John Cougar Mellencamp – Jack & Diane (1982)

Jack & Diane by John Cougar Mellencamp was a huber one hit in the USJack & Diane is John Cougar Mellencamp’s biggest hit I guess and by many considered to be a classic rock song. I came to know John Cougar Mellencamp on his later album Scarecrow and therefore looked at the earlier work which led me to Jack & Diane. I like the lyrics for Jack & Diane taken place in the ‘heartland’ with ‘ chilli dogs’ and the young loving couple. Great song with a characteristic guitar intro and a classic rock song in my house!

For some unknown reason none of my friends are into John Cougar Mellencamps music. And when I try to describe it to them I always say something like “He is like Bruce Sprinsteen both in style and lyrics, classic rock and American living in the lyrics”. Is this fair to any of them? Probably not but the best I can do but still my friends say no thank you to John Cougar Mellencamp. Incredible to me.

Jack & Diane by John Cougar Mellencamp is from the album American Fool if you are into classic rock from the 1980s.

Highest chart position: US#1 and UK#25. The tough lineup at The Billboard Hot 100 chart as it looked in october 1982:

#1 John Cougar Mellencamp – Jack & Diane

#2 The Steve Miller Band – Abracadabra

#3 Chicago – Hard To Say I’m Sorry

#4 The Alan Parsons Project – Eye In The Sky

#5 Men At Work – Who Can It Be Now?

John Cougar Mellencamp in his 1980s dress

Jefferson Airplane – White Rabbit (1967)

White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane is a classic rock song from the 1960sWhite Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane is a classic rock song from the late 1960s. I especially like the beginning which sounds something like a western theme to me with the march like drums and the simple guitar melody. But when the vocal begin your are torn out of this feeling:

“One pill makes you larger

And one pill makes you small

And the ones that mother gives you

Don’t do anything at all”

Best guess is that LSD has a part to play to this song both in the lyrics and in the making of the song. But maybe this is just my expectations about the time and a band performing on the Woodstock Festival…

This song along with some other classic rock songs made me look more into the music from the 1960s. In my opinion there are a lot of great rock to be found here. Jefferson Airplane were one of the bands performing at the legendary Woodstock Music & Arts Festival in 1969 among music dinosaurs like The Who, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and The Band. Try to search for their live performance of White Rabbit on Woodstock first of all to hear this fantastic song and especially the great vocal of Grace Slick but leo to see the atmosphere, clothes etc. from this iconic Woodstock Festival in 1969.

White rabbit by Jefferson Airplane is on the album Surrealistic Pillow.

Band portrait of Jefferson Airplane who was a part of the Woodstock Festival 1969.

 

Little Richard – Tutti Frutti (1955)

Little Richard playing Tutti FruttiTutti Frutti by Little Richard is sometimes given the credit to be one of the first “rock and roll” songs. If this is correct I can’t tell but by all means it is a classic. This song always set me in a good mood and imagining a party going on.

Singing the chorus many times it is easy to sing-along to. So just shout it out like I like to think Little Richard would like the listeners to do. But he must have been a brave man singing these lyrics in the mid 1950s.

“She knows how to love me, yes indeed

Boy you don’t know what she do to me”

Tutti Frutti by Little Richard can be found on the album Here’s Little Richard.

Highest chart position: UK singles chart #29.

Little Richard going crazy by the piano