Charlie's 80s Blog

This Day In Music, October 2nd

On this day in 1982: John Cougar (aka John Mellencamp) went to #1 on both the U.S. album and singles chart with the album ‘American Fool’ and the single ‘Jack & Diane’.

“Jack & Diane” was released as the second single from Mellencamp’s 1982 album ‘American Fool’, and was chosen by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) as one of the Songs of the Century. It spent four weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1982 and is Mellencamp’s most successful hit single.

According to Mellencamp, “Jack & Diane” was based on the 1962 Tennessee Williams film ‘Sweet Bird of Youth’.  He said of recording the song: “‘Jack & Diane’ was a terrible record to make. When I play it on guitar by myself, it sounds great; but I could never get the band to play along with me. That’s why the arrangement’s so weird. Stopping and starting, it’s not very musical.” Mellencamp has also stated that the clapping was used only to help keep time and was supposed to be removed in the final mix. However, he chose to leave the clapping in once he realized that the song would not work without it. In 2014 Mellencamp revealed that the song was originally about an interracial couple, where Jack was African-American and not a football star, but he was persuaded by the record company to change it

Here’s a look at the complete Top 20 on the U.S. singles chart from this day back in 1982:

1 2 JACK & DIANE –•– John Cougar (Riva)-11 (1 week at #1) (1)
2 1 ABRACADABRA –•– The Steve Miller Band (Capitol)-19 (1)
3 3 HARD TO SAY I’M SORRY –•– Chicago (Full Moon)-18 (1)
4 4 EYE OF THE TIGER –•– Survivor (Scotti Brothers)-18 (1)
5 5 YOU SHOULD HEAR HOW SHE TALKS ABOUT YOU –•– Melissa Manchester (Arista)-20 (5)
6 6 EYE IN THE SKY –•– The Alan Parsons Project (Arista)-14 (6)
7 7 WHO CAN IT BE NOW –•– Men At Work (Columbia)-13 (7)
8 8 SOMEBODY’S BABY –•– Jackson Browne (Asylum)-10 (8)
9 15 I KEEP FORGETTIN’ (Every Time You’re Near) –•– Michael McDonald (Warner Brothers)-9 (9)
10 9 HURTS SO GOOD –•– John Cougar (Riva)-24 (2)

11 12 YOU CAN DO MAGIC –•– America (Capitol)-10 (11)
12 14 BLUE EYES –•– Elton John (Geffen)-13 (12)
13 39 HEART ATTACK –•– Olivia Newton-John (MCA)-5 (13)
14 21 I RAN (So Far Away) –•– A Flock Of Seagulls (Jive)-13 (14)
15 27 BREAK IT TO ME GENTLY –•– Juice Newton (Capitol)-7 (15)
16 16 THINK I’M IN LOVE –•– Eddie Money (Columbia)-14 (16)
17 17 ONLY TIME WILL TELL –•– Asia (Geffen)-11 (17)
18 18 LET ME TICKLE YOUR FANCY –•– Jermaine Jackson (Motown)-11 (18)
19 19 HOLD ON –•– Santana (Columbia)-8 (19)
20 20 DO YOU WANNA TOUCH ME (Oh Yeah) –•– Joan Jett and the Blackhearts (Boardwalk)-10 (20)

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