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Mr. Happy Go Lucky

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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: 9/10/1996
  • Label: Mercury
  • UPC: 731453416925
  • Catalog Number: 534169

Album Credits

Performance Credits
John Mellencamp Primary Artist, 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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

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2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Mr. Happy Go Lucky...Lucky for us!

    Awesome rock and roll album. John took a chance and recorded an album that supersedes the pop stardom he received from American Fool and Jack and Diane. I think with this album he re-invented himself yet again. You will truly appreciate John's songwriting abilities with this reel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Out of nowhere...this album

    I've never cared for much of Mellencamp's work, and yet this album is in my personal top 5. It's incredibly thoughtful and understated. I still find this the most puzzling album in my collection--how can I like it so much and not care for anything else in Mellencamp's extensive catalog?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Excellent Album

    It's a shame that Mellencamp didn't make more albums like this. He's one of the best artists of all time and this album definetely reflects it.

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