Marc Cohn is an American singer-songwriter. He is best known for the single “Walking in Memphis,” which reached number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1991. Otherwise, he isn’t remembered much. As such, Cohn has a bit of a reputation for being a one-hit-wonder.
Still, that is too dismissive of the man’s musical output. “Walking in Memphis” is far from being his only release. Moreover, the rest of the man’s musical output contains songs that are worth listening to from time to time.
Here is our opinion of the ten best Marc Cohn songs ever released:
10. “Paper Walls”
“Paper Walls” was one of three singles from Cohn’s second album – The Rainy Season. It never claimed a position on the charts. Despite that, “Paper Walls” has its merits. For instance, the song is named thus because the narrator can hear the fight happening in another motel room.
The interesting part is that he has enough self-awareness to recognize that the situation is analogous to his relationship right from the start. Something that is far from being guaranteed.
9. “Look At Me”
In 2010, Cohn released an album consisting of covers called Listening Booth: 1970. He released two of its songs as singles. One was “Look At Me,” a song on John Lennon’s solo debut album John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band.
As the story goes, he started writing it during the lead-up to the White Album. However, it didn’t make it onto that release, meaning it hung around for a while until the next opportunity came up.
Cohn’s version holds up surprisingly well when compared with the original, which is no small achievement considering that Lennon was, well, Lennon.
8. “Walk Through the World”
“Walk Through the World” was another single from The Rainy Season. This song did better than its album-mates. After all, “Walk Through the World” managed to become a Top 40 hit in the United Kingdom and Canada, though its performance in the United States was much poorer at 121. Regardless, it is a pleasant song in which the narrator invites his significant other to travel the world alongside him.
7. “Ghost Train”
Cohn released his self-titled debut album in 1991. Subsequently, he released six of its songs as singles. Unsurprisingly, some of those songs met with better receptions than others. “Ghost Train” was in the middle of the pack.
On the one hand, it wasn’t one of the two singles that were more-or-less ignored; on the other hand, it failed to make much of an impact save in Germany, where it winded up at the number 74 position.
Even so, interested individuals shouldn’t let that deter them from listening to this song because it had some formidable album-mates.
6. “Wild World”
“Wild World” was the second of the singles from Listening Booth: 1970. The original was performed by Yusuf Islam, who interested individuals might be more familiar with as Cat Stevens. He wrote several songs about his one-time lover, Patti D’Arbanville.
This featured his parting words, meaning this was set at the end of their relationship. Once again, Cohn’s version holds up surprisingly well when compared with the original. Moreover, “Wild World” can be considered the better of the two singles from Listening Booth: 1970.
5. “Silver Thunderbird”
“Silver Thunderbird” was one of the six singles from Marc Cohn. Chances are good that interested individuals can guess it was one of the songs that managed to chart. Specifically, “Silver Thunderbird” reached the number 22 position on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart.
Elsewhere, its reception saw a fair amount of swing. The song was popular in Canada, less popular in the United Kingdom, and even less popular in Australia. In any case, “Silver Thunderbird” isn’t about the creature featured in the stories of several Native American peoples.
Instead, it is about the Ford luxury car named for it. Amusingly, the narrator compares the vehicle to the Batmobile, which makes more sense when one realizes that one such vehicle was indeed based on a Ford Thunderbird chassis.
4. “The Coldest Corner in the World”
“The Coldest Corner in the World” came out in 2014. As such, it held the distinction of being his first original song in the better part of a decade. Later, “The Coldest Corner in the World” saw use as the title track of a documentary called Tree Man, which came out in 2015.
The documentary’s name is about as apt as these things get. That is because it is centered on the people who head to New York City to sell trees around Christmas time, which explains much about the choice of “The Coldest Corner in the World” for its title track.
3. “Dance Back From the Grave”
“Dance Back From the Grave” is a meditation on death. To an extent, it was inspired by Hurricane Katrina, which devastated Louisiana in 2005. However, it should also be mentioned that Cohn had very personal reasons for writing the song.
He was the victim of an attempted carjacker in the same year. One can make a case that Cohn was both lucky and unlucky. He lived, but he might not have because he was shot in the head during the incident.
2. “True Companion”
“True Companion” came out after “Silver Thunderbird,” thus making it Cohn’s fourth single ever released. Speaking bluntly, it is a love song on the cheesy end of things. Still, it has its charms, meaning it can be pleasant under the right circumstances.
1. “Walking in Memphis”
Of course, “Walking in Memphis” would hold the number one position on this list. It didn’t win the Song of the Year at the Grammys in 1992, but it did make a major contribution to Cohn winning Best New Artist.
After all, “Walking in Memphis” reached number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100, thus making it his most successful song by a considerable margin. On top of this, the song has an incredible sense of authenticity to it, which makes sense because it is an autobiographical work by someone who was just a struggling singer-songwriter at the time.
You can also read:
- The 10 Best Blanco Brown Songs of All-Time
- The 10 Best Jenny Lewis Songs of All-Time
- The 10 Best Nessa Barrett Songs of All-Time
- The 10 Best Al Stewart Songs of All-Time
- The 10 Best Jonny Lang Songs of All-Time