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Author Topic: The Well Runneth dry?  (Read 849 times)
hoss13820
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« on: December 09, 2018, 12:01:50 am »

I will always welcome any Mellencamp release with open arms. I do need to ask if fellow fans feel that the creative well may have run dry for JM?  Sad clowns was far from a new record , most of it pieced together from
Old material and covers. Other people’s stuff is nothing more than a compilation of covers marketed as a new record.  Just seems as we are near the end of the creative peak. That said, I’ve been a fan for 36 years
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WildNight
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« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2018, 03:39:38 pm »

I have no issues with Sad Clowns, the covers and outtakes that were included were fantastic and ones I had not heard before.

Other Peoples Stuff is a very frustrating release. I am fine with cover albums and I am fine with an artist releasing re-arranged/re-interpreted songs they have already recorded. “To The River”, “Teardrops Will Fall”, “In My Time of Dying”, “Mobile Blue”, and “Stones in My Passway” are literally direct imports from prior releases. Why were they included in this set? Was there any sort of reasoning that certain songs were picked and other covers were not? As a fan I am completely confused by the re-release of these five songs.

I don't mind the album including “Gambling Bar Room Blues”, “Dark As A Dungeon", “Wreck of the Old 97”, and “I Don’t Know Why I Love You”... while most die-hard Mellencamp fans have heard these it's nice to have them all easily accessible. And "Eyes on the Prize" is a nice new recording. My guess is Mellencamp's people wanted these 5 songs available but did not know how to do it without releasing an album of 10 songs.

If you look at the press release I can see why fans would be confused: "Culled from seminal albums, compilations, unearthed sessions and documentaries, this record serves as a proud homage to some of the greatest songs in history." What song from this album is from an unearthed session?

I don't believe the well has run dry but this album is an unforced error that could impact sales of future releases.
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walktall2010
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« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2018, 12:07:01 pm »

The song from an “unearthed session” would be “Eyes on the Prize,” which came from a 2012 session John did with Indiana guitar legend Reverend Peyton. The song laid unreleased for six years until it was included on this collection.

This release isn’t a sign that John has run dry or that he can’t write songs anymore – it is part of his lifetime contract with Republic Records that they will issue catalog releases between original studio albums. The “Trouble No More” live album that came out in 2014 falls under this category, as does the remastered “Scarecrow” vinyl re-issue that came out on Black Friday 2015 to celebrate that album’s 30th anniversary. “Other People’s Stuff” is merely a way for all these disparate cover songs John has released over the years to be collected under a title in John’s catalog. It’s not meant to disappoint anybody. Heck, if they never put it out at all and waited until John’s next studio album for the next release, nobody would bat an eyelid.

As for “Sad Clowns and Hillbillies,” yes there were some cover songs, two Ghost Brothers songs, two Carlene Carter songs and a couple of ‘90s outtakes included, but John still wrote “Sad Clowns,” “Easy Target,” “Battle of Angels,” and “My Soul’s Got Wings” (original music to accompany an old Woody Guthrie lyric) for that album, and he included the recently written “Sugar Hill Mountain” that appears in the movie “Ithaca” on the album as well. In addition, John wrote a song called “Seeing You Around” that appeared in “Ithaca” (sung by Leon Redbone), wrote the music to “Them Double Blues” to give life to an unused Johnny Cash lyric, and he wrote the title song to the 2017 movie “The Yellow Birds,” a war movie that finally came out this past summer.

So, given all those recent songs John has written, I don’t think we can say the well has run dry. John is focused on touring, because that’s where the industry has shifted in recent years because nobody buys music anymore, but he’s still very capable of writing great original songs, and he will always be creative.  I’m sure there is more great original music coming from John in the years ahead. Just be patient.
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spokenplain
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« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2018, 03:01:10 pm »

it would have been better if he rerecorded the songs on the Other Peoples Stuff CD rather then a compilation CD    anyone agree?
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WildNight
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« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2018, 03:07:15 pm »

Walk tall I always appreciate your insight and knowledge, thank you for the additional information.

I think Republic Records could have done a better job communicating the release details. “For the album, Mellencamp recorded a brand-new version of “Eyes on the Prize” which was originally performed at The White House. Mellencamp was asked by the Obama administration to perform for the 2010 Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement event.“ makes it sound like Eyes on the Prize was just recently recorded. It would also be nice to know why certain previously released covers were included and others were not, maybe there was a specific narrative for this album. I was kind of under the impression certain songs wouldn’t necessarily be direct imports from previous self titled albums but instead unreleased versions of these songs.

It’s still a fine album, five of the songs are nice to have easily accessible! I am not worried about Mellencamps creatively at all, just hoping for some better information for future album releases.
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springsteen
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« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2019, 12:22:16 pm »

Walk Tall:

Thanks for the background info on some of the songs. I love that kind of stuff.

I am still hoping for a box set from JM that is similar to Springsteen's Tracks (all outtakes).

From what I have read, Rural Route was planned to be like Tracks but then .....wasn't.
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