By Adam Waldman
Feel Good Friday is an ongoing feature on Hard Rock Daddy. We will be continue to add new songs to the “FEEL GOOD ROCK SONGS” playlist (see YouTube link below). You can go directly to the YouTube video for each song by clicking on link before the write-up.
JOHN COUGAR MELLENCAMP – “I Need A Lover” (1978)
How close were we to not having John Cougar Mellencamp (or any variation of his monikers) as a major part of music history? According to a 2013 article in Rolling Stone, closer than you might think. Three albums in (none of which sold very well), it was sink or swim time for Cougar Mellencamp. In his own words… “I was washed up and over by my mid-twenties. Then two producers named Chinn and Chapman heard ‘I Need A Lover,’ and they had Pat Benatar sing it. It was her first big hit, and mine went to number one in Australia. It became a semi-hit in America, and it let me make another album.”
While I appreciate Benatar’s cover, the original version is far superior to me. There is a long musical intro before the lyrics kick in (longer than what would normally get played on radio), but it really sets the uplifting tone for the song. With its summer vibe, the music is what makes this a feel-good classic. The lyrics don’t exactly scream “feel-good,” but the delivery does, and that’s what’s most important.
ORLEANS – “Still The One” (1976)
Unlike John Cougar Mellencamp’s “I Need A Lover,” “Still The One” – by Woodstock, NY band Orleans – not only uplifts you with the music and vocals, but the lyrics as well. The song was written by Johanna and John Hall. According to Orleans bass player Lance Hoppen, “Johanna wrote the lyrics after a friend asked her why somebody couldn’t write a song about staying together as opposed to breaking up.” After the lyrics were written on an envelope, John wrote the music in about 15 minutes.
Until I read about the origin of this song, it never really dawned on me that songs about lasting relationships are much less common than those about heartbreak. Orleans had other feel-good songs, but for my money, this one is their best.
Interested in sharing your favorite feel good songs to help build this playlist?
Go to the Hard Rock Daddy Facebook page and send us a message letting us know which songs you would like to write about.