“Hurts So Good” by John Cougar (Mellencamp) (1982)

Before John Mellencamp began taking himself a mite too seriously, he was just a fun rocker guy who hit on a massive earworm with summer ’82’s “Hurts So Good”. “Hurts” broke him wide open, catapulting its parent album American Fool to the top of the album charts and peaking at #2 on Billboard’s Top 100.

The vibe is upbeat and playful (two words you wouldn’t associate with Mellencamp for much longer), the main riff is sliced straight off of a Stones record (actually, it’s not very dissimilar from “Start Me Up”, the Stones hit that found itself atop the charts barely nine months before “Hurts So Good” began its ascent, and although I didn’t have MTV at the time, I’m sure the associated clip assisted in “Hurts”‘ rise to the top, what with its motley crue of dancing, goofy looking rural midwesterners. To this day, “Hurts So Good” can call to mind a carefree, summer day driving down the highway, as so many great rock and roll songs do.

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