John Mellencamp - Big Daddy
John Mellencamp - Big Daddy

John Mellencamp - Big Daddy

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Big Daddy is the 10th studio album by American singer-songwriter and musician John Mellencamp, released in 1989 by Mercury Records. It was his last album to be released under the name John Cougar Mellencamp, a combination of his real name and his original stage name of Johnny Cougar. The album peaked at number seven on the Billboard 200 and contained the singles "Pop Singer" and "Jackie Brown," which peaked at No. 15 and 48, respectively, on the Billboard Hot 100. A re-mastered version of the album was released on May 24, 2005, and contains a bonus acoustic version of "Jackie Brown." Like The Lonesome Jubilee, Big Daddy is folk-inspired as violins and fiddles (among other instruments) are significantly utilized on a number of tracks. The album's lyrics largely take a serious tone and the album as a whole is regarded by some as Mellencamp's most reflective.

AllMusic Review by

Continuing with the folk inclinations of The Lonesome Jubilee, John Mellencamp recorded his most ambitious and serious-minded album with Big Daddy. Mellencamp produced the record himself, giving the album a concise and stripped-down sound, which help give his songs the appearance of being gritty statements of truth. Unfortunately, Mellencamp isn't saying nearly as much as he believes he is, since his lyrics tend to be clichéd and half-baked, making much of the album feel pompous and self-serving. This is only reinforced by the lack of rockers on Big Daddy, since he saves the most carefree moment -- a ripping cover of the Hombres' "Let It Out (Let It All Hang Out)" -- for an unlisted bonus track. Still, when he does hit his target, like on the gentle "Jackie Brown," the stuttering, fiddle-driven "Sometimes a Great Notion," and even the self-pitying "Pop Singer," Mellencamp proves that his talents haven't abandoned him.