Your rating(Clear)Rate this item
Share your thoughts with other customers

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Marshall Crenshaw, an overnight sensation who quickly fell from grace by somehow falling on the wrong side of Rolling Stone critics (it's hard to believe they ever mattered very much) and became a cult artist, is gradually disappearing from view. When he tours, he tours alone, playing before small but intensely loyal crowds. Although Rhino has reissued his popular first album, and put together an excellent best-of, most of the rest of his catalogue is now out of print and increasingly hard to find. If you somehow have the sad fate of being a fan, like me, who considers Crenshaw's artistry on a par with the greatest rock ever had to offer, your first move should be to buy up what you can that's in-print, before it goes out of print. Then you can start hunting for the rarities.
"Downtown" is one of his rarest, and one of his best. I had the LP, have never gotten close to the CD, which was out for 20 minutes, and recently managed to score an unopened cassette. It's so great, it's hard to believe this wasn't a gigantic hit. But, it wasn't. The best-of includes four of the best songs, including "Vague Memory," "Little Wild One" "Blues is King," and the hilariously sad "I'm Sorry (but so is Brenda Lee)." But, if you're a fan, you will also want to be able to hear the eight songs omitted from the best-of, including the beautifully composed "The Distance Between," "Terrifying Love" (featuring producer T. Bone Burnett on sitar), the bopping "Shake Up Their Minds," and especially "Yvonne," one of Crenshaw's trademark epic tales of romance gained and lost. Any of these would have earned a spot on the best-of, and deserve to be heard today.
This album might've failed commercially, despite its excellence, because compared to his first two, it does have a melancholy feeling to it. Even the upbeat songs use a lot of minor keys. I think Crenshaw has said this album, and its successor "Mary Jean," both reflect his disillusionment and loss of confidence in the wake of his big build-up and fall. But to me, that enriches the music all the more. T-Bone Burnett's production is among his best efforts--clean, with a very "live" sound that was somewhat of a change from the Phil Spectorish sounds of his first two albums.
I hope the folks at Rhino read this review and think about it, and decide the world needs to hear this album in its entirety, on CD, remastered, etc. etc. But in case they don't, I recommend you pay whatever reasonable amount you can to get the few copies left on this earth of "Downtown."
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2007
I bought the album "Downtown" on vinyl about a year after it was released. I listened to it so much my roommate hid the album from me. "Downtown" is a classic, classic album that embodies Crenshaw's strengths for mimicking Buddy Holly and putting a new spin on rockabilly sound in general. I have no doubt that it is T-Bone Burnette's hand in the production of this music that really helps to make this Marshall Crenshaw's best over all work.
From the very beginning the album takes off with "Little Wild One (No. 5)" and never stops. The second track "Yvonne" is a mix of Beatles and Buddy Holly and is followed up by "Blues is King" and the phenomenal "Terrifying Love". My other personal favorite is "I'm Sorry (But so is Brenda Lee)" which has a steady beat and woe-fully sung lyrics.
Crenshaw has a great ability to write compelling 'hooks' in songs. The chorus that sticks in your mind and leaves you singing it over and over again. This is exceptionally true of this album.
I'm a fan of a lot of different types of music and I consider this as a 'Must have' album. There really isn't a bad song on the disc.
A few years ago I saw Crenshaw in a small venue in a solo performance. He played a variety of songs from the 50's and early 60's along with his hits: "Someday, Someway", "Cynical Girl" and "Whenever You're on My Mind", but when he played "Little Wild One", it was the highlight of the concert. I'd love to be able to find a recording of his solo concerts. Peole have had a hard time placing him because his music styles from album to album are so varied, but that's what makes him great.
If you don't know Crenshaw, "Downtown" is a great introduction to his music.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Long before T-Bone Burnett became so well known ("Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?"), he was an artist playing with likes of Bob Dylan and a producer with a name for drawing eclectic performances from artists that matched his style (including Elvis Costello, Los Lobos and the BoDeans, to name a few). Marshall Crenshaw was one such artist to benefit from his touch. Burnett stripped the sound down to its essentials, Crenshaw pitched in with some fervent performances. "Downtown" was also packed with some of Crenshaw's usual excellent songwriting. Future classics like "Blues Is King" and "Like a Vague Memory", along with Ben Vaughn's "I'm Sorry (But So Is Brenda Lee)" appear here.

Sadly, Crenshaw's momentum had been derailed by the thunderous noise of his underrated "Field Day" and the loss of his original trio-mates Robert Crenshaw and Chris Donato. (Well known session men Mitchell Froom, G.E. Smith, Mickey Curry, Tony Levin and Jerry Marotta provided Crenshaw and Burnett with solid support throughout the disc.) So while the album was firm, it really didn't get the attention it deserved. But if you're a fan of 60's and 50's swinging rock, don't miss the trip to "Downtown."
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2006
Downtown is a gem of an album. This being his third album after the peppy and youthful Field Day and self-titled albums, you might expect something of the same. Marshall has taken a very different direction in his songwriting and mood here. But that is not bad just different. It is introspective and sometimes sad, but there always is a beautiful melody to be found.

I bought Downtown when it was originally released and after a while it grew on me to the point of loving it. His later albums save 'What's in the Bag'(another gem) would go back to being more upbeat. I love them all.

Marshall Crenshaw is a wonderful songwriter, guitar player, and singer. I would highly recommend this album and all his others.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Long before T-Bone Burnett became so well known ("Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?"), he was an artist playing with likes of Bob Dylan and a producer with a name for drawing eclectic performances from artists that matched his style (including Elvis Costello, Los Lobos and the BoDeans, to name a few). Marshall Crenshaw was one such artist to benefit from his touch. Burnett stripped the sound down to its essentials, Crenshaw pitched in with some fervent performances. "Downtown" was also packed with some of Crenshaw's usual excellent songwriting. Future classics like "Blues Is King" and "Like a Vague Memory", along with Ben Vaughn's "I'm Sorry (But So Is Brenda Lee)" appear here.
Sadly, Crenshaw's momentum had been derailed by the thunderous noise of his underrated "Field Day" and the loss of his original trio-mates Robert Crenshaw and Chris Donato. (Well known session men Mitchell Froom, G.E. Smith, Mickey Curry, Tony Levin and Jerry Marotta provided Crenshaw and Burnett with solid support throughout the disc.) So while the album was firm, it really didn't get the attention it deserved. But if you're a fan of 60's and 50's swinging rock, don't miss the trip to "Downtown."
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2000
for Warner Bros. as his crowning glory. In my book, this one is nearly as good. Perhaps because it has a number of producer credits, it sounds more varied. The highlight is the bittersweet gem, "Blues Is King." If jangly guitars, power pop hooks and lovelorn lyrics are your thing, this is a good value.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2004
Marshall Crenshaw rocks. This is an excellent CD. The sound is
simple and raw. It sounds like Buddy Holly. The opening track
"Wild One" will have you turning up the volume. Another great
track "I'm sorry but so is Brenda Lee" This is just good music
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2003
This music offering by Marshall Crenshaw, will be one that you return to again and again!
Yeah, the debut album was great, but this one is better, covering music styles from catchy pop to rockabilly, produced by T-Bone Burnett.
The album opens with the blazing rocker 'Little Wild One', and only gets better with 'Yvonne' featuring blistering guitar solos from both Marshall and G.E. Smith.
'Blues is King' is next on the agenda, reminding us once again that Marshall Crenshaw is one of the most gifted songwriters around.
Next up is 'Vague Memory' with a haunting pedal steel guitar and lyrics that could make you cry...
But then 'The Distance Between' picks you right back up again, with excellent lyrics, jangly guitars, and another first class guitar solo.
"Shake Up Their Minds' is Marshall's tip-of-the-hat to rockabilly with another smokin' lead guitar solo.
'I'm Sorry (but so is Brenda Lee)' had me wondering where this song title came from, until I picked up a Brenda Lee album and noticed a song called 'I'm Sorry'.
It all makes sense now!
'Right Now' is another dance gem. You can't sit still for this one.
And finally, the album winds down with 'Lesson Number One', a stunning finale about the hazards of love.
Whether you're an old fan or a new one just discovering Marshall Crenshaw, this musical offering from one of America's most gifted songwriters, will not let you down...
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2014
One of his best! Almost as good as his first record. I especially like Terrifying Love and Lesson Number One.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2007
I recently got the Marshall Crenshaw 2-cd set and have been listening to it just about every day. Then when I was searching for the older cds I took a look at the tracks on this one again. All I can tell you is: it's a perfect pop album, like the first couple of Cat Stevens albums, perfect like Marshall's debut. Lesson Number One is a bittersweet song about losing someone; Yvonne is a great rocker; Terrifying Love is a great companion to Little Wild One, in both you have someone willing to do almost anything for a lover. Just amazing, a classic in my book.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed
Definitive Pop: Marshall Crenshaw
Definitive Pop: Marshall Crenshaw by Marshall Crenshaw (Audio CD - 2013)

Marshall Crenshaw
Marshall Crenshaw by Marshall Crenshaw (Audio CD - 2011)

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short by Marshall Crenshaw (Audio CD - 1991)
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.