Top Artists – Marshall Crenshaw

Marshall Crenshaw – Mary Jean & 9 Others – A Desert Island Disc

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

This is my favorite roots rock record of all time. I love the album. It starts off with the driving This Is Easy and never lets up until the very last song, a beautiful ballad, “They Never Will Know.”

The All Music Guide had this to say about MC’s first 3 albums: “…an irresistible combination of masterful pop and vibrant, timeless rock & roll.” They weren’t that impressed with this album.

I am of the opposite opinion. I think this is the album where Marshall got it all together: his best songs, his best production, his most tightly knit band, his best guitar solos — the best the guy had to offer is right here.

I’ve listened to this record well over 100 times. How does somebody play the same record 100 times? I have it on tape in my car, backed with one of my favorite Bonnie Raiitt albums, Nine Lives. I can sing along with every song and know every guitar lick by heart. This music may sound simple on the surface, but it has the essence of great popular music. The songs are heartfelt and catchy.

If you like Buddy Holly, or any of the people that have been influenced by him to produce straight ahead rock and roll, you should like this. (more…)

Marshall Crenshaw’s Debut

More Marshall Crenshaw

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  • A killer copy of Marshall Crenshaw’s debut, earning seriously good Double Plus (A++) sonic grades on both sides
  • Balanced, musical and full throughout – this pressing is a big step up from many of the other originals that we played
  • 5 Stars in Allmusic and a classic of “catchy, relatively unadorned guitar rock.”
  • “The album is an alternately rousing and heartbreaking cycle of infectious pop rockers (“Cynical Girl,” “Rockin’ Around in N.Y.C.,” “She Can’t Dance”) and ballads (“Mary Anne,” “Not for Me”) — none of them clocking in at more than 3:07.”

These songs may seem simple on the surface, but they are heartfelt and catchy, the essence of great popular music. If you like Buddy Holly (and who doesn’t like Buddy Holly?), or any of the people that have been influenced by him to make straight ahead rock and roll, you should find much to like here.

Marshall credits Rockpile and Squeeze as influences on this album. Since I like both those bands, especially Squeeze, this music is right up my alley.

What to Listen For (WTLF)

Less grit – smoother and sweeter sound, something that is not easy to come by on the man’s debut.

A bigger presentation – more size, more space, more room for all the instruments and voices to occupy. The bigger the speakers you have to play this record the better.

More bass and tighter bass. This is fundamentally a pure rock record. It needs weight down low to rock the way the engineers wanted it to. (more…)