Counting Crows - Biography

Counting CrowsCounting Crows, typically considered a rock band, became extremely popular in 1994 following the release of their debut album August and Everything After, which featured the hit song "Mr. Jones."

History

Singer Adam Duritz and guitarist David Bryson (both formerly of The Himalayans) formed the Counting Crows in San Francisco in 1991. Duritz had experience as a member of The Himalayans and as a contributor to recordings by the San Francisco Bay Area group Sordid Humor (though never a member). Counting Crows originally performed as an acoustic duo, playing gigs in and around Berkeley and San Francisco.

Counting Crows, with their intimate and melancholy approach, quickly achieved a large fan base among Generation X alternative rock fans who were looking for something different from the raging guitars of the Seattle music scene. It was during this time that a full band was formed from local musicians, and the band was signed to Geffen Records.

The first album, August and Everything After was released in 1993, with the song "Mr. Jones", about Adam's childhood friend and bassist in The Himalayans Marty Jones, becoming a huge hit.

In 1996, Recovering the Satellites, the band's second album, was released. This album took a more heavy, riff led approach than August and Everything After. However, it did contain some calmer, melancholy tracks, such as the title track "Recovering the Satellites" and the singles "A Long December" and "Miller's Angels." "Recovering the Satellites" is often considered Adam Duritz's response to his sudden and somewhat unasked-for fame.

In 1999, Counting Crows released This Desert Life, sales of which were propelled by the success of "Hanginaround" and featuring the song "Colorblind" (also heard in the movie Cruel Intentions.) To support the album, the band toured extensively with the alternative rock band Live, on a co-headlining tour, where the two acts would alternate who performed first. Each night, during Live's song "The Dolphin's Cry," Adam Duritz would perform alongside Live's Ed Kowalczyk, in a duet version of the song. In return, Kowakczyk would sing a verse of "Hanginaround" with the Counting Crows during their set.

As part of their 2002 release of Hard Candy, Counting Crows covered the 1970 Joni Mitchell song, "Big Yellow Taxi." On the soundtrack to the romantic comedy film Two Weeks Notice, Vanessa Carlton sang the backing vocals on the single edit of the song, a major hit that brought new (and young) fans to the band. The band seems to be fond of classic rock, especially from the 1970's and have covered songs live by artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Rod Stewart, Pure Prairie League, Rolling Stones, Grateful Dead, Van Morrison and Oasis.

In November 2003, Counting Crows released a "best of..." album, Films About Ghosts. ("Films about ghosts" is a lyric from the band's song "Mrs. Potter's Lullaby," which appeared on This Desert Life.) They also toured in 2003 with John Mayer, Maroon 5, and the Graham Colton Band.

In the summer of 2004, Counting Crows released the song "Accidentally in Love" for the soundtrack of the hugely popular computer-animated movie Shrek 2. The song was nominated for an Academy Award. Later versions of the Crows' 2003 greatest-hits disc include "Accidentally in Love."

In June of 2006, The Counting Crows released New Amsterdam: Live at Heineken Music Hall a live album comprised of performances from their 2003 tour supporting Hard Candy. Although it is composed mostly of live performances of already released material, it does contain the impromptu "Hazy" as well as various vendor specific additional tracks such as "Blues Run the Game", and "Black and Blue".

Counting Crows' lead singer Adam Duritz's vocal style has often been compared to that of Van Morrison. Counting Crows' lyrics (composed primarily by Adam Duritz) frequently deal with aspects of ordinary life, and even in their most upbeat songs somber undertones are often present.

Forthcoming new album

Band frontman Adam Duritz has hinted that their next studio record may be released as soon as early 2007, which both him and guitarist Dan Vickrey indicating the band recently spent three weeks working in a Hell's Kitchen recording studio with Gil Norton, the producer behind 1996's Recovering the Satellites. Vickrey has added that the forthcoming album will sound closest to Recovering The Satellites among their other releases, with half of the songs "loud, raucous rockers" written in May in New York, and the other half (expected to be written and recorded after this summer's co-headlining tour with the Goo Goo Dolls) to be more acoustic and country-sounding.

Duritz has also speculated that the working title of their forthcoming fifth studio release is Saturday Night, Sunday Morning, explaining, "Saturday night is when you sin and Sunday is when you regret. Sinning is often done very loudly, angrily, bitterly, violently."

Current tentative song titles for the new record include "Come Around," "Hanging Tree" and "Suffocate" (the last of which pre-dates Recovering the Satellites).

Band members

Current Members

  • Adam Duritz (Vocals, Piano)
  • David Bryson (Guitar)
  • Dan Vickrey (Guitar)
  • David Immerglück (Guitar, Mandolin, Pedal Steel)
  • Jim Bogios (Drums)
  • Charles Gillingham (Keyboards, Accordion)
  • Millard Powers (Bass Guitar, Piano) is not officially in the band.

Former Members

  • Ben Ulrich (Drums) 1990-1992
  • Steve Bowman (Drums) 1992-1994
  • Matt Malley (Bass Guitar) 1992-2005
  • Ben Mize (Drums) 1994-2002
  • Marty Jones (Bass) 1990-1992
  • Lydia Holly (Keyboards 1990-1992
  • Toby Hawkins (Drums) 1990-1992

Counting Crows Official Website

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