City Slang: “Field Day” revisited

Man, I love Marshall Crenshaw. Really, really love the dude. There are few artists in Detroit (or certainly anywhere else) capable of writing a pure pop song that can dig as deep into the soul as the Berkley boy. Mitch Ryder maybe. The Romantics had their moments for sure. But Crenshaw is right up there.

Many fans will point to the self-titled debut as the gem. The live faves are certainly there, including “Someday, Someway”. But that’s not the one that keep going back to. That dubious honor is reserved for ‘83’s Field Day.

For me (and this might just be me), Field Day saw a vast improvement in the already awesome songwriting of Crenshaw. The songs, like the magnificent opening “Whenever You’re on My Mind” and “One More Reason” are just as catchy and fun as those on the debut, but they seem deeper, lyrically heavier and certainly more mature (without ever getting close to being dull).

Not only is there not a bad song on this record, there isn’t a song that isn’t absolutely fantastic. This is a record that you can just lie back and listen to, savoring every word and every note, or you can enjoy it as background music, humming along (although that does seem like a tremendous waste, like putting ketchup on a good steak).

Crenshaw is an absolute treasure, to Detroiters and beyond, and there isn’t a record in his back catalog that isn’t worth a listen. I’d start with this one.

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