Friday, August 6, 2010

A little ditty...

I've heard this song on Radio 2* a few times recently. I'd never heard it before**, but I really like it, so I thought I'd share it. It's called Jack & Diane, from the album American Fool and was written and performed by John Mellencamp in 1982***.

At the time, John Mellencamp was performing under the name of John Cougar. I hadn't heard of him under either name until some time this week. This seems a bit odd considering, as I have found out whilst researching this post that he has so far had 22 US Top 40 hits, won a Grammy, been nominated for twelve others, and has a new album, No Better Than This, coming out this month. I don't recognise any of the titles of his other songs, but maybe someone might be able to point me in the direction I may have heard on the radio at some point?

His voice is very melodic with a hint of gravel kicking in now and then, which I really like. The song itself has an interesting arrangement and it doesn't, to me, stand out as being typical 80s fayre- it could almost have been made last week. Give it a listen and see what you think!

Mick Ronson, best known for his work as guitarist with David Bowie and the Spiders From Mars, worked on the American Fool album, but had particular influence over Jack & Diane. Mellencamp said "Mick was very instrumental in helping me arrange that song, as I'd thrown it on the junk heap."

And finally, Mellencamp has ben Simpsoned and Yankovic-ed at the same time:

* Yes, I listen to Radio 2. What of it? Ain't gettin' me anywhere near that Radio 1 balls.
** @squiggle7 tells me that she knows the song well and has heard it many, many times throughout her life. This is the opposite way round to normal...
*** An awesome year.