John Mellencamp – Ain’t Even Done With The Night

This is John in his “Cougar” days. It was right before the floodgates opened for him with the album American Fool that would come in 1982.

This song came off of his 4th studio album Nothing Matters and What If It Did released in 1980.  Ain’t Even Done With The Night peaked at #17 in the Billboard 100 and #15 in Canada. Mellencamp wrote the song.

Nothin matters and what if it did.JPG

He has been asked what is the worse thing he ever did for success. He replied that would be changing his name to Johnny Cougar but the record company had him in a corner.

In 1983 after the hugely successful American Fool album John had enough leverage to force his record company to use his real name. It would now be John Cougar Mellencamp.

Steve Cropper produced this album…he produced many artists for Stax records.

John Mellencamp: “I have probably never gotten along with any record company executive ever, except maybe one,”  “And if they were such good businessmen, why aren’t they running Coca-Cola or other major corporations now?”

John Mellencamp: “I see things that other people don’t see,” he said in his Plain Spoken DVD. “I pay attention to detail. That’s where my songs come from. They’re not about me.”

From Songfacts

John Mellencamp got married at 18 and had his first child a short time later. He knew the vagaries of young romance and fear of commitment quite well, which certainly qualified him to write this song about a couple deeply in love, with the guy unsure what to do and the girl reassuring him.

This method of songwriting proved very successful and comes into play on this song: There was probably a time when your heart was beating like thunder, etching a memory so powerful you can remember the song that was playing on the radio.

This song came during a transitional period for Mellencamp, after his first hit but before his star turn. In 1978, “I Need A Lover,” a song from his second album, took off in Australia, giving him a leg up on the other young rockers he was competing against. From there, he set out to create hits, which he felt was essential to his survival – he was a strong-willed, hard-headed country boy who didn’t get along with his record label and most industry folks, so unless he could become invaluable, he wasn’t going to make it.

“Ain’t Even Done with the Night” came from his quest to make hit pop songs, and even thought he has shown no affinity for it, the song became one of his most enduring, showing up on playlists decades after it was first released.

It helped keep him on the charts until his breakthrough fifth album, American Fool, with the hits “Hurts So Good” and “Jack & Diane.” After that, he no longer had to care even a little what people think. His songs that followed are the ones he considers his best work.

This song falls smack in the middle of the “John Cougar” years – the name he used from 1979-1983; before that he was “Johnny Cougar.” In 1983 he started using “John Cougar Mellencamp,” then in 1990 just John Mellencamp.

Steve Cropper, who produced Otis Redding and many other acts at Stax Records, produced the Nothin’ Matters And What If It Did album.

Ain’t Even Done With The Night

Well our hearts beat like thunder
I don’t know why they don’t explode
You got your hands in my back pockets
And Sam Cooke’s singin’ on the radio
You say that I’m the boy who can make it all come true
Well I’m tellin’ ya that I don’t know if I know what to do

You say that’s all right, hold tight
Well I don’t even know if I’m doin’ this right
Well all right, hold tight
We can stay out all day or we can run around all night
Well all night, all night
Well it’s time to go home
And I ain’t even done with the night

Well I don’t know no good come-ons
And I don’t know no cool lines
I feel the heat of your frustration
I know it’s burnin you up deep down inside
You say that I’m the boy who can make it all come true
Well I’m tellin ya that I don’t know if I know what to do

You say that’s all right, hold tight
Well I don’t even know if I’m doin’ this right
Well all right, hold tight
We can stay out all day or we can run around all night
Well all night, all night
Well it’s time to go home
And I ain’t even done with the night

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

29 thoughts on “John Mellencamp – Ain’t Even Done With The Night”

    1. That is a good one…he has no love for record label executives.
      Yea this was before he had any clout and the label basically told him what to do…it’s where that no love came from…that and the name “Cougar”

      Liked by 2 people

    1. We learned this one and played it in many bars…it was one of the most popular ones we did…it comes alive when it’s played live. The bass really anchors it and sounds good.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. The first song I heard John do (thinking back I knew ‘I Need a Lover’ back then but only via Pat Benatar)… pre-‘Uh Huh’ his music seemed iffy to me… some goodies, some forgettable. This one is one of the goodies.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mellencamp had sort of fallen out of my periphery for a while, then I picked up a two disc hits comp and was just astounded at how many hits he’d recorded. I also really like his “No Better Than This” album from 2010. It was produced by T Bone Burnett and recorded in Sun Studios.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m sure I told you this Max but Cougar opened for KISS back in Oct 79 as that was my first ever show. Cougar got booed the whole time. It didn’t help that Judas Priest was advertised as the opener and they had already left the tour a week before! That did not help Cougar that night. lol

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It was right before the other ones. I do remember I Need A Lover but that is it. I’ll have to check that one out…I don’t think I remember that one.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a great early tune by John Mellencamp, one of my favorite artists. I’ve dug him for many years and have most of his albums starting with 1979’s “John Cougar”.

    While I pretty much like all of his phases, nowadays, I prefer his more recent, roots-oriented albums including “Sad Clowns & Hillbillies” with Carlene Carter. I also caught him during the supporting tour for that album in Philly in July 2017. It featured both Carter and Emmylou Harris. Great show!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You have told me about that and I have to check it out Christian.

      This song is one I remember early on…we played this song and it always went over more than well.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh cool! I do know when we learned this song…we sounded professional…the bass really comes through…it sounds better live

      Like

      1. LOL…yep! It was nice to do because there are just so many times you can play Wonderful Tonight.

        Like

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