NYCD: The Blog

Friday, October 27, 2006

JOHN HUCKSTER MELLENCAMP

Is it just us, or is using images of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Hurricane Katrina and the World Trade Center, set to a patriotic John Mellencamp song, all in order to sell Chevy trucks, really really really offensive?

And what's the deal with Mellencamp? Sure, he hasn't had a hit in Lord knows how long, but did he really need to sell out like that? Wasn't he a good-hearted populist liberal from the heartland? Maybe Chevy didn't tell him what was going to be in the commercial when they bought the song?

On top of it all, the song blows! It's a third-rate "Like A Rock," which was a third-rate Bruce rip-off anyway. Blow it out your pink house, Mellencamp.

In the words of Ricky Ricardo, "You got some 'splainin' to do."

6 Comments:

Anonymous Matthew Lewis said...

Love the blog, guys. I just discovered it from my perch in Chicago, and have bookmarked it for future reference. I don't normally read blogs, but this one has a nice balance of musical intelligence, new-release "news I can use," and general snarkiness. Well done! Keep the power pop ruminations coming from Sal, and keep the Tony Bennett/Esquivel cocktail croonerisms coming from Tony. Er, could you maybe include a bit more XTC/Supergrass/High Llamas news also? (Just make some up, if there isn't any.) Thanks.

10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If there an entry in the dictionary for the term "B Level Artist," there'd be a picture of Mellencamp. A few excellent songs, but not even approaching greatness.

10:57 AM  
Blogger NYCD Online said...

You know what Ben Lazar...you're right. I often look at my 2 CD anthology and think, "Should I keep this? Should I sell it for $4.77 on Amazon?" I've kept it. But then I look at my iPod and realize I have 7 Mellencamp tunes, of which I like 3. (the other 4 are there in case someone really cool asks me if I have any Mellencamp on my iPod) "This Is Our Country" is the fourth and final nail in the coffin.

6:04 PM  
Blogger Michael in New York said...

I think you've got it backwards when you ask "Did Chevy not tell Mellencamp they would be including images of Rosa Parks, MLK, Katrina" etc in the ad with his song?" I think the inclusion of those images is WHY Mellencamp convinced himself it was okay to use his song in an ad. You don't often see scenes of devastation in an ad for a truck. There was an outcry in the ad community as well about the tackiness of using 9/11 et al to promote a truck. But I'll stand by Scarecrow and Lonesome Jubilee as very good albums and I'd have a good 12 or so songs on my personal mellencamp hits collection (including the acoustic Pink Houses, dude).

11:12 AM  
Blogger soundsourcenyc said...

ok so john cougar is selling out that doesn't mean i have to sell off all his old stuff. he does have a couple or three stella lp's from back when and then an occasional really good song. and speaking of selling out you know even mr. springsteen who i've always considered a paragon of musical virtue did that six month later add three songs and a couple of videos to the cd so you have to buy it agian thing with the seeger sessions. so why aren't you getting on his case. and as for that b level artist crap as much as i love van morisson his recorded output for about the last 15 or more years is decidedly "B Level" but no ones dumping all over him and calling him a "B Level Artist". and hey don't even get me started on the stones............
for all you stalin fans look up revisionism in your old history textbooks. most of the greats and the near greats run out of steam at some point and if their lucky they get it back ie. recent dylan, if their hacks they just keep playing the old stuff over and over and become and oldies act (you know who) and if they have any class well i'm not sure what they do then i guess they die when their young.

12:31 AM  
Blogger Michael in New York said...

Well, hey, Van Morrison was a great because of Moondance and Astral Weeks. Obviously, nothing Mellencamp did comes close to those world-beaters that belong on any list of classic albums, however obvious they may be. And I don't think Springsteen sold out or decided to reissue his new album with some bonus tracks to try and keep the kids from downloading his album illegally. (He should be so lucky that kids would bother to steal it.) Given his track record, I have no problem believing that he went out on tour and simply found a clutch of songs that delivered so strongly he said, Damn, I wish I'd put these on the album, especially How Can A Poor man Stand Such Times and Live? and Bring Em Home and Sony said 'We LOVE reissuing new albums w extra tracks!' and for artistic reasons I completely agree with he did so. The second I heard Springsteen perform How Can... on Leno of all places, I thought, 'Why the hell isn't that track on the album?' If he does it with every album after this I will apologize and eat crow. But I doubt he will.

1:54 AM  

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