Which means, of course, that Whenever We Wanted is more consistent than the earlier record, but it never reaches the highs of Uh-Huh. Even its best moments "Love and Happiness," "Get a Leg Up," "Whenever We Wanted," "Again Tonight" shine because of their craftsmanship, failing to achieve the kinetic energy of his earlier work.
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Mellencamp recorded the album using a Ampex portable recording machine and only one microphone, requiring all the musicians to gather together around the mic. The album was recorded in mono. Mellencamp wrote over 30 songs for the record only 13 made the final cut , and he wrote one song specifically for Room at the Gunter Hotel Mellencamp told the San Antonio Express-News :.
It's called 'Right Behind Me'. I wrote it just for this room. I could have done this in my studio. But I want to do it this way, and if I can't do what I want at this point, I'm not going to do it. If it's not fun, I'm not going to do it. I'm through digging a ditch. Live at the Royal , which peaked at No. On December 6, , Mellencamp performed " Born in the U. A career-spanning box set of album tracks and demos titled On the Rural Route was released on June 15, , nine weeks before No Better Than This hit stores.
Mellencamp, who co-headlined 11 shows in the summer of with Bob Dylan , launched the No Better Than This theater tour on October 29, in his hometown of Bloomington, Indiana. On this tour, which ran through the summer of and covered the entire United States and Canada and much of Europe, Mellencamp opened each concert with a showing of a Kurt Markus documentary about the making of No Better Than This called "It's About You" before hitting the stage to play three different sets: a stripped-down acoustic set with his band, a solo acoustic set, and a fully electrified rock set.
When you went to see his shows, there was a movie like The Girl Can't Help It or something, and then three or four bands played. I'm gonna come out and play with upright bass and cocktail [drum] kits and a lot of acoustic instruments. I'll play for, like, 40 minutes that way. Then the band will leave and it'll just be me with an acoustic guitar for 40 minutes, and then there'll be 40 minutes of rock 'n' roll.
You'll get three different types of John Mellencamp, and you'll get a movie. Mellencamp played for over two hours and included 24 songs in his setlist on the tour. One reviewer called the opening gig of the European leg of the tour "maybe the best rock-performance ever in Denmark.
The tour finally concluded with a tour of Canada in the summer of Mellencamp took part in two Woody Guthrie tribute concerts in as part of a year-long celebration surrounding the year anniversary of the folk icon's birth.
The album captures his live performance at Town Hall in New York City on July 31, , in which he performed every track from his Trouble No More covers album in addition to a rendition of "Highway 61 Revisited" by Bob Dylan and reworked versions of three of his own songs.
In October , Mellencamp revealed that he was working on a new album, and he offered this update on the project to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune : "I've had a couple rehearsals with the band, and T Bone [Burnett] and I go in the studio in January. I'm not part of the music business. I want to write my songs, do some little shows. T Bone Burnett is going to come out to Indiana sometime in early January and we're gonna go into the studio for however long it takes to make a new album.
I haven't done one in five years. In January , Mellencamp began recording the project, which would ultimately be titled Plain Spoken and would become his 20th album of original material and 22nd studio album overall. The album was released on September 23, In the summer of , Mellencamp conducted a brief show tour. During these concerts, which primarily took place at casinos and festivals across the United States and Canada, he gave the first taste of Plain Spoken by playing "Troubled Man", the album's first track and first single.
Outside of the Plain Spoken Tour, Mellencamp's most noteworthy live performance in came on February 6, when he paid tribute to Bob Dylan at the annual MusiCares Person of the Year event by performing piano-and-vocal rendition of "Highway 61 Revisited" the piano was played by Troye Kinnett from Mellencamp's band. USA Today wrote: "The musical high point in a night of many highlights was probably John Mellencamp's interpretation of 'Highway 61 Revisited;' with a vocal tone and timbre that channeled Tom Waits', he made this usually scorching rocker into a blues dirge.
Never has Mellencamp sounded so artful. After a star-studded lineup paid tribute to Dylan with cover versions of some of his greatest songs, Dylan closed the evening with a minute speech that included a reference to Mellencamp's song "Longest Days". Dylan said: "And like my friend John Mellencamp would sing—because John sang some truth today—'one day you get sick and you don't get better.
I ain't lying. In December , Mellencamp began recording a duets album with Carlene Carter , who was his opening act for all shows on the Plain Spoken Tour and would join Mellencamp for two songs during his set. John got the idea to do an album together. I was blown away.
I think we're onto something really interesting, but I won't give the surprise away. It's different, because I've never really sat down and tried to write duets. That's going to be a fun challenge. While it is considered a duets project, Carter gave Pacific University the first piece of insight that the album wouldn't consist strictly of duets.
Some are duets and some are by themselves—it's different, but really kind of the way John and I roll. We are very like-minded and on musical ground that really feels right. It's been quite a wonderful ride. I know this sounds crazy, but it happens a lot, I think, to songwriters—you can't tell it by looking, but I was working out—and all of a sudden I just started singing 'easy targets' and I thought, 'oh no, now I've got to stop what I'm doing" and it took me The melody came [intact], the lyrics It started out like 'Look, lets go back and do an old country religious record.
We'll try to write songs that sound like those songs, but they'll be new. The leg of the tour concluded on September 3 in Canfield, Ohio. Carter did not accompany Mellencamp on the Canadian portion of the tour. Instead, a minute documentary film was shown before Mellencamp hit the stage each night. Mellencamp released a compilation album of cover songs titled Other People's Stuff on December 7, In two separate television interviews, Mellencamp teased a new musical he is working on based on his No.
This is also a story about a town in free-fall, and the tough choices people make, not always in their best interests.
Mellencamp lives five miles outside of Bloomington, Indiana , on the shores of Lake Monroe ,  but he also has a vacation home on Daufuskie Island, South Carolina. Mellencamp was married to Priscilla Esterline from until and to Victoria Granucci from until He married fashion model Elaine Irwin on September 5, On December 30, , Mellencamp announced that he and Irwin had separated after 18 years of marriage.
Mellencamp has five children from his three marriages: daughter Michelle from his marriage to Esterline; daughters Teddi Jo and Justice from his marriage to Granucci; and sons Hud and Speck from his marriage to Irwin.
After his divorce from Irwin, Mellencamp began dating actress Meg Ryan. In September , Mellencamp reportedly started dating former supermodel Christie Brinkley. In July , it was reported that Mellencamp and Ryan had reunited and were dating again. In April , it was reported that Mellancamp has been dating skincare expert Jamie Sherrill since the beginning of the year. They are both from the same small town in southern Indiana. In , Mellencamp became one of the first entertainers to speak out against the Iraq War when he released the song "To Washington", which was also critical of the U.
Presidential elections. The Governor of California was removed from office based on finance troubles. And yet, George W. Bush has lied to us, failed to keep our own borders secure, entered a war under false pretense, endangered lives, and created financial chaos. How is it that he hasn't been recalled? Perhaps this time we could even have a real election Take an election; take an oil field; take advantage of your own people — a game of political Three-Card Monte.
Bush "The bloody red eyes of the rodeo clown". However, Army officials barred Baez from performing. He told Rolling Stone magazine:. They didn't give me a reason why she couldn't come.
We asked why and they said, 'She can't fit here, period. According to a February 8, , Associated Press report, Mellencamp's camp asked that the campaign for presidential candidate Sen. McCain's campaign responded by pulling the songs from their playlist. Mellencamp's publicist, Bob Merlis, noted to the Associated Press:. If [McCain is] such a true conservative, why [is he] playing songs that have a very populist pro-labor message written by a guy who would find no argument if you characterized him as an ardent leftist?
Merlis also noted that the same songs had been used, with Mellencamp's approval, by John Edwards's campaign ; in response, the McCain campaign ceased using the songs. Mellencamp also performed "Our Country" at a rally for Hillary Clinton in Indianapolis , Indiana, on May 3, , although he never came out in support of either Obama or Clinton during the primaries. In , Mellencamp's music was used by the National Organization for Marriage at events opposing same-sex marriage.
Mellencamp's views on same sex marriage and equal rights for people of all sexual orientations are at odds with NOM's stated agenda" and requesting that NOM "find music from a source more in harmony with your views than Mr.
Mellencamp in the future. Mellencamp supported Michael Bloomberg in his presidential campaign , taping a Bloomberg campaign ad featuring Mellencamp singing Small Town. Mellencamp's musical style has generally been described as rock ,   heartland rock ,  roots rock   and folk rock. Noted art writer Hilarie M. Sheets, a contributing editor to ARTnews who writes regularly for The New York Times , called Mellencamp "a natural storyteller" in a essay she wrote about his artwork.
Known over the course of his successful four-decade music career for his acutely observed songs about the American landscape and its cast of characters, Mellencamp has been equally productive as a painter mining similar terrain. Mellencamp's interest in painting began in early life, but was superseded in the s by his skyrocketing musical career.
However, throughout his life, Mellencamp has continued to seriously explore painting. Mellencamp's late mother, Marilyn, loved to paint landscapes and flowers and her son fell in love with both art and music at an early age.
If you can never get enough true crime Dateline NBC. Current and classic episodes, featuring compelling true-crime mysteries, powerful documentaries and in-depth investigations. View All Popular Podcasts. The woman featured on the cover with Mellencamp is Elaine Irwin. The cover photo was taken during the shoot for the video for the hit single "Get a Leg Up. They become a couple a short time later and were married in September They separated in September and were divorced in After his previous two albums, The Lonesome Jubilee and Big Daddy , featured such non-traditional rock instruments as the accordion and violin, Mellencamp said that on Whenever We Wanted he wanted to put those instruments "back in their cases" and return to a harder-edged sound.
Mellencamp further elaborated on the album, saying: "It's very rock 'n' roll.7" Single on 45cat: John Mellencamp - Get A Leg Up (Family Version) / Whenever We Wanted - Mercury - USA -