The List of John Mellencamp Albums in Order of Release

John Mellencamp Album photo

John Mellencamp Albums in Order: A journey through the heartland of American music begins with the prolific career of John J. Mellencamp, born on October 7, 1951, and previously known as Johnny Cougar, John Cougar, and John Cougar Mellencamp.

John J. Mellencamp, born on October 7, 1951, and previously known as Johnny Cougar, John Cougar, and John Cougar Mellencamp, is a prominent figure in American music as a singer-songwriter. His style is characterized by catchy heartland rock tunes that emphasize traditional instrumentation. Mellencamp’s career achievements are notable, including his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2018.

Rising to fame in the 1980s, Mellencamp crafted a distinctively plainspoken writing style that produced a string of Top 10 singles, starting in 1982, such as “Hurts So Good,” “Jack & Diane,” “Crumblin’ Down,” and many more. With 22 Top 40 hits in the United States, he holds the record for the most tracks by a solo artist to top the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, with seven. Mellencamp’s musical contributions have earned him 13 Grammy Award nominations and over 30 million albums sold in the US and 60 million worldwide.

Beyond music, Mellencamp is a co-founder of Farm Aid, an organization established in 1985 to raise awareness about the loss of family farms and support farm families, with the annual Farm Aid concerts having raised over $60 million as of 2023. His most recent album of original songs, Orpheus Descending, was released in June 2023, adding to his enduring legacy in the music industry. So, if you are a die heart fan of John Mellencamp Albums then check out here we have list of John Mellencamp albums in order of release so far.

All John Mellencamp Albums Available on: Apple Music 


How many albums does John Mellencamp have?

The discography of John Mellencamp, an American singer-songwriter have released 25 studio albums, two live albums, four compilation albums, and 71 singles.


All John Mellencamp Albums in Order: Check Out The List of  John Mellencamp Albums in Order of Release Here!

Here is the list of John Mellencamp Album in Order of Release Date

  1. Chestnut Street Incident — October 1, 1976
  2.  A Biography — March 6, 1978
  3. John Cougar — July 27, 1979
  4. Nothin’ Matters and What If It Did — September 15, 1980
  5. American Fool — April 12, 1982
  6. The Kid Inside — January 27, 1983
  7. Uh-huh — October 23, 1983
  8. Scarecrow — August 5, 1985
  9. The Lonesome Jubilee — August 24, 1987
  10. Big Daddy — May 9, 1989
  11. Whenever We Wanted — October 8, 1991
  12. Human Wheels — September 7, 1993
  13. Dance Naked — June 21, 1994
  14. Mr. Happy Go Lucky — September 10, 1996
  15. John Mellencamp — October 6, 1998
  16. Rough Harvest — August 17, 1999
  17. Cuttin’ Heads — October 16, 2001
  18. Trouble No More — June 3, 2003
  19. Freedom’s Road — January 23, 2007
  20. Life, Death, Love and Freedom — July 15, 2008
  21. No Better Than This — August 17, 2010
  22. Plain Spoken — September 23, 2014
  23. Sad Clowns & Hillbillie — April 28, 2017
  24. Other People’s Stuff — December 7, 2018
  25. Strictly a One-Eyed Jack — January 21, 2022
  26. Orpheus Descending — June 16, 2023


All John Mellencamp Albums List in Order

1. Chestnut Street Incident (1976)

John Mellencamp Album Chestnut Street Incident image


  1. American Dream
  2. Oh, Pretty Woman
  3. Jailhouse Rock
  4. Dream Killing Town
  5. Supergirl
  6. Chestnut Street
  7. Good Girls
  8. Do You Believe in Magic?
  9. Twentieth Century Fox
  10. Chestnut Street Revisited
  11. Sad Lady

“Chestnut Street Incident” marked John Mellencamp’s debut studio album, released in 1976 when he was known as “Johnny Cougar.” Produced by Tony Defries, David Bowie’s manager, the album reflects Mellencamp’s early career struggles, including the name change to “Johnny Cougar” without his consent. The album features a mix of ’50s and ’60s covers alongside original tracks. Despite its modest initial sales, the album holds historical significance as the starting point of Mellencamp’s journey to musical success. Various reissues over the years, including the 2009 Cherry Red Records release with additional tracks, have ensured its legacy in Mellencamp’s discography.

2. A Biography (1978)

John Mellencamp Album  A Biography image


  1. Born Reckless
  2. Factory
  3. Night Slumming
  4. Taxi Dancer
  5. I Need a Lover
  6. Alley of the Angels
  7. High C Cherrie
  8. Where the Sidewalk Ends
  9. Let Them Run Your Lives
  10. Goodnight

“A Biography,” the second album by American musician John Mellencamp, released under the name “Johnny Cougar,” debuted in the UK and Australia on March 6, 1978, recorded in London and produced by Riva Records. Although it didn’t see a U.S. release due to weak sales of Mellencamp’s debut album, “Chestnut Street Incident,” two tracks, “Taxi Dancer” and “I Need a Lover,” were later included on his 1979 U.S. release, “John Cougar.” The latter became a Top 10 hit in Australia and eventually reached the Top 40 in the U.S. The album was remastered and reissued in 2005, marking its first U.S. release. Despite its success, Mellencamp has expressed dissatisfaction with the album, citing its bitter lyrics and negative tone.

3. John Cougar (1979)

John Mellencamp Album  John Cougar image


  1. A Little Night Dancin
  2. Small Paradise
  3. Miami
  4. Great Mid-west
  5. Do You Think That’s Fair
  6. I Need a Lover
  7. Welcome to Chinatown
  8. Sugar Marie
  9. Pray for Me
  10. Taxi Dancer
  11. Take Home Pay

“John Cougar” is John Mellencamp’s third studio album, released in 1979 under his new record company, Riva Records, marking his transition to the name “John Cougar.” The album includes the hit single “I Need a Lover,” which achieved Top 40 success in the U.S. after previously being a hit in Australia. Another notable track is “Miami,” which was also successful in Australia. Despite its lesser-known status in the U.S., “Small Paradise” showcased Mellencamp’s raw vocal talent. The album’s diverse range of tracks, including the Latin-inspired “A Little Night Dancin’,” highlights Mellencamp’s early musical versatility. Notably, Mellencamp recorded a solo acoustic version of “Sugar Marie” for a later box set, reflecting his ongoing affection for the song.

4. Nothin’ Matters and What If It Did (1980)

John Mellencamp Album Nothin' Matters and What If It Did image


  1. Hot Night in a Cold Town
  2. Ain’t Even Done with the Night
  3. Don’t Misunderstand Me
  4. This Time
  5. Make Me Feel
  6. To M.G. (Wherever She May Be)
  7. Tonight
  8. Cry Baby
  9. Wild Angel
  10. Peppermint Twist
  11. Cheap Shot

“Nothin’ Matters and What If It Did” stands as John Mellencamp’s fourth studio album, released under his moniker John Cougar. Produced by soul pioneer Steve Cropper, it yielded Top 40 hits including “Ain’t Even Done with the Night”, peaking at No. 17, and “This Time”, reaching No. 27 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album cover features actress Edith Massey, known for her roles in John Waters’ films, chosen to represent a lower-middle-class aesthetic. Remastered in 2005, the album includes a bonus track, “Latest Game”, from the sessions of Mellencamp’s 1982 album. It achieved Platinum certification by the RIAA, cementing its enduring impact.

5. American Fool (1982)

John Mellencamp Album American Fool image


  1. Hurts So Good
  2. Jack & Diane
  3. Hand to Hold On To
  4. Danger List
  5. Can You Take It
  6. Thundering Hearts
  7. China Girl
  8. Close Enough
  9. Weakest Moments
  10. American Fool

“American Fool,” the fifth studio album by John Mellencamp, released under the stage name John Cougar in 1982, marked his commercial breakthrough. The album held the No. 1 position on the Billboard album chart for nine consecutive weeks, showcasing Mellencamp’s rising prominence in the music scene. A remastered version of “American Fool” was released on Mercury/Island/UMe on March 29, 2005, featuring a previously unreleased title track as a bonus. This album is a significant chapter in Mellencamp’s career, highlighting his evolution as an artist and solidifying his status as a leading figure in heartland rock music.

6. The Kid Inside (1983)

John Mellencamp Album The Kid Inside image


  1. Kid Inside
  2. Take What You Want
  3. Cheap Shot
  4. Sidewalk and Streetlights
  5. R. Gang
  6. American Son
  7. Gearhead
  8. Young Genocides
  9. Too Young to Live
  10. Survive

“The Kid Inside,” John Mellencamp’s sixth studio album, presents a unique chapter in his musical journey. Originally recorded in 1977 for MCA Records as a follow-up to his debut album, “Chestnut Street Incident,” the album was shelved and Mellencamp was dropped from the label. However, in 1983, his former manager Tony Defries released the album on MainMan Records to capitalize on Mellencamp’s rising success following the breakout hit “American Fool.” Despite its delayed release, “The Kid Inside” showcases Mellencamp’s early artistry and features bonus tracks from the original recording sessions. This album marks the transition period before Mellencamp adopted his full name, John Cougar Mellencamp, with his next release, “Uh-Huh,” in 1983.

7. Uh-huh (1983)

John Mellencamp Album Uh-huh image


  1. Crumblin’ Down
  2. Pink Houses
  3. Authority Song
  4. Warmer Place to Sleep
  5. Jackie O
  6. Play Guitar
  7. Serious Business
  8. Lovin’ Mother fo Ya
  9. Golden Gates
  10. Pink Houses

“Uh-Huh,” released in 1983, marked a pivotal moment for John Cougar Mellencamp, as he transitioned from his early stage name to his real last name, Mellencamp. This seventh studio album was a commercial success, peaking at #9 on the Billboard 200 chart. It featured three Top 20 Billboard Hot 100 hits: “Crumblin’ Down” (#9), “Pink Houses” (#8), and “Authority Song” (#15). In 1989, “Uh-Huh” was recognized as the No. 32 album on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Albums of the 80s. The remastered version, released in 2005 on Mercury/Island/UMe, includes a bonus track, adding to its enduring legacy.

8. Scarecrow (1985)

John Mellencamp Album Scarecrow image


  1. Rain on the Scarecrow
  2. Grandma’s Theme
  3. Small Town
  4. Minutes to Memories
  5. Lonely Ol’ Night
  6. The Face of the Nation
  7. Justice and Independence ’85
  8. Between a Laugh and a Tear
  9. Rumbleseat
  10. You’ve Got to Stand for Somethin
  11. R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A. (A Salute to 60’s Rock)

“Scarecrow,” John Mellencamp’s eighth studio album, released on July 31, 1985, achieved significant success, peaking at number two on the US chart. The album features three top-ten hits, including “R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.,” “Lonely Ol’ Night,” and “Small Town,” all of which reached high positions on the US charts. “Lonely Ol’ Night” also topped the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. In 1989, Rolling Stone ranked “Scarecrow” at number 95 on its list of the 100 greatest albums of the 1980s, noting its consolidation of rugged, roots-rock thrash and the maturation of Mellencamp’s lyrics. A remastered version was released in 2005, with a deluxe two-CD remastered and remixed version issued on November 4, 2022.

9. The Lonesome Jubilee (1987)

John Mellencamp Album The Lonesome Jubilee image


  1. Paper in Fire
  2. Down and Out in Paradise
  3. Check It Out
  4. The Real Life
  5. Cherry Bomb
  6. “We Are the People
  7. Empty Hands
  8. Hard Times for an Honest Man
  9. Hotdogs and Hamburgers
  10. Rooty Toot Toot
  11. Blues from the Front Porch

“The Lonesome Jubilee” is the ninth studio album by American singer-songwriter John Mellencamp, credited as John Cougar Mellencamp, released on August 24, 1987. It produced four singles, released between 1987 and 1988. The album achieved considerable success worldwide, charting in ten countries. In Canada, it topped RPM magazine’s Top Albums chart and became Mellencamp’s highest-certified album by Music Canada, achieving 6× platinum status. Mellencamp described the album’s creation process as different from his previous works, with the band having a clear vision before recording. Initially planned as a double album, it was condensed to a single record to maintain the cohesive sound and theme envisioned by the band.

10. Big Daddy (1989)



  1. Big Daddy of Them All
  2. To Live
  3. Martha Say
  4. Theo and Weird Henry
  5. Jackie Brown
  6. Pop Singer
  7. Void in My Heart
  8. “Mansions in Heaven
  9. Sometimes a Great Notion
  10. Country Gentleman
  11. J.M.’s Question
  12. Let It All Hang Out
  13. Jackie Brown

“Big Daddy,” John Mellencamp’s tenth studio album, released in 1989 by Mercury Records, marked the end of his John Cougar Mellencamp moniker. The album, peaking at No. 7 on the Billboard 200, features singles like “Pop Singer” and “Jackie Brown,” reaching No. 15 and 48, respectively, on the Billboard Hot 100. Considered by some as his most reflective work, “Big Daddy” blends folk-inspired melodies with poignant lyrics. Mellencamp himself hailed it as his best, stating, “Out of my agony came a couple of really beautiful songs.” A re-mastered version, including a bonus acoustic track of “Jackie Brown,” was released in 2005, solidifying its timeless appeal.

11. Whenever We Wanted (1991)

John Mellencamp Album Whenever We Wanted image


  1. Love and Happiness
  2. Now More Than Ever
  3. I Ain’t Ever Satisfied
  4. Get a Leg Up
  5. Crazy Ones
  6. Last Chance
  7. They’re So Tough
  8. Melting Pot
  9. Whenever We Wanted
  10. Again Tonight
  11. Love and Happiness (London Club Mix)

“Whenever We Wanted” marks John Mellencamp’s 11th album, notable as the first credited solely to his given name, shedding the “Cougar” moniker. Achieving platinum status and breaking into the top 20, it features chart-topping hits like “Get A Leg Up,” “Now More Than Ever,” “Last Chance,” and “Again Tonight.” Notable for its balance of rock & roll vigor and introspective lyricism, the album garnered positive reviews. Mellencamp’s intention to return to the roots of his earlier work, aiming for improved storytelling akin to “American Fool,” reflects in the album’s themes, emphasizing a departure from previous records’ themes and a focus on fundamental narratives.

12. Human Wheels (1993)

John Mellencamp Album Human Wheels image


  1. When Jesus Left Birmingham
  2. Junior
  3. Human Wheels
  4. Beige to Beige
  5. Case 795 (The Family)
  6. Suzanne and the Jewels
  7. Sweet Evening Breeze
  8. What If I Came Knocking
  9. French Shoes
  10. To the River

“Human Wheels,” the twelfth studio album by American singer-songwriter John Mellencamp, was released on September 7, 1993, under Mercury Records. Peaking at No. 7 on the Billboard 200, it showcased Mellencamp’s evolving musical style. The single “What If I Came Knocking” became his last No. 1 single on the Album Rock Tracks chart, reigning for two weeks in 1993. The album’s gritty, introspective tone was praised by Entertainment Weekly, earning an “A” rating. Spin Magazine also recognized its impact, naming it the fifth best album of 1993. “Human Wheels” achieved Platinum status from the RIAA, solidifying its place as a significant work in Mellencamp’s discography.

13. Dance Naked (1994)

John Mellencamp Album Dance Naked image


  1. Dance Naked
  2. Brothers
  3. When Margaret Comes to Town
  4. Wild Night
  5. L.U.V
  6. Another Sunny Day 12/25
  7. Too Much to Think About
  8. The Big Jack
  9. The Breakout

“Dance Naked,” John Mellencamp’s thirteenth studio album, released on June 21, 1994, was a defiant response to his record company’s criticism of his previous work, “Human Wheels,” for not fitting the format. Irritated by this remark, Mellencamp recorded the album in just 14 days at his Belmont Mall studio in Belmont, Indiana, deliberately creating radio-friendly songs to prove a point. Despite his intentions, “Dance Naked” became a commercial success, earning a Platinum certification from the RIAA. The standout track, a cover of Van Morrison’s “Wild Night,” featuring Me’shell Ndegeocello, reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album itself peaked at No. 13 on the Billboard 200 and was later re-released in 2005 with bonus tracks.

14. Mr. Happy Go Lucky (1996)



  1. Overture
  2. Jerry
  3. Key West Intermezzo (I Saw You First)
  4. Just Another Day
  5. This May Not Be The End of the World
  6. Emotional Love
  7. Mr. Bellows
  8. The Full Catastrophe
  9. Circling Around the Moon
  10. Large World Turning
  11. Jackamo Road
  12. Life Is Hard

“Mr. Happy Go Lucky,” the 14th album by American singer-songwriter John Mellencamp, released on September 10, 1996, marked his comeback after a heart attack in 1994. Recorded in his Belmont Mall studio in Belmont, Indiana, the album reflects his near-death experience, infusing his music with newfound depth. The lead single, “Key West Intermezzo (I Saw You First),” reached No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100, his last Top 40 hit in the US. Mellencamp aimed to blend ’90s rap rhythms with ’30s and ’40s black blues, though the final sound diverged. An outtake, “All Night Talk Radio,” surfaced on his 2017 album “Sad Clowns & Hillbillies.”

15. John Mellencamp (1998)

John Mellencamp Album John Mellencamp image


  1. Fruit Trader
  2. Your Life Is Now
  3. Positively Crazy
  4. I’m Not Running Anymore
  5. It All Comes True
  6. Eden Is Burning
  7. Where the World Began
  8. Miss Missy
  9. Chance Meeting at the Tarantula
  10. Break Me Off Some
  11. Summer of Love
  12. Days of Farewell

“John Mellencamp,” the 15th album by the American singer-songwriter, released on October 6, 1998, marked a significant shift in his musical direction. Departing from his original vision of a percussion-light album inspired by Donovan’s “Sunshine Superman,” the album incorporated Eastern instruments and grand storytelling. Despite its late position in his discography, the self-titled release represented a fresh start and creative rejuvenation for Mellencamp, as requested by Columbia Records. This marked the beginning of his tenure with Columbia, the first of three albums recorded under the label. “John Mellencamp” stands out as a testament to an artist’s willingness to evolve and experiment even after achieving considerable success.

16. Rough Harvest (1999)

John Mellencamp Album Rough Harvest image


  1. Love and Happiness
  2. In My Time of Dying
  3. Between a Laugh and a Tear
  4. Human Wheels
  5. Rain on the Scarecrow
  6. Farewell Angelina
  7. Key West Intermezzo (I Saw You First)
  8. Jackie Brown
  9. When Jesus Left Birmingham
  10. The Full Catastrophe
  11. Minutes to Memories
  12. Under the Boardwalk
  13. Wild Night
  14. Seventh Son

“Rough Harvest,” the 16th album by American singer John Mellencamp, offers a unique twist on his classic tracks. Released on August 17, 1999, the album features acoustic arrangements of Mellencamp’s favorite songs, along with several covers. Recorded primarily in 1997, with exceptions like “Under the Boardwalk” from 1986 and “Wild Night” from 1994, the album marked the fulfillment of Mellencamp’s contract with Mercury Records. Mellencamp explained to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that these acoustic versions reflect the original essence of his songwriting, as every song he’s ever written started on an acoustic guitar. The album also showcases Mellencamp’s innovative approach to covers, such as his rock-infused rendition of “Under the Boardwalk,” originally by the Drifters, which adds a fresh twist to a classic tune.

17. Cuttin’ Heads (2001)

John Mellencamp Album Cuttin' Heads image


  1. Cuttin’ Heads
  2. Peaceful World
  3. Deep Blue Heart
  4. Crazy Island
  5. Just Like You
  6. The Same Way I Do
  7. Women Seem
  8. Worn Out Nervous Condition
  9. In Our Lives

“Cuttin’ Heads” is the 17th album by American singer-songwriter and musician John Mellencamp, released on October 16, 2001. His second album for Columbia Records, it reached No. 15 on the Billboard 200 in early November 2001. The album features the India.Arie duet “Peaceful World” as its sole single. Mellencamp’s signature blend of heartland rock is evident throughout the album, which explores themes of unity and peace. “Cuttin’ Heads” received critical acclaim for its musical diversity and socially conscious lyrics, showcasing Mellencamp’s continued relevance in the music industry.

18. Trouble No More (2003)

John Mellencamp Album Trouble No More image


  1. Stones in My Passway
  2. Death Letter
  3. Johnny Hart
  4. Baltimore Oriole
  5. Teardrops Will Fall
  6. Diamond Joe
  7. The End of the World
  8. Down in the Bottom
  9. Lafayette
  10. Joliet Bound
  11. John the Revelator
  12. To Washington

“Trouble No More” is John Mellencamp’s 18th studio album, marking his final release for Columbia Records in 2003. This blues and folk covers collection includes a reworked version of “To Washington,” with new lyrics criticizing President George W. Bush and the Iraq War, sparking controversy. Accompanying the album, the documentary “Trouble No More: The Making of a John Mellencamp Album,” directed by Ron Osgood and his Indiana University documentary course students, won a Regional Emmy and various small festival awards in 2004 and 2005. The album showcases Mellencamp’s enduring musical talent and his willingness to address social and political issues through his music.

19. Freedom’s Road (2007)

John Mellencamp Album Freedom's Road image


  1. Someday
  2. Ghost Towns Along the Highway
  3. The Americans
  4. Forgiveness
  5. Freedom’s Road
  6. Jim Crow
  7. Our Country
  8. Rural Route
  9. My Aeroplane
  10. Heaven Is a Lonely Place
  11. Rodeo Clown

“Freedom’s Road,” John Mellencamp’s 19th studio album, released in 2007, marked a career milestone, debuting at No. 5 on the Billboard 200. The album’s lead single, “Our Country,” gained early attention through Chevrolet truck commercials. Notably, country band Little Big Town provided background vocals on eight tracks. Mellencamp aimed for a 1960s rock sound with contemporary relevance, a goal he believes the album achieved. He expressed satisfaction, stating, “We wanted to make sure that it had the same feeling of some of the great songs from the ’60s but also had the message of today and had the backbeat of today. I think we came up with a pretty timeless sounding album.

20. Life, Death, Love and Freedom (2008)

John Mellencamp Album Life, Death, Love and Freedom image


  1. Longest Days
  2. My Sweet Love
  3. If I Die Sudden
  4. Troubled Land
  5. Young Without Lovers
  6. John Cockers
  7. Don’t Need This Body
  8. A Ride Back Home
  9. Without a Shot
  10. Jena
  11. Mean
  12. County Fair
  13. For the Children
  14. A Brand New Song

“Life, Death, Love and Freedom,” John Mellencamp’s 20th folk rock album, produced by T Bone Burnett, debuted on July 15, 2008, to critical acclaim. Rolling Stone ranked it No. 5 on its list of the 50 best albums of 2008, with “Troubled Land” at No. 48 on the 100 Best Singles list. placed it at No. 18 on their top albums of the decade. Mellencamp described the album as a collection of “modern electric folk songs.” The lead single, “My Sweet Love,” was released on June 10, 2008. Mellencamp lauded the album, stating it could compete with any record ever made, marking a significant milestone in his discography.

21. No Better Than This (2010)

John Mellencamp Album No Better Than This image


  1. Save Some Time to Dream
  2. The West End
  3. Right Behind Me
  4. A Graceful Fall
  5. No Better Than This
  6. Thinking About You
  7. Coming Down the Road
  8. No One Cares About Me
  9. Love at First Sight
  10. Don’t Forget About Me
  11. Each Day of Sorrow
  12. Easter Eve
  13. Clumsy Ol’ World

“No Better Than This” is the 21st album by American singer-songwriter John Mellencamp, produced by T Bone Burnett and released on August 17, 2010. Recorded at historic U.S. locations, its title track was the lead single. Mellencamp described the album as his most American folk-oriented work. He expressed disinterest in rock stardom, focusing on enjoying the music-making process and creating something meaningful. Despite his shift in focus, the album was well-received, with Rolling Stone ranking it 12th on its list of the best albums of 2010, showcasing Mellencamp’s enduring impact and versatility as a musician.

22. Plain Spoken (2014)

John Mellencamp Album Plain Spoken image


  1. Troubled Man
  2. Sometimes There’s God
  3. The Isolation of Mister
  4. The Company of Cowards
  5. Tears in Vain
  6. The Brass Ring
  7. Freedom of Speech
  8. Blue Charlotte
  9. The Courtesy of Kings
  10. Lawless Times

“Plain Spoken” is the 22nd studio album by American singer-songwriter and musician John Mellencamp, released on September 23, 2014, by Republic Records. It signifies the start of Mellencamp’s lifetime recording contract with Republic Records. The album’s cover features a photo taken by actress Meg Ryan, adding a personal touch to the project. “Plain Spoken” reflects Mellencamp’s signature style, blending heartfelt lyrics with a rootsy rock sound. With this release, Mellencamp continues to showcase his enduring talent and artistic integrity, solidifying his status as a respected figure in American music.

23. Sad Clowns & Hillbillies (2017)

John Mellencamp Album Sad Clowns & Hillbillie image


  1. Mobile Blue
  2. Battle of Angels
  3. Grandview
  4. Indigo Sunset
  5. What Kind of Man Am I
  6. All Night Talk Radio
  7. Sugar Hill Mountain
  8. You Are Blind
  9. Damascus Road
  10. Early Bird Cafe
  11. Sad Clowns
  12. My Soul’s Got Wings
  13. Easy Target

“Sad Clowns & Hillbillies” is John Mellencamp’s 23rd studio album, released on April 28, 2017, under Republic Records. The album showcases notable collaborations with Carlene Carter, known for her work on the movie “Ithaca,” which Mellencamp scored for Meg Ryan. Carter’s involvement extends to the track ‘Sugar Hill Mountain,’ originally part of the movie’s soundtrack and later included in this album. Additionally, Carter opened every show during Mellencamp’s 2015–2016 Plain Spoken Tour, highlighting their close musical partnership. “Sad Clowns & Hillbillies” reflects Mellencamp’s continued exploration of Americana and roots music, adding another chapter to his illustrious career.

24. Other People’s Stuff (2018)

John Mellencamp Album Other People's Stuff image


  1. To the River
  2. Gambling Bar Room Blues
  3. Teardrops Will Fall
  4. In My Time of Dying
  5. Mobile Blue
  6. Eyes on the Prize
  7. Dark as a Dungeon
  8. Stones in My Passway
  9. Wreck of the Old 97
  10. I Don’t Know Why I Love You

“Other People’s Stuff” is a compilation album by John Mellencamp, released on December 7, 2018, by Republic Records. It features cover songs Mellencamp recorded over 25 years for tribute albums, documentaries, and his own albums. The collection includes a 2012 studio recording of “Eyes on the Prize,” the album’s only new track. Some songs, like “Teardrops Will Fall,” are slightly remixed for the CD version, featuring a duet with Karen Fairchild. Despite its 2003 release, “I Don’t Know Why I Love You” was recorded in 1987 during The Lonesome Jubilee sessions. The vinyl and digital versions exclude Fairchild’s contribution.

25. Strictly a One-Eyed Jack (2022)

John Mellencamp Album Strictly a One-Eyed Jack image


  1. I Always Lie to Strangers
  2. Driving In the Rain
  3. I Am a Man That Worries
  4. Streets of Galilee
  5. Sweet Honey Brown
  6. Did You Say Such a Thing
  7. Gone So Soon
  8. Wasted Days
  9. Simply a One-Eyed Jack
  10. Chasing Rainbows
  11. Lie to Me
  12. A Life Full of Rain

“Strictly a One-Eyed Jack” is John Mellencamp’s 24th studio album, released on January 21, 2022, under Republic Records. The album’s cover features a portrait of Mellencamp painted by his son, Speck, who graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and now serves as the executive director of the Southern Indiana Center for the Arts in Seymour, Indiana. The album showcases Mellencamp’s signature heartland rock sound and storytelling prowess, with tracks that delve into themes of life, love, and the American experience. “Strictly a One-Eyed Jack” adds another chapter to Mellencamp’s storied career, further cementing his status as a revered singer-songwriter.

26. Orpheus Descending (2023)


  1. Hey God
  2. The Eyes of Portland
  3. The So-Called Free
  4. The Kindness of Lovers
  5. Amen
  6. Orpheus Descending
  7. Understated Reverence
  8. One More Trick
  9. Lightning and Luck
  10. Perfect World
  11. Backbone

“Orpheus Descending” is John Mellencamp’s twenty-fifth studio album, released on June 16, 2023, under Republic Records. The album has garnered positive reviews from critics, showcasing Mellencamp’s exploration of personal and political themes. With his signature heartland rock sound, Mellencamp delivers a collection of songs that resonate with listeners, delving into issues that are both introspective and socially relevant. The album demonstrates Mellencamp’s continued growth as a musician and songwriter, maintaining his position as a prominent figure in American rock music.

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