Crumblin' Down (from 1983's Uh-Huh LP) is fuckin' hot. John is smokin' sexy and an incredible dancer. The video is tightly edited, well-directed and, oh yeah, Crumblin' Down is a great song that'll get you off your ass! Just watch John sliding down the ladder or doing a split. Or maybe I should just say, the ladder dance - priceless.
R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A. (from 1985's Scarecrow LP) is a beautifully photographed black and white video that harkens back to the 60s Hullabaloo. I'm not even sure which man in the video is John but the song is great and it shows that the artist knows of his influences. Doubleplusgood: an integrated video at that time was still a relative novelty.
When Rain on The Scarecrow (also from Scarecrow) was first released it was too political for me. I was into having fun!! Cyndi Lauper. Lords of the New Church. X. (OK, some politics but not JCM and the farmers, for chrissake.) Interesting to watch this video today. It begins with an interview of three articulate farmers and everything they are speaking of is still going on today - twenty years past. As someone who has grown from his nightly trips to Danceteria to worrying about our political infrastructure, this still-relevant song with its accompanying video (that does contain some harsh farming images) should be watched by all.
Check It Out (from 1987's The Lonesome Jubilee) is a straightforward live video with the magnetism of John Cougar Mellencamp, dancing and doing another split. Yowsah! The song is not up there with his best but the band is tight and, once again, it is integrated.
Key West Intermezzo (I Saw You First) (from 1996's Mr. Happy Go Lucky is the only non-80s song on the disc, the only video I had not seen previously - and the only one credited simply to John Mellencamp. This sweet love song brings to mind Dali (who knows why) with images of different couples, young and old alike, expressing their affections. There's also an appearance by Matthew McConaughey which didn't excite me but might the reader of this entry. The clip is very watchable with a tuneful song and a great hook that holds up in the Mellencamp cannon.
All in all, a new appreciation for the Cougar. The disc included some interviews with Mellencamp in which he comes off empathetic and well-spoken. John Mellencamp is an influence himself whose music stands the test of time. How may artists are there that you can write that about? Or is it How many artists are there about which you can write that?