John Cougar (album)

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John Cougar
John Cougar Album.jpg
Studio album by John Cougar
Released July 27, 1979 (1979-07-27)[1]

Criteria Studios, Miami, 1979

("I Need a Lover" recorded at AIR Studios, London, England in 1978)
Genre Heartland rock
Length 43:20
Label Riva
Producer Ron Albert & Howard Albert;
John Punter ("I Need a Lover")
John Cougar chronology
A Biography
John Cougar
Nothin' Matters and What If It Did
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars [2]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 2.5/5 stars [3]

John Cougar (titled Miami in Australia) is the third album released by John Mellencamp and the first under the name "John Cougar." Released in 1979, following the Australian success of "I Need a Lover" from the previous year's A Biography (which did not receive a U.S. release), the album included the aforementioned track for U.S. audiences, as well as a re-working of A Biography's "Taxi Dancer."

"I Need a Lover," upon the release of this album, became a Top 40 hit in the U.S. after having been a No. 1 hit in Australia in 1978 when it was released as a single from A Biography. "Miami" was also a hit single in Australia and became his second Top 40 hit in that country. "I Need a Lover" was subsequently covered by Pat Benatar on her album In the Heat of the Night. In the U.S., however, "Small Paradise" was released as a single in place of "Miami," but it was not very successful, peaking at #87 on the Billboard Hot 100. During concerts to promote the album, guitarist Mike Wanchic would trade lead vocals with Mellencamp on "Miami."

Mellencamp recorded a solo acoustic rendition of "Sugar Marie" for his 2010 box set On the Rural Route 7609, stating in the set's liner notes: "'Sugar Marie' suffered from young musicians not knowing how to present the music. I've always had an affection for the song, and I've always known it had something I didn't get at on the album."

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by John Mellencamp, except where noted.

  1. "A Little Night Dancin'" – 3:43
  2. "Small Paradise" – 3:40
  3. "Miami" – 3:53
  4. "The Great Midwest" – 4:29
  5. "Do You Think That's Fair" – 4:48
  6. "I Need a Lover" – 5:35
  7. "Welcome to Chinatown" – 3:59
  8. "Sugar Marie" – 4:16
  9. "Pray for Me" – 3:30 (Mellencamp/Brian BecVar)
  10. "Taxi Dancer" – 5:02
  11. "Take Home Pay" (2005 re-issue bonus track) – 3:10



Billboard (North America)

Year Chart Position
1980 Pop Albums 64

Billboard (North America)

Year Single Chart Position
1979 "I Need a Lover" The Billboard Hot 100 28
1980 "Small Paradise" The Billboard Hot 100 87


  • John Mellencamp - vocal, guitar
  • Brian BecVar - piano, keyboards
  • Larry Crane - guitars, backing vocals
  • Mike Wanchic - guitars, backing vocals
  • Robert "Ferd" Frank - bass
  • Tom Knowles - drums