ARTIST: John Mellencamp
TITLE: John Cougar
YEAR RELEASED: 1979
CHART ACTION: #64
SINGLES: I Need a Lover (#28 US, #5 Australia), Taxi Dancer, Small Paradise (#87), A Little Night Dancin;’ (#105), Miami (#31 Australia)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Well, only if you’re a Cougar / Mellencamp zealot
LINEUP: John Mellencamp, Brian Becvar, Larry Crane, Mike Wanchic, Robert Frank, Tom Knowles
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Hoosier rocker gets a hit in Australia from an album not even released in the US, and adds it to a new collection of mediocre album rock.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: BTW – I am skipping the first two albums AND the one consisting of early tracks that was released in the midst of his first rise to stardom. The second one I’m skipping because the only key track is also here, and it wasn’t really released here until much later. The others are just bad, and don’t really feature anything you’d want at all.
Hoosier John Mellencamp, then known as John Cougar (after a stint as Johnny Cougar, ick) had a hit single in Australia with his to-date best song “I Need a Lover”. After being dropped from his original record deal, he used that leverage to get re-signed and released an album containing that song and some new tracks.
“I Need a Lover” is great. “A Little Night Dancin’” is good. “Miami” and “Small Paradise” are fair. The rest – you can skip. At this stage, Mellencamp just had generic rock songs and his band was really just a bar band in style and execution. Good for a Friday night with a few Budweisers, not so great as an album.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: This album was called “Miami” in Australia.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: There’s a bonus track.
GRADE: C: Upgraded for “I Need a Lover” because that song kicks butt.