mr happy go lucky

Everyone’s got their favorite album. And while it’s easy to list Dark Side of the Moon, Thriller, or Led Zeppelin IV as the greatest album ever in terms of numbers, personal favorites are different.

This afternoon the song Full Catastrophe of Life popped up in the playlist and I was reminded once again how much I love the album Mr. Happy Go Lucky by John Mellencamp. Every haunting, deeply textured song resonates with me. Sure, Mellencamp is known for some pop hits in the 80s (which I mostly don’t like), but this album from 1996 is different. It’s darker and more provocative than anything he’d done before that point. This is his first album after suffering a major heart attack in 1994, and after one listen it’s clear that his brush with death had a major influence on it.

Rather than post bad videos of every song (hey, it was 1996), here’s the link to the album on Spotify. I highly recommend one full, contiguous listen before you die. The ambient transitions alone are worth the 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, here’s the video for the one commercial hit that came from the album. And yes, that’s Matthew McConaughey.


Sea Dream
The Power of Word-Of-Mouth

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.