You're My Favorite Waste of Time

"You're My Favorite Waste of Time" (also known as "My Favourite Waste of Time") is a song written and first released by American singer Marshall Crenshaw. His 1979 home demo of the song was released as the B-side of his 1982 hit "Someday, Someway" and is available on his compilations The 9 Volt Years and This Is Easy: The Best of Marshall Crenshaw.

"You're My Favorite Waste of Time"
Single by Marshall Crenshaw
A-side"Someday, Someway"
ReleasedMay 1982
RecordedCrenshaw's home, Pelham, New York[1]
GenreRock, new wave
LabelWarner Bros.
Songwriter(s)Marshall Crenshaw
Marshall Crenshaw singles chronology
"Something's Gonna Happen"
"You're My Favorite Waste of Time"
"There She Goes Again"

Written by Crenshaw while in Beatlemania, the song was inspired by the Hollies and featured tongue-in-cheek lyrics about his wife. The song, though originally a B-side, would later be covered by many artists, including Owen Paul, who reached number 3 in Britain with his rendition.

Original version

"You're My Favorite Waste of Time" was one of the first songs Marshall Crenshaw wrote, preceding his 1982 hit, "Someday, Someway".[2] Crenshaw explained, "That's one that I actually remember writing. I was still in Beatlemania at the time. The show was at the Stanley Theater in Pittsburgh, and we were going to be there for two weeks. I got there a day early and was hanging out, watching the guys build sets. I went down to the room where all the guitars were, and I grabbed one of those Gibson J-160s. The Beatles, in the early days, used J-160 acoustics with P-90 pickups, so we had a couple of those in the show. I was noodling around, and I made that song up in my head as I was wandering around the theater. I got the title, and I was thinking a song that The Hollies might do, with a big anthemic chorus and harmonies and stuff."[3]

The lyrics were intended by Crenshaw to be humorous. He explained, "The lyrics are tongue-in-cheek. 'You're my favorite waste of time.' It’s a love song. I don’t know what I was thinking of. I guess I was partly thinking about when I used to go over to [my wife] Ione’s house—this was when we were still in our teens—and we’d wait for her parents to go to bed so we could be alone. While we would do that, we were just sitting around watching TV, killing time. I really liked doing that with her, just sort of doing nothing. You could take it a lot of different ways, though. It’s a funny song, and it’s got funny words. Like, 'I don’t care if being with you is meaningless and ridiculous.' That’s a funny thing to say.'[3]

Crenshaw recorded "You're My Favorite Waste of Time" in a homemade sound laboratory in his apartment in Pelham, New York.[1] The song, which was recorded by Crenshaw alone, was credited to "Marshall Crenshaw and the Handsome, Ruthless and Stupid Band".[1]

The song was originally released as the B-side to Crenshaw's hit "Someday, Someway." It would later appear on compilation albums and would be covered by numerous artists. Reflecting on the song's popularity among other artists Crenshaw later stated that the song "has really had staying power."[3]

Cover versions

"My Favourite Waste of Time"
Single by Owen Paul
from the album As It Is
Released19 May 1986
GenrePop rock, new wave, jangle pop

Owen Paul version

The song was recorded by Scottish singer Owen Paul and released in the United Kingdom on 19 May 1986. It remains his biggest hit single, reaching number 3 on the UK chart in July 1986. Paul is usually considered as a "one-hit wonder" because of the song's popularity and the fact that it was his only UK chart single. This recording features future Thunder member Mark Luckhurst on bass. It was aborted on the television programme Pebble Mill at One when the band members just stood still instead of miming as they were unable to hear the backing track.[4]

Referring to the Owen Paul version, Crenshaw said that "a guy in Britain picked up on [Bette Midler's] version of it and had his own smash hit, which still gets played on the radio all the time in Europe."[3] Crenshaw was critical of Paul's version in an interview, saying "I can't listen to even twenty seconds of that record at all."[5]

Other versions

Australian born Irish singer Johnny Logan recorded the song on his album, We All Need Love (2003).

In 2008, the song featured in a Coco Pops Coco Rocks commercial.

In 2012, the song featured in an episode of the BBC programme Rogue Traders on Watchdog.[6][7]

The song has also been recorded by Freedy Johnston, Bette Midler, Jeff Foskett, Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs, and Ronnie Spector. Crenshaw said of Bette Midler's version, "I guess there must have been something in it that struck her as funny—that appealed to her sense of humor perhaps, whatever that is."[3]


  1. Dominic, Serene. "The Crenshaw Redemption". Phoenix New Times. Kurtis Barton. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  2. Schlansky, Evan. "Marshall Crenshaw". The American Songwriter. ForASong Media, LLC. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  3. Murray, Noel. "Marshall Crenshaw on songwriting, covers, and the album cover he absolutely hates". The AV Club. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  4. "YouTube: Pebble Mill - Owen Paul cock up". Retrieved 12 February 2011.
  5. Ragogna, Mike. "Thirty Years Of Sublime Rock 'n' Roll: A Conversation With Marshall Crenshaw, Plus Chatting With Petra Haden, Cory Mon and Wes Kirkpatrick". Huffington Post. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  6. "Coco Rocks Advert - Sept 2008". Retrieved 24 September 2009.
  7. "Kellogg's Cereal Range - Kellogg's Coco Rocks - Cavemen in the Bowl". Retrieved 24 September 2009.

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