Monday, June 04, 2007
Ars Gratia Artis
So I am pleased to learn that Marshall Crenshaw's wonderful 1983 second album "Field Day" is in fact available on CD.
In a just world, of course, it would have topped the charts instead of getting no higher than #53 in Billboard. But in a just world ALL of Marshall's albums would have topped the charts. You go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you want, if you know what I mean.
Anyway, I bring it up because my first ex-wife, a very talented graphic designer, did the cover (she also did Talking Heads "Remain in Light"). Okay, she was actually just a live-in girlfriend, but she DID do the cover.
Of which Marshall has told numerous reporters over the years (most recently in a NYTimes profile) that said cover was so Satanically awful that radio stations refused to play the album at all. In fact, Marshall has gone as far as to say that the cover was directly responsible for the premature stall of his career. Hah!
I have no idea if that's true or not (if there's a problem with the album it's more likely the occasionally muddy production by Steve Lillywhite) but in the mid-90s I met a very nice (and very young) PR guy from a major record label and the subject of Marshall and the album came up. He told me that as a kid he had seen the album in a record store and didn't buy it because the cover looked "too damn Republican."