Jake Owen has his fastest-rising single so far with "I Was Jack (You Were Diane)," his reinterpretation of John Mellencamp's classic hit from 1982.
Though Jake was less than a year old when the original was released, he says "Jack & Diane" has long been a touchstone for him.
"When they said 'What kind of songs do you feel like you want to do on this new record?'," he explains, "I said, 'Jack & Diane. I need a bunch of 'Jack and Dianes.' And they were like, 'What do you mean?'"
"And I said, 'Well...think about the songs in my career that have been hits, [like] "The One That Got Away," which I wrote about growing up, the girl that came to town that summer and left and never came back again.'"
"It's that nostalgic feeling of where did that go?" Jake continues. "And 'Barefoot Blue Jean Night.' Lines in that song: We're never gonna grow up. We're never gonna slow down.'"
Jake drives that message home, in a cinematic new ten-minute mini-movie set to "I Was Jack (You Were Diane)."
"It's the songs that allow you, for three minutes, to relive a part of your life, and go 'Man, I wish I could go back,'" he goes on. "The fact is, you can't go back. But with music and songs like 'Jack & Diane,' with a melody and lyrics, they can take you back to that moment instantly."
At 36, even Jake admits to waxing sentimental sometimes.
"That's what I do these days in my own life," he confesses. "I'll sometimes sit there and close my eyes and start laughing about something that happened way back in the day. And I've not found a song up unto this point... that exemplified those kind of feelings."
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