On the Rural Route 7609 [Special Edition]

On the Rural Route 7609 [Special Edition]

by John MellencampJohn Mellencamp

CD(Special Edition)



Only John Mellencamp, whose career began with a series of wrong turns, raw determination, and the audaciousness to demand he be taken seriously could create a box set as strange, representative, and labyrinthine as On the Rural Route 7609. In the era of the "track," Mellencamp has issued a massive, beautifully packaged, and exhaustively annotated four-disc career retrospective that doesn't lean on his hits (many aren't here), but rather on more obscure album cuts, outtakes, rarities (17 selections make their debuts here), and more recent material -- numerous selections come from 2007's Freedom's Road and 2008's Life Love Death and Freedom. In Anthony DeCurtis' excellent liner essay/interview, Mellencamp claims he isn't "trying to prove anything. . . it was a way for them to discover songs of mine that perhaps were overlooked because of the songs that were so popular on the radio." Given his choice of material, he may not feel that his career-long demand has been met yet. The address in the title of On the Rural Route 7609 denotes his recording span: 1976-2009, to date. The box isn't structured chronologically, but as four free standing albums, each with its own flavor and themes. In the hardbound book-like package, Mellencamp's and DeCurtis' comments illustrate each track. Disc one opens with "Longest Days." Like many of its songs, it deals with death; in this case, his grandmother's. She makes her own ghostly appearance, singing on the next track! "Rural Route" is next up, a song signifying another side of "Small Town" America (the song isn't here), where the "air stinks of crystal meth," as it relates a tale of murder and rape. (It's a helluva way to open a box set.) Throughout -- in "Jackie Brown," an alternate "Rain on the Scarecrow," two versions of "Jim Crow" (one read by Cornell West) -- Mellencamp reveals American darkness and violence, followed by Mellencamp's themes of personal accountability and consequence -- "Big Daddy of Them All," an alternate "Deep Blue Heart" with Trisha Yearwood, "Forgiveness," and "Don't Need This Body." It closes with the burden of nostalgia for simpler times: an early tape of "Jenny at 16," the model for "Jack and Diane," is followed by the writing demo for the song and the album version. Disc two begins with Joanne Woodward reading the lyrics to "The Real Life," and ends with the ironic "Pink Houses." This disc is about the conflicting perceptions of America's inhabitants; about what it actually is as its national consciousness changes: a writing demo for "Authority Song," "The Full Catastrophe" (written for Johnny Cash), "To Washington," the demo of "Our Country," and "Rodeo Clown" underscore this. Disc three reflects Mellencamp's personal side with an acoustic "Void in My Heart" and "Sugar Marie" (redone), a demo for "Cherry Bomb," a remixed "L.U.V.," the single version of "When Jesus Left America," "Thank You" from a 2004 hits collection, and a new cut, "Some Day the Rains Will Fall." Disc four concerns itself with memory, regret, acceptance, and the fleeting nature of life. Among its rarities are his version of "Colored Lights" (written for the Blasters), a demo for "Peaceful World," an acoustic "To M.G. (Wherever She May Be)," and an alternate, scarier "Rural Route." Musically, there are no missteps; for all its winding paths and circles within circles, On Rural Route 7609 makes its case and perhaps sets a new standard for career retrospectives. Mellencamp is undoubtedly among the best rock & roll American singer/songwriters -- on or off the charts. The question is, does he believe it?

Product Details

Release Date: 06/15/2010
Label: Mercury
UPC: 0602527126258
catalogNumber: 001319302

Album Credits

Performance Credits

John Mellencamp   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Trisha Yearwood   Background Vocals
Joan Baez   Background Vocals
Dave Alvin   Guitar
Lisa Germano   Violin,Background Vocals
Jimmy Ryser   Violin,Background Vocals
Jay Ferguson   Organ,Piano,Keyboards
Mick Ronson   Guitar,Background Vocals
Kenny Aronoff   Percussion,Drums
T Bone Burnett   Bass,Guitar
John Cascella   Organ,Piano,Accordion,Keyboards
Dane Clark   Percussion,Drums
Larry Crane   Guitar,Background Vocals
Dennis Crouch   Bass
Milton Davis   Bass
Mike Dupke   Drums
David Grissom   Guitar
Reggie Hamilton   Bass
Carroll Sue Hill   Background Vocals
Georgia Jones   Background Vocals
Ricky Lawson   Drums
Laura Mellencamp   Vocals
Toby Myers   Bass,Background Vocals
Pat Peterson   Percussion,Background Vocals
Michael Ramos   Organ,Piano,Accordion,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Crystal Taliefero   Percussion,Background Vocals
Mike Wanchic   Organ,Guitar,Piano,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Willie Weeks   Bass
Andy York   Organ,Bass,Guitar,Percussion,Piano,Drums,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Raphael Saadiq   Bass,Background Vocals
Nancy Arnold   Oboe
Babyface   Guitar,Background Vocals
Lonnie Pitchford   Background Vocals
Tim Riggins   Brass
Miriam Sturm   Organ,Piano,Violin,Keyboards
Moe Z   Organ,Percussion,Piano,Drums,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Steve Jordan   Percussion,Drums
Joanne Woodward   Vocals,Readings
Janas Hoyt   Background Vocals
Heather Headley   Background Vocals
Cornel West   Vocals,Readings
Kimberly Roads   Background Vocals
Karen Fairchild   Background Vocals
Jimi Westbrook   Background Vocals
Michael Clark   Guitar
Courtney Kaiser   Background Vocals
Jane McLeod   Background Vocals
Laurie Robert-Glug   Background Vocals
Dave Rowe   Bass
Dennis Riggins   Brass
Phillip Sweet   Background Vocals
Troye Kinnett   Organ,Piano,Keyboards
Sonja Rasmussen   Background Vocals
Harvey E. Phillips   Brass
Kenny Childers   Guitar,Background Vocals
David Wierhake   Accordion
John Gunnell   Bass
Susan Swaney   Background Vocals
Jeff Pederson   Organ,Piano,Keyboards
Robert Frank   Bass,Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Trisha Yearwood   Duet
Joan Baez   Duet
Lisa Germano   Duet
Jimmy Ryser   Duet
Mick Ronson   Duet
Malcolm Burn   Producer
T Bone Burnett   Producer
Larry Crane   Duet
Greg Edward   Engineer
Don Gehman   Producer,Engineer
Jay Healy   Engineer
Carroll Sue Hill   Duet
Ross Hogarth   Engineer
Son House   Composer
Georgia Jones   Duet
David Leonard   Producer,Engineer
Paul Mahern   Producer,Engineer
John Mellencamp   Composer,Producer
Toby Myers   Duet
P. Dennis Mitchell   Engineer
Justin Niebank   Engineer
Pat Peterson   Duet
Michael Ramos   Duet
Don Smith   Engineer
Mark Stebbeds   Engineer
Crystal Taliefero   Duet
David Thoener   Engineer
George Tutko   Engineer
Mike Wanchic   Producer,Duet
Andy York   Duet
Raphael Saadiq   Duet
Anthony DeCurtis   Liner Notes
Babyface   Producer,Duet
Lonnie Pitchford   Duet
Paul Boutin   Engineer
Mike Piersante   Engineer
Moe Z   Duet
Jun Murakawa   Engineer
Marc Goodman   Engineer
Janas Hoyt   Duet
Traditional   Composer
Heather Headley   Duet
Kimberly Roads   Duet
Karen Fairchild   Duet
Jimi Westbrook   Duet
Courtney Kaiser   Duet
Jane McLeod   Duet
Laurie Robert-Glug   Duet
Phillip Sweet   Duet
George Green   Composer
Michael Stucker   Engineer
Ray Kennedy   Engineer
Sonja Rasmussen   Duet
Kenny Childers   Duet
George M. Green   Composer
Jo Almeida   Photo Coordination
Susan Swaney   Duet
Robert Frank   Duet

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