Marshall Crenshaw Debut Album

Great B-Sides: You're My Favourite Waste of Time by Marshall Crenshaw

Detroit power-pop maestro Marshall Crenshaw isn’t a household name. But his tuneful, often exuberant, 1982 debut album sometimes sneaks onto greatest album lists. Deservedly so – it’s a great little record of guitar pop, with a timelessly simple three piece sound, fronted by Crenshaw’s sweet perspective and sweet voice.
As great a record as Marshall Crenshaw is, one of my favourite Crenshaw songs was relegated to the b-side of ‘Someday, Someway’. ‘You’re My Favourite Waste of Time’ is presented as a home recording, from 1979. While the lyrics aren’t profound, it’s musically irresistible, with a huge chorus hook.
Despite its status as a b-side, the song has been covered surprisingly often. Bette Midler recorded it in 1983, as ‘Favourite Waste of Time’, while Scottish one-hit-wonder Owen Paul added some lyrics and a bridge, and took it to number three on the UK charts as ‘My Favourite Waste of Time’. It eventually turned up on Crenshaw’s career retrospective This Is Easy as well.

You’re my
You’re my favorite waste of time
You’re my
You’re my favorite waste of time
Here i am
I’m playin’ daydreamin’ fool again
You’re my favorite game
And you are the one
Whose got my head in the clouds above
You’re the one i love
Yeah you’re my
Yeah you’re my favorite waste of time
You’re my
You’re my favorite waste of time
I don’t care
If being with you is meaningless and ridiculous
If it’s wrong or right
I’ve got to give you my love tonight
And tomorrow night
‘Cause you’re my…

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Graham Fyfe is probably the only music blogger to appreciate Neil Diamond and Ariana Grande.
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    • My favourite too – I’m not sure why he didn’t include it. Maybe he couldn’t get a better version than the demo, maybe it was a few years old and he wanted to feature new material?

      • This is how I discovered it- I read about it in some music mag- they were raving about the b-side to Someday, Someway– so I went out and bought the single. I wish I could remember where I read it and who the critic was who was raving about it.

  1. I remember hearing this on some album called Attack of the Killer Bs a compilation album of great brides. There was a John Hiatt song on it too. I love this song – one of those where you’re sad it’s over cause you want the melody to be repeated one more time and then one more and…

    • I’d never heard Owen Paul before – I guess it wasn’t a big hit in New Zealand. I was looking him up on Wikipedia just now, and it says he’s the drummer’s brother, not the bassist’s.

  2. Great tune, that. Strangely enough, I only recently became aware of Crenshaw. Found him on the streaming service, so I’ll be delving in.

    • I only have his first three albums and a compilation – it’s kind of diminishing returns, as each album is inferior to the previous one, but they’re all worthwhile.

  3. I saw him in the summer of 1983 opening up for Hall & Oates. Unfortunately, he had PA issues and all I could really hear was the drummer. Hall and Oates were great, though…

      • really amazing blue eyed soul/pop – their early 80’s work is arguably their best, but there’s plenty of good work throughout their career.

        • I’ve always thought from their singles that they’re a little into guilty pleasure territory, but to be fair I’ve already covered Billy Joel and am currently considering covering Neil Diamond. Definitely a major pop/rock band that I should try out sometime.

  4. Just so you know the ear worm that this song is burrowed into my brain and has been popping up at random times since your post! Not that I’m complaining. 😀

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