Saturday, April 10, 2010

Cover Me Impressed: 'You're My Favorite Waste of Time'

Marshall Crenshaw says this song "saved my ass once or twice," meaning it has been covered by so many artists through the years that it has been a nice paycheck. He wrote this one way back in 1979 while touring as John Lennon in 'Beatlemania.'

Crenshaw said he wanted the beginning to sound like the bass drum beat on the Ronettes' "The Best Part of Breakin' Up." He must have thought it was pretty cool when Ronnie Spector covered this song and several others of his on her 2003 EP 'Something's Gonna Happen.' Spector's backing band was Crenshaw on guitar, his brother Robert on drums and Joe Jackson Band's Graham Maby on bass. Wow! Needless to say I recommend this one. If you're curious about the cover that brings in the most bucks, I will make an educated guess it is Bette Midler's version.

"You're My Favorite Waste of Time" was released as a B-side to Crenshaw's first single, the hit "Someday, Someway," in 1982. You can find it as a bonus track on the reissued version of his debut album, 'Marshall Crenshaw,' on Warner Archives/Rhino. It also appears on Crenshaw's odds 'n' sods package 'The 9 Volt Years.'

As for the two covers I'm including today, Jeffrey Foskett's version is taken from his 2004 album 'Stars In The Sand.' It's a compilation of sorts and one of those CDs that finds its way in my car all of the time. The Beach Boys and surf influences, as well as very clean production, make this such a great listen while behind the wheel. Foskett says this tune is in his all-time top 10. Crenshaw appeared on Foskett's album 'Twelve and Twelve' back in 2000, and the song they did together appears again on 'Stars In The Sand.' It's a Crenshaw/Bill Lloyd- penned tune called "The Best Thing About Me Is You," and it's so beautiful. If you don't know Foskett, check out his stellar work on tour and in the studio with Brian Wilson the past decade or so.

Freedy Johnston's version comes from a 2008 all-covers album called 'Favorite Waste of Time.' Johnston and Crenshaw are good friends that are often compared to each other. Crenshaw pops up on his records from time to time. If you aren't familiar with Johnston's work, I would recommend 'Can You Fly' for starters. You'll find Crenshaw on it, too.

Marshall Crenshaw - You're My Favorite Waste of Time (mp3)
Jeffrey Foskett - You're My Favorite Waste of Time (mp3)
Freedy Johnston - You're My Favorite Waste of Time (mp3)

More Cover Me Impressed:
"The End Of The World"
"(Don't Go Back To)Rockville"
"God Only Knows"
"And Your Bird Can Sing"
"So Sad About Us"
"Walking The Cow"


KDub said...

Great write up on a great song.
One note - although the Bette Midler version is probably also a perennial, a Scottish singer named Owen Paul had a UK hit with this tune in 1986. It's not my favorite version of the song (in fact, it seems to be based on the Midler version) but it probably pops up on all kind of compilations.
Anyway, thanks for putting this up. Great entry.

Brian said...

Thanks KDub. Yes, I see that Owen Paul's version made it all the way to No. 3 in the UK. I'm sure Crenshaw has made a pretty penny from that one.