Song 87: Marshall Crenshaw, “Mary Anne” (1982)


This one is all dependent on that intro, and the intro phrase that repeats throughout the song. Without it, “Mary Anne” is a standard-issue “don’t worry about it, girl” song, a midtempo ballad about not letting the bad things get you down. That crisp, warm guitar line is what makes this song work.

I’m not guitar- or gear-savvy enough to know what kind of guitar effects Marshall Crenshaw is using in this song, but whatever it is, it’s providing just enough edge to prove his point. The edge is giving the song the bite that acknowledges that life isn’t great (“it isn’t such a crime”, “it happens all the time”), while the chords (the ever-versatile I-IV-V chords, with some minors thrown in) provide the comfort.

As I’ve said before, I’m no vinyl snob, but this one sounds great on record. The coldness of a CD and the clarity of a digital copy just wouldn’t do it justice.


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