I’ve always liked the Counting Crows and fondly recall the release of their debut album “August and Everything After”. This was due, in large part, to the timing of the release which was late in my college career and I associate the album with the freedom and liberating experiences as a student of the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. To be fair, I was pretty liberated before this time but at this point, I was in my own apartment and had cultivated a wide circle of friends to share the experience with. And yet, I digress.
“August and Everything After” was released late in 1993 and the band toured relentlessly in 1993 and 1994. They toured with The Cranberries, Bob Dylan, Cracker, Los, Lobos, Midnight Oil, and The Rolling Stones to name a few. The surprise success of their first single, “Mr. Jones”, an ironic tail of struggling musicians who dream of becoming a star, propelled them to stardom and made their debut the fastest selling album since Nirvana’s “Nevermind”.
The sudden and staggering success took a toll on the band and caused lead singer Adam Duritz to have a nervous breakdown. It also halted their touring as they only played two gigs in 1995. This allowed Duritz to write their sophomore album “Recovering the Satellites” which was released in October of 1996. The sound was a little heavier and lyrically dealt with the trappings of stardom and the ability or lack thereof, to acclimate. Their touring resumed and they released “Across a Wire: Live in New York” which was a double live album that captured their acoustic VH1 Storyteller concert on one disc and disc two was a bit of a an electric set recorded for MTV’s Live from the 10 Spot.
Over the course of years, the band has had a variety of musicians that have come and gone. While their sound has stayed relatively close to its origin, in large part, due to the emotional connectivity of Duritz’s passionate vocals, there has been some variation of songs that have been done both electrically and acoustically.
Counting Crows Discography:
- August and Everything After
- Recovering the Satellites
- Across a Wire: Live in New York
- This Desert Life
- Hard Candy
- New Amsterdam: Live at Heineken Music Hall
- Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings
Top 5 Counting Crows’ Songs
- Anna Begins (August and Everything After)
- Colorblind (This Dessert Life)
- Miller’s Angels (Recovering the Satellites)
- Holiday In Spain (Hard Candy)
- Omaha (August and Everything After)
Personally, I’ve always been drawn to the emotionally tortured vocals of Adam Duritz. Lyrically I find him to be beautifully expressive while, on their latest album in particular, at times a bit self absorbed. Lately, I’m more inclined to listen to their live music as it seems riskier in the respect that they alter the arrangements and can do multiple interpretations of a song in either acoustic or electrical instrumentation.
Their music has appeared in several movies, which include: Clueless, Rounders, Cruel Intentions, Mr. Deeds, Two Weeks Notice, and most notably, Shrek 2. As well as television shows such as Dawson’s Creek, Scrubs, Party of Five, Felicity, E.R., One Tree Hill, and Brothers and Sisters.
I’m a fan and I know that nostalgia plays a factor in that but I also think that musically, they have found a way to stay somewhat relevant. I don’t think there music necessarily paved the way for bands or pioneered a sound, but I also think that they don’t suck.
Check out the Counting Crows at www.countingcrows.com.
Counting Crows music is available at iTunes, record stores, and www.countingcrows.com.
Great music awaits!