John Mellencamp – Hurts So Good

The first song I remember from “John Cougar” was Ain’t Even Done With The Night and then John kicked the door down with this song.

This was on American Fool and after that album he was known as John Cougar Mellencamp. The main thing is he was known all over after this album.  He had four singles off of that album but two singles were huge. Hurt So Good and Jack and Diane. This song peaked at #2 on the Billboard 100, #3 in Canada, and #39 in New Zealand in 1982. MTV probably helped out a little but they were really good pop/rock songs. John kept his productions more timeless than some other artists. When you listen to many of them now…you don’t say…hey that’s so 80s. It could have been recorded in any era.

Mellencamp would start changing a little with his next album Uh Huh. He would become more of a “Heartland Rocker” and I started to think of him more like Springsteen and Petty. His peak to me came with the album Scarecrow. That is not saying he didn’t have more great albums because he did…but it’s hard to beat Scarecrow. His next six albums after that all went platinum.

Mellencamp’s friend was George Green, who received a composer credit on this song and went on to co-write many of Mellencamp’s hits, including Human Wheels, Crumblin’ Down, and Rain On The Scarecrow.

One thing I never knew…John Mellencamp at one time owned a tattoo parlor. This led to many family members getting tattoos that normally would not have them….like the “Hurts So Good” tattoo on his aunt.

Mellencamp won his first Grammy with this song: Best Male Rock Vocal Performance of 1982. In his acceptance speech he said, “I don’t know what to say, I’m just an idiot.”

John Mellencamp:  “My friend George said, why didn’t I write a song with the title ‘Hurt So Good’? We thought of it as like a Shel Silverstein thing. I wrote it in three minutes, scrawled the first line in soap on the glass door in the shower. It was really just a joke. I think all good things probably started as jokes. Wasn’t God having a laugh when he made this whole place?”

John Mellencamp: “When I first started playing in rock bands, I didn’t realize how crude and mean other fellas could be. How crude they were with women and how crude women were. That led me to write a song called ‘Hurts So Good’ because I was playing in these bars and I just could not believe the lows people would go to with each other. The thing that surprised me is that it fit my personality perfectly. I fit right in with all that.”

Hurts So Good

When I was a young boy
Said put away those young boy ways
Now that I’m gettin’ older, so much older
I long for those young boy days
With a girl like you
With a girl like you
Lord knows there are things we can do, baby
Just me and you
Come on and make it a

Hurt so good
Come on baby, make it hurt so good
Sometimes love don’t feel like it should
You make it hurt so good

Don’t have to be so exciting
Just trying to give myself a little bit of fun, yeah
You always look so inviting
You ain’t as green as you are young
Hey baby, it’s you
Come on girl, now it’s you
Sink your teeth right through my bones, baby
Let’s see what we can do
Come on and make it a

Hurt so good
Come on baby, make it hurt so good
Sometimes love don’t feel like it should
You make it hurt so good

I ain’t talking no big deals
I ain’t made no plans myself
I ain’t talking no high heels
Maybe we could walk around, all day long
Walk around, all day long

Hurt so good
Come on baby, make it hurt so good
Sometimes love don’t feel like it should
You make it hurt so good
Hurt so good
Come on baby, now
Come on baby, make it hurt so good
Sometimes love don’t feel like it should
You make it hurt so good

Hey, hey

Author: Badfinger (Max)

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

37 thoughts on “John Mellencamp – Hurts So Good”

  1. Huge record. Crazy thing is I saw Cougar open for KISS back in 79 as Judas Priest was the announced opener but no-showed so John Cougar and the Zone got the gig and were royally booed the whole set. This was my first ever concert and I was like…”does this happen to all openers” lol..Yet Johnny had the last laugh when this album dropped. I like his 80’s into the early 90s output..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yea man…substituting an unknown Cougar for Judas Priest at the time was probably not a good idea lol. The two are not exactly interchangeable.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Lol… yea I could see that. If you have gone to see Van Halen back then you probably would have seen the same thing. I’ve read where their early opening bands were booed constantly.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. BTO went over really well from what I understand and when I caught VH back in 2012, Kool and The Gang opened and went over very well. They opened with Fresh ….great stuff

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thats hard for me to compute dude….I like Kool and the Gang…and that is a weird bill but it worked…had to be Diamond Dave’s idea.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. That is a mixture lol. Kinda like the Monkees and Jimi Hendrix and The Ramones and Toto. It doesn’t compute

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  2. Great artist, so-so song but I am glad it really put him on the map! I think like you I’d heard ‘Ain’t Even Done With the Night’ and ‘I Need a Lover’ by him before this, but hadn’t really impacted me or made me know his name. This changed that, and then the next single, ‘JAck & Diane’ really grabbed me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We played this one back in the day because it was so easy but it went over well. People were shocked we were actually playing something in the same decade!
      I always thought Ain’t Even Done With The Night was a hidden gem of his…but like you…this and Jack and Diane made me notice him. MTV loved him at the time.

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  3. I really liked the albums before this. I knew the guy would continue to make good music. He has to the present. I always thought it was cool when folks I like got together, Case in point was when JM produced a Blasters record (Blasters are coming up a lot for me. I think I like them)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ain’t Even Done With The Night is probably one of my favorite songs by him…I think it was on that album you are talking about. The line “And Sam Cooke’s singin’ on the radio” won me over.
      Thats right he did produce them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah those two albums before this one, I listened to a lot. They hold a special spot in my music listening. You mentioned ‘Scarecrow’. Good album also. Always thought it was cool that he quoted McMurtry (Hud) on ‘Lonely Ol’ Night’.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. While I do like John Mellencamp’s transformation to roots and Americana rocker, I love the man in pretty much all his incarnations since 1979’s “John Cougar” album. He first got on my radar screen with “Jack and Diane” in ’82. “R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.” three years later made me buy “Scarecrow” on CD, the first of at least 10 Mellencamp albums I own – interestingly, far more than Tom Petty or Bruce Springsteen for that matter. If I would have to pick one Mellencamp album, I think I’d still go with “The Lonesome Jubilee”, the follow-on to “Scarecrow”, which started his transformation away from straight Heartland rock toward roots and Americana.

    John is about to kick off a fairly extensive North American tour. I’ve seen him twice, and while both gigs were great, for now, I’m undecided whether I want to see him for a third time. I think I’d rather invest in concerts by artists I haven’t seen yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I also like a song called To M.G. (Wherever She May Be) off of his earlier albums. Yea I like that stretch of albums from Uh Huh until the 90s… looking at his discography he had a lot of songs and albums.

      I saw him in the early 90s and he was great.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I had to look that one up, Max, even though I believe I have the album (“Nothin’ Matters and What If It Did”) – I guess it’s been a while this John Mellencamp fan has actually listened to his albums! 🙂

        Nice tune – I can hear some Jackson Browne in here. And, man, John looked really young on that cover!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Damn fine album. My first JCM 45 was Ain’t Even… Scarecrow was my favorite album. What surprised me was, my dad loved Hurts So Good. I didn’t think he liked anything past the 70s (mostly 50s & 60s).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We played Ain’t Even Done With The Night and if I may say…we sounded awesome. I sang that one…it was in my wheelhouse. In fact….I sang all of the Mellencamp songs we did. Hurt So Good and Small Town also.

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      1. No we didn’t do that one. I believe those three are the only ones we did….he was one of the few modern artists we could relate to.
        I remember the newest song we ever did was Old Man Down The Road while it was still on the charts….of course it sounded old.

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