Marshall Crenshaw first gained notoriety with his 1982 debut album which featured the MTV hit “Someday Someway.” A few years back, he came up with a unique way to deliver music to his fans – he set up a subscription service where, beginning in early 2013, he delivered six EP’s over the course of two years on both vinyl and digital downloads. Each EP had a formula – one new song, one cover song, and one reworked cover of an old Crenshaw composition, plus a bonus track.
Well, he completed that project, and now he’s decided to put the best of the series in an album form – hence #392 The EP Collection. We talk to Crenshaw about his thoughts on completing this project, why he decided to cover the Carpenters, and how under-appreciated Bobby Fuller’s music is.
Marshall Crenshaw released his debut album right at the peak of New Wave’s popularity in 1982, when the world was embracing silly haircuts and synthesizers. Full of melodic hooks, it recalled a time when rock was a little more straight-forward, and featured the hit single “Someday Someway.” Crenshaw has parlayed that success into a career that’s lasted over 30 years, with many twists and turns along the way. His latest endeavor is perhaps his boldest yet – a series of vinyl EPs, via a subscription service, which Crenshaw plans to release over the next two years, all funded by his fans through a successful Kickstarter program. We chat with Crenshaw about why he prefers singles over albums, and how he feels about his first album 30 years later.
Marshall Crenshaw had an MTV hit with “Someday Someway.” That slice of retro-pop came from his self-titled debut, released in 1982 to critical acclaim. Since then, he’s released ten studio albums and built up a cult following for his unique melodic songwriting. Crenshaw has also dabbled in Hollywood, penning songs for soundtracks, as well as making cameo appearances in such films as La Bamba, where he played Buddy Holly. Icon Fetch talks to the power pop pioneer about his roots starring in Beatlemania!. the influence of John Lennon, as well as upcoming new material.
Thursday night marked the 30th anniversary of John Lennon’s death. We pay tribute to one of the most influential musicians in the history of music through a special 2-hour edition of Icon Fetch. The show will feature live calls from listeners and recorded interviews with a wide array of musicians who were affected by Lennon’s talent. Among the guests are May Pang, who was Lennon’s girlfriend during the year and a half “Lost Weekend;” Delbert McClinton, who taught Lennon how to play the harmonica in the early days of the Beatles; and Tommy James, Gary Wright and Wally Bryson of the Raspberries, who all had a chance to meet Lennon during his lifetime.
Other artists include Grammy winners Shelby Lynne and David Lanz; rockers Dwight Twilley and Donnie Iris; melodic songwriters Marshall Crenshaw and Jason Falkner; and underground veterans Peter Case and Steve Wynn. Several authors who have written recent books about the singer, including Robert Rodriguez, Ken Sharp and Keith Elliot Greenberg, will also weigh in with their thoughts.
Marshall Crenshaw – Marshall Crenshaw (review) – CD review –
Want a little sunshine in your Ipod? Marshall Crenshaw’s debut CD is full of simple, yet infectious pop tunes. Both his voice and chord progressions are reminiscent of Buddy Holly’s best work. Jangly guitars and soaring harmonies are everywhere. What makes this such a joy is the lack of any image or attitude.
Most bands attempting something like this would hide behind a cool sneer or haircut (like Elvis Costello or Graham Parker, perhaps), while Crenshaw is content to play it straight in all it’s geeky charm. The album’s best known track, “Someday Someway,” borrows some from Holly’s “Peggy Sue,” while “Mary Anne” has the same simplicity of “Sweet Jane.” The album’s lone cover song, Arthur Alexander’s “Soldier of Love,” sounds right at home with all the other vintage-sounding tunes.
The production is also very clean and sparse, without any keyboards or electronic instruments, letting the songs stand on their own. Be sure to hunt out the “deluxe edition,” featuring several bonus tracks, including the excellent b-side “You’re My Favorite Waste of Time.” His followup, Field Day, would be full of bombastic drums and layered instruments, but Marshall Crenshaw’s debut still sounds as fresh as the day it came out. Guaranteed to get you humming along. –Tony Peters