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Big Daddy

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iTunes Review

1989’s Big Daddy finds John Mellencamp fully embracing his role as a populist troubadour. Though his customary rock swagger is still present, there’s a humble, compassionate quality to these songs that’s more reminiscent of Woody Guthrie than Keith Richards. Mellencamp has a good deal to say about America’s neglected underclass here, whether represented by hard-pressed family men (“Jackie Brown”) or teenaged misfits (“Theo and Weird Henry”). He dispenses folk wisdom in “Sometimes a Great Notion” and calls out corporate America in “Country Gentleman.” Getting personal, he reflects upon his own experience in the clutches of showbiz in “Pop Singer.” Such heavy themes go down easy thanks to the spirited, acoustic-rooted backing of Mellencamp’s band, with violinist Lisa Germano and accordion player John Cascella adding particularly tasty licks. Self-produced by Mellencamp, Big Daddy is serious-minded without being overly sober and loose without being ragged. This is Middle American folk-rock with a conscience, served up with plenty of heart.

Customer Reviews

Rootsy raw album

This is "no frills" Mellencamp, and that's when the Seymour, Indiana rocker is at his best. No gimmicks, no flash, just solid songwriting and performing.

Honest, Raw, Complex, Simple, MidWest story Rock at it's best. Americana

This is Mellencamps best reflection of what he stands for as an artist and a person. His raw story telling causes you to be introspective and determining how your true self fits in to this world. OK maybe that's a little over the top, but I love the emotional honesty of this album..> I've purchased this album 5 times and have given away 4 of them. Now I have it on my iPod and I can't give it away! Thanks John, I loved this album. It is your best complete body of work released. (Pop Singer is my least favorite song on this album and that's the one that was a radio hit)


While not his greated album, Big Daddy sorely undersold what it deserved when it came out. "Big Daddy," the song, is not even included in Mellencamp's Essentials and is, in my opinion, one of his best songs. Other greats on here are "Jackie Brown" and "Martha Say." If you like Lonesome Jubliee and feel that his newer music has lost some "edge," I would listen to this one.


Born: October 7, 1951 in Seymour, IN

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Throughout his career, John Mellencamp has had to fight, whether it was for the right to record under his own name or for respect as an artist. Of course, he never made it easy on himself. Mellencamp began his career in the late '70s as a Bruce Springsteen clone called Johnny Cougar. As his career progressed, his music became more distinctive, developing into a Stonesy blend of hard rock and folk-rock. His musical development coincided with his growth in popularity -- by the time "Hurts So Good"...
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