Personnel: John Cougar (vocals); Michael Wanchic, Larry Crane (guitar); Jeff "Skunk" Baxter (steel guitar); Doc Rosser, John Jarvis (piano); Kenny Aronoff (vibraphone); Robert Frank (bass); Rick Shlosser, Ed Green (drums); Susan Duitch" Helmer (background vocals).
Personnel: John Cougar (vocals); Larry Cranem, Larry Crane (guitar, background vocals); Jeff Baxter (pedal steel guitar); Robert Frank (bass guitar); Ed Green , Ed Green (drums); Duitch Helmer, Susan Helmer (background vocals); Mike Wanchic (guitar, background vocals); David Woodford (saxophone); John Jarvis, Doc Rosser (piano); Kenny Aronoff (vibraphone); Rick Shlosser (drums).
Audio Mixers: Dee Robb; Bruce Robb.
Audio Remasterer: Bob Ludwig.
Photographer: Jimmy Wachtel.
NOTHIN' MATTERS AND WHAT IF IT DID (1980) showed John Cougar moving slowly but surely toward the sound that would bring him enormous commercial success with 1982's AMERICAN FOOL. While Cougar's earliest albums were dominated by a slick rock sound that owed a fair bit to both Bruce Springsteen's passionate approach and the Rolling Stones' bluesy raunch, NOTHIN' MATTERS diversifies that sound, adding elements of R&B, country, and the poppy folk-rock that would keep Cougar a superstar throughout the '80s.
Two songs from NOTHIN' MATTERS were Top 40 hits: the bouncy "This Time" and the gentle "Ain't Even Done with the Night," one of Cougar's strongest early tunes. Cougar's allegiance to Springsteen-style narratives and vocal inflections is still apparent (on "To M.G. [Wherever She May Be]" and "Wild Angel," in particular), yet he synthesizes his influences effectively here, while simultaneously mixing in more genres and simplifying his sound. NOTHIN' MATTERS signals the beginning of his signature style--rootsy, honest, and full of conviction.