Hurts So Good

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This article is about the John Mellencamp song. For the Astrid S song, see Hurts So Good (Astrid S song). For the Jimmy Somerville song, see Hurt So Good. For the Millie Jackson song, that was later covered by Susan Cadogan, see It Hurts So Good.
"Hurts So Good"
Single by John Cougar
from the album American Fool
B-side "Close Enough"
Released April 1982 (April 1982)
Format 7" 45 RPM
Recorded 1982 at Cherokee Studios, Los Angeles, California[1]
Genre Rock
Length 3:39[1]
Label Riva
Writer(s) John Mellencamp, George Green
Producer(s) John Mellencamp, Don Gehman[1]
Certification Gold (RIAA)[2]
John Cougar singles chronology
"Ain't Even Done with the Night"/"Make Me Feel" (1981) "Hurts So Good"/"Close Enough (1982) "Jack & Diane"/"Can You Take It" (1982)
Music video
"Hurts So Good" on YouTube

"Hurts So Good" is a song from 1982 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[3] 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.

Background and recording[edit]

"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 shower and the first lines created were those of the chorus, written by Mellencamp. He then repeated the lines to Green and they finished the song very quickly.[4] 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."[5]

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).[1]

Music video[edit]

Much of the video was filmed in Medora, Indiana, a small town located approximately 20 miles southwest of Seymour, Indiana, where Mellencamp was born and raised.



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.[6] The song was listed at #83 on Billboard's Greatest Songs of All Time.[6] The song also reached #39 on the New Zealand Top 50.[7] The song was also a hit in Canada reaching #3 on RPM magazine's Top 50 Singles chart.[8] In South Africa, [9] the song reached number 5.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d The Best That I Could Do 1978–1988 (CD liner). John Mellencamp. U.S.A.: Mercury Records. 1997. p. 9. 314 536 738-2. 
  2. ^ Type in "Hurts So Good" under Title
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 8th Edition (Billboard Publications), page 418.
  4. ^ 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.A.: Mercury Records. p. 6. 314 536 738-2. 
  5. ^ "John Mellencamp Interview". American Songwriter. January 2005. 
  6. ^ a b The Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Songs.
  7. ^ Steffen Hung. "John Cougar - Hurts So Good". Retrieved 2012-01-06. 
  8. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2012-01-06. 
  9. ^ Retrieved 15 May 2015

External links[edit]