Wednesday, November 2, 2016

"Authority Song" by John Cougar Mellencamp

Song#:  1837
Date:  03/17/1984
Debut:  69
Peak:  15
Weeks: 15
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  After securing two Top 10's with "Crumblin' Down" (#9) and "Pink Houses" (#8), Mellencamp issued this third single from his album Uh-Huh. It captured the exact same #15 spot at both Pop and Rock. The album would get to #9 and over time get certified as a triple-platinum seller.

ReduxReview:  This song came out when I still thought Mellecamp was just a snotty punk. Obviously, the "I fight authority" line another other lyrics seemed to confirm what I thought and I promptly ignored this tune. Now that he's one of my all-time favorites, I see the song differently. It's a fun rocker that comes from a bit of a rebel place and it seemed to sum up some things that Mellecamp was going through at the time with his label, music, etc. I wouldn't rank the song among my favorites of his, but I do like it now.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Mellecamp has said in interviews at the time that his "Authority Song" was the day's "I Fought the Law." That song and it's similar theme ("I fought the law and the law won") became a hit for the Bobby Fuller Four. Their single reached #9 in 1966. The tune has been covered by many artists, including The Clash, but only Fuller and country/folk artist Sam Neely were able to get the song on the Pop chart.  Neely's 1975 version got to #54.  2) This song is on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's list of 500 Songs that Shaped Rock. It is the only Mellecamp song to appear on that list. Fuller's "I Fought the Law" also made the list.


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