The first is 1982’s ‘Jack & Diane,’ his only song to reach #1 on the Billboard charts. ‘Hurts So Good,’ from the same album (American Fool) reached #2. The amusingly titled ‘R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A. (A Salute to 60s Rock),' from 1985's Scarecrow, made it to #2 as well.
Mellencamp’s Van Morrison cover ‘Wild Night,’ a duet with Me’Shell Ndegéocello, made it to #3 in 1994.
Then you have ‘Small Town’ and ‘Lonely Night,’ both from Scarecrow, reaching #6 on the Hot 100. That makes Scarecrow Mellencamp’s only album to land three singles in the Top Ten.
I’m quite familiar with those three songs, but less familiar with Scarecrow as a whole. Only lead track ‘Rain On the Scarecrow’ rang a bell when I skimmed through the album prior to writing this post. I enjoyed the rest, though.
And I live in a small town
Probably die in a small town
Oh, those small communities
All my friends are so small town
My parents live in the same small town
My job is so small town
Provides little opportunity
Educated in a small town
Taught to fear Jesus in a small town
Used to daydream in that small town
Another boring romantic, that’s me
But I’ve seen it all in a small town
Had myself a ball in a small town
Married an L.A. doll and brought her to this small town
Now she’s small town just like me
No, I cannot forget from where it is that I come from
I cannot forget the people who love me
Yeah, I can be myself here in this small town
And people let me be just what I want to be
Got nothing against a big town
Still hayseed enough to say, “look who’s in the big town”
But my bed is in a small town
Oh, and that’s good enough for me
Well, I was born in a small town
And I can breathe in a small town
Gonna die in this small town
Oh that’s probably where they’ll bury me