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Song of the Day: John Mellencamp's "Human Wheels"

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Burger with Relish: Music by David Burger


First published May 01 2012 03:34PM
Updated May 1, 2012 03:36PM

"Rough Harvest" was a 1999 album by John Mellencamp that is an overlooked gem from the artist who has grown so much as lyricist over time.

Recorded mostly in 1997, the album fulfilled Mellencamp's contract with Mercury Records, and while most of these type of albums are creatively awful, this record featured many of Mellencamp's songs re-imagined in a more organic fashion, forsaking electronic elements for authentic, acoustic renditions.

"Human Wheels" is one of the better songs Mellencamp ever wrote, and the lyrics were composed mostly by a friend of his, George Green, who had wrote it as a eulogy for his grandfather. Mellencamp tackles the song again on "Rough Harvest," but here is the original:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWWMmxyKOR0

Here is a live version that hew closely to the "Rough Harvest" take: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXCD7hmlicg

By the way, I once asked Jason Aldean what his ringtone was. It was "Human Wheels."

And to get a taste of "Rough Harvest," here is a drastically different version of "Between a Laugh and a Tear": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SED1xhVLi6Q

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