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  • John Mellencamp

    John Mellencamp is as synonymous with the American heartland as Bruce Springsteen. Drawing influence from Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, and the Rolling Stones, his was a more Stonesy blend of hard rock and folk that focused on small-town America and reflected the blue-collar lifestyle. Mellencamp released his breakthrough album, American Fool, in 1982, an album featuring his Grammy-winning hit "Hurts So Good," as well as the singles "Jack & Diane" and "Hand to Hold On To." He continued the momentum with 1983's Uh-Huh ("Pink Houses," "Crumblin' Down") and 1985's Scarecrow ("Lonely Ol' Night," "Small Town," "R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A."), both considered to be among the best American rock albums of the '80s.

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