Tuesday, September 23, 2014

"Hurt So Good" by John Cougar

Top 10 Alert!
Gold Record Alert!
Grammy Alert!
Song#:  1005
Date:  04/24/1982
Debut:  82
Peak:  2
Weeks:  28
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  John (Cougar) Mellencamp's career was on the move with his previous LP hitting #37 and yielding the #17 single "Ain't Even Done with the Night." He was poised for a breakthrough and this first single from his "American Fool" album did the trick. The song spent four weeks in the #2 spot while the album vaulted to #1 for nine weeks. "American Fool" went on to be the best selling album of 1982 as well. Although this song was blocked from the #1 spot thanks to another huge hit (Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger"), it did set a record for the most weeks spent in the Top 10 in the 80s (16 weeks). The song won Mellencamp a Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance while the LP grabbed a nomination for Album of the Year.

ReduxReview:  Here is another song that I couldn't stand back in the day but then turned around and loved it later. I just couldn't connect with it at first. The song had an amped-up Midwest roots-rock sound that was quite different from a lot of the standard pop fare and I just couldn't get into it. Even his look, persona, and attitude rubbed me the wrong way. It would take a few more years before his music finally clicked with me. When it did, he quickly became one of my all-time favorite artists. I may not have liked this song when it came out, but now it is an essential hit in his catalog and the one that truly launched is career.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Mellecamp's label, Riva, was not pleased with how "American Fool" was coming along in the recording process. It seemed the label was trying to paint him as the next Neil Diamond and the songs they were getting from Mellencamp were definitely not along the Diamond line. The recording of the album was halted in order for the label to make some decisions. Apparently, they discussed several potential fixes, including just dropping Mellencamp. But somehow, the label had a change of heart and allowed Mellencamp get the album finished. Figuring they had a bomb on their hands, the label certainly got a surprise when the LP soared to the top spot.


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