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6 Degrees Entertainment

Title - #447
Artist - Marshall Crenshaw

For those unaware, beloved rock ’n’ roll auteur Marshall Crenshaw kicks off a new series of expanded reissues with updated editions of some of his classic albums via Shiny-Tone via Megaforce.

The first of those was his 1996 classic Miracle of Science, out on January 17th, 2022 and now (on February 4th, 2022) we get the expanded re-issue of #447 (1999), accompanied by two bonus tracks: including Will of the Wind and Santa Fe.

In my humble opinion, no one has had a bumpier career ride than Marshall Crenshaw along the way to where he stands within the industry today.

Hailed as the next big thing, by his second Warner Bros. album he was already yesterday’s news, being fed to this producer and that producer in the company’s quest for the big crossover hit.

In the meantime, Crenshaw went through a severe case of writer’s block, funneling what little did come out into movie soundtracks and a succession of disjointed albums that sold less and less with each release.

He switched labels and finally found a good fit at the small independent Razor & Tie imprint. There, he released four mighty fine albums in a far more relaxed manner that hearken back to his earliest - and arguably his best - recordings.

1. Opening (It’s All About Rock)
2. Dime a Dozen Guy
3. Television Light
4. Glad Goodbye
5. West of Bald Knob
6. T.M.D.
7. Tell Me All About It
8. Ready Right Now
9. Eydie’s Tune
10. Right There in Front of Me (Demo)
11. You Said What??
12. Will of the Wind [Bonus Track]
13. Santa Fe [Bonus Track]

#447, Crenshaw’s second release for Razor & Tie in 1999, stands tall as one of his finest albums, as well as his most ambitious and perhaps perfectly realized.

The big news is the wealth of great original material, plus Crenshaw’s newfound interest in guitar textures, giving this album a complex weave of interesting tones that literally leap out of the mix.

He is also playing a lot more guitar than on his early sides, including three delightful instrumentals. Indeed, his style shows him to be something of a cross between Kenny Burrell, Danny Gatton, and Grant Green.

But, and as always with Crenshaw, the pop hook’s the thing, and tunes like the old-school jive-rock of Opening (It’s All About Rock), the Beatles-esque Dime a Dozen Guy, Television Light, the jangling guitar work of West of Bald Knob, and the pop-tastic Right There in Front of Me do not disappoint.

To my mind, and knowing what went before and what came after, he hasn’t sounded this confident and relaxed on a record in a long time, and thus this album spotlights his talent in a way that makes you smile as you’re singing along with a variety of songs that (at least at that time, of course) you had never heard before - which is also, perhaps, the highest praise of all.

Official Website

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Marshall Crenshaw @ MySpace

Marshall Crenshaw @ YouTube

Marshall Crenshaw @ iTunes