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Marc Cohn

4.8 out of 5 stars 128 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Certified platinum by the RIAA (4/96).

Amazon.com

With rootsier, acoustic neofolk ascendant, Marc Cohn's 1991 debut harkens back to the more sophisticated rock and pop inflections of singer-songwriters of two decades past. His supple, velvety baritone and elegant piano-based arrangements frame shrewdly crafted songs ripe with pop touches, none more intricate or deftly executed than the set's epochal "Walking In Memphis," an epiphany rooted in rich musical history, studded with allusions to Elvis and Al Green, Beale Street and Graceland, and buoyed by a rippling piano motif and surging gospel choruses. Giving the set depth, as well as commercial legs, are of "Silver Thunderbird," infectious and intimate in its evocation of his father, husky meditations "Ghost Train" and "Dig Down Deep," a sexy update of Willie Dixon's "29 Ways" (the probable seed for Paul Simon's antithetical "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover"); and the fervent lover's anthem, "True Companion." --Sam Sutherland

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 12, 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Atlantic
  • ASIN: B000002IQI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,317 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Gary Gardner on January 4, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This 1991 debut, by an artist whose seeming anachrony hadn't hurt his chances of getting a record deal in the 90's, shows that good taste really had not disappeared entirely. This 11-song extravaganza will not blow out your speakers; rather, it is meant to be enjoyed for its subtlety and grace
Cohn's voice is suave and gruff all in the same motion, and his piano rings forth strongly. The big hit (and hands down, the greatest track) is "Walking in Memphis", a slow and evocative piece that makes adult contemporary more muscular. But it doesn't end there. "Silver Thunderbird" is a track reminiscent of early Springsteen in the exuberance of an era long past. Cohn sings with passion on a lot of these songs undoubtedly culled from his life's experiences.
"Strangers in a Car" relies only on Cohn's solid piano and story-telling ability to bring a chill to the spine. "Ghost Train" is a Gospel-like tune with great backup singing and organ music.
The upbeat numbers don't detract from the mood, either. "Miles Away" and "Saving the Best For Last" offer less atmospherics and more commentary, with the latter giving one a heads up about the different characters you'd meet in New York City, if you found time to talk to a few; the former dealing with the funks we all get into sometimes. There's even a cover song, Willie Dixon's "29 Ways", with Cohn's pipe organ and unique back-up overdubs.
"Perfect Love" (with typical understated back-up singing by James Taylor) and "True Companion" are just flat-out wonderful love songs. The latter is especially touching, well-sung with a flourishing outro of an Irish bouzouki softly chanting out the finale.
Absolutely masterful production tops off this great first effort by a musician who still hasn't equalled this original effort. But it is one to savor, nonetheless.
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Format: Audio CD
Marc Cohn's soulful, rich voice is the perfect match for some of the most touching lyrics I have ever heard. Much of his lyrics are pure poetry, and yet never seem forced to fit the melody. "Walking in Memphis", is upbeat and uplifting and the piano is inspired. "Silver Thunderbird" is a page out of my own history - it was a Ford Falcon, but every other detail brought me back to being five years old again. I gave my father the single as a Christmas present and this gruff, former construction worker from the Bronx told me he cried like a baby the first time he played it. As did I, the first time I heard it, commuting over the Tappan Zee bridge. Cohn carves his lyrics out of true human universal experience in a way that few have. The song "True Companion" is another that strikes a true chord - not another sappy love song about "I'll love you forever", but rather a true expression of the kind of love that lasts a lifetime. If I married my husband again, it would be the perfect wedding song. This album would be a wonderful addition to any collection, and a thoughtful gift!
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Format: Audio CD
I'm sure glad CDs don't wear out. Out of 300 or so CDs in my collection, this one gets the most play time. Marc offers a rich voice, great rhythms, and telling lyrics. You've probably heard Walking in Memphis, an upbeat song with an addictive melody. Marc's got more to offer than just catchy melodies. He's also a story-teller. I can't help but sing along with great songs like Silver Thunderbird, which reflects on his childhood and his relationship with his father. Looking for a love song? Marc offers True Companion, a very romantic song, which quickly grew into "our song" for my wife and I. If you're looking for an album with soul, music that feels good, and a good sing-along CD, then you should definitely add this CD to your collection.
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Format: Audio CD
Marc Cohn is a man out of time, but let us be thankful for that fact. He is a combination of all the best elements of Harry Chapin, Billy Joel and James Taylor, but doesn't come off as being purely derivative of these artists.
Barring the unusual cover of "29 Ways" there is not a single song on this album that is not a masterpiece. My personal favourite though is "Walk On Water", a truly glorious piece of music and heartfelt lyrics that is at least the equal of that other song about walking on this CD.
Cohn deservingly won the "Best New Artist" Grammy for this album, but surprisingly, apart from the top 20 "Walking In Memphis" never gained significant commercial success. "Silver Thunderbird" and "True Companion" made the lower end of the charts, and the album barely cracked the top 40. Subsequent releases have fared far less well than even this modest success, although they too are excellent albums.
Nevertheless if you miss the singer-songwriter years of the early 70s and like "Walking In Memphis" this album will not disappoint, and indeed will never stray too far from your CD player.
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Format: Audio CD
I know....you play the first track and people go, "Who is this singing, I always wanted to know?" This is Cohn's best album of the three. He combines smooth vocals and special appearances by James Taylor, with enough soul to let you know that you're not listening to James Taylor. Don't just put "Memphis" on repeat. In fact, I found the the other songs were my favorites. Especially "Silver Thunderbird" and "True Companion." Everyone is going to think of playing it at their wedding for the first dance. So buy the album and enjoy the whole thing. Trust me, you will.
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