Uh-Huh! (Bonus Track) [2005 Remaster]
1982’s American Fool catapulted Indiana’s John Cougar into the pop mainstream after years of dubious material and artistic struggle. With 1983’s Uh-Huh, Cougar began reclaiming and defining his identity as more than just a sassy, snarky rock n’ roll singer. He added back his real last name and recorded an album that spoke simply and directly from his heart and mind. “The Authority Song” took its message from the Bobby Fuller Four’s “I Fought the Law” and its guitar sound from the Rolling Stones, marrying the two to an irresistible rhythm. “Play Guitar” and “Crumblin’ Down” worked similarly, capitalizing on Mellencamp’s tough exterior and unfancy rock arrangements. But it was the Springsteen-like acoustic number, “Pink Houses,” that solidified Mellencamp’s image as a voice for Middle America. With the genuine simplicity of an ageless folk song, Mellencamp laid out the modest goals and sad, awful truth of the working class without pity and with a dose of celebration. With Uh-Huh, Mellencamp found the perfect balance between his social concerns and the rock n’ roll of his youth.