My Top 1000 Songs #372: No Myth

[I've been writing up my Top 1000 songs on a daily basis--you can see them all in descending order by hitting the All My Favorite Songs tag.]

When Michael Penn's 1989 debut LP March came out, I assume most of us who picked it up were like, oh, great, Sean Penn's brother made a record, whatever, guess I'll give it a try... and then opening track "No Myth" started up and there was a collective smile and sigh of relief. Ok, sure, it sounds a bit of its era, particularly that drum sound... but you can't keep a great song down. And it's undeniably a great song. It was something that pretty much instantly achieved "I must include this on every mixtape ever" status for me, and still rolls out of the speakers today sounding like something you just want to play for all your friends.

It's kind of a shame that Penn never matched its commercial success. He released a few more records, and maybe they didn't have this sort of instantly unforgettable track, but he's got a lot of great tunes, well-written singer-songwriter music that vibes like a less-depressed Elliott Smith with some Beatlesque pop flourishes (not to mention occasionally popping up on tribute albums, often dueting with wife Aimee Mann). Since 2005, he's mostly traded his solo career for soundtrack work, but I'd love to see him try his hand at a new LP; meanwhile, I'm happy to keep revisiting this one over and over.

Live unplugged on Letterman:
With Aimee Mann (bootleg quality, audio only, but still awesome: