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JOHN MELLENCAMP - Words & Music: John Mellencamp's Greatest Hits (2004)
John Mellencamp has been in need of a thorough, career-spanning compilation for a while, and Island/UTV's 2004 release Words & Music: John Mellencamp's Greatest Hits finally fills that gap. His previous hits collection, 1997's The Best That I Could Do, was too short, since he had more hits than could fit on a brief 14-track disc. Words & Music doesn't have the problem of brevity. Spanning 37 songs over two discs, this has nearly all of his charting hits. Radio hits like "Justice and Independence '85" and "Rooty Toot Toot" may be absent, but they're not missed, since all the big hits are here, including "Pink Houses," "Lonely Ol' Night," "Paper in Fire," "Authority Song," "Crumblin' Down," "Small Town," "Hurts So Good," and "Jack & Diane," among many others (including two solid new songs). The biggest complaint that could be lodged against this collection is that the sequencing is doggedly nonchronological, which may upset some listeners who would like to hear his career evolve, but this sequencing flows like a good concert and highlights the common threads in his music from 1978 to 2004. As such, it's not only a good collection of hits, but it's a good career summary and introduction, as well. [Initial pressings of Words & Music contained a bonus DVD containing videos for "Crumblin' Down," "R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.," "Rain on the Scarecrow," "Check It Out (Live)," and "Key West Intermezzo (I Saw You First)." - allmusic.com
DISC 1: 01. Walk Tall 02. Pink Houses 03. Lonely Ol' Night 04. Jackie Brown 05. Rain On The Scarecrow 06. Love And Happiness 07. Check It Out 08. Peaceful World 09. Paper In Fire 10. Your Life Is Now 11. Human Wheels 12. When Jesus Left Birmingham 13. Authority Song 14. What If I Came Knocking 15. Crumblin' Down 16. Small Town 17. R.O.C.K. In The U.S.A. 18. Cherry Bomb 19. Pop SInger
DISC 2: 01. Thank You 02. Martha Say 03. Key West Intermezzo (I Saw You First) 04. Hand to Hold on To 05. I Need a Lover 06. Hurts So Good 07. Get a Leg Up 08. Wild Night 09. Dance Naked 10. Teardrops Will Fall 11. Ain't Even Done With the Night 12. Just Another Day 13. Jack and Diane 14. Rumble Seat 15. I'm Not Running Anymore 16. Again Tonight 17. This Time 18. Now More Than Ever
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