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Life Death Love and Freedom [Deluxe Tour Edition] [CD/DVD]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
After making much of his artistic integrity and opposition to corporate interference for most of his career, John Mellencamp prefaced his previous album, 2007's Freedom's Road, by licensing one of its songs, "Our Country," for use in a television commercial for a truck. The broad exposure for the brief excerpt from the song helped give him his first singles chart entry in eight years, and a one-week appearance on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 88; it's not clear how many trucks it may have helped sell. There don't seem to be any songs on Mellencamp's 23rd album, Life Death Love and Freedom, that could be used to sell products. The choruses of songs like "Longest Days"...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
After making much of his artistic integrity and opposition to corporate interference for most of his career, John Mellencamp prefaced his previous album, 2007's Freedom's Road, by licensing one of its songs, "Our Country," for use in a television commercial for a truck. The broad exposure for the brief excerpt from the song helped give him his first singles chart entry in eight years, and a one-week appearance on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 88; it's not clear how many trucks it may have helped sell. There don't seem to be any songs on Mellencamp's 23rd album, Life Death Love and Freedom, that could be used to sell products. The choruses of songs like "Longest Days" ("Life is short, even in its longest days") and "John Cockers" ("I ain't got no friends") just don't seem to lend themselves to association with shopping of any kind. And maybe that's the point. Mellencamp's second consecutive album to use the word "Freedom" in the title is really the 56-year-old singer/songwriter's reflection on the lack of freedom, along with a life that seems to be almost over, love still idealized (the Buddy Holly-like "odd song out" here, "My Sweet Love"), and death, plenty of death. Musically, Mellencamp seems to have been listening closely to the first five Bob Dylan albums, paying more attention to the first of them, the largely traditional, folk-blues-styled Bob Dylan, than the last, the folk-rock Bringing It All Back Home. "If I Die Sudden," for example, has much of the feel and sound of "In My Time of Dyin'" on Bob Dylan. But unlike the young Dylan, who probably sang such songs without any direct consciousness of his own mortality, the aging Mellencamp, who has survived one heart attack already, brings real conviction to his reflections on death. Unfortunately, he is not much reconciled to it. He looks back regretfully on his heedless youth, and he has the sense not only that he personally has failed to fulfill his promise, but that the world he sees around him has declined instead of improving. "Everything you were after has gone down the drain," he laments in the concluding track, "A Brand New Song." This follows "For the Children," in which he attempts to muster some hope for the next generation, managing the conclusion, "All I can do is my best and be thankful for what we've got." In truth, the forced pessimism of these songs is consistent for an artist who titled an early album Nothin' Matters and What If It Did and sang, in the chorus of his most famous song, "Jack & Diane," "Life goes on long after the thrill of living is gone." Now, however, he is able to invest it with an assumption of experienced, mature wisdom. Yet it remains as much about him as it is about the world he sees around him. [Life Death Love and Freedom was the first release to include a disc in the CODE format, a new technology playable on most DVD players.] [The Deluxe Tour Edition contains nine bonus live tracks from Life Death Love and Freedom recorded in 2008]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/23/2009
  • Label: Hear Music
  • UPC: 888072316461
  • Catalog Number: 31646
  • Sales rank: 159,665

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Longest Days (3:10)
  2. 2 My Sweet Love (3:27)
  3. 3 If I Die Sudden (3:47)
  4. 4 Troubled Land (3:25)
  5. 5 Young Without Lovers (2:51)
  6. 6 John Cockers (3:54)
  7. 7 Don't Need This Body (3:27)
  8. 8 A Ride Back Home (3:13)
  9. 9 Without a Shot (3:41)
  10. 10 Jena (3:42)
  11. 11 Mean (2:35)
  12. 12 County Fair (3:44)
  13. 13 For the Children (4:38)
  14. 14 A Brand New Song (3:57)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Longest Days
  2. 2 My Sweet Love
  3. 3 If I Die Sudden
  4. 4 Troubled Land
  5. 5 Young Without Lovers
  6. 6 John Cockers
  7. 7 Don't Need This Body
  8. 8 A Ride Back Home
  9. 9 Without a Shot
  10. 10 Jena
  11. 11 Mean
  12. 12 County Fair
  13. 13 For the Children
  14. 14 A Brand New Song
Disc 3
  1. 1 If I Die Sudden (5:42)
  2. 2 Troubled Land (4:07)
  3. 3 Don't Need This Body (5:20)
  4. 4 Longest Days (3:32)
  5. 5 Young Without Lovers (2:27)
  6. 6 A Ride Back Home (3:33)
  7. 7 Jena (4:13)
  8. 8 My Sweet Love (4:05)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
John Mellencamp Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Dane Clark Percussion, Drums, Maracas, Tabla, Tambourine, Shaker, Hi Hat
Dennis Crouch Upright Bass
Karen Fairchild Background Vocals
Mike Wanchic Guitar, Background Vocals
Andy York Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Mandolin, Percussion, Electric Guitar, Background Vocals, Guitar (Resonator)
Mike Piersante Shaker
Miriam Sturm Violin
Janas Hoyt Background Vocals
Troye Kinnett Organ, Percussion, Piano, Accordion, Keyboards, Hammond Organ, Background Vocals, Melodica
Technical Credits
Paul Mahern Engineer
John Mellencamp Composer, Producer, Liner Notes
Eddy Schreyer Mastering
Mike Wanchic Producer
Tommy Steele Art Direction
Gavin Lurssen Mastering
Mike Piersante Engineer
Mike Stucker Engineer
Bob Merlis Liner Notes
Brett Allen Guitar Techician
Matt Andrews Engineer
Bill Chappell Engineer
Paul Ackling Guitar Techician
Emile Kelman Engineer
Elaine Mellencamp Art Direction
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