The track is the debut single from Mellencamp’s forthcoming album, due for release in 2022.
On “Wasted Days,” the legendary musicians offer up a jangly, acoustic tune dripping with nostalgia. The country rock-tinged track sees Mellencamp and Springsteen taking turns with lead vocal duties, at one point wondering: “How many days are lost in vain / Who’s counting down these last remaining years? / How many minutes do we have left?”
Both musicians join forces for the track’s chorus: “Wasted days, Wasted days / We watch our lives just fade away to more wasted days.”
The song’s lush musical arrangement, including mandolin, accordion, drums, bass, acoustic and electric guitars, further add warmth and vulnerability to the track. Listen to “Wasted Days” below.
Rumors of Mellencamp and Springsteen working together have been running rampant for months. In April, Twitter was abuzz after the two men were spotted having lunch together in Bloomington, Ind. (where Mellencamp lives). A month later, Mellencamp officially confirmed the collaboration. “Bruce is singing on the new record and is playing guitar,” he told Billboard during Clive Davis’ virtual 2021 Grammy gala.
Mellencamp’s as-yet-untitled 2022 album will be the the 25th studio LP of his career, following 2018’s covers album Other’s People’s Stuff. Earlier this year, the rocker released a teaser for the release, featuring a new song titled “I Always Lie to Strangers.” At that time, Mellencamp also indicated that he was eyeing a return to touring in 2022.
Springsteen, meanwhile, most recently released his album Letter to You in 2020.
John Mellencamp Albums Ranked
A pre-fab pop singer turned heartland rocker turned rootsy moralist, John Mellencamp has had almost as many career turns as names.