Only somewhat of a guilty pleasure nowadays, the Counting Crows and I have carried on our secret affair ever since the first time I heard “Mr. Jones” on MTV back in ’93. Even during the years I was way too involved in punk and hardcore, I would still find myself popping on their records.
They’re just easy. You know you’re either getting a straight-up, catchy pop song, a melancholy lament about loss, or a combination of the two. There’s a few inbetweeners peppered in their repertoire, but that catchy/sad formula is basically what they stick to. And it works for them, so why not?
Adam Duritz used to shop at the record store I worked at when I was younger, and we would shoot the shit on occasion. Very quiet dude, but seemed like a genuinely nice person. That really has absolutely nothing to do with anything, I just thought I’d share.
With their angst-filled hybrid of Van Morrison, the Band, and R.E.M., Counting Crows became an overnight sensation in 1994. Only a year earlier, the band was a group of unknown musicians, filling in for the absent Van Morrison at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ceremony; they were introduced by an enthusiastic Robbie Robertson. Early in 1993, the band recorded its debut album, August and Everything After, with T-Bone Burnett. Released in the fall, it was a dark and somber record, driven by the morose lyrics and expressive vocals of Adam Duritz. The only uptempo song, “Mr. Jones,” became their ticket to stardom, and Counting Crows enjoyed a significant amount of success throughout the ’90s and beyond…[read more]