I'd like to share with you my modest promotion review I posted on Amazon in 2010 at the release of "On The Rural Route 7609 - Special Edition [Box set, Special Edition]"
I don't know if it may result interesting (and if I'm posting it in the right section) but it came from my heart.
After seeing the documentary "It's about you" during the show in Rome I guess that John can agree with something I wrote.
With this movie He seems to tell us: "hey, kid, this movie talks about you, your roots, where you came from...
It has been my personal, modest way to promote John's music someway.
"I started listening to John Mellencamp when I was 14.
They were the early 80s. He still was known as "the Cougar" and I still thought that life would have been peaches and cream.
I was aiming to become a rock'n'roll star and I started playing my guitar learning his tunes: pearls like "Jack & Diane", "Play Guitar", "Pink Houses" and many more.
It was another America, not the President Reagan's optimistic one. America I was listening to, in John Mellencamp's songs, was angry, faithless, betrayed but still breathing... maybe like a rebel kid like I was (and I still am).
Kenny Aronoff's drumming was dry, with his high tuned snare drum cutting the air and my kid's soul... Mellencamp's lyrics were making me discover myself, though I ain't American.
It was the essence of Rock'n'Roll (and it still is), in search of the American roots, coming to its very soul.
In my opinion, every Mellencamp's album go to the heart of America: the struggling, undefended one. He still can reach this heart and the "Rural Route" Anthology captures with a real intensity much more that an artist's career: it's a long, honest, cut-like-a-knife walk along the real America, not the one painted in the movies, but the other side of it, the farmers' one.
The one that was built by men with a dream of life, redemption, faith. The same country which was stealing everything they have worked for (Scarecrow).
I guess John Mellencamp shows us that he’s still working on his dream: he really can stand beside Ideals he thinks are right, And He can stand beside The idea to stand and fight. "We are the people" he sings and I guess he’s honest when he writes “I do believe there's a dream for everyone”…
Rare outtakes, demo songs (among all the early acoustic sessions of "Authority Song" and "Jack & Diane": stunning).
"Rain on the scarecrow" (not the original take from “Scarecrow” but the acoustic version from "Rough Harvest", which results more intense to me, letting the lyrics breath) and many more (among all: the gospel “When Jesus left Birmingham”).
Pride, uprising… Sometimes it’s like listening to a Woody Guthrie’s song, recalling the strength this country has often shown in the worst moments: “From the east coast to the west coast Down the Dixie Highway Back home This is our country”.
A coming back to the roots of America, its culture, its pride.
Are you sure that it’s only R’n’R?
“On the Rural Route Anthology” makes me think that’s somewhat more. And I like it!
A "must have" for all the fans and for anyone believing that “you gotta stand for something or you’re gonna fall for anything".http://www.amazon.co.uk/product-reviews/B002GYHIWG/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1