Jake Owen is throwing it back old school with the release of his new single, “I Was Jack (You Were Diane).”
If you hear something familiar when listening to Jake’s new single, it’s because the tune pays homage to John Mellencamp’s 1982 iconic hit, “Jack and Diane.”
“This song takes me back every time I hear it, every time I sing it, every time I play it,” Jake told iHeart Country. “Any time you take a sample of a song where you’re paying homage to a song by using it’s original qualities, which that’s what this song is truly doing. It’s just common courtesy to reach out to the original writers and composers of that original song, John Mellencamp being that guy. We felt it was necessary to reach out to him and get his blessing on it. It was pretty fulfilling to know that he said, ‘Yeah, I like that. You guys run with it.’ So we did. With his blessing I think this make this that much sweeter, so everybody’s excited about it”
While “I Was Jack (You Were Diane)” samples the original music and references a few lines, the new song is quite the opposite of what “Jack & Diane” was about. In 1982 two American kids were going through life together, doing the best they can. Fast forward to 2018 and these two American Jack and Diane-like kids, are now looking back at the good times that are long gone.
Jake talks his way through the verses and sings on the chorus, in the tune written by Tommy Cecil, David Ray, Jody Stevens and Craig Wiseman, with a credit to John Mellencamp.
“Do you turn it up / do you sing along / every time you hear that song like we did then like we did when / do you close your eyes cause they make you laugh / do the memories take you back / to six packs and a Chevy Cheyenne / way back / when I was Jack and you were Diane,” Jake sings in the chorus.
Jake’s debut single on Big Loud Records, the lead track from his upcoming album, is set to hit country radio on March 12.