Sunday, May 26, 2019

"Rumbleseat" by John Cougar Mellencamp

Song#:  2780
Date:  06/28/1986
Debut:  78
Peak:  28
Weeks:  13
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  By this point in time, Mellencamp's Scarecrow album already generated four hits. Three of them were Top 10's while his last one, "Rain on the Scarecrow," just missed the Top 20 reaching #21. With interest in Mellencamp and the album still going, the label decided to push out a fifth single. This next track was selected to be released. It would do well at Rock getting to #4, but it was a bit sluggish at Pop and could only step inside the Top 30. It would be the last single released from the album which would go on to sell over five million copies.

ReduxReview:  There were two good candidates for a fifth single from the LP. This one and "Minutes to Memories." I think "Minutes to Memories" is the stronger song, but it had already been a hit at Rock radio earlier in February of '86. It was also a darker tune, which probably wasn't what was wanted after the dramatic "Rain on the Scarecrow." "Rumbleseat" by comparison was a short burst of rock with a good groove and a more upbeat tone. It was probably the better one at the time for a single, but either way I think the results would have been about the same. The album's initial life cycle was wearing down, so any single was going to have a difficult scaling the chart. It's still a great song though.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  In addition to the five singles that reached the Pop chart, there were two other tracks on the album that got enough airplay to reach the Rock chart. "Minutes to Memories" would get to #14 while "Justice and Independence '85" would make a minor impression at #28. In addition to these seven songs, one other Mellencamp tune made the Rock chart during this time period. In the sessions for the Scarecrow album, he recorded a version of the classic hit "Under the Boardwalk." The track would end up on the b-side to "R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A." Rock radio picked it up for airplay and the cover tune made it to #19 on the chart. "Under the Boardwalk" was originally a #4 hit in 1964 for The Drifters. Many artists have covered the song over the years including Bette Midler who performed recorded it for the soundtrack to her 1988 movie Beaches. It was actually issued out as the first single from the soundtrack to promote the movie, but it didn't chart. (Obviously, the soundtrack later became famous for Midler's #1 hit "Wind Beneath My Wings.") Over the years, only two other artists have been able to reach the Pop chart with a cover of "Under the Boardwalk." Billy Joe Royal made it to #82 in 1978 and Bruce Willis got to #59 in 1987.


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