at first, but I have loved it since I got it. Read more
Published 1 month ago by SHERRYL
5.0 out of 5 stars JOHN MELLENCAMP - THE BEST THAT I CAN DO - 1978 - 1988
This album contains such hits as "I NEED A LOVER", "CHERRY BOMB", "HURTS SO GOOD" and many others. Read more
Published 2 months ago by todddjreese
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT
loved this have been playing it since I downloaded it; brings make so many good memories of my yester years
Published 2 months ago by Karen Bojdo
5.0 out of 5 stars Great good'ol american music!
I love this album. Feels great driving down the road in my truck with it blarring on the stereo.
One hit after another.
Published 4 months ago by Monkey for Bananas
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good choices on this Album
A great collection of Mellencamp's best songs. I liked every song on this album (14 total) . My only complaint is that I Saw You First wasn't on this; I suppose you can't have it... Read more
Published 4 months ago by J. Davis
5.0 out of 5 stars The ESSENTIAL Mellencamp album
Mellencamp essentials. Every track here knocks you down and makes you want to start dancing. If you love Mellencamp or are new to his music, GET THIS ALBUM.
Published 4 months ago by Brian Lacharite
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Product!
Great album, I really enjoy it. Mellencamp is brilliant when it comes to his music. If you purchase your album, you definitely won't regret it.
Published 4 months ago by Laura
4.0 out of 5 stars on time and cd plays
case a little banged up but very sharp have cut myself on it already otherwise the cd itself plays well.
Published 5 months ago by Gregg Gariepy
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