"Saturday night is when you sin and Sunday is when you regret."
Counting Crows: Five for Silver, Six for Gold
Longevity is not a common trait in the music industry, but it's appreciated where it can be found. Counting Crows definitely counts as one of the most long-lasting in the biz, with almost two decades of music and performances to their credit. Whether it's their unique sound or even more unique approach to their fans and performances, this is one band that's certainly has something going right.
Although the band's current line-up features seven members, the original act was initially composed of just two people. Adam Duritz and Dave Bryson, both musicians from the Bay Area band scene, came together in 1991 as an acoustic guitar and vocals duo. Along with friend and occasional guitarist David Immergl?ck, Counting Crows started out in bar gigs and small events around the Berkeley and San Francisco areas.
Counting Crows: Count from Two
Months passed, and the band earned gigs and demos. New members also came on board (except for Immergl?ck, who was then already involved in other acts) to form a bigger band. As of 1993, Duritz and Bryson had added Matt Malley on bass guitar, keyboarding by Charlie Gillingham and Steve Bowman on the drums to the fledgling group.
January proved to be an eventful year for the band. In January, they were called to fill in for an absent Van Morrison at that year's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ceremony. It was also in that year that they inked a record deal with Geffen Records. Their debut album, August and Everything After, came out later that year. In December, the Mr. Jones music video got extensive airplay on MTV and put the band in the mainstream spotlight.
TV appearances and a tour with The Rolling Stones kicked off 1994 for the band, but all was not well. Despite selling over 7 million copies of their debut albums, the touring and the engagements took a toll on the members. Duritz had a nervous breakdown that was all over the news, and Bowan's seat at the drums was left empty.
Counting Crows: Everything After August
Just two engagements were booked for 1995, primarily to give all the members of the band some time to themselves. It also gave Duritz enough time to write material for their second album, which was released the following year. Recovering the Satellites featured Dan Vickrey, a second guitarist, as well as lyrics that told of Duritz's efforts to deal with all his newfound fame.
The use of Hanginaround and Colorblind in the 1999 film Cruel Intentions put the band's 1999 album This Desert Life on the fast track to success. It was also the first Counting Crows album where David Immergl?ck was credited as an official member, having come on board for the recording of the songs. Immergl?ck has varying contributions to songs, ranging from any one of three guitars and backup vocals.
Hard Candy, their 2002 album, and Films About Ghosts, a 2003 greatest hits compilation, resulted in collaborations with artists like Vanessa Carlton and John Mayer. The Academy Award-winning Accidentally in Love from the 2004 film Shrek 2 is also included on later versions of Films About Ghosts. By that time, drummer Ben Mize and bassist Matt Malley left the band, to be replaced by Jim Bogios and Millard Powers, respectively.
The Daniel S. Frawley Stadium in Delaware, Washington was the first venue where Washington Square, the first single from Counting Crows' latest album, debuted in July 2007. Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings, a two-part album, was released in March 2008. The band's latest release to date is a cover of Borderline by Madonna, to go with their letter explaining why they felt they had to leave Geffen Records in March 2009.
Did you know that...
- ...ex-band members come back to work on some tracks? Bassist Matt Malley and drummer Ben Mize, for example, both left in 2004, but returned to work on Sundays from Saturday Evenings & Sunday Mornings.
- ...bootleg recordings of live performances are actually encouraged by the band? Fans can even trade clips (for free, of course) on sites like CrowsTown.com.
- ...the Counting Crows moniker comes from a divination rhyme? Duritz himself mentions it in A Murder of One from their debut album.