John Mellencamp boxed set crams 35 years of music onto 19 discs

If you’re a hardcore John Mellencamp fan and you just lost your entire Mellencamp CD collection because your house burned down, and now you’ve gotta go live in a small apartment without a lot of space for discs, have I got the thing for you.

Tomorrow (July 22), Universal Music Canada is releasing John Mellencamp 1978-2012, which compiles 19 of his albums into one small box. It ain’t cheap, but you do get a total of 223 tracks for your money. And hey–you had replacement insurance for your personal belongings, right?

As well as as classic ’80s roots-rock masterworks like Scarecrow (“Rain on the Scarecrow”, “Lonely Ol’ Night”, “Rumbleseat”) and The Lonesome Jubilee (“Paper in Fire”, “Check It Out”, “Cherry Bomb”), the package includes such underrated ’90s gems as Whenever We Wanted (one of my all-time faves) and Human Wheels.

The collection also includes the out-of-print 1992 Falling from Grace soundtrack, which includes country selections from the likes of Dwight Yoakam, Lisa Germano, and John Prine, as well as Mellencamp himself, who directed the film.

A few of the CDs include a bonus track that wasn’t on the original release, but that’s it as far as extras go. There’s nothing else in this no-frills set, no souvenirs or memorabilia, no hardcover books packed with pictures of Mellencamp on stage or in the studio.

But we all know what he looks like anyway, right?

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