Listening Booth: 1970, by Marc Cohn

Singer-songwriter Marc Cohn is best known for his 1991 hit "Walking in Memphis." On his new CD, Cohn takes us back to 1970, the year after Woodstock, and offers his interpretations of some of the pop hits of that year.

In 1970, Paul McCartney left the Beatles. Simon left Garfunkel. Diana Ross left the Supremes. Lou Reed departed the Velvet Underground, and Sam left Dave. If you were around in 1970 and listening to radio, most of the songs on this CD were top 40 mantras that are played on oldie stations today.

Cohn's stripped down, personalized interpretations of Cat Stevens’s "Wild World," McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed," Badfinger's "No Matter What," Clapton's "After Midnight," and the Boxtops’ "The Letter" are not your typical covers. They are aged, mellow, small-music-combo versions, featuring Cohn's bluesy voice and piano. There's not a lot of middle ground here. You either like his versions or you don't.

Three standout tracks include Cohn’s duet with India Arie on "Make It with You," his duet with Kristina Train on "Tears of a Clown," where Cohn channels Johnny Rivers rather than Smokey, and Van's "Into The Mystic," arguably the best take on the CD.

If you're a baby boomer, you are going to want this album, especially if you like hearing new arrangements that expose the roots of some of the classic songs you grew up with.

  • Album: Listening Booth: 1970 (2010)
  • Artist: Marc Cohn
  • Label: Saguaro Road Records
  • Songs: (1) Wild World (2) Look at Me (3) Maybe I'm Amazed (4) Make It with You (5) The Letter (6) The Only Living Boy in New York (7) After Midnight (8) Tears of a Clown (9) No Matter What (10) New Speedway Boogie (11) Into the Mystic (12) Long As I Can See the Light

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