On the Rural Route 7609 is a box set by rock singer/songwriter John Mellencamp that was released on June 15, 2010. The first part of the title refers to the song "Rural Route" (which is included in two versions) from his 2007 album Freedom's Road and the fact that Mellencamp's music and lifestyle have always been very rural in nature, and 7609 references that the set spans Mellencamp's entire recording career from 1976 to 2009. Said Mellencamp in the set's liner notes: “I started making records in ’76, and the most recent track on the collection was done in ‘09. So Rural Route 7609; it’s like an address. I thought it sounded cool.”
The liner notes for "On the Rural Route 7609" were penned by veteran rock journalist Anthony DeCurtis, who also wrote the liner notes for Eric Clapton's Crossroads and Billy Joel's My Lives. DeCurtis wrote a 4,500-word essay on Mellencamp, and Mellencamp provides track-by-track commentary.
This box set contains four discs and 54 tracks and each disc is set up as an individual album with common themes rather than being presented in chronological order. The purpose behind this set is to highlight Mellencamp's songwriting.
While there are many standard album tracks included on the set, there is also quite a bit of previously unreleased material, although no new unreleased songs. Highlights include Mellencamp's newly recorded version of "Colored Lights" -- a song he wrote for The Blasters in 1985 -- "Jenny at 16," a demo which ultimately became "Jack and Diane," and recently recorded solo acoustic versions of "Sugar Marie" and "To M.G. (Wherever She May Be)." 
Rolling Stone magazine senior editor David Fricke gave "On the Rural Route 7609" four stars in the July 8, 2010 issue. Fricke wrote:
These four CDs come in a hardcover book with the heft and texture of a Dust Bowl-family photo album. The setting suits the purpose. This is a study in storytelling - Mellencamp's drive to probe and capture, with folk grit and a great rock band, the gross injustices and precious victories of American life. The hits come with context: "Jack and Diane" appears with two formative demos. But there is more emphasis on honoring, in songs like "Rural Route" and "Ghost Towns Along the Highway," "the Woody Guthrie ideal": a melody and truth to move the world.