Scarecrow is the eighth album by John Mellencamp. Released in November of 1985, it peaked at #2 on the U.S. charts. The remastered version was released May 24, 2005 on Mercury/Island/UMe and includes one bonus track.
This album contained three Top 10 hits, a record for a Mellencamp album: “R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.,” which peaked at #2 in the U.S.; “Lonely Ol’ Night,” which peaked at #6; and “Small Town,” which also peaked at #6. “Lonely Ol’ Night” also peaked at #1 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, his second chart-topping single on this chart.
In 1989, it was ranked #95 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 greatest albums of the 1980s, saying: “Scarecrow consolidated the band’s rugged, roots-rock thrash and the ongoing maturation of Mellencamp’s lyrics.”Rolling Stone also reported that band spent a month in rehearsals, playing a hundred rock and roll songs from the Sixties before going into the studio. According to the record’s producer, Don Gehman, the idea was to “learn all these devices from the past and use them in a new way with John’s arrangements”. The overall theme of the album is the fading of the American dream in the face of corporate greed. Songs such as “Face of the Nation,” “Minutes to Memories” and “Small Town” have a “bittersweet, reflective tone,” said Rolling Stone.