Though it clearly charted at my college radio station, I have no clear recollection of playing any music from Michael Penn’s debut LP, March, when it was in the new music rotation. I probably did, but it didn’t stick with me, even once its lead single, “No Myth,” started edging its way up the charts (eventually becoming Penn’s sole Top 40 hit). Very much in the know-it-all phase of my late adolescence, I was probably given to a needlessly reactionary indifference to Penn’s music, so certain that he had a record deal only because his brother was a movie star, or at least a highly acclaimed actor who got to star in movies. Prone to pronouncements about the sanctity of music artistry in a way tiresomely unique to those hovering around the age of twenty, I may not have given the record more than a cursory listen before settling on its worthiness or lack thereof.
If that dismissal did indeed play out that way, my perception was spun fully around several months later when Penn released the album’s second single, “This and That.” My station’s 12-inch single included a bonus B-side: an acoustic version of “No Myth.” This was exactly the sort of thing I loved to play on the radio, providing listeners with something familiar and yet noticeably different. That the track had an aura of exclusivity to it only added to the appeal, otherwise I may never have dropped the needle. I was immediately captivated, from the first strummed notes. The song had crossed my ears many time before that, but it was the first time I’d truly heard it. From then on, I returned to the song repeatedly, both in that stripped town take and the original album version. It made me swoon a bit every last time.
Listen or download –> Michael Penn, “No Myth (Acoustic)”
(Disclaimer: I didn’t even check to see if March is in print. I assume it is. However, to the best of my knowledge, this acoustic version of “No Myth” only appears on the single cited above, and I feel confident that’s not something that can purchased at your favorite local, independently-owned record store in a manner that compensates both the proprietor of said store and the original artist. Therefore, I am sharing it here in my little corner of the digital world with the belief and understanding that doing so causing no significant harm to the bottom line of any worthy parties. That typed, I will gladly and promptly remove the track if asked to do so by any individual or entity with due authority to make such a request.)