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The Black Crowes

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Biography

At the time of their 1990 debut, the kind of rock & roll the Black Crowes specialized in was sorely out of style. Only Guns N' Roses came close to approximating a vintage Stones-style raunch, but they were too angry and jagged to pull it off completely. The Black Crowes, on the other hand, replicated that Stonesy swagger and Faces boogie perfectly. Vocalist Chris Robinson appropriated the sound and style of vintage Rod Stewart, while brother Rich Robinson fused Keith Richards' lean guitar attack with Ron Wood's messy rhythmic sense. At their best, the Black Crowes echoed classic rock without slavishly imitating their influences, and the band's nostalgic sound helped foster a long, popular career. The Robinson brothers originally formed the Black Crowes in Georgia in 1984. By the time the group released its first album with 1990's Shake Your Money Maker, the lineup comprised vocalist Chris Robinson, guitarist Rich Robinson, bassist Johnny Colt, guitarist Jeff Cease, and drummer Steve Gorman. "Jealous Again," the first single from Shake Your Money Maker, was a moderate hit, but it was the band's cover of Otis Redding's "Hard to Handle" that made the Black Crowes a multi-platinum success. "Hard to Handle" climbed its way into the Top 40, propelling the album into the Top Ten along the way. The acoustic ballad "She Talks to Angels" became the band's second Top 40 hit in the spring of 1991, and Shake Your Money Maker eventually sold over three million copies. The Black Crowes delivered their second album, The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion, in the spring of 1992. It entered the charts at number one but lacked strong hits, as none of the singles cracked the Top 40 and only "Remedy" and "Thorn in My Pride" made the Top 100. Nevertheless, the band established itself as a popular concert attraction that summer, selling out theaters across America. During 1992, the band added keyboardist Eddie Harsch as a permanent member. The Black Crowes' third album, Amorica, arrived in late 1994 and debuted in the Top Ten. Even so, none of the singles from the album made a significant dent, and the album slipped from the charts after going gold. Three Snakes and One Charm, the group's fourth album, was released in July 1996. The album quickly slipped out of the Top 50 after making a strong entrance, yet it also received the best reviews of any Crowes album since The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion. Guitarist Marc Ford was fired from the Black Crowes in August 1997, and bassist Johnny Colt left the lineup in order to form the Brand New Immortals. With Rich Robinson handling all guitar parts, the band recorded and released By Your Side before collaborating with one of the world's most celebrated guitarists, Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page. This partnership was captured by the concert album Live at the Greek, an eclectic mix of newly recorded Zeppelin covers and additional classic blues cuts. Greatest Hits 1990-1999: A Tribute to a Work in Progress, a 16-track best-of compilation, was released several months later in 2000. Don Was was enlisted to produce the band's new album, 2001's Lions, whose lyrics were influenced by Chris Robinson's highly publicized relationship with actress Kate Hudson. A monthlong summer tour with Oasis -- dubbed "the Tour of Brotherly Love" due to the prevalence of siblings in both bands -- followed in June. All was apparently not well with the group, however, and the band announced its decision to go on hiatus in January 2002. Drummer Steve Gorman was fired, and Chris Robinson began planning a solo career. It was Rich Robinson who was first out of the gate with a solo project, though, releasing Paper in 2004. In 2005, however, the Black Crowes reunited for a show at San Francisco's Fillmore, a concert that was released in both CD and DVD formats as Freak 'N' Roll...Into the Fog in 2006. That year also saw the release of The Lost Crowes, which contained two previously unreleased albums, 1993's Tall (parts of which were heard on Amorica and in other places) and the 1997 never-before-heard Band. Following a series of lineup changes, the retooled band hit the road for a proper tour before setting to work on its first studio effort in seven years. Joined by newcomer Luther Dickinson, guitarist and co-founder of the North Mississippi Allstars, the Black Crowes combined the rootsy appeal of their early work with a newfound political awareness on 2008's Warpaint. A live performance of the album, available as both a DVD and a two-disc CD set titled Warpaint Live, appeared a year later in 2009. Before the Frost/Until the Freeze arrived that same year, marking the band's eighth studio effort and gathering warm reviews. The Black Crowes continued their prolific streak with 2010's Croweology, a double-disc album that featured new acoustic recordings of the band's past work. The album's release was bittersweet, though, as it coincided with a farewell tour followed by another indefinite hiatus. Rich Robinson released his second solo album, Through a Crooked Sun, in 2011 and his brother Chris released two albums with his new band, the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, in 2012. The Crowes lurched back to life in 2013, announcing a spring tour and releasing the live album Wiser for the Time on vinyl and MP3. This proved to be the last time for the Black Crowes: in January 2015, Rich Robinson announced the band was breaking up. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Top Tracks

  1.   Track
    Popularity
  2.   She Talks to Angels
  3.   Hard to Handle
  4.   Remedy
  5.   Twice as Hard
  6.   Jealous Again
  7.   Thorn in My Pride
  8.   Oh, Josephine
  9.   No Speak No Slave
  10.   I Aint Hiding
  11.   Sting Me
  12.   Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
  13.   By Your Side
  14.   A Conspiracy
  15.   Sometimes Salvation
  16.   Good Morning Captain
  17.   Time Will Tell
  18.   Bad Luck Blue Eyes Goodbye
  19.   The Last Place That Love Lives
  20.   And the Band Played on...
  21.   Go Faster
  22.   Hotel Illness
  23.   Walk Believer Walk
  24.   Locust Street
  25.   Kept My Soul
  26.   Cypress Tree
  27.   Only a Fool
  28.   Goodbye Daughters of the Revolution
  29.   Descending
  30.   Seeing Things
  31.   Soul Singing
  32.   Good Friday
  33.   Black Moon Creeping
  34.   High Head Blues
  35.   Hot Burrito #1
  36.   Movin' on Down the Line
  37.   Wiser Time
  38.   Don't Wake Me
  39.   Blackberry
  40.   Willin
  41.   Evergreen
  42.   Sister Luck
  43.   Rainy Day Woman
  44.   Bad Luck Blue Eyes
  45.   Share the Ride
  46.   Darling of the Underground Press
  47.   Tornado
  48.   If It Ever Stops Raining
  49.   The Night They Drove Ol' Dixie Down
  50.   Miracle to Me
  51.   Lickin'
  52.   Midnight from the Inside Out
  53.   Thick N' Thin
  54.   She Gave Good Sunflower
  55.   Just Say You're Sorry
  56.   Better When You're Not Alone
  57.   Bring On, Bring On
  58.   Nebakanezer
  59.   Under a Mountain
  60.   Stare It Cold
  61.   Could I've Been So Blind
  62.   Cosmic Friend
  63.   One Mirror Too Many
  64.   Encore - Break
  65.   You're Such a Pity
  66.   Shake 'Em on Down/Get Back /Walk with Jesus
  67.   Waiting Gulity
  68.   Exit
  69.   Oh the Rain
  70.   Thunderstorm
  71.   Hot Burrito #2
  72.   Garden Gate
  73.   What Is Home?
  74.   Make Glad
  75.   Been a Long Time (Waiting on Love)
  76.   A Train Still Makes a Lonely Sound
  77.   Whoa Mule
  78.   God's Got It
  79.   Wounded Bird
  80.   Wee Who See the Deep
  81.   Lowdown
  82.   Tied Up and Swallowed
  83.   Feathers
  84.   Dirty Hair Halo
  85.   London P.25
  86.   My Heart's Killing Me
  87.   Grinnin
  88.   Lifevest
  89.   Predictable
  90.   Another Roadside Tragedy
  91.   Paint an 8
  92.   Space Captain
  93.   Title Song
  94.   Lay It All on Me
  95.   Greasy Grass River
  96.   Ozone Mama
  97.   Losing My Mind
  98.   No Use Lying
  99.   Come On
  100.   Peace Anyway
  101.   Virtue and Vice
  102.   Go Tell the Congregation
  103.   Welcome to the Goodtimes
  104.   Heavy
  105.   Horsehead
  106.   Kickin' My Heart Around
  107.   My Morning Song
  108.   Sunday Night Buttermilk Waltz
  109.   Song of the Flesh
  110.   Downtown Money Waster
  111.   Ballad in Urgency
  112.   P. 25 London
  113.   Nonfiction
  114.   Cursed Diamond
  115.   Gone
  116.   Mellow Down Easy
  117.   Evil Eye
  118.   Let Me Share the Ride
  119.   How Much for Your Wings?
  120.   (Only) Halfway to Everywhere
  121.   Girl From a Pawnshop
  122.   Struttin' Blues
  123.   My Morning Song/Stare It Cold
  124.   (Untitled Hidden Track)
  125.   Diamond Ring
  126.   Cold Boy Smile
  127.   Honky Tonk Woman
  128.   Then She Said My Name
  129.   Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You
  130.   Smile
  131.   She
  132.   Dreams
  133.   Houston Don't Dream About Me
  134.   Appaloosa
  135.   Wyoming & Me
  136.   Young Man Old Man
  137.   Jealous Guy
  138.   You're Wrong
  139.   Morning Song
  140.   Thunderstorm 654
  141.   Kick the Devil Outta Me
  142.   Never Forget This Song
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