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Scarecrow by John Mellencamp
Released: Jan 1985
Before 1985, the Coug had a heck of a time getting taken seriously. Scarecrow, his first album presented as a true unified State of the Midwest address, changed that. As much for Larry Crane's riffs and Kenny Aronoff's huge wallop as for the songs, which by necessity have their moments of knee-high Indiana corn, this is also one of the 1980s' great R.O.C.K. LPs -- "Rain on the Scarecrow" hits like a bloody heartland "When the Levee Breaks," and the stubbornly romantic provincialism of "Small Town" wound up inspiring Nashville as much as Mitch Ryder and Bobby Fuller inspired John himself.
Chuck Eddy
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