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(1978 - 1988)

Released - 1997 on Mercury Records. Produced by John Mellencamp & Don Gehmam, except Track 1 producted by John Punter; Track 2 producted by Steve Crooper; Track 14 producted by John Mellencamp & Mike Wanchic

John Mellencamp - Lead & Backing Vocals, Guitars


Larry Crane - Guitars, Harmonica, Backing Vocals
Mike Wanchic - Guitars, Backing Vocals
Kenny Aronoff - Drums, Backing Vocals; Vibes on Track 2; Hammer Dulcimer on Track 13
Toby Myers - Bass, Backing Vocals
John Cascella - Keyboards; Accordion on Tracks 11, 12 &13

Session Musicians:

Mick Ronson - Guitar & Backing Vocals on Track 4
Andy York - Guitar & Backing Vocals on Track 14
Robert Frank - Bass on Tracks 1, 2, & 4, Backing Vocals on Track 4
Chocolate Perry - Bass on Track 3
Willie Weeks - Bass on Track 6
Tom Knowles - Drums on Track 1
Rick Shlosser - Drums on Track 2
Dane Clark - Drums on Track 14
Brian BekVar - Keyboards on Track 1
Eric Rosse - Keyboards on Tracks 2 & 4
Carroll Sue Hill -  Keyboards on Track 5, Backing Vocals on Tracks 5 & 6
Jay Ferguson - Keyboards on Track 6
Moe Z -  Keyboards and Backing Vocals on Track 14
Lisa Germano - Violin on Tracks 11, 12 & 13
Miriam Sturm -  Violin on Track 14
Additional Backing Vocals by: Crystal Taliefero; Pat Peterson; Sarah Flint; Dave Parman

All songs written by John Mellencamp except Tracks 3 & 5 by J. Mellencamp & Don Gerham; and Track 14 by Terry Reid. Year song released in parenthesis.

I Need a Lover (1979)        7.9
Ain't Even Done With the Night (1981)        7.0
Hurts So Good (1982)      10.0
Jack and Diane (1982)      10.0
Crumblin' Down (1983)      10.0
Pink Houses (1983)      10.0
Authority Song (1984)      10.0
Lonely Ol' Night (1985)      10.0
Small Town (1985)      10.0
R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A. (1986)        8.8
Paper in Fire (1987)        8.7
Cherry Bomb (1987)        8.8
Check It Out  (1988)        7.3
Without Expression (1987)        7.8
Ave.        9.0


When John Mellencamp put out his first album in 1976 (going by the name of Johnny Cougar, which was forced on him by his manager), some called him a clone of Bruce Springsteen. Although he never had the huge success of Springsteen, for myself anyway, I liked Mellencamp better. Mellencamp sure knew how to write great pop songs, that was for sure, and his early writing style reminded me more of Bob Seager than Springsteen.

This greatest hits LP is just that, full of powerful songs with a real classic rock beat, even if he and his band never looked much like a bunch of rockers. It is hard for me to pick a favorite out of this group of songs, perhaps it's "Authority Song", a song about resisting the establishment and always coming up short because of that stance (boy could I relate). "Small Town" is just as good and another song I could relate to, as I was living in smallsville Telluride, Colorado when it came out. Or maybe "Pink Houses" is the best of the bunch, released in 1983 as a statement on how unfair life in the USA was for most of its people.

It is because of songs like the ones that show up on this LP, why so many people could connect with Mellencamp, he wrote his songs as he saw things and he is a realist when it comes to what he writes about.

- Keno 2005

To listen to some soundclips from BEST THAT I COULD DO or to purchase it click on:The Best That I Could Do 1978-1988

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