John Mellencamp Shares New ‘Scarecrow’-Era Song ‘Carolina Shag’

John Mellencamp has shared a new song called “Carolina Shag” off the upcoming deluxe reissue of his 1985 album ScarecrowYou can hear it below.

The Scarecrow Deluxe reissue will hit shelves on Nov. 4 as a two-CD box set containing a remastered version of the original album, alternate versions and unreleased bonus tracks, as well as a photo booklet and new liner notes by author and music critic Anthony DeCurtis. The “super deluxe edition box set” will additionally include a 2022 Atmos mix of the original album on Blu-Ray CD, a 180-gram LP, an original picture sleeve of the “Small Town” 7-inch single, a photo booklet, lithographs, a poster and an essay.

According to Paul Rees’ 2021 biography Mellencamp, “Carolina Shag” was part of the initial batch of good-time rock ‘n’ roll songs that Mellencamp had begun writing for the follow-up to his 1983 album Uh-huh. But the songwriter then changed course and began to make more bristling, introspective music.

The latter came to define Scarecrow, a bittersweet album about the death of the American dream and oppressive corporate greed. The LP hit No. 2 on the Billboard 200, went five-times platinum and spawned three Top 10 hits: “Small Town” (No. 6), “Lonely Ol’ Night” (No. 6) and “R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.” (No. 2).

Mellencamp will embark on the sprawling Live and In Person tour early next year. The five-month, 76-date trek will begin on Feb. 5 in Bloomington, Ind., and conclude on June 24 in South Bend, Ind. The tour announcement coincided with Mellencamp’s appearance at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, where he has a new permanent exhibit, “Legends of Rock: John Mellencamp.” The exhibit features Mellencamp’s 1976 Fender Telecaster Custom guitar and the studio tracking chart for his chart-topping 1982 hit “Jack & Diane.”

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. 

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