Mr. Happy Go Lucky

Mr. Happy Go Lucky

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by John Mellencamp
     
 

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John Mellencamp responded to his massive heart attack and close-call with death with Mr. Happy Go Lucky, the most overtly ambitious album in his career. Mellencamp has always been a bit of a fatalist, so it isn't any great surprise that there is an undercurrent of dark mortality running through most of his songs. What is a surprise is his musical approach.See more details below

Overview

John Mellencamp responded to his massive heart attack and close-call with death with Mr. Happy Go Lucky, the most overtly ambitious album in his career. Mellencamp has always been a bit of a fatalist, so it isn't any great surprise that there is an undercurrent of dark mortality running through most of his songs. What is a surprise is his musical approach. Although he hasn't abandoned the essential elements of his music -- the rootsy instrumentation, the violins, the simple song structures, the gritty folk-rock -- he has augmented it with the help of Junior Vasquez, a noted dance producer. Vasquez doesn't push Mellencamp into dance, but he adds certain dynamics and techniques from club music to Mr. Happy Go Lucky which ocasionally gives the album a greater depth. It's a gentle change, not a forceful one -- nothing sounds like dance music, but there are deeper rhythms and bass throughout the album, which breathes life into well-crafted songs like "Key West Intermezzo." Since he doesn't pursue dance completely on Mr. Happy Go Lucky, Mellencamp doesn't end up alienating his fans, but the reluctance to give himself over to dance makes the album uneven. Ironically, the tracks that exhibit Vasquez's influence the least are the least successful -- they simply sound like Mellencamp is going through the motions. Nevertheless, Mr. Happy Go Lucky proves that Mellencamp has more surprises in him than many listeners would have expected and suggests that he is in the process of revitalizing his career.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/10/1996
Label:
Polygram Records
UPC:
0731453289642
catalogNumber:
532896

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

John Mellencamp   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Jimmy Ryser   Violin,Background Vocals
Kenny Aronoff   Percussion,Drums,Vibes,Loops
Milton Davis   Bass
Toby Myers   Bass,Percussion,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Pat Peterson   Background Vocals
Harvey Phillips   Tuba
Susie Ronson   Laughs
Mike Wanchic   Organ,Dobro,Guitar,Mandolin,Background Vocals,Mellotron
Andy York   Organ,Guitar,Harmonica,Mandolin,Percussion,Background Vocals,Mellotron,chamberlain
Raphael Saadiq   Bass,Background Vocals
Junior Vasquez   Percussion,Loops
Lonnie Pitchford   Slide Guitar
Tim Riggins   Trombone
Miriam Sturm   Violin
Moe Z   Organ,Background Vocals,Loops
Jeff Pedersen   Organ

Technical Credits

David Leonard   Engineer
Bob Ludwig   Mastering
P. Dennis Mitchell   Engineer
Justin Niebank   Engineer
Susie Ronson   Contributor
Mike Wanchic   Producer
Junior Vasquez   Producer,Contributor
Gomi   Programming
Miriam Sturm   Arranger
Moe Z   Programming
Little Bastard   Producer
Marc Goodman   Engineer
Joey Moskowitz   Programming

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