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August & Everything After (Deluxe Edition)

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Album Review

Like any band that could conceivably be called alternative in the '90s, Counting Crows released a lot of multi-part singles loaded up with non-LP B-sides and had songs given away on compilations and soundtracks, but they truly jumped into that game after their 1994 debut, August and Everything After. After recording that first album, they didn't have much left in the vault, so the singles contained live versions and acoustic versions of songs from the album. The only major non-LP song was "Einstein on the Beach (For an Eggman)," originally released on the 1994 various-artists comp DGC Rarities, Vol. 1, and since that was pulled for the 2003 hits collection Films About Ghosts, there wasn't much reason to recycle it for this 2007 double-disc deluxe edition of August. Without previously released songs to round up, the deluxe edition concentrates on previously unreleased tracks — a whopping 19 of them. Most of these tracks are the 13 songs performed at the last show of the August and Everything After tour, performed in Paris and captured here for posterity. It's a good show, but of greater interest to fans are the six previously unreleased demos, three of them acoustic, on the first disc, including a version of Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land." Nothing here is essential, but it's all good, and when combined with liner notes from Adam Duritz, it makes for a nice package for dedicated fans.

Biography

Formed: August, 1991 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

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 and 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...
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