This song came during a transitional period for Mellencamp, after his first hit but before his star turn. In 1978, "I Need A Lover
," a song from his second album, took off in Australia, giving him a leg up on the other young rockers he was competing against. From there, he set out to create hits, which he felt was essential to his survival - he was a strong-willed, hard-headed country boy who didn't get along with his record label and most industry folks, so unless he could become invaluable, he wasn't going to make it.
"Ain't Even Done with the Night" came from his quest to make hit pop songs, and even thought he has shown no affinity for it, the song became one of his most enduring, showing up on playlists decades after it was first released.
It helped keep him on the charts until his breakthrough fifth album, American Fool
, with the hits "Hurts So Good
" and "Jack & Diane
." After that, he no longer had to care even a little what people think. His songs that followed are the ones he considers his best work.