Labeling John Mellencamp's "On The Rural Route 7609" a box set would be a misnomer on several levels. In format, it is much more akin to a lavish book and is in fact, not packaged in a box. With 54 songs, 17 of which are previously unreleased on any Mellencamp CD, on 4 discs, the set is thoroughly annotated by award-winning music journalist/historian Anthony DeCurtis. Also included within its 72 pages are numerous evocative photos reflecting Mellencamp's transformation from pop idol to his current status as transcendent singer/writer whose work is celebrated, sometimes as a painfully honest musical reflection of hard scrabble midwestern values. Mellencamp songs from all phases of that career are included as are special guest readings by Academy Award (R) wining actress Joanne Woodward as well as from Dr. Cornel West, best selling author, lecturer and commentator. Unlike standard issue box sets, "On The Rural Route 7609" is not a collection of hits and near-hits in chronological order. Rather, each of the discs is programmed as if it were a free-standing album with shared themes and a sense of flow that offers one a compelling context to listen from start to finish versus defaulting to searching for the most familiar tracks. While there is certainly a wealth of well-known material, a significant number of tracks are offered that, while less familiar, are equally significant in terms of providing an in-depth picture of the Mellencamp's spectrum of creativity. Those tracks juxtaposed to signature songs long-associated with Mellencamp on the four "albums" in the set give long-term Mellencamp fans and newer listeners alike, a more complete and insightful view of the artist's role as a writer and artist whose catalog of songs and recordings glow with substance and nuance. "On The Rural Route 7609" is a musical journey that sheds new light on an American musician who, as both a songwriter and and social activist.
Mellencamp found his true voice as he followed his heart and mind over the course of a career that, after an improbable start, has spanned four decades and is reflected in the selections heard "On The Rural Route 7609". "On The Rural Route 7609" is a singular way to discover John Mellencamp again.. arguably, for the first time. On The Rural Route 7609 Track Listing: * indicates track selection has never before been released on a John Mellencamp CD Disc 1 1. Longest Days 2. Grandma's Theme 3. Rural Route 4. Jackie Brown 5. Rain On The Scarecrow 6. Jim Crow with Cornell West* 7. Jim Crow 8. Big Daddy Of Them All 9. Deep Blue Heart 10. Forgiveness 11. Don't Need This Body 12. Jenny At 16* 13. Jack And Diane (writing demo)* 14. Jack And Diane Disc 2 1. The Real Life with Joanne Woodward* 2. Ghost Towns Along The Highway 3. The Full Catastrophe 4. Authority Song (writing demo)* 5. Troubled Land 6. To Washington 7. Our Country (alternate version)* 8. Country Gentlemen 9. Freedom's Road 10. Mr. Bellows (remix)* 11. Rodeo Clown 12. Love And Happiness 13. Pink Houses Disc 3 1. If I Die Sudden (live) 2. Someday 3. Between A Laugh And A Tear 4. Void In My Heart (acoustic version recorded at Chess Studios) * 5. Death Letter 6. Sugar Marie (acoustic)* 7. Theo And Weird Henry 8. When Jesus Left Birmingham 9. L.U.V. (remix)* 10. Thank You 11. Women Seem 12. The World Don't Bother Me None* 13. Cherry Bomb (writing demo)* 14. Someday The Rains Will Fall* 15. A Ride Back Home Disc 4 1. My Aeroplane 2. Colored Lights* 3. Just Like You 4. Young Without Lovers 5. To M.G. (Wherever She May Be) (acoustic)* 6. Sweet Evening Breeze 7. What If I Came Knocking 8. County Fair 9. Peaceful World (writing demo)* 10. Your Life Is Now 11. For The Children 12. Rural Route (acoustic)*
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