Back Covers: John Cougar Mellencamp-Scarecrow(1985)

Scarecrow was a one big rock album back in 1985 even into 1986 as John Cougar Mellencamp on this being his 8th studio release had seven singles released from the Scarecrow’s 11 songs!

Gotta love the 80’s! More is More!

LET’S STEP BACK IN TIME… JCM was an interesting artist to me in the ’80s. I knew of John as he was only known as John Cougar when John opened for KISS in Duluth Minnesota back in October of 1979 a show in which I attended and as well had a couple of firsts for me!

Those ‘First’s’ being…

1-My First ever concert!

2- First time seeing an artist get royally booed throughout there opening set.

Sorry, John. Duluth was expecting Judas Priest who was advertised as ‘The Special Guest’ but canceled. All set long it rained boo’s until he announced the last song in which he got a ‘mock cheer’. A tough crowd in Duluth man! What a show to see as a 12-year-old!

Not that John let that night in Duluth deter him. No folks John soldiered on of course had a huge run of hit songs starting of course with Jack and Diane and Hurts So Good from his American Fool album in 1982.

At the time I didn’t bite on John Cougar. Why I have no idea as his music was even played on our local shitty radio station here in Thunder Bay.

I still couldn’t be bothered. My buddy Muc though loved John’s 1983 release Uh-huh which had Pink Houses and the real cool Authority Song! I still didn’t take the bait that John was serving musically even though it was Rockin.

I couldn’t do it until…John becomes John Cougar Mellencamp and viola unleashes Scarecrow in August of 1985 and with Myself/Muc/Tbone and countless others entering Grade 12 Scarecrow was everywhere.

Lot’s of my friends were going on about how great Scarecrow as the album was and such.  Hell, we had a pal back in High School who loved this album so much, we called him Scarecrow. The funny thing was he was tall and lanky so he fit the bill as a Scarecrow!

Even after all this hype I still didn’t get it until…

I think it was the summer of 1986 and I finally caved and bought Scarecrow on cassette tape for my good old trusty Walkman. With it being on cassette of course on the inside of the tape there were no credits. Nothing! It was blank.


On my last few recent record jaunts to my fav-o place for used vinyl in Thunder Bay (Moon Money Vintage), I noticed Scarecrow in the bins. I kept passing it by yet every time I went back and it was still there. After lots of consideration, I finally decided to pick it up and flip it over and…

LOOK AT THE BACK COVER! GOSH DARN IT...what a brilliant concept!

All the info you need is on the back cover! Band picture! Song titles! You even get the date and times when the songs were recorded for the album. I had no idea!

This is one cool back cover. You have to admit even if you are not a fan of Mellencamp you gotta hand it to him as this was a pretty creative idea.

Out of all the albums I have ever owned whether it was 30 odd years ago or the records that I have currently picked up this is a great concept! To get a better look, just click the picture at the top! All black in white, total standout!

Awesome stuff! I like the fact that back in 1985 it was available on Record/Cassette and CD! Compact Disc?? This was 3 years before I even started buying CD’s which I didn’t start doing until later on in the Spring of 1988!

Creative Cougar was pulling out all the stops on this release! I will say this back cover would fall under the category of simple yet effective!

Well played Little Bastard!

20 thoughts on “Back Covers: John Cougar Mellencamp-Scarecrow(1985)”

  1. Love this album. My favorite Mellencamp album and my favorite song “Rain on the Scarecrow”. I didn’t know he ever opened for Kiss, how awful that must have been for him. Not a good matchup and apparently Duluth people agreed. Good first concert though! I bet you thought the opening act was always supposed to get booed.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. My brothers and I all really like John Cougar. We really like Steve Earle and Springsteen too. They all have that certain Americana feel. Forget the (Lawrence Don’t Call Me Larry Gowan) Mellancamp bullish. It’s John Cougar or even just Cougar. He should have stuck with the Cougar name since they are the ones that flock to his shows now.
    I’ve seen him live a few times but he was always the headliner. Always bangs off the hits. Never booed.
    That must have been something for a 12 year old to see. I bet that may have affected your take on him.
    I get why he was booed though. Back in ’79 Priest had just released Unleashed In The East. They would have been a huge draw. It sucks they could not have made it. Sucks for Cougar to have to face that crowd too. Good on him.

    As for the back cover I love it. One of my big pet peeves with albums is lack of credits. Usually found on the inner sleeve but what if that is missing (which is more than half the time)?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey Bop! Thanks for sharing. That’s a great story about your brothers sharing the same musical tastes…No to sure if it affected my listening to John at all perhaps more to the fact that between buying all the records and magazines back in the early to late 80’s cash could only be spread so thin..
      I will add that 91’s Whenever We Wanted is one of best straight ahead rock albums not to cater to what was popular at the time..


  3. Aye, that’s a great back cover. I only have one or two like that – most notable being a Sons of the Pioneers compilation. It’s a format that should be standard for all albums, I reckon.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I think I did see that first album here way back when. American Fool had JC hitting the big time. The days of getting booed opening for KISS were long over

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I knew your first ever concert was KISS in 79, but don’t think I realize JCM was the opener. Funny story bout him being booed. I wonder if he remembers the show. Might be a question for you famous 10 questions write up.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Why in the world did they have John Cougar open for KISS? I guess a last-minute thing…but still. KISS with full makeup having him to open up just doesn’t compute.

    Liked by 1 person

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