Thursday, November 5, 2020

"Cherry Bomb" by John Cougar Mellencamp

Top 10 Alert!
Rated 10 Alert!
Song#:  3309
Date:  10/24/1987
Debut:  78
Peak:  8
Weeks:  21
Genre:  Folk-Rock, Americana

Pop Bits:  Mellencamp got his eighth Pop Top 10 hit with "Paper in Fire" (#9), the lead single from his album The Lonesome Jubilee. The track would reach #1 at Rock and this follow-up single would do the same. It would end up peaking just a notch higher at Pop than his previous single. The song would also do well at AC making it to #12. By this point in time, the album had reached its peak of #6 and gone platinum. However, this hit would help drive album sales to the double-platinum level by January of '88.

ReduxReview:  This is one of those songs that even though it is upbeat, the nostalgia factor is so great that it can make me cry. I just think this song is brilliant. From the reflective lyrics to the fiddle fills in the chorus, everything about it just fills my heart with such a warm feeling. I know that is kind of corny to say, but it really does. The lyrics contain so many good lines like "dancin' meant everything," "holdin hands meant somethin'," and "17 has turned 35." While the song is mainly about Mellencamp's experiences, it can really be applied to most anyone. Folks can hear this and think, "yeah, I remember when a sport was a sport." I also love the middle instrumental break with that unison lick leading to the break with snaps and "say yeah" vocals. Just awesome. Plus I love the accordion. I mean, c'mon. Not many folks could make an accordion seem like the coolest thing in a pop song, but Mellencamp did. For me, this was more than just a damn good pop song. It was something alive that triggered feelings and memories. It was warm, comfortable, and lived in, like a favorite jacket you'd wear when going out and having fun with your friends.


Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) This song takes a look back at Mellencamp's teenage years through his adult eyes. While the Cherry Bomb club featured in the song was fictitious, it was based on a real club from Mellencamp's youth. In his hometown of Seymour, Indiana, a local church's basement became a hangout for the town's teenagers. According to Mellencamp, it was called The Last Exit Teen Club and he spent quite a bit of time there. Although teens would gather there for various dances and such, it seems that the club would also feature live music. A 1967 newspaper clipping from the Louisville, Kentucky, paper The Courier-Journal featured an advertisement about upcoming live music shows by acts associated with Triangle Talent. One of the listings had the band The Blues playing at The Last Exit Teen Club in Seymour on a Saturday night. It is unknown whether a young Mellencamp ever performed at the club.  2) The b-side to this single featured Mellencamp doing a rare remake. He did a version of the 1978 song "Shama Lama Ding Dong," which was featured in the film National Lampoon's Animal House. In the movie, the song was performed by the fictional band Otis Day and the Knights. The lead vocals on the track were actually sung by Lloyd Williams, but on screen the song was lip synced by actor DeWayne Jessie.


No comments:

Post a Comment