No Better Than This

Album: No Better Than This (2010)
Play Video


  • This rockabilly shuffle is the title track and lead single from John Mellencamp's 21st album. The song was sent to multiple radio formats on June 28, 2010.
  • Mellencamp and producer T-Bone Burnett recorded the 13 mono tracks for the album during the summer of 2009 using a 1955 Ampex portable recording machine and only one microphone, requiring all the musicians to gather together around the mic. Mellecamp explained to Billboard magazine that the lo-fi recording process was "just trying to go 180 degrees away from the prefabbed place where pop music is now," capturing the live, present energy of a performance rather than a polished studio production. "All the records that we loved, that we grew up loving, were made that way - James Brown's records, those first five Rolling Stones records, those early Dylan records," he noted. "You felt like you were sitting next to them and they were playing those songs. That's the quality that music has lost, that technology has taken away from us... so we got them back on this record. It sounds authentic."
  • The album was recorded while Mellencamp was on the road with Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson. It features members of his band plus guests such as guitarist Marc Ribot and former Johnny Cash upright bassist Dave Roe. The tracks were laid down at various historic locations, such as the First African Baptist Church in Savannah, Georgia, the historic Sun Studios in Memphis and the Sheraton Gunter Hotel in San Antonio, where blues pioneer Robert Johnson made his first recordings in November of 1936. "This is my 25th album," Mellencamp explained to Billboard magazine. "I liked the idea that there was a story behind the record other than, 'OK, here's just another John Mellencamp record. So the fact there is a back story of the Savannah church and Sun Studios and Room 414...I thought those are all places I would want to visit anyway, wouldn't it be great to just record there?"


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

History Of Rock

History Of RockSong Writing

An interview with Dr. John Covach, music professor at the University of Rochester whose free online courses have become wildly popular.

Charlie Daniels

Charlie DanielsSongwriter Interviews

Charlie discusses the songs that made him a Southern Rock icon, and settles the Devil vs. Johnny argument once and for all.

Bass Player Scott Edwards

Bass Player Scott EdwardsSong Writing

Scott was Stevie Wonder's bass player before becoming a top session player. Hits he played on include "I Will Survive," "Being With You" and "Sara Smile."

Graham Parker

Graham ParkerSongwriter Interviews

When Judd Apatow needed under-appreciated rockers for his Knocked Up sequel, he immediately thought of Parker, who just happened to be getting his band The Rumour back together.

Little Richard

Little RichardFact or Fiction

Was Long Tall Sally a cross-dresser? Did he really set his piano on fire? See if you know the real stories about one of rock's greatest innovators.

Famous Singers' First Films

Famous Singers' First FilmsSong Writing

A look at the good (Diana Ross, Eminem), the bad (Madonna, Bob Dylan) and the peculiar (David Bowie, Michael Jackson) film debuts of superstar singers.