13 Songs, 45 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Released in 1985, at the peak of the decade’s neon garishness, John Mellencamp’s Scarecrow comes off like a tight Saturday night set played at the local VFW hall. “R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.” nails a balance of ’60s energy and ’80s grit. Meanwhile, the haunting-but-wholesome “Rain on the Scarecrow” is both celebration and elegy for an endangered American farm culture. At the album’s core is “Small Town,” a three-chord anthem that marries the gleaming melodicism of The Byrds to Woody Guthrie’s rustic simplicity.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Released in 1985, at the peak of the decade’s neon garishness, John Mellencamp’s Scarecrow comes off like a tight Saturday night set played at the local VFW hall. “R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.” nails a balance of ’60s energy and ’80s grit. Meanwhile, the haunting-but-wholesome “Rain on the Scarecrow” is both celebration and elegy for an endangered American farm culture. At the album’s core is “Small Town,” a three-chord anthem that marries the gleaming melodicism of The Byrds to Woody Guthrie’s rustic simplicity.

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