Saturday, December 17, 2011

John Mellencamp On the Rural Route 7609

On the Rural Route 7609 [Special Edition / 4 CDs] [Box set, Special Edition]
2010 four CD anthology from one of America's premier singer/songwriters. This career retrospective spans the years 1976-2009 and focuses on the artwork, lyrics, and craft of Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Famer. The box set is presented as a beautiful 72 page hardbound book with a hand-sewn chipboard cover. All tracks were hand picked and sequenced by John himself.

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The first part of the title refers to the song "Rural Route" (which is included in two versions) from his 2007 album Freedom's Road and the fact that Mellencamp's music and lifestyle have always been very rural in nature, and 7609 references that the set spans Mellencamp's entire recording career from 1976 to 2009. Said Mellencamp in the set's liner notes: “I started making records in ’76, and the most recent track on the collection was done in ‘09. So Rural Route 7609; it’s like an address. I thought it sounded cool.”

The liner notes for "On the Rural Route 7609" were penned by veteran rock journalist Anthony DeCurtis, who also wrote the liner notes for Eric Clapton's Crossroads and Billy Joel's My Lives. DeCurtis wrote a 4,500-word essay on Mellencamp, and Mellencamp provides track-by-track commentary.

Disc One
1. Longest Days
2. Grandma's Theme
3. Rural Route
4. Jackie Brown
5. Rain On The Scarecrow (Rough Harvest version)
6. Jim Crow with Cornel West **
7. Jim Crow
8. Big Daddy Of Them All
9. Deep Blue Heart
10. Forgiveness
11. Don't Need This Body
12. Jenny At 16 *
13. Jack And Diane (writing demo)*
14. Jack And Diane

Disc Two
1. The Real Life with Joanne Woodward **
2. Ghost Towns Along The Highway
3. The Full Catastrophe
4. Authority Song (writing demo)*
5. Troubled Land
6. To Washington
7. Our Country (alternate version)*
8. Country Gentlemen
9. Freedom's Road
10. Mr. Bellows*
11. Rodeo Clown
12. Love And Happiness (Rough Harvest version)
13. Pink Houses

Disc Three
1. If I Die Sudden (live)
2. Someday
3. Between A Laugh And A Tear (Rough Harvest version)
4. Void In My Heart * (Recorded live at Chess Studios in May 1989)
5. Death Letter
6. Sugar Marie *
7. Theo And Weird Henry
8. When Jesus Left Birmingham
9. L.U.V.
10. Thank You
11. Women Seem
12. The World Don't Bother Me None*
13. Cherry Bomb (writing demo)*
14. Someday The Rains Will Fall
15. A Ride Back Home

Disc Four
1. My Aeroplane
2. Colored Lights *
3. Just Like You
4. Young Without Lovers
5. To M.G. (Wherever She May Be)*
6. Sweet Evening Breeze
7. What If I Came Knocking
8. County Fair
9. Peaceful World (writing demo)*
10. Your Life Is Now
11. For The Children
12. Rural Route *

* = Previously unreleased
** = Spoken word reading of lyrics
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