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Saturday, August 21, 2010

MUST MUSIC: Marc Cohn's "Listening Booth: 1970"

Seldom does an album come around that catches my ears in its entirety. Fortunately, my friend, Steve Slaght, heard this one being tracked during the breaks at a recent Jackson Browne concert in Berkeley. Steve described it as mellow but great arrangements of classic tracks you don't often hear covered.

The sticker on the CD package quotes Jackson Browne, "I'm thunderstruck by what a great album this is." Not about to question both Steve and Jackson I bought a copy of "Listening Booth: 1970" by Marc Cohn.

Marc Cohn is best known for his 1991 signature song, "Walking In Memphis". This new album is his first effort in doing all cover songs and specifically from 1970 which he explains was the most influential year for him in music. In his liner notes he paints a vivid picture of a record store called John Wade in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. It was the glass enclosed listening booths with headphones where he took in the work of so many great artists. As he describes this time period "at least musically it still felt like the 60's and wasn't really the 70's yet." The golden age of the single was still very much alive and yet great singer songwriter albums also flourished.

Here is the line-up for Marc's homage to 1970:

1. Wild World (Cat Stevens)
2. Look At Me (John Lennon)
3. Maybe I'm Amazed (Paul McCartney)
4. Make It With You (Bread)
5. The Letter (The Box Tops)
6. The Only Living Boy In New York (Simon & Garfunkel)
7. After Midnight (Eric Clapton)
8. The Tears of a Clown (Smokey Robinson & Miracles)
9. No Matter What (Badfinger)
10. New Speedway Boogie (Grateful Dead)
11. Into The Mystic (Van Morrison)
12. Long As I Can See The Light (Creedence Clearwater Revival)

This new release is available from all of the normal sources including iTunes. However, you might just want to pick up the actual compact disc as it includes great liner notes and "vinyl feel" graphics to really complete the 1970 experience.

Thank you Marc Cohn for a fresh spin on some true classics. It's a great return to another time musically when singer songwriters reigned and the music really mattered. From my own personal listening booth 2010 with headphones on...

1 comment:

  1. Love the LP aesthetic to this disc! Very cool concept.