Marcy Playground (album)
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Marcy Playground Album
Marcy Playground
Marcy Playground - Marcy Playground album cover.gif
Studio album by
ReleasedFebruary 25, 1997 (original issue)
October 7, 1997 (reissue)
ProducerJared Kotler
Marcy Playground chronology
Marcy Playground
Singles from Marcy Playground
  1. "Poppies"
    Released: 1997
  2. "Sex and Candy"
    Released: November 4, 1997
  3. "Saint Joe on the School Bus"
    Released: 1998
  4. "Sherry Fraser"
    Released: 1998

Marcy Playground is the self-titled debut studio album by American alternative rock band Marcy Playground, released on February 25, 1997, on EMI. It was reissued later that year on October 7 on Capitol Records with a large amount of promotion for the single "Sex and Candy," which became the band's breakthrough single, spending a then-record 15 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart.

The album also includes the singles "St. Joe on the Schoolbus" and "Sherry Fraser" both of which received moderate radio and MTV2 airplay.

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau(dud)[4]
Rolling Stone1/5 stars[5]

Marcy Playground garnered a mixed reception from music critics. A writer for NME said that, "What is surprising is how enjoyable this window on Wozniak's soul is: his lazy drawl and gentle melodies coating his misery in a pop sheen....the mood remains resolutely downbeat but the angst is not imposing."[2] James P. Wisdom of Pitchfork stated that Marcy Playground was "the most soothingly mellow and pleasant thing I had heard in a long time."[3]AllMusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine felt that some of the tracks don't quite match up to "Sex and Candy", saying that "only a handful [of the songs] on the album are as memorable as the single. Still, those moments are what make Marcy Playground a promising, albeit imperfect, debut."[1]

Robert Christgau graded the album as a "dud",[4] indicating "a bad record whose details rarely merit further thought."[6]Chuck Eddy of Rolling Stone heavily panned the album for Wozniak's post-grunge pop having subpar musicianship, saying that it "sets icky new standards for commercial-post-alternative callowness."[5] Dan Weiss of LA Weekly deemed it the twelfth-worst album of the 1990s, opining that aside from the singles "Sex and Candy" and "Saint Joe on the School Bus," the album is "folksy, opiate-obsessed bullshit".[7]

Track listing

All tracks are written by John Wozniak, except where noted.

2."Sex and Candy"2:53
3."Ancient Walls of Flowers" (John Wozniak, Sherry Fraser)3:16
4."Saint Joe on the School Bus"3:20
5."A Cloak of Elvenkind"2:59
6."Sherry Fraser"2:50
7."Gone Crazy"2:45
9."One More Suicide"2:39
10."Dog and His Master"2:12
11."The Shadow of Seattle"2:48
12."The Vampires of New York"2:55


Marcy Playground

Additional personnel

  • Glen Braver - bass, "Poppies"
  • Jared Kotler - bass and drums
  • Edgar Mills - bass, "Ancient Walls of Flowers", "Opium"
  • Jen Handler - cello, "One More Suicide"

Note: though not credited as a member, Jared Kotler plays drums on every song except "Saint Joe on the School Bus," and bass on "Sherry Fraser," "One More Suicide" and "The Vampires of New York."


  • John Wozniak - producer
  • Jim Sabella - engineer
  • Ken Gioia - engineer, mixer
  • Marcy Playground - mixing
  • Greg Calbi - mastering
  • Don Rubin - A&R
  • Blake & Bradford - management
  • Henry Marquez - art direction
  • Robert Laverdiere - package design
  • James Wojcik - cover and color photo
  • Chris Black - black-and-white photo

Recorded and mixed at Sabella Recording Studio, Roslyn NY
Mastered at Masterdisk, New York City NY
Songs published by Wozniak Publishing (ASCAP)


  1. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Marcy Playground - Marcy Playground". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Marcy Playground CD". CD Universe. Retrieved 2012.
  3. ^ a b Wisdom, James. "Marcy Playground: Marcy Playground". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on June 9, 2002. Retrieved 2018.
  4. ^ a b Christgau, Robert. "CG: Marcy Playground". Retrieved 2012.
  5. ^ a b Eddy, Chuck (April 22, 1998). "Marcy Playground: Marcy Playground". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Archived from the original on October 1, 2007. Retrieved 2007.
  6. ^ Christgau, Robert (2000). "Key to Icons". Retrieved 2016.
  7. ^ "The 20 Worst Albums of the '90s: The Complete List". LA Weekly. March 7, 2013. Retrieved 2019.

External links

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