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Words & Music: John Mellencamp's Greatest Hits

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
He's been a cocky rocker often referring to himself as "little bastard", a deft interpreter of the roots music of bygone days, and a spokesman for the workingman. But no matter what guise he dons, it's always clear that John Mellencamp is the closest thing his generation has produced to an archetypal American songwriter. This career-spanning collection offers nearly 40 snapshots of Mellencamp in action, from early hits like "I Need a Lover" and "Jack and Diane" -- quintessential midwestern romances infused with a potent dose of the region's deeply ingrained grit -- to more pointed early-'80s favorites such as "Rain on the Scarecrow" and "Small Town." Although ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
He's been a cocky rocker often referring to himself as "little bastard", a deft interpreter of the roots music of bygone days, and a spokesman for the workingman. But no matter what guise he dons, it's always clear that John Mellencamp is the closest thing his generation has produced to an archetypal American songwriter. This career-spanning collection offers nearly 40 snapshots of Mellencamp in action, from early hits like "I Need a Lover" and "Jack and Diane" -- quintessential midwestern romances infused with a potent dose of the region's deeply ingrained grit -- to more pointed early-'80s favorites such as "Rain on the Scarecrow" and "Small Town." Although Mellencamp became less of a chart-topping fixture in the '90s, he didn't lose a whit of his artistic potency, as evidenced by the steely "When Jesus Left Birmingham" culled from 1993's Human Wheels and his duet with Meshell Ndegeocello on a cover of Van Morrison's "Wild Night." Mellencamp doesn't waste the opportunity to debut fresh material on Words and Music. In fact, the pair of new songs -- both collaborations with Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds -- might well be Mellencamp's best in ages, particularly "Walk Tall," a poignant-yet-pugnacious plea for tolerance that benefits from the soulful sheen added by Edmonds. Even a quarter century into his career, John Mellencamp is still unquestionably the Hoosier Daddy.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
John Mellencamp has been in need of a thorough, career-spanning compilation for a while, and Island/UTV's 2004 release Words & Music: John Mellencamp's Greatest Hits finally fills that gap. His previous hits collection, 1997's The Best That I Could Do, was too short, since he had more hits than could fit on a brief 14-track disc. Words & Music doesn't have the problem of brevity. Spanning 37 songs over two discs, this has nearly all of his charting hits. Radio hits like "Justice and Independence '85" and "Rooty Toot Toot" may be absent, but they're not missed, since all the big hits are here, including "Pink Houses," "Lonely Ol' Night," "Paper in Fire," "Authority Song," "Crumblin' Down," "Small Town," "Hurts So Good," and "Jack & Diane," among many others including two solid new songs. The biggest complaint that could be lodged against this collection is that the sequencing is doggedly nonchronological, which may upset some listeners who would like to hear his career evolve, but this sequencing flows like a good concert and highlights the common threads in his music from 1978 to 2004. As such, it's not only a good collection of hits, but it's a good career summary and introduction, as well. [Initial pressings of Words & Music contained a bonus DVD containing videos for "Crumblin' Down," "R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.," "Rain on the Scarecrow," "Check It Out Live," and "Key West Intermezzo I Saw You First."]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/19/2004
  • Label: Island
  • UPC: 602498635568
  • Catalog Number: 000331110

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Walk Tall (3:45)
  2. 2 Pink Houses (4:45)
  3. 3 Lonely Ol' Night (3:46)
  4. 4 Jackie Brown (4:03)
  5. 5 Rain on the Scarecrow (3:46)
  6. 6 Love and Happiness (3:54)
  7. 7 Check It Out (4:21)
  8. 8 Peaceful World (4:06)
  9. 9 Paper in Fire (3:52)
  10. 10 Your Life Is Now (3:59)
  11. 11 Human Wheels (5:36)
  12. 12 When Jesus Left Birmingham (5:16)
  13. 13 Authority Song (3:50)
  14. 14 What If I Came Looking (5:06)
  15. 15 Crumblin' Down (3:36)
  16. 16 Small Town (3:42)
  17. 17 R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A. (2:55)
  18. 18 Cherry Bomb (4:49)
  19. 19 Pop Singer (2:46)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Thank You (3:38)
  2. 2 Martha Say (3:43)
  3. 3 Key West Intermezzo (I Saw You First) (4:54)
  4. 4 Hand to Hold on To (3:25)
  5. 5 I Need a Lover (5:36)
  6. 6 Hurts So Good (3:41)
  7. 7 Get a Leg Up (3:47)
  8. 8 Wild Night (3:28)
  9. 9 Dance Naked (3:01)
  10. 10 Teardrops Will Fall (4:20)
  11. 11 Ain't Even Done With the Night (4:38)
  12. 12 Just Another Day (3:31)
  13. 13 Jack & Diane (4:17)
  14. 14 Rumble Seat (2:59)
  15. 15 I'm Not Running Anymore (3:27)
  16. 16 Again Tonight (3:18)
  17. 17 This Time (4:20)
  18. 18 Now More Than Ever (3:43)
Disc 3
  1. 1 Crumblin' Down
  2. 2 R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.
  3. 3 Rain on the Scarecrow
  4. 4 Check It Out
  5. 5 Key West Intermezzo (I Saw Your First)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
John Mellencamp Primary Artist, Vocals
Lisa Germano Mandolin, Violin, Background Vocals
Jay Ferguson Keyboards
Kenny Aronoff Percussion, Drums, Background Vocals
Malcolm Burn Organ
John Cascella Accordion, Keyboards, Melodica
John Casella Organ
Dane Clark Percussion, Drums
Larry Crane Guitar, Harmonica, Background Vocals
Sarah Flint Background Vocals
David Grissom Guitar, Mandolin
Reggie Hamilton Bass
Carroll Sue Hill Background Vocals
John Jarvis Keyboards
Tom Knowles Background Vocals
Ricky Lawson Drums
MeShell NdegeOcello Bass, Vocals, Background Vocals
Toby Myers Bass, Background Vocals
David Parman Background Vocals
George "Chocolate" Perry Bass
Pat Peterson Background Vocals
Michael Ramos Organ, Accordion, Background Vocals
Rick Shlosser Drums
Crystal Taliefero Background Vocals
Mike Wanchic Dulcimer, Dobro, Guitar, Mandolin, Background Vocals
Willie Weeks Bass
Andy York Organ, Guitar, Percussion, Background Vocals
Nancy Arnold Oboe
Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds Guitar, Background Vocals
Kenneth Childers Guitar
Miriam Sturm Violin
Jeff Pedersen Organ
India.Arie Vocals
Moe Z M.D. Organ, Drums, Background Vocals, Loops
Courtney Kaiser Background Vocals
Jane McLeod Background Vocals
Brian Bekvar Keyboards
Jon Gunnell Bass
Laurie Robert-Glug Background Vocals
David Wierhake Accordion
Robert Frank Bass, Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Ray Kennedy Engineer
Steve Cropper Producer
Malcolm Burn Producer
Larry Crane Contributor
Greg Edward Producer, Engineer
Don Gehman Producer, Engineer
Jay Healy Engineer
Ross Hogarth Engineer
David Leonard Producer, Engineer
Paul Mahern Producer, Engineer
John Mellencamp Composer, Director, Producer
Van Morrison Composer
John Punter Producer, Engineer
Dee Robb Engineer
Bruce Robb Engineer
David Thoener Engineer
George Tutko Engineer
Mike Wanchic Producer
Jann Wenner Liner Notes
G.C. Green Composer
Junior Vasquez Producer
Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds Producer
Chris Gabrin Director
Paul Boutin Engineer
Marion Smith Composer
Little Bastard Producer
Jonathan Dark Director
Jonathan Kaplan Director
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    35 hits and 2 Bonus Tracks!!

    Anyone who likes John Mellencamp must buy this CD. Words & Music has 35 of John's hits, plus 2 bonus tracks, Walk Tall and Thank You. Walk Tall is one of John Mellencamp's best songs to date, reminding us all of what is really important in this world, and reminding us that there is much work yet to be done. Thank You expresses John's gratitude for his fans, his career, and for the everyday people who fight everyday to make the world a better place. The arrangement of the songs on this album was given much consideration, they are not chronolgically arranged. The flow of one song to the next is meaningful and purposeful. This CD is a celebration of John Mellencamp's career, show-casing not only the talents of one of the best singer-songwriters of our time, but of John's band members past and present. A must-have for every John Mellencamp fan!! John's current tour supports this Greatest Hits CD, a live performance no one should miss!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    IF YOU DON'T HAVE IT, BUY IT!!!

    Brings back all the memories of the 80's. John's songs, like "Small Town, Pink Houses, and Jack n' Diane" define America. I also love "Cherry Bomb and I Need A Lover." But my absolute favorite song is "Hurts So Good."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    ADD THIS TO YOUR COLLECTION!

    I am a big John Mellancamp fan. His songs are for everyone of any age to enjoy, as his songs define America. "Pink Houses," "Small Town," "Cherry Bomb," "I Need A Lover," and "Jack and Diane" are the greatest songs on the CD, but my absolute favorite is "Hurts So Good." !!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Words & Music to live by

    Finally a complete greatest hits album by one of America's greatest Rock and Roll Legends. John's music is beautiful and his words are profound. I highly recommend you buy this CD.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Love this CD!

    What a fantastic Cd of great hits that bring back awesome memories! John's new song Walk Tall along with another new song Thank you is included in this greatest hits cd.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A GOOD CD

    GREAT SET OF SONGS, BUT COULD HAVE INCLUDED MORE OF THE 'COUGAR' YEARS. SONGS LIKE 'TONIGHT', 'PLAY GUITAR', 'THUNDERING HEARTS' 'CHEAPSHOT', AND 'SERIOUS BUSINESS.'THE NEW SONGS FIT RIGHT IN W/ THE REST OF THE ALBUM.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    GREAT!

    he was and still is in the top of the best!Jack and Diane is a great song too!I just love him!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews