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Friday, 23 October 2020

Enter the Cougar


A wee break from the most recent haul.

A few weeks ago Mrs CC came in with some bits'n'bobs including two 1982 singles by John Cougar. Now John Cougar as I'm sure you are all aware is in fact John "Cougar" Mellencamp or more properly plain old John Mellencamp.

The Mellencamp was dropped by his label Riva and Mainstream Management as they considered it to be too Germanic to be marketable. The 70's were strange times . Fair play to him as once he made the commercial breakthrough he insisted that Mellencamp be restored

The two singles were from his breakthrough 1982 album American Fool which was his  fifth studio album. Although he looks about 14 he was in fact 31 at the time. He was quoted in 1984 as saying  to be real honest, there's three good songs on that record, and the rest is just sort of filler, 

Hurts So Good reached number 2 in the Billboard chart with Jack and Diane reaching number one. The third  one he referred to being Hard to Hold On To peaking at 19. No such success in the UK with only Jack and Diane charted and only reaching number 25.

It's a song that I've always had a bit of a soft spot for and until recognising  Hurts So Good was the only one of his that I was familiar with.

John Cougar - Hurts So Good

John Cougar - Jack and Diane


  1. I too also have a soft spot for Jack and Diane and dug it out a few weeks ago after playing Derek B's remix of Paid In Full which samples the song.

  2. I had a couple of John Mellencamp albums - "Scarecrow" and "The Golden Jubilee", both bought on the strength of "Jack and Diane".

  3. Not sure I would go so far as claiming a soft spot, but I have always liked "Cherry Bomb"

  4. No soft spot for any of this! What next? REO SPeedwagon? CHeap Trick?
    (says Mr Sourpus)

  5. I love JCM, in all his various incarnations. And there's a lot more than 3 good songs on that record.

    George - I've got just the thing for you today!

  6. Ditto soft spot for me too for J&D tho' I doubt I'd go much further on JCM's oeuvre. After Drew's comment I played the Derek B Paid In Full remix - first time I've heard it, thought it was great - if this sort of exchange doesn't sum up the beauty of what music blogs are for then I don't what does.

  7. Liked these songs and Ain't Even Done With the Night in my earliest listening days and, of course, hated him within a couple of years because he had hits on the radio and I was, uh, way too cool for that mainstream stuff. In '93, John had an album called Human Wheels that was played all of the time by a co-worker at a record store I was working in that summer. I got hooked all over again. I'm not sure if from an American perspective he could be called underrated because he was a big deal in the early and middle '80s, but he does seem like he's not thought of in the same way as some of his peers from the period.

  8. Imagine, John Cougar was meant to be MainMan, Bowie's management's, big American breakthrough. They tried to sprinkle some Glam Rock magic on him, - calling him Johnny Cougar and playing up a sort of James Dean persona, but that glitter was never going to stick. MainMan dropped him holding back a second album. Instead, a few years later, his single I Need A Lover, which broke through first in Australia and then the USA, found the same kind of acceptance from the New Wave that was offered to artists like Tom Petty and Dire Straits. Once he had hit his opening stride with the megahit Jack & Diane, MainMan, now without a moneymaker as Bowie had broken ties a couple years earlier, released that second album from 1977. It was nothing more than a curiosity for fans.