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Marshall Crenshaw|Marshall Crenshaw

Marshall Crenshaw

Marshall Crenshaw

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When Marshall Crenshaw portrayed Buddy Holly in the hit 1987 film La Bamba, it was a role he seemed destined to play. Raised in the Detroit suburbs, the singer-songwriter grew up loving '50s rock'n'roll, absorbing the movement's taut songwriting and rockabilly-inspired guitar licks as well as rule-defying attitudes. 


All these things were present in spades on Crenshaw's 1982 self-titled debut LP, which reached No. 50 on the Billboard charts and spawned the top 40 hit "Someday, Someway." That song embodies the album's genius: Crenshaw pairs ringing, buoyant guitar riffs with knotty lyrics that describe miscommunication within a relationship. His melodic tenor voice is empathetic but doesn't reveal the song's true intentions—meaning listeners aren't sure if the lines "All I really want to do/ Is take the love you brought my way/ And give it all right back to you" are precipitating a breakup or merely showing affection.


Crenshaw produced the album alongside Richard Gottehrer—who was fresh off having massive success with The Go-Go's and their 1981 debut album, Beauty and the Beat—and recorded the music in a power trio configuration with bassist Chris Donato and his brother, drummer Robert Crenshaw. The result is polished music that toes the line between modern pop and retro rock, played by a band with the kind of chemistry that results in great things. 


Standouts include the melancholy, proto-Replacements "I'll Do Anything," the harmony-heavy "Girls…" which exudes hopeful swagger and the rockabilly-influenced "The Usual Thing." There's even a hot trotting guitar solo on "She Can't Dance," which adds some welcome heft. 


Crenshaw's clever lyrics are a perfect match for these tunes. His narrators want to see the world and (ideally) also show a partner the sights—as on "Rockin' Around in N.Y.C.," which promises dazzling excitement within city limits—but bravely weather rejection ("There She Goes Again") and offer comfort to others ("Mary Anne"). And then there's "Cynical Girl," one of the greatest romantic-twist songs: rather than looking for someone to snap him out of his jaded ways, the protagonist instead is looking for a partner to match his skeptical outlook.


Crenshaw is on record as not being very fond of the term "power-pop," even if songs like "Mary Anne" and "Someday, Someway" elevated him to an icon within the genre. At least in spirit, however, his music fits in with the wave of smart, early '80s songwriters associated with that genre, such as Phil Seymour and Dwight Twilley. Yet Marshall Crenshaw is a singular pop triumph that transcends genres and eras. © Annie Zaleski/Qobuz

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Marshall Crenshaw

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1
There She Goes Again
00:02:37

Marshall Crenshaw, Composer, MainArtist - Bearboy Music (ASCAP), admin. by BMG, MusicPublisher

1982 Marshall Crenshaw under exclusive license to Yep Roc, LLC 1982 Bearboy Music (ASCAP), admin. by BMG

2
Someday, Someway
00:02:49

Marshall Crenshaw, Composer, MainArtist - Bearboy Music (ASCAP), admin. by BMG, MusicPublisher

1982 Marshall Crenshaw under exclusive license to Yep Roc, LLC 1982 Bearboy Music (ASCAP), admin. by BMG

3
Girls. . .
00:03:02

Marshall Crenshaw, Composer, MainArtist - Bearboy Music (ASCAP), admin. by BMG, MusicPublisher

1982 Marshall Crenshaw under exclusive license to Yep Roc, LLC 1982 Bearboy Music (ASCAP), admin. by BMG

4
I'll Do Anything
00:03:00

Marshall Crenshaw, Composer, MainArtist - Bearboy Music (ASCAP), admin. by BMG, MusicPublisher

1982 Marshall Crenshaw under exclusive license to Yep Roc, LLC 1982 Bearboy Music (ASCAP), admin. by BMG

5
Rockin' Around in N.Y.C.
00:03:08

Marshall Crenshaw, Composer, MainArtist - Bearboy Music (ASCAP), admin. by BMG, MusicPublisher

1982 Marshall Crenshaw under exclusive license to Yep Roc, LLC 1982 Bearboy Music (ASCAP), admin. by BMG

6
The Usual Thing
00:03:02

Marshall Crenshaw, Composer, MainArtist - Jiru Music (ASCAP), MusicPublisher

1982 Marshall Crenshaw under exclusive license to Yep Roc, LLC 1982 Jiru Music (ASCAP)

7
She Can't Dance
00:02:44

Marshall Crenshaw, Composer, MainArtist - F. Todd, Composer - Bearboy Music (ASCAP), admin. by BMG / Cioffi/Todd Music BMI, MusicPublisher - R. Cioffi, Composer

1982 Marshall Crenshaw under exclusive license to Yep Roc, LLC 1982 Bearboy Music (ASCAP), admin. by BMG / Cioffi/Todd Music BMI

8
Cynical Girl
00:02:35

Marshall Crenshaw, Composer, MainArtist - Bearboy Music (ASCAP), admin. by BMG, MusicPublisher

1982 Marshall Crenshaw under exclusive license to Yep Roc, LLC 1982 Bearboy Music (ASCAP), admin. by BMG

9
Mary Anne
00:02:53

Marshall Crenshaw, Composer, MainArtist - Bearboy Music (ASCAP), admin. by BMG, MusicPublisher

1982 Marshall Crenshaw under exclusive license to Yep Roc, LLC 1982 Bearboy Music (ASCAP), admin. by BMG

10
Soldier of Love
00:02:35

Marshall Crenshaw, MainArtist - Tony Moon, Composer - BUZZ CARSON, Composer - Berry Hill Songs (BMI), Bike Music (BMI), Buzz Carson Publishing (ASCAP), MusicPublisher

1982 Marshall Crenshaw under exclusive license to Yep Roc, LLC 1962 Berry Hill Songs (BMI), Bike Music (BMI), Buzz Carson Publishing (ASCAP)

11
Not For Me
00:02:34

Marshall Crenshaw, Composer, MainArtist - Bearboy Music (ASCAP), admin. by BMG, MusicPublisher

1982 Marshall Crenshaw under exclusive license to Yep Roc, LLC 1982 Bearboy Music (ASCAP), admin. by BMG

12
Brand New Lover
00:02:29

Marshall Crenshaw, Composer, MainArtist - Bearboy Music (ASCAP), admin. by BMG, MusicPublisher

1982 Marshall Crenshaw under exclusive license to Yep Roc, LLC 1982 Bearboy Music (ASCAP), admin. by BMG

Presentación del Álbum

When Marshall Crenshaw portrayed Buddy Holly in the hit 1987 film La Bamba, it was a role he seemed destined to play. Raised in the Detroit suburbs, the singer-songwriter grew up loving '50s rock'n'roll, absorbing the movement's taut songwriting and rockabilly-inspired guitar licks as well as rule-defying attitudes. 


All these things were present in spades on Crenshaw's 1982 self-titled debut LP, which reached No. 50 on the Billboard charts and spawned the top 40 hit "Someday, Someway." That song embodies the album's genius: Crenshaw pairs ringing, buoyant guitar riffs with knotty lyrics that describe miscommunication within a relationship. His melodic tenor voice is empathetic but doesn't reveal the song's true intentions—meaning listeners aren't sure if the lines "All I really want to do/ Is take the love you brought my way/ And give it all right back to you" are precipitating a breakup or merely showing affection.


Crenshaw produced the album alongside Richard Gottehrer—who was fresh off having massive success with The Go-Go's and their 1981 debut album, Beauty and the Beat—and recorded the music in a power trio configuration with bassist Chris Donato and his brother, drummer Robert Crenshaw. The result is polished music that toes the line between modern pop and retro rock, played by a band with the kind of chemistry that results in great things. 


Standouts include the melancholy, proto-Replacements "I'll Do Anything," the harmony-heavy "Girls…" which exudes hopeful swagger and the rockabilly-influenced "The Usual Thing." There's even a hot trotting guitar solo on "She Can't Dance," which adds some welcome heft. 


Crenshaw's clever lyrics are a perfect match for these tunes. His narrators want to see the world and (ideally) also show a partner the sights—as on "Rockin' Around in N.Y.C.," which promises dazzling excitement within city limits—but bravely weather rejection ("There She Goes Again") and offer comfort to others ("Mary Anne"). And then there's "Cynical Girl," one of the greatest romantic-twist songs: rather than looking for someone to snap him out of his jaded ways, the protagonist instead is looking for a partner to match his skeptical outlook.


Crenshaw is on record as not being very fond of the term "power-pop," even if songs like "Mary Anne" and "Someday, Someway" elevated him to an icon within the genre. At least in spirit, however, his music fits in with the wave of smart, early '80s songwriters associated with that genre, such as Phil Seymour and Dwight Twilley. Yet Marshall Crenshaw is a singular pop triumph that transcends genres and eras. © Annie Zaleski/Qobuz

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