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Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
|1. Hurts So Good|
|2. Jack & Diane|
|3. Hand To Hold On To|
|4. Danger List|
|5. Can You Take It|
|6. Thundering Hearts|
|7. China Girl|
|8. Close Enough|
|9. Weakest Moments|
Each Definitive Remaster will feature newly remastered sound, a rare or previously unreleased bonus track and upgraded packaging. Island Def Jam. 2005.
This is the record that transformed John Cougar (né John Mellencamp and soon to be John Cougar Mellencamp) into a superstar. "Hurts So Good" was destined to be a huge hit--ludicrous, powerful, and utterly unforgettable--and has long since gone on to be something of a rock & roll standard. But the real revelation on this record was "Jack and Diane," a poignant slice of life from a small town somewhere in middle America, a topical vein he would mine with even greater success on later recordings (especially on The Lonesome Jubilee). Backed by a crisp, powerful, spot-on band that gave a needed sense of urgency to the material, Cougar deservedly wore the mantle of Mainstream Rock King while this record ruled the airwaves. --Percy Keegan
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Top Customer Reviews
This hometown style collection of folk rock songs starts off with 3 tracks that can compete with the best music of its decade. Nobody that listens to music can fail to recognize the opening chords of "Hurts so Good", "Hand to Hold on To", or the immaculate "Jack and Diane". They're just that good. The rest of the album is old fashioned rock, with standouts including "Thundering Hearts" and "Close Enough".
Although he'd go on to much greater commercial successes in the future and some stylistic changes that would deviate from his folk-rock roots, "American Fool" is really where it all began for John Mellencamp, and here he begins to establish himself as one of the premier representatives of middle America.
The sounds here are more raw and rock than the more refined material of the mid- to late 80's, some songs encompassing a combination drums and guitar that neared the crunch of AC-DC, such as one of his signature tunes, "Hurt So Good." Most of the songs have pounding pneumatic drums and power guitar chord stomp, and what I'm noticing here is that many other songs could've become singles because of it. In other words, Cougar's moment could've been bigger had this album been given a few more singles. Much like the lines in "Hurt So Good," "sink your teeth right into my bones" and "c'mon baby make it hurt so good," there's a new sort of confidence in the sound and in Cougar himself.
"A little ditty about Jack and Diane/two American kids doing the best they can" Well that little ditty went to #1 sure enough, divided into the quiet acoustic verses about the couple, with the transitional refrain of "life goes on/long after the thrill of living is gone" on the inevitable parade of life, leading into that ringing power riff. The thing seems to be that any young couple had better enjoy it, because "change will come around real soon and make us women and men." And break out the vomit bags, for the recognizable power riff and two notes plucked was sampled by Jessica Simpson in "I Think I Love You.Read more ›
Of course, the 2 big hits are what many people would know. The pumping, happy 'Hurts so Good' with its slight (yet mainstream) hard rock feel to it. The coming of age story of teenage lovers, 'Jack & Diane' almost sounds softer, but has a steady guitar sound throughout. I can really relate to the lyrics about growing up too. The other minor hit, which, should've been much bigger IMHO was the melodic, somewhat ballad-like but still uptempo rocker 'Hand to Hold On To'.
The rest of the album is just as good. The fun, summertime stories told in 'Thundering Hearts' was a great rocker. 'China Girl' is a more melodic, laid back song that could've fit on his later albums, as could have the somewhat serious ballad 'Danger List', where John sings about just wanting someone to look up to and love.
There's also the honky-tonk hard rock of 'Can You Take It'. Another great song in this vein was the super catchy 'Close Enough', which is just another in the long time of songs about the rock & roll lifestyle. The only stumble here is the accoustic country ballad 'Weakest Moments' which I'm not quite sure what it's about.
This is part southern/roots rock, part pop, part arena rock. Basically, if you're into bands like 38 Special, Starship, or Journey, respectively, you'll probably like this.
This is a really rockin' album with two of the biggest hits from John Cougar, "Hurts so good", and "jack & diane". "hand to hold on to" what a chart hitter, but didn't do as well commercially. Yet, I always felt it was just as good as his two hits.
Cougar is a truly talented musician who really shined back in the early 1980's. I'd like to say that this is his debut, but I have a few albums that were prior to this, "John Cougar", which has no hits at all, and "Chestnut street incident", which is a collector's item now.
However, "American Fool" is the perfect and definitive album of his to have. It showcases his talents as a singer and guitar player.
John is the every man's rock and roller. I still love this album as it's got some really good music, no fillers. Every song on here is great rock music.
Most recent customer reviews
This was John's breakout album, and it's pretty obvious why. Jack and Diane, Hurts So Good are just a couple of the huge hits on this record. Read morePublished on July 31 2009 by Jason A. Mymryk
An awesome musician with a great rough edge to his voice, banging out original music that we can all relate to with an honest passion and natural talent we all wish we had. Read morePublished on April 30 2004 by J. Schneider
Aaaahhh . . . the songs of my youth! This is another terrific album we added to our 80's collection. Read morePublished on Aug. 22 2003 by V. VanCamp
This is an interesting album watching John Cougar (he will always be John Cougar to me) develop his style. Read morePublished on May 18 2003 by bob
This Cd has a average customer review of 3.6 stars. If you took a poll of the TRUE John Mellencamp fans (the ones who did not burn all their CDs of him whent they heard To... Read morePublished on April 9 2003
A must have for Mellencamp fans- but you have to like the music to appreciate itPublished on Nov. 23 2001 by Molly Oberhausen