The Second Disc

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R-O-C-K in the B-O-X

with 7 comments

Awesome! After what feels like years, Island Records and Universal Music Enterprises have finalized a release date and track listing for On the Rural Route 7609, a career-spanning box set from John Mellencamp.

Drawing from more than 30 years of recordings, this four-disc set features 15 previously unreleased recordings, liner notes by Rolling Stone veteran Anthony DeCurtis, Mellencamp’s track-by-track annotations and 72 pages of notes and photos, all packaged in a book-style case.

Hit the jump to get all the tracks, and you can pre-order the set at Amazon (word of warning: the current price, $89.99, is somewhat steep for a four-disc set, even for as good an artist as Mellencamp). On the Rural Route is released June 15, just in time for Father’s Day.

John Mellencamp – On the Rural Route 7609 (Island/UMe)

Disc 1

  1. Longest Days
  2. Grandma’s Theme
  3. Rural Route
  4. Jackie Brown
  5. Rain on the Scarecrow (Acoustic)
  6. Jim Crow (with Cornell 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 2

  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) *
  8. Country Gentlemen
  9. Freedom’s Road
  10. Mr. Bellows (Remix) *
  11. Rodeo Clown
  12. Love and Happiness
  13. Pink Houses

Disc 3

  1. If I Die Sudden (Live @ the Greek Theatre, Los Angeles – 7/31/2008)
  2. Someday
  3. Between a Laugh and a Tear
  4. Void in My Heart (Acoustic Chess Studios Version) *
  5. Death Letter
  6. Sugar Marie (Acoustic) *
  7. Theo and Weird Henry
  8. When Jesus Left Birmingham
  9. L.U.V. (Remix) *
  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 (with Karen Fairchild)

Disc 4

  1. My Aeroplane
  2. Colored Lights *
  3. Just Like You
  4. Young Without Lovers
  5. To M.G. (Wherever She May Be) (Acoustic) *
  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 (Acoustic) *

Disc 1 Track 1 and 11, Disc 2 Track 5, Disc 3 Track 15 and Disc 4 Tracks 4, 8 and 11 from Life Death Love and Freedom (Hear Music, 2008)
Disc 1 Track 2, Disc 3 Track 3 from Scarecrow (Mercury, 1985)
Disc 1 Track 3, 7 and 10; Disc 2 Track 2, 9 and 11; Disc 3 Track 2 and Disc 4 Track 1 from Freedom’s Road (Universal Republic, 2007)
Disc 1 Track 4 and 8; Disc 2 Track 8; Disc 3 Track 7 from Big Daddy (Mercury, 1989)
Disc 1 Track 5 from Rough Harvest (Mercury, 1999) – original version from Scarecrow
Disc 1 Track 9, Disc 3 Track 11 and Disc 4 Track 3 from Cuttin’ Heads (Columbia, 2001)
Disc 1 Track 14 from American Fool (Riva, 1982)
Disc 2 Track 3 from Mr. Happy Go Lucky (Mercury, 1996)
Disc 2 Track 6, Disc 3 Track 5 from Trouble No More (Columbia, 2003)
Disc 2 Track 12 from Whenever We Wanted (Mercury, 1991)
Disc 2 Track 13 from Uh-Huh (Riva, 1983)
Disc 3 Track 1 from Life Death Live and Freedom (Hear Music, 2009)
Disc 3 Track 8 and Disc 4 Tracks 6-7 from Human Wheels (Mercury, 1993)
Disc 3 Track 10 from Words & Music: John Mellencamp’s Greatest Hits (Island, 2004)
Disc 3 Track 12 from the film America’s Heart and Soul (2004) – previously unavailable on CD
Disc 3 Track 14 from NCIS: The Official TV Soundtrack Vol. 2 (CBS, 2009) – possibly slated for re-release on Mellencamp’s upcoming LP, No Better Than This (Hear Music, 2010)
Disc 3 Track 10 from John Mellencamp (Columbia, 1999)

* denotes previously unreleased version or recording
Original version of Disc 1 Track 6 from Life Death Love and Freedom
Original version of Disc 1 Track 13 from American Fool
Original version of Disc 2 Track 1 and Disc 3 Track 13 from The Lonesome Jubilee (Mercury, 1987)
Original version of Disc 2 Track 4 from Uh-Huh
Original version of Disc 2 Track 7 and Disc 4 Track 12 from Freedom’s Road
Original version of Disc 2 Track 10 from Mr. Happy Go Lucky
Original version of Disc 3 Track 4 from Big Daddy
Original version of Disc 3 Track 6 from John Cougar (Riva, 1979)
Original version of Disc 3 Track 9 from Dance Naked (Mercury, 1994)
Original version of Disc 4 Track 5 from Nothin’ Matters and What If It Did (Riva, 1980)
Original version of Disc 4 Track 9 from Cuttin’ Heads

Written by Mike Duquette

April 27, 2010 at 09:43

7 Responses

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  1. I was underwhelmed by the tracklist for this box set on it’s own but I guess if you include the double disc “Words and Music” best of from a few years ago and view the two sets together as a 6 disc joint box set it makes more sense. I’m particularly interested in hearing these ‘writing demos’ on this box.


    April 27, 2010 at 11:00

  2. Who exactly is this set for? With only 15 previously unreleased recordings this doesn’t seem to cater to the hardcore Mellencamp fan as they already own most of these songs (plus that rediculous price tag). Add that to the fact that there are hardly any hit singles here in their well known versions and it seems you have a box mostly for people who want a collection of Mellencamp album tracks… And who is that exactly???


    April 27, 2010 at 11:35

    • Not me, Ray. Not me.


      April 27, 2010 at 13:12

    • And what is it with box sets lately anyway? The unreleased stuff here could be sold on its own; same goes for the Vanilla Fudge half-live box. And that price tag! Not many will pay $100 for four discs no matter how much is new to CD.

      Mike Duquette

      April 27, 2010 at 14:07

  3. I think the labels might be using elaborate packaging as an excuse (not a valid one, imo) to up the price on box sets and reissues.

    This Mellencamp box supposedly has a book binding and lots of pages of text, etc. The recent U2 reissues were available in single-disc versions for less than $10, but then the double-disc version goes for $34.99 because you get this elaborate book binding and a thick slipcase, etc. It’s pretty, but I think I lot of folks would be happy with a simple 2-CD jewel case version at around $20.

    Again, I’m not saying the packaging justifies the high prices of these sets, but I’d guess that would be one excuse the record labels would try to use in their favor.


    April 27, 2010 at 14:43

    • True, although the content on the U2 sets justified the price as well. They typically have a whole disc’s worth of rare or hard to find stuff, not 15 percent rarities and then some common tracks.

      Mike Duquette

      April 27, 2010 at 14:50

      • This is getting off-topic a bit, but I think the best 2-CD reissues I’ve seen are the Pet Shop Boys reissues that EMI did in 2001. For $20, you got the original album remastered, a 2nd disc (in a slimline jewel case with disc 1) of remixes, b-sides, and at least 3 or 4 previously unreleased tracks, an oversized 36-page booklet with extensive commentary, and a slipcase (just a normal cardboard slipcase, not the super-thick ones like U2).

        Then again, that was 2001. If the rumored 2CD reissues of Nightlife and Release ever see the light of day, they’d likely be more than $20 in today’s climate.


        April 27, 2010 at 15:23

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