Hurts So Good
|"Hurts So Good"|
|Single by John Cougar|
|from the album American Fool|
|Format||7-inch 45 rpm|
|Studio||Cherokee, Los Angeles|
|Songwriter(s)||John Mellencamp, George Green|
|Producer(s)||John Mellencamp, Don Gehman|
|John Cougar singles chronology|
"Hurts So Good" is a song by American singer-songwriter John Mellencamp, then performing under the stage name "John Cougar." The song was a number two hit on the Billboard Hot 100 for the singer/songwriter. It was the first of three major hit singles from his 1982 album American Fool. The others were "Jack & Diane" and "Hand to Hold On To," which were all released in 1982. The song was also a critical success with Mellencamp winning the Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male at the 25th Grammy Awards on February 23, 1983.
Background and recording
"Hurts So Good" was written by Mellencamp and George Green, Mellencamp's childhood friend and occasional writing partner. The song was first conceived, Mellencamp claims, in his baby's crib. John claims to have had an epiphany with a girl named Tiffany the day before who had uttered the phrase "Hurt so good" referring to an acupuncture treatment she was receiving from John's paternal grandmother. He then repeated the lines to Green and they finished the song very quickly. In 2004, Mellencamp expounded on the writing of "Hurts So Good" in an interview with American Songwriter magazine: "George Green and I wrote that together. We exchanged lines back and forth between each other and laughed about it at the time. Then I went and picked up the guitar, and within seconds, I had those chords."
The song was recorded at Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles, California and was engineered by Don Gehman and George Tutko. Backing Mellencamp were Larry Crane & Mike Wanchic (guitars, backing vocals), Kenny Aronoff (drums), George "Chocolate" Perry (bass) and Dave Parman (backing vocals).
- John Cougar – lead vocals
- Larry Crane – guitar, background vocals
- Mike Wanchic – guitar, background vocals
- Kenny Aronoff – drums
- George "Chocolate" Perry – bass
The song hit number one on Billboard's Hot Tracks mainstream rock chart. It peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 on August 7, 1982 and, although it failed to make number one, it spent 16 weeks in the top 10, the longest time for any song in the 1980s. It was kept off the top spot by "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor. The song was listed at #83 on Billboard's Greatest Songs of All Time. The song also reached #39 on the New Zealand Top 50. The song was also a hit in Canada reaching #3 on RPM magazine's Top 50 Singles chart. In South Africa,  the song reached number 5.
- The Best That I Could Do 1978–1988 (CD liner). John Mellencamp. US: Mercury Records. 1997. p. 9. 314 536 738-2.
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 8th Edition (Billboard Publications), page 418.
- White, Timothy (1997). "Who's to Say the Way a Man Should Spend His Days: The First Two Hundred Years of the John Mellencamp Story". The Best That I Could Do 1978–1988 (CD liner). John Mellencamp. U.S.: Mercury Records. p. 6. 314 536 738-2.
- "John Mellencamp Interview". American Songwriter. January 2005.
- The Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Songs.
- Steffen Hung. "John Cougar - Hurts So Good". charts.org.nz. Archived from the original on 2011-09-26. Retrieved 2012-01-06.
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- http://www.rock.co.za/files/springbok_top_20_(M).html Retrieved 15 May 2015
- "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". Retrieved 7 January 2019.
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- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. Australian Chart Book, St Ives, N.S.W. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
- "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". collectionscanada.gc.ca.
- Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles, December 25, 1982