Here goes with day 19 of my countdown of 75 Albums that in my opinion should have a place in everyones music collection. They are not in any particular order though the top 10 will be my personal take on the top 10 albums ever released. You might be surprised at some of my picks and some of my omissions. Feel free to chime in with your comments and let me know if you love (or hate my choices).
Counting Crows – August and Everything After
I am feeling a little self indulgent today (hey its my blog) so todays album choice is a masterpiece by the Wonderful Counting Crows. I am off to see them tomorrow so it seems appropriate to include one of their albums today :)
August and Everything After was Counting Crows debut album and it has sold well over 8 Million copies. lead singer Adam Duritz cites Van Morrison as a major influence and this can be heard throughout. The album fuses lyrically rich ballads with strong hooks and memorable melodies, making for a solid collection of songs which assured that this debut album would be the band’s most successful ever.
With tracks like ‘Round Here’, ‘Omaha’, ‘Mr Jones’, ‘Anna Begins’, ‘Rain King’, and ‘Time and Time Again’, August and Everything After yields highlight after highlight. “Mr. Jones” is, arguably the most popular song by the band through their career, the dynamic and rich lyrics about trying to make it in the music business was somewhat prophetic as Duritz finishes the song with the line “Mr Jones and me, we’re gonna be big stars. Becoming big stars was a double edged sword for Duritz as he had a breakdown and battles with depression as a result. This probably accounts for the bands relatively modest output of just 6 albums of original material in over 20 years.
“Omaha” follows with some bright accordion by keyboardist Charlie Gillingham highlighting this relatively upbeat and bouncy folk song. “Anna Begins” builds into a very pleasant and melodic listen with stream-of-consciousness lyrics which are at once intense yet relaxed and a great harmonised counter-melody towards the end. “Time and Time Again” is a slow ballad and showcases the Hammond organ by Gillingham and bouncy bass by Matt Malley.
The most upbeat song on the album is “Rain King”, a song about optimism and possibilities. It contains great blend of guitars by Bryson and mandolin by David Immerglück. The moody “Sullivan Street” with its slowly strummed, twangy guitar blended with some great topical piano is great ode to lost love.
From beginning to end this is a great collection of songs which holds together beautifully as a piece.
- 75 Essential Albums – Day #19 Counting Crows
- 75 Essential Albums – Day #18 – Ferocious Dog
- 75 Essential Albums – Day #17 – NMA – Thunder &Consolation
- 75 Essential Albums – Day #16 The Jam – All Mod Cons
- 75 Essential Albums – Day #15 – U2 – War
- 75 Essential Albums – Day #14
- 75 Essential Albums – Day #13 Ian Dury – New Boots and Panties
- 75 Essential Albums – Day #12 Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures
- 75 Essential Albums – Day #11 Bob Dylan – John Wesley Harding
- 75 Essential Albums – Day #10 Bruce Springsteen – The Rising