ARTIST: John Cougar (Mellencamp)
TITLE: Nothin’ Matters and What If It Did
YEAR RELEASED: 1980
CHART ACTION: #37
SINGLES: This Time (#27), Ain’t Even Done with the Night (#17, #44 Mainstream Rock), Hot Night in a Cold Town
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Nothing else made radio, not even in Indiana
LINEUP: John Cougar, Doc Rosser, Mike Wanchic, Larry Crane, Rick Shlosser, Ed Green, Robert Frank with some other studio help.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Standard album-oriented rock album from standard album-oriented rock artists with a couple of singles with good pop licks, and a couple of throwaways.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: “Ain’t Even Done with the Night” showed that John “Cougar” had the potential to write meaningful pop/rock songs without compromising his image, whatever that was. That song and “This Time” were definitely nice to hear on the radio back in 1980.
The rest of the album is OK. It’s probably decent to kick back on the porch with cold ones playing cornhole while the grill is going. Sure, why not. There are two small snippets of songs that aren’t really songs and they’re exiled. No loss.
Mellencamp’s next album would be the game changer for him, but even if he stopped here, he’d have a few singles under his belt that were decent enough for him to have some legacy.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Steve Cropper produced this. Mellencamp thought it turned out too poppy but I think it hit the right note.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.
GRADE: B: He did a lot worse in his early career, and this set the stage for his superstardom to follow. A little bonus for a great album title, a phrase I still try to work into conversation.