RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

John Mellencamp: John Mellencamp 1978-2012 Box Set    
Universal Music

Rating: A

Little Johnny from Indiana done good!

Need proof?  How about a career spanning box set from 1978 to 2012 that includes 19 CDs and 223 tracks?

How about the fact that some of the CDS sold really well and are included in this set…we’re talking American Fool, Lonesome Jubilee, Scarecrow, Cuttin’ Heads…you get the idea.

Still not convinced?  This massive set includes some pretty well known songs…hell these are songs that are still played daily on the radio and include “I Need A Lover,” “Jack & Diane,” “Pink Houses,”  “Rain On The Scarecrow,” “Paper in Fire,” “Hurts So Good,” “Crumblin’ Down,” “Jackie Brown,” “Small Town,” “Wild Night,” “R.O.C.K In The U.S.A” and many, many more.

Oh yeah, we can’t forget the rare album, Falling From Grace, which was a Mellencamp directed film and saw the musician collaborate with  Dwight Yoakam, Nanci Griffith, Joe Ely, James McMurtry and John Prine.

See, that all got yer attention, now, didn’t it?

He may be from a small town but Little Johnny Cougar, later to be Cougar-Mellencamp and finally just John Mellencamp hit the big time.  Thirteen of the albums included in this set went Gold and/or Platinum.  In fact, there is so much Gold and Platinum included in this box set that you may not be able to get it through airport security without beeping!

Did we mention there are 30 Top 100 singles?

The bottom line here is that John Mellencamp has left behind an amazing rock and Roll American songbook and everything on this box set, from the packaging to the sound, was done right.

Don’t be fooled, however, that this American Fool has hung up his guitar though.  Mellencamp is still writing songs and will be back in 2014 with a new album of new songs.  In fact, as this box set proves, he has remained quite active throughout his 35-plus year career.

Where a lot of box sets are thrown together for the Holidays just to make a quick buck, Mellencamp’s is a work of art.  This set proves in exquisite detail just who John Mellencamp is and why America, hell why the entire world fell in love with him in the first place.

By Jeb Wright