In addition, he holds the record for the most tracks by a solo artist to hit number one on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, with seven. He has amassed 22 Top 40 hits in the United States.His daughter, Michelle, later became a mother at age 19, making Mellencamp a grandfather at 37.Mellencamp attended Vincennes University, a two-year college in Vincennes, Indiana, starting in 1972.At Gaff's request, Mellencamp moved to London, England, for nearly a year to record, promote and tour behind 1978's A Biography. The worst thing was that I could have gone on making records like that for hundreds of years.The record wasn't released in the United States, but it yielded a No. Riva Records added "I Need a Lover" to Mellencamp's next album released in the United States, 1979's John Cougar, where the song became a No. Pat Benatar recorded "I Need a Lover" on her debut album In the Heat of the Night. "The singles were stupid little pop songs", he told Record Magazine in 1983. It wasn't like the title was made up – it wasn't supposed to be punky or cocky like some people thought. Me and the guys in the band thought we were finished, anyway. Hell, as long as you sell a few records and the record company isn't putting a lot of money into promotion, you're making money for 'em and that's all they care about. They thought I was going to turn into the next Neil Diamond." In 1982, Mellencamp released his breakthrough album, American Fool, which contained the singles "Hurts So Good", an uptempo rock tune that spent four weeks at No.This is rock music that tells the truth on both its composer and the culture he's observing.and later played in the local bands Trash, Snakepit Banana Barn and the Mason Brothers.
Rolling Stone contributor Anthony De Curtis said: "Mellencamp has created an important body of work that has earned him both critical regard and an enormous audience.At this time, Mellencamp, who had given up drugs and alcohol before graduating from Vincennes University, decided to pursue a career in music and traveled to New York City in an attempt to land a record contract.After about 18 months of traveling back and forth from Indiana to New York City in 19, Mellencamp finally found someone receptive to his music and image in Tony De Fries of Main Man Management."It was too labored over, too thought about, and it wasn't organic enough. According to the February 1986 edition of Creem Magazine, Mellencamp wanted to incorporate the sound of classic '60s rock into Scarecrow, and he gave his band close to a hundred old singles to learn "almost mathematically verbatim" prior to recording the album.The record company thought it would bomb, but I think the reason it took off was – not that the songs were better than my others – but people liked the sound of it, the 'bam-bam-bam' drums. "Learning those songs did a lot of positive things", Mellencamp explained to Creem writer Bill Holdship.