VH1 has put it in “large rotation,” meaning it will get 14 to 16 plays a week. The GAC (Great American Country) channel will add it shortly, while the competing CMT will put it up on its Web site initially.
Meanwhile, “Troubled Land” continues to garner exposure outside the traditional means of pop radio. Following Mellencamp’s performance of it last week on “Good Morning America” followed by a phone-in radio interview on “The Stephanie Miller Show,” the song will now be heard on the Nov. 11 episode of CBS-TV’s “NCIS” Navy police series.
Mellencamp’s conversation with Miller illustrates not only the significance of “Troubled Land” as social commentary, but also the provocative imagery of its video. Miller, who identified herself as “a huge fan” of Mellencamp, lauded both for pointing out “a whole lot of things about a country in need of repair.” Specifically noting the video’s foreclosure sign and rapidly increasing gas pump pricing, she credited Mellencamp with “really talking about what people are going through.”
Miller also referenced Mellencamp’s statement accompanying Huffington Post’s premiere of the clip, in which he said he recorded “Troubled Land” as a means of “[giving] folks the news like Woody Guthrie used to do with his music.” But she agreed with Huffington Post that the video ended with “a message of hope” in its depiction of a baby crawling across an American flag.
“The video and song are really realistic about what’s going on and how many people are really hurting,” she said, then observed a “rebirth and idealism” symbolized by the baby.
“After World War II America really was a great country—and we seem to keep falling down the ladder,” responded Mellencamp. “It was a great country then and can be a great country again because we have the doctrine to follow and to live by.”