This swamp-rocker was originally written in the early 1990s by John Mellencamp's cousin, Bobby Clark, who plays in a band in Indiana. Mellencamp contributed to the melody and the arrangement. The singer told American Songwriter that he had been toying with recording the tune for a while, before eventually laying it down for his Sad Clowns & Hillbillies album.
"That song was written many, many years ago by myself and my cousin, Bobby Clark," Mellencamp said. "It's been hanging around the vault since forever. I pull it out and work on it now and then, but it never really worked. Finally on this record it seemed to gel."
According to NPR, "Grandview" is "sung from the perspective a working-class middle-aged man whose biggest dream is outfitting himself with a trailer and getting out of town."
Former Guns N' Roses guitarist Izzy Stradlin makes a guest appearance on the track. Stradlin previously played on Mellencamp's song "Miss Missy," which was included on the rocker's 1998 eponymous album.
Also featured on the track is country singer Martina McBride, who sings the song's bridge. McBride said of her involvement: "At that time...the head of both of our labels was Scott Borchetta and he just put it together. I was just thrilled to do it because [Mellencamp] has been a part of the soundtrack of my life."