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Released: October 6, 1998

Rating: 3.078 (average of 5 ratings)

Genre: heartland rock

Quotable: --

Album Tracks:

  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


sales in U.S. only ½ million
sales in U.K. only - estimated --
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated ½ million


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 41
peak on U.K. album chart --

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • Your Life Is Now (9/18/98) #62a US, #15 AR, #19 AC
  • I’m Not Running Anymore (2/13/99) #37 AR, #22 AC

John Mellencamp
John Mellencamp
“Although Mercury Records had delivered five consecutive platinum albums for John Mellencamp, he left the label in 1997, complaining about its inability to break hit singles for him anymore, and signed to Columbia Records. His self-titled label debut, issued the day before his 47th birthday, seemed intended to mark a new beginning for an artist who had managed more than one career rebirth. Commercially, it did not fulfill that ambition, becoming his worst seller in 19 years” (Ruhlmann).

“Artistically, it represented not so much a new Mellencamp as another Mellencamp album. The musical style remained firmly rooted in 1966 pop/rock (you had to figure the man’s personal jukebox included songs like Los Bravos’ ‘Black Is Black,’ Donovan’s ‘Sunshine Superman,’ and the Rolling Stones’ ‘19th Nervous Breakdown’), despite a few interludes of unusual instrumentation (like what Brian Jones used to bring to the Stones)” (Ruhlmann).

“Lyrically, Mellencamp continued to preach an unearned pessimism that he seemed to hope would be mistaken for thoughtfulness. Still obsessed with being taken seriously, he continued to think that the best way to achieve that was to sound serious, and he did, on Biblical treatises like Fruit Trader and Eden Is Burning and simple-minded philosophical statements like Your Life Is Now” (Ruhlmann).

“But the album’s best material was found in songs he probably thought of as throwaways, the catchy Caribbean rhythm number I’m Not Running Anymore (which could have been a hit single) and the best of the romantic tunes, Miss Missy, songs that were actually about something. If he really wanted to reinvent himself again (and ignite his record sales), he would have been better advised to invest his music with more of this sense of fun – dare we say it? – to put a little Johnny Cougar back into John Mellencamp” (Ruhlmann).

Review Source(s):

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previous album: Mr. Happy Go Lucky (1996) next album: Cuttin’ Heads (2001)

Last updated January 20, 2009.