The official day of release for John Mellencamp’s new album, “Strictly a One-Eyed Jack,” is Jan. 21, but the tracks appeared on YouTube at midnight Jan. 20. The three collaborations with Bruce Springsteen — “A Life Full of Rain,” “Did You Say Such a Thing” and “Wasted Days” — are embedded below.
“For my entire career I was always like the poor man’s Bruce Springsteen,” said Mellencamp in a recent interview with Forbes. “And Bruce and I have known each other for years. We met each other years ago, but we just knew each other enough to say hi. But we did a rainforest (benefit) for Sting and we played together. And all of a sudden he was like my big brother, and he treated me like I was his sibling, and I treated him with respect. And then we became really good friends, and it just kind of happened. He came to Indiana, he stayed at the house. It was great. And I talk to Bruce all the time now.”
“Wasted Days,” the album’s uncompromisingly dark first single, was released in September. “Did You Say Such a Thing” is a lean rock song reminiscent of past Mellencamp hits such as “Paper in Fire” and “Crumblin’ Down.” “A Life Full of Rain” is as lyrically bleak as “Wasted Days” though it’s richer, musically, and Mellencamp’s lines are delivered in a more conversational, almost theatrical way.
Springsteen sings on “Did You Say Such a Thing” and “Wasted Days” but not on “A Life Full of Rain.”
The album’s cover, above, features a portrait of Mellencamp by his son, Speck.
Click here for a look at Springsteen-Mellencamp interactions over the years.
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