John Mellencamp – The Best That I Could Do 1978-1988
I don’t envy the person who was given the job of trying to compile a 1CD Greatest Hits disc of John Mellencamp’s career. In 1997. The Dude had been at it so long by then, and had so many awesome songs, I’m thinking a boxed set would have been the only reasonable response (short of telling people just to go buy the core albums).
Still, here is this compilation, and it’s a whopper. Walking into this, of course, you know pretty much what it’s gonna sound like – and that’s a good thing. The first two tracks were familiar to me, but they’re not the monster tracks that make up the meat of this disc. The last track was previously unreleased and (thanks, Wiki!) Graham Nash appears on the track, uncredited.
For the person who just wants a taste of Mellencamp’s prime years (ouch, has he ever left his prime? One might argue he hasn’t), this disc will give you all your radio favourites. But there were many other tunes that were left off. I’m sure you can name a bunch off the top of your head. Maybe should’ve at least made this a 2CD?
Anyway, here’s the track list, so you can be startled that you know more Mellencamp songs than you maybe thought you did:
I Need A Lover * Ain’t Even Done With The Night * Hurts So Good * Jack And Diane * Crumblin’ Down * Pink Houses * Authority Song * Lonely Ol’ Night * Small Town * R.O.C.K. In The U.S.A. * Paper In Fire * Cherry Bomb * Check It Out * Without Expression
See? This was a sweet listen. Go on and get you some.