About Counting Crows
In 1993, when grunge was still the coin of the realm, Counting Crows flew into view as an alternative to the alternative. Fronted by commanding, quirky singer Adam Duritz, the band formed in the Bay Area in 1991 and released their debut, August and Everything After, two years later. With reflective, poetic lyrics and a sound that seemed influenced in equal parts by ’80s alt bands like R.E.M. and classic rockers like The Band and Van Morrison, the group connected with those hungry for something other than heavy guitars. The album became a blockbuster, going multiplatinum and birthing a huge hit single with “Mr. Jones.” For the 1996 follow-up, Recovering the Satellites, they introduced new members Ben Mize on drums and Dan Vickrey on guitar while expanding their sound to include string orchestrations on several songs. The record went to No. 1 and generated a hit in the elegiac, piano-led “A Long December.” It would be the band’s last visit to the Top 10—though their albums continued to find a loyal audience, by the 2000s their rootsy, introspective sound had fallen out of style. They effectively became one of America’s biggest cult bands, touring successfully without the aid of hit singles, and continuing to create carefully crafted, expertly nuanced records.