Counting Crows has always been an important band to me. Their first album, August and Everything After, was also the first CD I ever owned. I was in eighth grade, and had just won a Sony Discman in a karaoke contest, back when portable CD players were still new enough for this to be a big deal. I borrowed the Counting Crows CD from a friend at school, and listened to it almost nightly. I wasn't the happiest kid in the world - hell, I'm still not the happiest kid in the world - and I felt like I could identify with the darker tracks like Raining in Baltimore and Perfect Blue Buildings. I still find those songs beautiful. I finally got my own copy for Christmas, and I have continued to enjoy that album to this day, although I no longer religiously listen to it.
I was thrilled when Recovering the Satellites came out in 1996. Of course my CD collection had grown by leaps and bounds since I got my hands on their first CD, but I had heard the single A Long December dozens of times on the radio, liked what I heard, and bought the new album with high hopes. I was a bit disappointed when I heard it, though. Their sound had definitely changed; not necessarily for worse, but it wasn't what I had fallen in love with. I really liked A Long December and the closing track, Walkaways, but the rest of the songs, while good, weren't really memorable.
I next encountered Counting Crows through the film Cruel Intentions. Adam Duritz composed Colorblind, a hauntingly beautiful piece, specifically for the movie, and I loved it. Colorblind ended up on their next album, This Desert Life, but I opted not to buy it. I had heard Hanginaround, a single from This Desert Life, on the radio, and I didn't really care much for it. Three years later, I finally decided to buy it. While at first I was underwhelmed by the album, it has definitely grown on me. "Mrs. Potter's Lullaby" and "Amy Hit The Atmosphere" are great tracks.
Counting Crows released Hard Candy in July 2002. I bought it not too long after This Desert Life, and it's good, but not great. "Holiday in Spain" is beautiful, and I really dig their "Big Yellow Taxi" remake, but the rest of the record hasn't had time to grow on me. I do like it, but I doubt Counting Crows will ever be as big as they were when the "Round Here" and "Mr. Jones" singles were released.
The band's version of the "Counting Crows" poem is part of A Murder of One, the last track on August and Everything After. It is as follows:
One for sorrow,
Two for joy.
Three for girls, and
Four for boys.
Five for silver,
Six for gold.
Seven for a secret,
Never to be told.
Current Band Members
David Bryson - Guitar
Adam Duritz - Vocals
Charles Gillingham - Keyboard
David Immergluck - Guitar
Matt Malley - Bass
Ben Mize - Drums
Dan Vickrey - Guitar
In 1989, Adam Duritz and David Bryson were introduced to each other by Daved Immergluck. Duritz and Bryson immediately began to write songs together. The two started performing together in coffeehouses and small clubs, and came up with the name Counting Crows, based on the poem in the above writeup.
In August of 1991, the duo recruited Matt Malley, Charles Gillingham, and Steve Bowman to record a demo and join them, performing at clubs in San Francisco. In February 1992, they got their first big break performing at a BMI New Music Showcase. Just two months later, they signed with DGC Records.
The band recorded August and Everything After during the fall of 1992 and winter of 1993. In August of '93, Dan Vickrey joined. The album, produced by T- Bone Burnett, was released September 14 of that year. Counting Crows toured in support of August and Everything After from late 1993 through June of 1994, performing on Saturday Night Live and opening for the Cranberries, Cracker and other groups. In summer of '94, the band went on its own toors, having Alan Duritz' favorites open up for them. They also joined the Rolling Stones' Voodoo Lounge Tour as special guests in August of '93, and toured Europe in '94. Ben Mize replaced Steve Bowman as drummer shortly before the band went to Europe.
In May of 1995, the band started writing material for their next album. Throughout the winter of '95/'96, they recorded the album, Recovering the Satellites. It was produced by Gil Norton and released October 8, 1996 as a double album on vinyl. A week later, Recovering the Satellites was released on CD and casette, debuting at #1 on the Billboard 200.
From November to December of 1996, Counting Crows toured the U.S. Cake and Fiona Apple were among the opening acts. In New York, Adam Duritz badly injured his knee, but the show went on and no performances were cancelled. They become the first band to appear on Late Show With David Letterman for two nights in a row. Throughout '97, Counting Crows toured Europe and the U.S. again, and performed for an episode of VH-1 Storytellers in August.
On July 14, 1998, the band released Across a Wire - Live in New York. During late 1998 and most of 1999, they recorded This Desert Life, choosing for the third time to do the whole thing in a Hollywood house while living there. The album was released November 2, 1999.
In January 2000 the band began to release a series of official bootlegs, By the time we got to woodstock in January and Faced the Promised Land in May. Beginning in July of that year they co-headlined with Live. On July 9, 2002, they released their latest album, Hard Candy, produced by David Lowery.
Hard Candy - 2002
This Desert Life - 1999
Recovering the Satellites - 1996
August and Everything After - 1993
Films About Ghosts: The Best Of Counting Crows - 2003
Across A Wire - Live in New York City - 1998
If I Could Give All My Love 2 - 2003
If I Could Give All My Love 1 - 2003
Big Yellow Taxi (US Radio Promo) - 2003
Big Yellow Taxi (UK 2) - 2003
Big Yellow Taxi (UK 1) - 2003
American Girls Pt. 2 - 2002
American Girls Pt. 1 - 2002
Mrs. Potter's Lullaby - 1999
Hangin' Around - 1999
Mr. Jones Live - 1998
Daylight Fading - 1997
A Long December - 1997
Angels of the Silences - 1996
Rain King (Australia) - 1995
Rain King (International) - 1994
Round Here - 1994
Mr. Jones - 1994
Some historical and release information was gathered from http://www.countingcrows.com.