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John Mellencamp — To The River
Album: Human Wheels
Avg rating:
6.3

Your rating:
Total ratings: 642









Released: 1993
Length: 3:28
Plays (last 30 days): 1
They are master and slave.
We are sunlight and shadow.
All roads to the river.
I am lost. I am saved.
I'm beloved and betrayed.
All roads to the river.

And the river runs wide,
And the river runs deep
And I spit in the eye
Of safe company.
When I dive right down
To the undertow
Well, the deeper I drown
Lord, the higher I'll go.

I am whispering dreams.
I am howling revolutions.
All roads to the river.
I am valentine sweet
And I live in this nightmare.
All roads to the river.
And the river runs wide,
The river runs deep
And I spit in the eye
Of safe company.
When I dive right down
To the undertow
Well, the deeper I drown
Lord, the higher I'll go.

This is nothing like we planned.
That's the way it's always been.
All roads to the river.
I have hated and I have loved.
I have prayed and I have sinned.
All roads to the river.

And the river runs wide,
The river runs deep
And I spit in the eye
Of safe company.
When I dive right down
To the undertow
Well, the deeper I drown
Lord, the higher I'll go.
Comments (66)add comment
Why is my doorbell ringing?
as I mentioned in another thread always like sticking my tongue in that sore in my mouth just for that masochistic pain of going to the comments and seeing how long it takes to find me some contrary troll that hates Mellencamp yet there was a nice first posting yeah Bill ....nice deep Hoosier cut!lol
Damn...how did I miss this? Once again, thank you Bill.
Never did like John Mellencamp. Boring and mainstream.
{#Devil_pimp}zesty! one of his better offerings would love to hear my name is jr
"I want you to dance naked."

How in the heck can you beat that for song lyrics?  Just try singing it to your significant other.  You'll see. Va va va voom! 
 
I hate it {#Frustrated}
I like it

{#Bananasplit} 
This is probably John's most under rated release. Love this album.
Song written by the very talented Janis Ian, who
plays a mean guitar. How about we hear some of her fine performances?
 bluematrix wrote:
Thanks for playing this. I know it's not cool but I'm a Mellencamp fan. And in contrast to an earlier poster, I think this is one of his stronger albums, though I admit that backup singer who's on most tracks is a bit shrill for tastes. Good storytelling and an authentic voice, His ong Minutes to Memories is a great example of both.

 
I agree with your opinion. Still one of my favorite albums.
 bluematrix wrote:
Thanks for playing this. I know it's not cool but I'm a Mellencamp fan. And in contrast to an earlier poster, I think this is one of his stronger albums, though I admit that backup singer who's on most tracks is a bit shrill for tastes. Good storytelling and an authentic voice, His ong Minutes to Memories is a great example of both.

 
I'll support you. This is a fine album and a real treat to listen to.
Thanks for playing this. I know it's not cool but I'm a Mellencamp fan. And in contrast to an earlier poster, I think this is one of his stronger albums, though I admit that backup singer who's on most tracks is a bit shrill for tastes. Good storytelling and an authentic voice, His song Minutes to Memories is a great example of both.
 maxmox wrote:

And the paparazzi reporting some of his excessive behaviour..............

 
What, was he twerking at the VMAs? {#Roflol}



Miley Cyrus twerking in front of Robin Thicke at VMA show
Somehow this is Johnny Cougar's fault...
I would like to hear more Mellencamp.  Not the overplayed fm stuff.   I know there must be more that I havn't heard.   He is one of the greats.   We are just worn out on the repetition of the same ole songs. 
 kcar wrote:
. But he deserves a wider audience than he's given now. Part of that is due to the excessive airplay that some of his paint-by-numbers hits still get.
  

 
And the paparazzi reporting some of his excessive behaviour..............
I need a drum beat that won't drive me crazy. 
Time to get ma wheels and hit the road again with JCM blasting
 Stingray wrote:


Since 12 albums
and 26 long years,
Mellencamp is possibly the one
most un-commercial, AUTHENTIC
American musician (!) in the country!

PS
"HUMAN WHEELS" is possible his weakest
album during that period!

I had 20-30 suggestions to make,
just...
nobody asks me!


 

I don't know enough about Mellencamp's "recent" work, but yes he's moved far past the early FM-hit schlockiness. If Human Wheels really is the weakest album, I'll have to check the rest of his stuff out. I bought that disc in a cut-out bin (remember record stores, kids?) only because I'd heard a clip of "My Name is Junior" on the TV show "Chicago Hope." An interesting album with some weird choices (the lyrics to the title track read like someone peaking on a speed trip), but it definitely had the imprint of an individual sprawling beyond the pigeonholes of genre labels. 

I don't think Mellencamp will ever match the best of Springsteen—and they have a lot in common with their offbeat/downbeat tales of blue-collar Americana. But he deserves a wider audience than he's given now. Part of that is due to the excessive airplay that some of his paint-by-numbers hits still get. Anyone who watches NFL football in the US will remember that Chevrolet's commercials simply beat "Our Country" to death a few years back.
  
Would love to hear more John Mellencamp, post-80's hits.
Again, Mellencamp is cool. Overplay in the "Little Pink Houses" era may have soured a few listeners....
Just never cared for his stuff. Same with Steve Miller Band. To each his own....
John's cool.
JM's always—even in the Cougar days—had a great band. The core band of Mike Wanchic, Toby Myers, Larry Crane and Crystal Taliefero (neither on this album), Kenny Aronoff, and Lisa Germano was IMHO his very best.
Lonesome Jubilee sealed the deal. This little bastard is too often overlooked.
Some of the guitar work on this one is reminiscent of Cordelia by the Tragically Hip.

 Stingray wrote:
WONDERS INDEED HAPPEN!

RP plays MELLENCAMP!

COMPLIMENT!

 
WE AGREE!  CAN WE TAKE THE CAPS-LOCK OFF NOW? {#Mrgreen}


 toterola wrote:

I was just about to write something very similar, when I read your quote.

I grew up in Western Kentucky, and I knew some folks that knew John from Seymour, IN.

They said he was a loud-mouthed, rowdy S.O.B., but as "talented as all get out". What higher praise could there be for a rock musician?{#Clap}
  What always makes me laugh is that if you look at who produced a lot of his CDs, you'll see "The Little Bastard."  That's his own reference to himself.  He knows he's a loud-mouth, and he's not the tiniest bit ashamed of the fact.  I love JM.


 davidstanford wrote:
More from The Lonesome Jubilee or Scarecrow please.
 
EXACTLY!

PS
Only now I read all comments on the first page.
Excuse me, when I German tries to tell some Americanos
that many of you do not have a clue who JM really is.

The "Cougar" is dead since...., aaaages!
The Pink Houses-Mellencamp is dead likewise!

The new MELLENCAMP started with "SCARECROW",
partly a fantastic album, followed by

The Lonesome Jubilee = 9
Big Daddy = 8-9


Whenever we wanted = 7
Human Wheels = 5
Dance Naked = 5
Mr. Happy Go Lucky = 5

Cuttin' Heads = ?

JOHN MELLENCAMP = 10
(1998)


Trouble no more = 8
Freedom's Road = 8


Life, Death, Love and Freedom = 8-9
No Better than this = 8-9


The last two albums - that must be pointed out -
are very-very traditional and folky, something that
is not really my taste. But they are still so convincing,
so real, so authentic, that one must love them!

By the way: Since 2008 Mellencamp is a member of the
ROCK 'N' ROLL HALL of FAME. I doubt anybody
"commercial" (as somebody wrote here) had received this honour!


 davidstanford wrote:
Why always this track? There are so many better songs from Little B*stard to choose from.

 

...so very-very-very-very true!
 WayUpNorth wrote:
... they are still in heavy rotation on most of the commercial stations.
 
What does that have to do with Radio Paradise?

Nice to hear his music, and something besides the overplayed singles.  Not that they aren't worthy, but they are still in heavy rotation on most of the commercial stations.
 birdland wrote:
I've always liked him. Even at the most commercial - there was a spark of something unique.
 

Since 12 albums
and 26 long years,
Mellencamp is possibly the one
most un-commercial, AUTHENTIC
American musician (!) in the country!

PS
"HUMAN WHEELS" is possible his weakest
album during that period!

I had 20-30 suggestions to make,
just...
nobody asks me!


WONDERS INDEED HAPPEN!

RP plays MELLENCAMP!

COMPLIMENT!

 michaelgmitchell wrote:
On a scale between 'standing like a statue and watching 3 perfect strikes cross the plate' and 'throwing a perfect game, with 19 K's', I'd give this a 'hitting a clean single to LF, thinking about stretching it into a double, but wisely choosing to settle for a single'.
 
Yup. It's pure. Nothin' more nothin' less.
Haven't heard this one in quite awhile - thanks for playing it!  I'd love to hear more Mellencamp - perhaps "Minutes to Memories"? {#Pray}
On a scale between 'standing like a statue and watching 3 perfect strikes cross the plate' and 'throwing a perfect game, with 19 K's', I'd give this a 'hitting a clean single to LF, thinking about stretching it into a double, but wisely choosing to settle for a single'.
 toterola wrote:

I grew up in Western Kentucky, and I knew some folks that knew John from Seymour, IN.

They said he was a loud-mouthed, rowdy S.O.B., but as "talented as all get out". What higher praise could there be for a rock musician?{#Clap}
 
well said, my fellow Kentuckian ... thanks for playing Mellencamp B&R he belongs here  
Thanks for playing Mellencamp!
More mellencamp would be a nice addition to the playlists. My 2-cents worth...{#Cool}
 birdland wrote:
I've always liked him. Even at the most commercial - there was a spark of something unique.
 
I was just about to write something very similar, when I read your quote.

I grew up in Western Kentucky, and I knew some folks that knew John from Seymour, IN.

They said he was a loud-mouthed, rowdy S.O.B., but as "talented as all get out". What higher praise could there be for a rock musician?{#Clap}
I've always liked him. Even at the most commercial - there was a spark of something unique.
 mrrmaid1 wrote:
I liked him until he dropped the "cougar." This song is way too countrified for me.
 
What I absolutely love about Mellencamp is that he's embraced the diversity of American music forms and fused them into his own, unique take on rock'n'roll. The signature back beat is like a pile driver. Okay, he's not the greatest lyricist around, but you can't win 'em all. Besides, it all comes from the heart—and for him that's saying a lot.

BTW, around the house we call him Little Johnny Cougarcamp—might as well get everything in there...{#Propeller}

Why always this track? There are so many better songs from Little B*stard to choose from.
smehan55 wrote:
"Cougar" was the name his record company came up with for him. After a few hit albums, he decided WTF I'm changing it back to Mellencamp.
From an interview I heard, record execs actually changed his name w/o his consent, audacious!
The best that can be said is this sucks less than most of his stuff. :snooty:
Mr Mellencamp has had moments of genius over the last 25-30 years. This is an ok track from an overall ok album though. The last time he came over here he was going to do a "showcase" gig at a tiny club in Camden town to promote the Mr Happy Go Lucky album to the industry suits. What a winner for us few punters (fans) who got in as he played a 2 hour, full band show with tunes from his entire back catalogue - he rocked! Not bad for a bloke who had recently (at the time) suffered a heart attack! More from The Lonesome Jubilee or Scarecrow please.
i wasn't a fan of mellancamp until i saw him live in 93 or 94 in minneapolis. A friend of mine begged me to go last minute because his wife was unable to. I went reluctantly and it was one of the best rock shows I've ever seen.
The music industry weasels had John change his name to the marketable Cougar at the beginning of his career. Always resentful of this he later changed to Cougar-Mellencamp, and then back to Mellencamp. His middle-finger attitude towards the music weasels is well documented and he became known as the Little Bastard behind closed doors. Getting wind of this, he has given some kind of produced by or written by credit to a man named Little Bastard on his albums for years. To love John is to be Midwest, damn the Country's left and right who don't get it. Long live the Little Bastard!
hippiechick wrote:
I think JC should get a little more airplay around here. He has been creating real good music for a few decades, and I think he is entitled to some more cred.
Could not agree more. Mellencamp at his best rolls over 5 Springsteens - sorry!
musikalia wrote:
What happened to the Cougar in his name anyway?
"Cougar" was the name his record company came up with for him. After a few hit albums, he decided WTF I'm changing it back to Mellencamp.
I think JC should get a little more airplay around here. He has been creating real good music for a few decades, and I think he is entitled to some more cred.
Sorta the Bon Jovi of middle America?
dignan2 wrote:
Whatever, Cougar. Next please... :rolleyes:
What happened to the Cougar in his name anyway?
I wouldn't have expected Cougercamp to catch my ear. Usually quite the opposite. I like this though.
I never have looked to JM to provide any major musical innovation, but he writes lyrics that just "get it" as far as I'm concerned. His songs do a much better job of capturing the angst of the common man than most anyone else out there. This album is terrific in that regard
Zweiblumen wrote:
Avant-garde? I have to take issue with that. Autechre is avant-garde, not Mellencamp. Sure, this sounds fine, but nothing about it is innovative, experimental, or surprising.
Electric violin with a bag pipe synth?
Saw him a couple of nights ago on the Sundance channel's coverage of the "Concert for Change". What a lineup!! However, I have to admit, Mellencamp just doesn't do it for me....to each their own.
Originally Posted by catmaven: Doesn't sound countrified to me--sounds vigorous and avant-garde. Please play it repeatedly. Wish I could have voted 9 multiple times. A rating of 5.3 must mean that the gutsy listeners are now tuned out.
Avant-garde? I have to take issue with that. Autechre is avant-garde, not Mellencamp. Sure, this sounds fine, but nothing about it is innovative, experimental, or surprising.
:clap: great song. More Mellencamp please.
seems to me like a typical rock-song. nothing special :??:
Whatever, Cougar. Next please... :roll:
Originally Posted by catmaven: Doesn't sound countrified to me--sounds vigorous and avant-garde. Please play it repeatedly. Wish I could have voted 9 multiple times. I couldn't agree more. Hope to hear more of this song. More of Mellencamp, in general, would also be good.
Doesn't sound countrified to me--sounds vigorous and avant-garde. Please play it repeatedly. Wish I could have voted 9 multiple times. A rating of 5.3 must mean that the gutsy listeners are now tuned out.
I liked him until he dropped the \"cougar.\" This song is way too countrified for me.
Easilly my favorite Mellencamp album. Just solid from beginning to end.....the special where they played most of it live, which aired on MTV in \'91 or 92, was excellent.