August and Everything After (Deluxe Edition)

August and Everything After (Deluxe Edition)

“We all wanna be big stars,” Adam Duritz admits during the final minute of “Mr. Jones,” his pep momentarily dissolving into a bittersweet yelp. “But we don’t know why, and we don’t know how.” Indeed, for the first three months after San Francisco’s Counting Crows released its debut, August and Everything After, in the fall of 1993, it seemed as though Geffen Records had bet big on a flop—that the band’s fairy-tale brush with fame would end in anonymity. A&R legend Gary Gersh began trailing the band around town in the early 1990s, ignoring the band’s unstable lineup long enough to spot a star in Duritz. And T Bone Burnett—yet another legend, and the former guitarist for Duritz’s obvious north star, Bob Dylan—signed on to produce the band’s debut record, a compelling showcase of self-doubt and ambition that, upon its arrival, no one seemed to care about. But as a long December passed, “Mr. Jones”—that madcap account of musicians doing it for the love, but maybe one day for the money, too—slowly caught traction as a single, with Duritz’s bleat serving as an uncanny MTV beacon for those who felt outside of grunge. In early 1994, August and Everything After finally landed on the furthest reaches of the album charts. But by year’s end, the album had become a multi-platinum smash, an early indication of a softer-rock sea-change that would soon lead to the rise of such acts as Dave Matthews Band and Ben Folds Five. Though that slow rise must have been frustrating, it fit the self-regard of the 11 songs collected on August and Everything After. Sure, Duritz had the gumption to sing “I wanna be Bob Dylan.” But he resents and interrogates himself often here, questioning his capacity to live—let alone love. During “Rain King,” he realizes he’s the source of an unnamed paramour’s woes, but he wants neither pity nor sustenance. And on the devastating “Perfect Blue Buildings,” he hides out from someone he loves, too riddled by addiction and affliction to be seen. “Love is a ghost train rumbling through the darkness,” he sings over mandolin runs and trotting drums at one point, discarding the one thing in which he’d found hope. Despite its Americana trappings, August and Everything After would become a gateway for a generation of emo and metalcore kids. Duritz, after all, perfectly balanced his vulnerability and worry with the confidence to shout out loud about both, his voice cracking with complete candor.

Disc 1

Disc 2

Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada