Marshall Crenshaw, Downtown (1985)
I still believe in great music-writing – just as much as I believe in great music. It was great music-writing that got me hooked on Marshall Crenshaw; just one of many…I guess he’s the sort of artist that lends himself to the nerd’s appreciation; the music-scribe convinced they’re changing the world firing out that missive, determined to show people the right way as opposed to all the obvious pap that fills people’s ears via the radio. And all of that… I remembered the name – Marshall Crenshaw – from when I first read about him. I was young (ish) and hadn’t come across his name before; this was pre-internet. I held on to the name for years. Finally, when I moved to a bigger city, one with a few record stores (at the time, anyway) I could start digging for all those names I remembered; had stored up for my misspent youth devouring so many music bios and mags and listening to whatever I could. Marshall Crenshaw doesn’t deserve more over-the-top/go-nowhere praise (from me, because who am I) but hey, he really is the one that got away isn’t he? Writing like that – and it all seemed to go nowhere. I don’t understand that at all. This record is brilliant. Several of his records are brilliant. T-Bone Burnett, Tony Levin, Mitchell Froom – the credits here suggest an embarrassment of riches. The songs reward over and over. The songs are perfect pop gems. The songs are the thing. And when he was on form Marshall Crenshaw was king. Even if only a small handful of people seemed to know and care.
Sample Track: I’m Sorry (But So Is Brenda Lee)
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