Marshall Crenshaw - Field Day
Well, the critics certainly had a field day with Marshall Crenshaw's second album. After the almost instant success of his debut and self-titled album just a year earlier, this second album was deemed a letdown by those who know best (or so they think anyway). That led to very low sales, only up to 52 on the US album charts, and a lead single “Whenever You're On My Mind” not even breaking the top 100. Ouch!
The main blame was deemed to lie in Crenshaw deciding to switch producers and bring in Steve Lillywhite for Field Day. Lillywhite came with an impressive portfolio, including much acclaim for his work on Peter Gabriel’s third album, known as III or Melt. Crenshaw and Lillywhite’s Field Day was slated for its big echoing sound with crashing drums prevailing heavily.
Crenshaw holds no grudges with Steve Lillywhite and has told him so since. He reckons Field Day is amongst his best work. He has a valid point. Get used to the echoes and reverb and the album is full of great songs, well written and performed by Crenshaw. He’s added maturity and more musical complexity to this second album.
Despite the critics' view, the single that missed, “Whenever You're On My Mind”, should have done far better. Over the years there has been a growing appreciation for Field Day and an acceptance that it was underrated and hard done by when released.