25 years ago the rock and roll band The Black Crowes released their first single. The Marietta, Georgia-based rock and roll band have since released 8 studio albums and sold over 30 million records.
Their discography is jam-packed with pure rock and roll so selecting a list of their top tracks is a difficult task, here’s my attempt at the top 10 Black Crowes songs.
Black Moon Creeping – The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion (1992) – The Black Crowes
“What you got buried? In your backyard, what secret do you sleep with when the black moon come”
The opening beats to BMC are unique, a wailing harmonica over a single growling guitar, soon as this one starts you know it’s going to be fun. The pace of the track jumps between a slower verse into a booming fast chorus, with some rather lovely ladies providing an almost Motown backdrop.
Jealous Again – Shake Your Money Maker (1990) – The Black Crowes – The Black Crowes
“Always drunk on Sunday, try’n to feel like I’m at home, smell the gasoline-burning, boys out feeling nervous and cold”
Any Black Crowes list of songs should always include Jealous Again, their magical 1990 single that helped propel them to stardom. 25 years later, JA still stands the test of time, a fan favorite, and rightly so, it rocks.
I Ain’t Hiding – Before the Frost….Until the Freeze (2009) – The Black Crowes
“Ain’t your saint ain’t your enemy, I’m a long shadow on the highway, I know this ain’t how it’s supposed to be, baby I ain’t hiding”
And…they said they couldn’t do disco! This Crowes groover is the nearest the band ever came to the glitter-ball arena, an absolute storming bassline and groove open up this with a tentative wah wah solo, this is absolute filth and I love it. It’s the only track I have selected from their last studio effort of 2009, however, for this track alone it is worth listening to.
Remedy – The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion (1992) – The Black Crowes
“Baby, baby why can’t you sit still? Who killed that bird out on you window sill? Are you the reason that he broke his back? Did I see you laugh about that?”
Along with Sting Me and Hotel Illness, Remedy was the other big-hitting single from Southern Harmony. Any fan of The Crowes will remember the video for this single, with Chris Robinson dancing and cavorting to the rock and roll tunes, this could have been the summer of 69 (YouTube Link). Remedy is a simple Southern rock tune and that’s the main reason this is a great song.
Kickin’ My Heart Around – By Your Side (1999) – The Black Crowes – The Black Crowes
“In the beginning, there was no wrong you could do, now in this ending, I can’t stand looking at you”
The biggest track on By Your Side opens with a guitar slide attack and we’re straight into the action, the song is best played loud as it’s a relentless rocker, along with Go Faster, The Crowes had again returned to their original rock roots.
Go Faster – By Your Side (1999) – The Black Crowes
“Just one question I might ask ya, It might sound like a disaster, can you make this thing go faster?”
A full-throttle rock and roller, Go Faster is the nearest The Crowes came to repeating their earlier rock tunes of Money Maker and Southern Harmony, easy on the ear and I dare you to try to not stomp your feet to this one.
Hard to Handle – Shake Your Money Maker (1990) – The Black Crowes
“Boys are things that come by the dozen, that ain’t nothin’ but drugstore lovin'”
Originally recorded by the late great Otis Redding, this cover by The Crowes has now become a rock and roll standard, their rendition of this blues rocker landed them a US Billboard Number 1 in 1990. An excellent ballsy rendition of a classic.
Wiser Time – Amorica (1994) – The Black Crowes
“No time left now for shame, horizon behind me, no more pain”
Wiser Time is a real grower of a song, the most mature of the songs on the Amorica album. It has a real laid back sway about it and is very easy on the ear. The song builds into a fine ending crescendo, a real Americana bluesy feeling about this one.
She Gave Good Sunflower – Amorica (1994) – The Black Crowes
“Say don’t pretend to me, I beg and I plead, your sunflower I need, thought nothing would surprise me, I was wrong now I see, Come on baby and just do me if you please”
This much overlooked track in my opinion is one of the nicest Crowes songs of the early to mid 90s period, it’s almost summer personified. It opens up with the standard dual guitar trade off and flourishes into a cool upbeat guitar track, leading into a bridge where the keys enter and the chorus finally gets the better of you, the track almost feels easy and relentless.
Sting Me – The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion (1992) – The Black Crowes
“I don’t want to sound bitter, yeah you touch me just like murder, living ain’t so easy, when all I want from you is to sting me ”
Sting Me is the opening track on The Crowes epic 1992 release Southern Harmony, deemed by many Crowes fans as the best album they created. The track oozes groovy rock and roll and was one of the 4 hit singles from the album. With it’s driving bass line and authentic rock chops combined with Chris Robinson’s pseudo-political lyrics, the opening track setup listeners perfectly for the rest of this classic rock album.