17 Songs, 1 Hour, 15 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Counting Crows’ rootsy rock tunes, blending earthy ‘60s and ‘70s sounds with Generation X angst, made them one of the most enduring acts of the ‘90s. Their defining songs—including the heartbreaking “Round Here,” rollicking “Hanginaround,” and shuffling “A Long December”—highlight Adam Duritz’s thoughtful songwriting with their captivating melodies and dynamic musicianship. “Mr. Jones,” a tambourine-riddled folk-rock tune about two musicians dreaming of brighter futures, remains a timeless slice of catchy alt-rock thanks to its deep, head-nodding groove and irresistible sha-la-las.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Counting Crows’ rootsy rock tunes, blending earthy ‘60s and ‘70s sounds with Generation X angst, made them one of the most enduring acts of the ‘90s. Their defining songs—including the heartbreaking “Round Here,” rollicking “Hanginaround,” and shuffling “A Long December”—highlight Adam Duritz’s thoughtful songwriting with their captivating melodies and dynamic musicianship. “Mr. Jones,” a tambourine-riddled folk-rock tune about two musicians dreaming of brighter futures, remains a timeless slice of catchy alt-rock thanks to its deep, head-nodding groove and irresistible sha-la-las.

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5:31
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4:57
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7:45
4:32
5:23
4:33
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3:52
4:31
3:48
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3:08

Ratings and Reviews

4.6 out of 5

239 Ratings

239 Ratings

A Great Primer

eodie

For those who didn't listen to the Counting Crows when they were at their peak in the 1990s, there is no better time to discover one of the greatest alternative rock bands out there. There is no better way than with Films About Ghosts: The Best of Counting Crows. This album, named after a line from the sixth track (Mrs. Potters Lullaby), was recently re-released to include Accidentally In Love from Shrek 2.

I bought this album in its original form on CD a year ago, having never listened to the Counting Crows beyond radio airplay. While you will hear familiar songs like Big Yellow Taxi, Mr. Jones and Accidentally In Love, you will also get a brief introduction to other Crows music. Some of their best work, such as the near eight minute song Mrs. Potters Lullaby, never gained much time on the airwaves.

The album starts with Round Here, a song that puts lead singer Adam Duritz's poetic and sometimes harping vocals on display. Rain King follows with the same songwriting formula but with a more enchanting, faster and light-hearted sound. A Long December sobers the mood much like the first track but then pieces such as Hanginaround, Mrs. Potters Lullaby and Mr. Jones give us a taste of the Crows at their upbeat best. Listeners will also hear the never before released Friend of the Devil (a Grateful Dead remake) and Einstein On the Beach. Their relatively new single, She Don't Want Nobody Near, is also included and provides some light acoustic charm.

The only bad part about this album is it is not an exhaustive list of the group's best hits. In fact, the track listing seems to borrow too much from the August and Everything After album. While this was undoubtedly their best studio release, many other good songs such as Miami, Hard Candy and If I Could Give All My Love are excluded. For this reason, hardcore fans may not want to purchase this album thinking they will be getting a perfect compilation of the band's entire career.

This is a great album with a good arrangement, even if some of the "essentials" seem to be excluded. People wanting to discover the Counting Crows for the first time will love this album. It made me get into the band and I soon purchased more of their work. You won't be disappointed.

Not a review on album but on the song Perfect Blue Buildings

Overdose

Well worth the money. This man is a beautiful visionary and the song only further shows how much the poor need our help.

Counting Crows

Thelma Lou

1st of all i got to say thanks 2 my dad. he gave me this cd for my birthday and i am always listening to it on my ipod. my top favorite songs are: HANGINGAROUND, BIG YELLOW TAXI, FRIEND OF THE DEVIL, and EINSTIEN ON THE BEACH. i'm always listening to these songs so i know all the words and i sing along alot. (my brothers "love" me singing lol) but anyway the song sre really upbeat and easily liked. totally a 5 star rating.

About Counting Crows

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 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.

What made Counting Crows unique was how they were able to balance Duritz's tortured lyrics with the sound of the late '60s and early '70s; it made them one of the few alternative bands to appeal to listeners who thought that rock & roll died in 1972. Recovering the Satellites followed in 1996, and "A Long December" was a Top Ten hit on both the Modern Rock and Adult Top 40 charts. The band issued the two-disc Across a Wire: Live in New York in 1998, and the following year saw the release of Counting Crows' third studio album, This Desert Life. In the midst of recording and collaborating with Ryan Adams on his sophomore album, Gold, Duritz joined his band in the studio as well. The fruit of those sessions was the group's Steve Lillywhite-produced fourth album, Hard Candy.

The next year saw the release of the best-of Films About Ghosts, and in 2004 Counting Crows reminded fans of their ability to write a hit single with "Accidentally in Love," which appeared on the Shrek 2 soundtrack. Two years later, New Amsterdam: Live at Heineken Music Hall, recorded from a show on February 6, 2003, was made available to the public. In 2008 the band issued Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings, a concept record divided into two halves: the more rowdy, upbeat rock of Saturday night soundtracks and the mellow alt-country side of Sunday morning hangovers.

In 2009 the band parted ways with its longtime major-label home Geffen Records, but continued to tour and write new material as feverishly as ever. Duritz struggled with mental problems and prescription drug addiction following the split with Geffen, working on solo material that he released in part online. August and Everything After: Live at Town Hall, the band's third official live album, was released in 2011. To tide fans over until the release of an album of new material, the band offered up a collection of cover songs entitled Underwater Sunshine (Or What We Did on Our Summer Vacation) in 2012 and yet another live album, Echoes of the Outlaw Roadshow, the following year. While touring in 2013 the group started to write material for what would become its seventh album. Recorded at the end of 2013 with producer Brian Deck, Somewhere Under Wonderland saw release in September 2014. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

ORIGIN
San Francisco, CA
GENRE
Rock
FORMED
August, 1991

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