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John Mellencamp — Human Wheels
Album: Human Wheels
Avg rating:
6.8

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1068









Released: 1993
Length: 5:18
Plays (last 30 days): 1
This land today, shall draw its last breath
And take into its ancient depths
This frail reminder of its giant, dreaming self.
While I, with human-hindered eyes
Unequal to the sweeping curve of life,
Stand on this single print of time.

Human wheels spin round and round
While the clock keeps the pace.
Human wheels spin round and round
Help the light to my face.

That time, today, no triumph gains
At this short success of age.
This pale reflection of its brave and
Blundering deed.
For I, descend from this vault,
Now dreams beyond my earthly fault
Knowledge, sure, from the seed.

Human wheels spin round and round
While the clock keeps the pace.
Human wheels spin round and round
Help the light to my face.

This land, today, my tears shall taste
And take into its dark embrace.
This love, who in my beating heart endures,
Assured, by every sun that burns,
The dust to which this flesh shall return.
It is the ancient, dreaming dust of God.

Human wheels spin round and round
While the clock keeps the pace.
Human wheels spin round and round
Help the light to my face.
Human wheels spin round and round
While the clock keeps the pace.
Human wheels spin round and round
Help the light to my face.
Comments (118)add comment
 dwhayslett wrote:

You keep proclaiming what doesn't belong on Radio Paradise.  It's almost as if you don't understand Radio Paradise.
 
Been listening off and on for a couple of years and I still don’t understand it at times:)
 ace-marc wrote:
YIKES. John Cougar belongs on top 40 radio stations, not the amazing Radio Paradise!
double ditto for the Counting Crows.
 
You keep proclaiming what doesn't belong on Radio Paradise.  It's almost as if you don't understand Radio Paradise.
The drummer is going to knock himself the f out. 
I won't here a bad word said about the music of JCM...his name on the hand is quite honestly ridiculous! 😁
One of the few songs of his that I like .
 ace-marc wrote:
YIKES. John Cougar belongs on top 40 radio stations, not the amazing Radio Paradise!
double ditto for the Counting Crows.

 But, obscure John Mellencamp songs that rock more than his top-40 radio-friendly anthems  definitely belong on RP!


 horseplayer wrote:
Never realized how much this sounds like Neil Diamond.  Not just the voice but the melody and the whole song really, tell me this isn't Neil Diamond.
 
 
It's a pretty standard chord progression that does resemble some Neil Diamond stuff (Cracklin' Rosie, Solitary Man?) and his voice is somewhat similar in this song.  However,  I will tell you: it is not Neil Diamond, honest.
Sometimes you just need a bit of a rock-out !
YIKES. John Cougar belongs on top 40 radio stations, not the amazing Radio Paradise!
double ditto for the Counting Crows.
 Slipstream wrote:
Not a big fan of Mellencamp, but I really like this song.
 

Totally Agree.
Ah, the wonderful violin of Lisa Germano. She provides the "drone" sound here but her work on other Mellencamp songs is remarkable.

Last I heard she was working in a bookstore in California after several episodes of severe depression.

Get well, Lisa!
 sfyi2001 wrote:
That drum.
And ME - out of Excedrin.


 
{#Mrgreen}
Twenty-five years... and still standing the test of time... 
That drum.
And ME - out of Excedrin.

This is actually a good album.

And he puts on a very good RnR show.   
 horseplayer wrote:
Never realized how much this sounds like Neil Diamond.  Not just the voice but the melody and the whole song really, tell me this isn't Neil Diamond.
 

 
This isn't Neil Diamond.

You're welcome.  ;-) 
Never realized how much this sounds like Neil Diamond.  Not just the voice but the melody and the whole song really, tell me this isn't Neil Diamond.
 
I irregularly listen to Adam Carolla's podcast and he never misses an opportunity to slam John Mellen camp ... I've never understood why. l love Mellen camp - he's certainly not Bruce Springsteen but, quite enjoyable and very much the soundtrack of my youth.
{#Guitarist} perhaps one of mellencamps best, the rest of the cd has some very good stuff on it / ck out my name is jr.  rock on bill
not usually a big Mellancamper...but this is a great tune, interesting effects, and I love that Tom Petty guitar solo
 
 Slipstream wrote:
Not a big fan of Mellencamp, but I really like this song.

 
Yea I am the same with Mellencamp.   Though I agree with a number of critics the drum beat is a little over done and annoying after awhile.  I don't care how good the drummer is and I like drums.
I've seen a few of his concerts.

He's puts on a very good RnR show. And that's becoming harder and harder to find. Ugh.
 kingart wrote:
Is that a drumming machine or a human thumper? Mix it up a little, buddy!
But almost of Mellencamp's tunes have the same percussion rhythm. Which is to say, not much.  

 
What he said. Perhaps it's the same drummer from Arcade Fire. 
Although former Cougar's music is rather more robust and rockish.
Still, 3 - 4 listens ought to suffice. 
 
Not a big fan of Mellencamp, but I really like this song.
Never realized why I liked this song so much until the other commenters mentioned the superb drumming. That's why I read the comments. Thank you!
 ddog wrote:

Mellencamp used Kenny Aronoff for many of his albums. Pretty good drummer I think.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenny_Aronoff 

 
Agreed.  My last post was not meant to indicate that I did not like the drumming of Aronoff on Mellenhead's earlier albums.  I've liked most everything John has done over the years and the arc of his career has been enjoyable all along.  There are a lot of great, barely known, albums in his extensive catalog.  I especially like the material from '98-'05 which doesn't get enough play.

Aronoff left the band in '96 but has gone on to play with: John Fogerty, Avril Lavigne, Michelle Branch, the Bodeans, and Brandon Flowers (most recently).  He was also a feature drummer for the Kennedy Center Honors for several years AND is regularly featured on Live From Darryl's House.   He lists Ringo Starr as his reason for taking up the drums.  H8 on if you wish guys but, this guy is ACCOMPLISHED.
 kingart wrote:
Is that a drumming machine or a human thumper? Mix it up a little, buddy!
But almost of Mellencamp's tunes have the same percussion rhythm. Which is to say, not much.  

 
Mellencamp used Kenny Aronoff for many of his albums. Pretty good drummer I think.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenny_Aronoff 
 ScottN wrote:
Nice song.  Mellencamp's signature has almost always been high-end, accentuated drums.  A new sound engineer or producer, john....please?
 
This song is from the mid-90's.  He has long since gotten one.  T Bone Burnett has produced his last several albums.
 idiot_wind wrote:
Hey...play "dance naked".



It's a great RnR song.  

 
Yeah....what he said!!!! Play "Dance Naked"!!!!!
 govna wrote:
I only realize how good this song is now that I'm older.

 
Indeed. I was jamming along to this song on RP, and didn't even know who it was. When I checked, I saw Mellencamp. No, I thought. That can't be, because I don't like Mellencamp. Well, now that I'm older, I guess I do.
 Sloggydog wrote:
Didn't this guy used to have a cougar?

 
No, his cougar had a mellencamp.
Didn't this guy used to have a cougar?
I only realize how good this song is now that I'm older.
 kingart wrote:
Is that a drumming machine or a human thumper? Mix it up a little, buddy!
But almost of Mellencamp's tunes have the same percussion rhythm. Which is to say, not much. 
  Nice song.  Mellencamp's signature has almost always been high-end, accentuated drums.  A new sound engineer or producer, john....please?



And now, back to our program.
 DaveInVA wrote:

LOL! That's rich coming from a troll like you. At least most of my song comments are positive and I don't attack people that don't like my kind of music. I've never yet seen you say anything nice to anyone here. Your whole pathetic life is being an ass to strangers so you can get your rocks off getting a rise out of them. Makes you feel like a really big man I bet. I'm sure you don't even care about the music. Must really suck to be you.

 
Ah, Dave.  You (and your ridiculous barf gif) are the very reason that I joined the boards.  Your sole purpose has always seemed to me to be to insult others favorite music via your relentlessly negative board commentary just for giggles. Your comments are never insightful, just hateful. Trolling is what you do.  Trolling trolls is what H8rhater does.  Recognize!

H8rhater has been nice to quite a few posters over the years.  I especially miss Cynaera whom I used to correspond with directly via RP email.  She very much appreciated my efforts to set the haters (you in particular) in their place back in the day.   She was so cool.  Her breezy, always positive, commentary lives on here.

I do, however, regret calling you a douche.  I wish I hadn't done that and do not feel like a big man for having done so. Direct name calling was dropped by H8rhater years ago.  Besides, the obvious need never be stated.

I truly hope that it does not suck to be you and that the hovel in Damnville is in better shape today than it was in 2010.


Is that a drumming machine or a human thumper? Mix it up a little, buddy!
But almost of Mellencamp's tunes have the same percussion rhythm. Which is to say, not much.  
Haven't heard this in forever! Making me smile....

Thanks, Bill!!
Hey...play "dance naked".



It's a great RnR song.  
JCM always knew how to burn.
Wonderful song.  But the drummer, and the engineering mix to make that drumming prominent in the song, is a real turn-off.
I'm not a big Cougar fan,except for the female variety, but I like this one.
A John Mellencamp song is recognizable. Always the robo drumming. Meh.  He and Arcade Fire ought to go on tour together. 
But I do remember an enjoyable time blasting I Need A Lover Who Won't Drive Me Crazy at ear shattering levels while ripping north on a Minnesota highway in '90. (I was the only car on the road. WHAT speed limit?)  
If I had seen that deer two seconds later I never would have been able to slow and avoid it.  John Cougar Mellencamp improved my reflexes! 
 
 eroz wrote:
Wow. I own this cd and haven't listened to it in years. Bought it because of this song. Thanks for playing!
 


 Stingray wrote:

Not this best CD (certainly his shortest), but a great song.

I am surprised to hear Mellencamp on RP.

GOOD SO!!!

 
Exactly what I was thinking! (Well I was thinking more SO GOOD, but everything else :)
Wow. I own this cd and haven't listened to it in years. Bought it because of this song. Thanks for playing!
One of my very first cd's! 

Not this best CD (certainly his shortest), but a great song.

I am surprised to hear Mellencamp on RP.

GOOD SO!!!


 Darlington wrote:


I agree with the re-evaluation. I think he definitely labored in Springsteen's shadow, since they sort of mined the same subject matter. There were also some "questions" about his "sincerity," or whether or not he was a "serious artist" for lack of a better word. Not sure exactly what I am trying to say here, but it was like Springsteen (who I am a huge fan of) was considered "genuine" in his outlook, belief, advocacy, and Mellencamp was considered more of a lightweight. Anyway, I think that the years have sort of sort of rendered any question about his dedication and the "seriousness" of his music a moot point. And I think some of his music, this CD, The Lonesome Jubilee and to a great extent Scarecrow, have really held up and stood the test of time.
 
Mellencamp even admitted in the last ten years that he was a horrible songwriter and a bit of a clueless hack when he started out. I got this CD from a cutout bin and wound up really liking it, although the lyrics to this song make me wonder whether he was on a speed trip when he wrote them. 
This isn't one of my favorite Mellencamp songs (I still think "Minutes to Memories" is some of his best work evah), but I'd ten times rather hear this than "Cherry Bomb" or "Authority Song."
 oldman wrote:
Some parts of this sounds like the Moody Blues to me, always have to look to see who it is.
 
It sounds more like a Neil Diamond song to me, not that that's necessarily a bad thing.
 keller1 wrote:


That's not funny, man.
 
I agree. No matter how much you don't like someone or someone's music (or any other art form) there's no reason to physically attack. I'm just surprised that more guns aren't pulled at some of those US venues.
Never been my taste and wouldn't miss it if JCM was never played again.
Looks like this set is bound to cover just a little more ground
I just got this CD in my collection not too long ago, 18 years late. It is one of his better ones. There are some so-so ones out there by mr. mellen but I like this one......
 DaveInVA wrote:
LOL! That's rich coming from a troll like you. At least most of my song comments are positive and I don't attack people that don't like my kind of music. I've never yet seen you say anything nice to anyone here. Your whole pathetic life is being an ass to strangers so you can get your rocks off getting a rise out of them. Makes you feel like a really big man I bet. I'm sure you don't even care about the music. Must really suck to be you.
 
Time for a nap there, Dave.

I'm always surprised to hear this song on RP. Seems like such standard FM radio fare. Ick.
 h8rhater wrote:

You never cease to be a douche.  At least you're consistent.

 
LOL! That's rich coming from a troll like you. At least most of my song comments are positive and I don't attack people that don't like my kind of music. I've never yet seen you say anything nice to anyone here. Your whole pathetic life is being an ass to strangers so you can get your rocks off getting a rise out of them. Makes you feel like a really big man I bet. I'm sure you don't even care about the music. Must really suck to be you.


 keller1 wrote:


That's not funny, man.
 
He was yelling and swearing at the crowd trying to rile them up and apparently someone didn't like it. I think its was bad that someone did that but he was kinda asking for it. He said on a radio interview a couple days later that he'd never play Phoenix again....

Absolutely love this song.
Some parts of this sounds like the Moody Blues to me, always have to look to see who it is.
 DaveInVA wrote:
This is the only John Mellon-Head song I actually like,,,,Was fun seeing someone bean him with a beer bottle at a concert in AZ though :)
 

That's not funny, man.
 DaveInVA wrote:
This is the only John Mellon-Head song I actually like,,,,Was fun seeing someone bean him with a beer bottle at a concert in AZ though :)
 
I don't like Mellonball either.  I had to suffer through a set of his this summer (he was playing with Dylan & Willie Nelson).  Blecch.  I wouldn't throw anything at him though.  And I gotta admit, this song ain't bad.

 Darlington wrote:


I agree with the re-evaluation. I think he definitely labored in Springsteen's shadow, since they sort of mined the same subject matter. There were also some "questions" about his "sincerity," or whether or not he was a "serious artist" for lack of a better word. Not sure exactly what I am trying to say here, but it was like Springsteen (who I am a huge fan of) was considered "genuine" in his outlook, belief, advocacy, and Mellencamp was considered more of a lightweight. Anyway, I think that the years have sort of sort of rendered any question about his dedication and the "seriousness" of his music a moot point. And I think some of his music, this CD, The Lonesome Jubilee and to a great extent Scarecrow, have really held up and stood the test of time.
 

I'm with you on this. If I recall correctly, Mellencamp submitted demos of every pop genre/nitch he could manage, until finally one of them stuck. However, I think the dropping of his 'Cougar' stage name was sort of his attempt to shed this image. Whether he actually did or not is subject to debate. This band was pretty good live either way.
 Darlington wrote:
I agree with the re-evaluation. I think he definitely labored in Springsteen's shadow, since they sort of mined the same subject matter. There were also some "questions" about his "sincerity," or whether or not he was a "serious artist" for lack of a better word. Not sure exactly what I am trying to say here, but it was like Springsteen (who I am a huge fan of) was considered "genuine" in his outlook, belief, advocacy, and Mellencamp was considered more of a lightweight. Anyway, I think that the years have sort of sort of rendered any question about his dedication and the "seriousness" of his music a moot point. And I think some of his music, this CD, The Lonesome Jubilee and to a great extent Scarecrow, have really held up and stood the test of time.
I think his good looks and comfort with the camera worked against him - it helped make him famous but kept him from being taken serioiusly.


 DaveInVA wrote:
This is the only John Mellon-Head song I actually like,,,,Was fun seeing someone bean him with a beer bottle at a concert in AZ though :)
 
You never cease to be a douche.  At least you're consistent.

 crockydile wrote:

Actually, CCR was the founder of the club. Reference "Classic Rock Stations of the 80's"
 

I can't believe I actually agree with you. Hmmf.
This is the only John Mellon-Head song I actually like,,,,Was fun seeing someone bean him with a beer bottle at a concert in AZ though :)
 keller1 wrote:


I think Mellencamp is due for a re—evaluation —- for my money his work is underrated, probably a victim of its own success.
 
I think it's been hard for him to lose the Couger. My husband still calls him John COUGER Mellencamp.

 Mugro wrote:
I like Mellencamp, but unfortunately he has just joined my "Oh not again!" club due to the fact that you cannot spin the dial on FM without hearing one of his songs. The Beatles were a founding member of the "Oh not again!" club.
 
Actually, CCR was the founder of the club. Reference "Classic Rock Stations of the 80's"


 keller1 wrote:


Interesting —- in the studio Mellencamp uses Kenny Aronoff, who is regarded as one of the best studio players out there.

I think Mellencamp is due for a re—evaluation —- for my money his work is underrated, probably a victim of its own success.
 

I agree with the re-evaluation. I think he definitely labored in Springsteen's shadow, since they sort of mined the same subject matter. There were also some "questions" about his "sincerity," or whether or not he was a "serious artist" for lack of a better word. Not sure exactly what I am trying to say here, but it was like Springsteen (who I am a huge fan of) was considered "genuine" in his outlook, belief, advocacy, and Mellencamp was considered more of a lightweight. Anyway, I think that the years have sort of sort of rendered any question about his dedication and the "seriousness" of his music a moot point. And I think some of his music, this CD, The Lonesome Jubilee and to a great extent Scarecrow, have really held up and stood the test of time.


 GolfRomeo wrote:


I have always thought that he needed to find a drummer with more than one stick and one drum ....
 

Interesting —- in the studio Mellencamp uses Kenny Aronoff, who is regarded as one of the best studio players out there.

I think Mellencamp is due for a re—evaluation —- for my money his work is underrated, probably a victim of its own success.
Just puttin some wheels into this wheel segment,,,       {#Motor}
 Mugro wrote:
I like Mellencamp, but unfortunately he has just joined my "Oh not again!" club due to the fact that you cannot spin the dial on FM without hearing one of his songs. The Beatles were a founding member of the "Oh not again!" club. I love the Beatles, but back in the 80s I vowed not to listen to them anymore to give my head a break from them. Now, after awhile of not listening to them, I can appreciate them. I used to love Jack & Diane, Pink Houses, and other songs from him, but I want to throw up if I hear them now.
 

It has been almost five years since I made the above comment, and I am happy to say that John Mellencamp has faded from the heavy rotation on the radio and even here at RP. I can almost start appreciating him again...
Bust out the clap synthesizer (sadly I am not hearing the clap machine on this song)... it's the Cougar... Love the Cougar.
kcar wrote:
--one of these days I'm gonna shoot my TV.
i'll put the bullets in the gun for you & hold your drink while you do it!
blove wrote:
My nickname is wheels so I am enjoying this set, thanks Bill.
Rog, is that you? did you play lax at fla?
:bananajam: :bananajam: :bananajam: :bananajam: :bananajam: :bananajam: :bananajam: :bananajam:
...i like the understated delivery of what easily could have been bombastic lyrics...
bluematrix wrote:
obscure and tasty
Obscure?! This song still gets overplayed by the local FM stations, AND it's on JC's greatest hits double CD. As for 'tasty' I like it better than most of his stuff, so sure.
Nice catchy groove! One of John's better efforts. Love the baritone guitar, gives me shivers.
My nickname is wheels so I am enjoying this set, thanks Bill.
bluematrix wrote:
obscure and tasty
agreed!
The whole album's pretty good. I picked it up on a whim at a used record store after hearing "My name is Junior" in the background of a "Chicago Hope" show. This song is one of the longer ones with fairly cryptic/prophetic lyrics. John's early hits were dreck and overplayed--I think he'd agree with that. But he's not a bad musician at all. I wish to God he could do something about that one song of his being beaten to death for a car commercial. "The dream is still a-live!..." --one of these days I'm gonna shoot my TV.
obscure and tasty
I always saw him as a Springsteen wanna-be, but to be fair, he made some good music, IMO. I have no problem with this song, for instance.
this is the best Mellencamp tune I've ever heard - way better than his "hits"
tyty
i had to double-take when i saw the 'now playing: john mellencamp' ... argh
GolfRomeo wrote:
Decent straight up midwestern fare. Kind of your Miller Genuine Draft of music. 5 straight up.. I have always thought that he needed to find a drummer with more than one stick and one drum, though.
Heh, you basically stole my fire there =) Ok but middling highway music, but the drummer needs some imagination.
Oh ha, I got it -- a wheel theme. Nice.
Human feces go round and round... Awful toilet humor, but fun to sing after a good one
I like Mellencamp, but unfortunately he has just joined my "Oh not again!" club due to the fact that you cannot spin the dial on FM without hearing one of his songs. The Beatles were a founding member of the "Oh not again!" club. I love the Beatles, but back in the 80s I vowed not to listen to them anymore to give my head a break from them. Now, after awhile of not listening to them, I can appreciate them. I used to love Jack & Diane, Pink Houses, and other songs from him, but I want to throw up if I hear them now.
Decent straight up midwestern fare. Kind of your Miller Genuine Draft of music. 5 straight up.. I have always thought that he needed to find a drummer with more than one stick and one drum, though.
10th_rock wrote:
Chill...there must be something in the water in Jackasson, MS (pimp)
No kidding. That dude needs to lighten up. Wonder why he is so bitter? Oh... he lives in Mississippi.... no wonder.....
phineas wrote:
This is one of those where it'd be interesting to see what the comments/ratings would be if people didn't know it was Mellencamp. Prejudices seem to colour ratings pretty deeply --> "I've never/always liked him/her/them/it, so I like this song."
True and applicable to many artists as is demonstrated daily on this site. Personally I think he's OK. And this is an OK song. He's done better and worse.
bdmorgan72 wrote:
Man, did he get boring after his "comeback!" Liked him much better with songs like "Little Ditty. . . ", "Rain on the Scarecrow," "ROCK in the USA" etc. All the new crap has no soul. Former stuff was straight up rock with a bit of a hometown midwestern slant - I liked it. I give this song a "3"
I hear you! And one person's "drivel" is another person's "can't live without."
adbkil wrote:
Mellencamp is a self-absorbed jackass who honestly thinks that his work matters. If you are gonna be pompous about your work (see Roger Waters) at least back it up with thought provoking and original art (again, see Roger Waters) and not drivel like this and Cherry Bomb. :frustrated:
Chill...there must be something in the water in Jackasson, MS (pimp)
This is one of those where it'd be interesting to see what the comments/ratings would be if people didn't know it was Mellencamp. Prejudices seem to colour ratings pretty deeply --> "I've never/always liked him/her/them/it, so I like this song."
Man, did he get boring after his "comeback!" Liked him much better with songs like "Little Ditty. . . ", "Rain on the Scarecrow," "ROCK in the USA" etc. All the new crap has no soul. Former stuff was straight up rock with a bit of a hometown midwestern slant - I liked it. I give this song a "3"
adbkil wrote:
Mellencamp is a self-absorbed jackass who honestly thinks that his work matters. If you are gonna be pompous about your work (see Roger Waters) at least back it up with thought provoking and original art (again, see Roger Waters) and not drivel like this and Cherry Bomb. :frustrated:
He considers himself to be a mediocre artist. He does not liscence his work. He does what he wants to do, commercial success be damned. What have you done without fear of reprisal lately?
heeb wrote:
This ain't bad, but: What happened to his voice?!?
That's funny, I remember reading a review when this came out. The reviewer mentioned how his voice had matured and had a gritty resonance to it. I remember thinking at the same time that it was a nice way to say he smoked too much!
Human Wheels is probably his finest album. I don't think he toured much on it, but MTV showed a special of JM/Band doing it in a vacant lot in Chicago, and that was kick ass. As much as I like the album, almost everything about it was better live. Did I mention the album didn't sell beans? I hated the guy up until Scarecrow (though I thought Pink Houses was a good song), but this one, IMO, was easilly the best.
Originally Posted by Eagan: One of his few songs that doesn't make me cringe.
this is true :)
Originally Posted by heeb: This ain't bad, but: What happened to his voice?!?
Too many cigarettes, what else! :lol:
This ain\'t bad, but: What happened to his voice?!?
Originally Posted by Eagan: One of his few songs that doesn't make me cringe.
I second that...it's a toe tapper, well crafted.
One of his few songs that doesn\'t make me cringe.
Mellencamp is a self-absorbed jackass who honestly thinks that his work matters. If you are gonna be pompous about your work (see Roger Waters) at least back it up with thought provoking and original art (again, see Roger Waters) and not drivel like this and Cherry Bomb. :frustrated:
I like John Cougar better.
Nice
Originally Posted by nolands: I'm not a huge Mellencamp fan, but I dig this song.
Ditto. Cheers Jacques Radio Paradise: What Radio Could Have Been
I\'m not a huge Mellencamp fan, but I dig this song.
How can this be Mellencamp? It\'s unaccountable. I like it.
one of his less annoying works, anyway.
One of his better works...