Crows Town

Counting Crows Chat => Counting Crows => Topic started by: Mangaba on May 31, 2016, 01:37:10 PM

Title: Rank The Studio Albums
Post by: Mangaba on May 31, 2016, 01:37:10 PM
How would you rank the Counting Crows studio albums? And briefly, why?

For me:

1) Hard Candy -- perfect pop
2) This desert life -- perfect folk
3) Recovering the satellites -- fantastic production
4) Somewhere under wonderland -- refreashing in some ways
5) August and everything after -- a little raw, very good.
6) Saturday nights sunday mornings -- they could have done better, some songs simply aren't in the same level of quality.
Title: Re: Rank The Studio Albums
Post by: yidosengland on June 01, 2016, 09:28:34 AM
why not :

RTS    - almost perfect in my top ten albums ever
AAEA  - see above
TDL    - a great album
SUW   - a grower
HC      - some great songs but the album doesnt flow not sure if its the two different producers or just the running order
SNSM - an album of leftovers and it shows , best tracks are the ones that should have made earlier albums and Sessions which didnt even manage to make it past a bonus track
Title: Re: Rank The Studio Albums
Post by: walsden on June 01, 2016, 04:36:31 PM
I agree completely with yidosengland:

RTS - their best production and performances; Adam's best vocals. Ben Mize's drumming is outstanding.
AAEA - probably the best songwriting top to bottom, but production and performances aren't as strong.
TDL - along with SUW, offers a level of color, tasteful experimentation, and adventurousness that I love.
SUW - almost edged out TDL. Some of my favorite lyrics since AAEA.
HC - A bunch of great songs, but an uneven listening experience overall. This and SNSM are the only albums with clunkers on it.
SNSM - songs just aren't as good; Adam tries way too hard to sound pained throughout.
Title: Re: Rank The Studio Albums
Post by: thehappymundays on June 01, 2016, 05:42:04 PM
With the two above on this
Title: Re: Rank The Studio Albums
Post by: cmigs on June 01, 2016, 09:40:44 PM
I think it's worth trying to group them.

Tier 1
1) AAEA - still spectacular, the depth of the songs shows in how they've been able to be reinterpreted live for over 20 years now and rarely feel stale

Tier 2
2) TDL - The band refocusing on this one live over the last few years has hammered home for me how much many of these songs speak to me.
3) RTS - As a record, it's probably 10 minutes too long, but the songs are all still great.

Tier 3
HC - I love this record more than most, but it's pretty uneven.
SNSM - Maybe I was in the right headspace for this record when it came out, but I like a lot of it.
SUW - Very little of this record connects to me emotionally. It's perfectly fine, but I'm not sure there's a classic on it.
Title: Re: Rank The Studio Albums
Post by: dutchieblue on June 02, 2016, 05:20:16 PM
For me it's not possible to rank the first four albums,i love them all equally but in different ways .
AAEA : raw ,pure, in your face, a classic
RTS : awesome album,definitely the album with the most songs i prefer to see on the setlist
TDL : i love it as a whole,the songs,the sound the artwork, the vinyl.
HC : it feels like the most underrated album to me.For a big part it's just as deep and emotional as August but you have to dig a little deeper to see it.

SNSM : Great songs but i found it very difficult to listen to it as a complete album.Most likely because of the mix of "old" songs and new songs
            If they had left of some of the leftovers and added some of the bonussongs i think i would have liked it a lot more.

SUW : with the exception of a few songs i don't feel connected to this album..I can't really put my finger on it.The songs are good some of the lines are brilliant but parts of it feel forced like he was trying too hard to be clever.
           

Title: Re: Rank The Studio Albums
Post by: duritzfan13 on June 02, 2016, 09:25:30 PM
How many slots would SNSM move up on everybody's list if "Suffocate" had been on the album?  ;)
Title: Re: Rank The Studio Albums
Post by: rlabs19 on November 01, 2016, 03:55:51 PM
August
Recovering
Hard Candy
Wonderland
This Desert Life
Saturday Nights/Sunday Mornings
Title: Re: Rank The Studio Albums
Post by: lewislfowler on November 07, 2016, 05:03:34 PM
This Desert Life
August
Recovering
Wonderland
Hard Candy
Saturday Nights/Sunday Mornings
Title: Re: Rank The Studio Albums
Post by: Berry on November 07, 2016, 07:24:17 PM
Hard Candy
This Desert Life
Recovering
August
Saturday Nights/ Sunday Mornings
Wonderland
Title: Re: Rank The Studio Albums
Post by: SupernovaLBL on November 12, 2016, 08:14:41 PM
RTS - Best complete album. Everyone is playing at the top of their game. Dan had more space without Immy and wrote great PARTS. It wasn't just solos, they were great parts. I miss that. Cool dark but optimistic vibe. Great songs, great variety. I love this record. Every year I get way into again and its like visiting a whole part of my life again. Just the interplay between Dan, Dave, Charlie and Immy from 4 minutes on in Miller's Angels alone makes the record great.

AAEA - The band had a "sound" on this record that's incredible, even if it was shaped by T-Bone. Great drumming and bass playing - fantastic rhythm section. I agree with T-Bone that the band lost something by losing Steve, even if Ben is great in his own way. Guitars sound really cool. Organ is really cool and has its own vibe. Band picks their spots instead of overplaying. You feel like you're in the room. The guitars in Rain King are awesome in the verses btw. I always wondered if they were indeed Dave, and after hearing the Slim's show from 93, they are! Dave's approach works well with Adam because it gives space to the story in the lyrics. But Dave's tone is incredible. Most underrated part of the band by far.

TDL - Good record with some really great moments. A little less focused than the last two efforts. I know that was intentional because this was an "indie" record. Kinda the band's Sgt. Pepper but in a desert instead of the technicolor 1967. I dig the travelling troubadour vibe of it, even if the songs don't always compliment it. 

SNSM - There ARE some great songs on here and the band was returning to focusing on their collective sound. But the guitars just don't sound as good as they did in the past - they aren't warm, they're fighting with each-other on the electric songs. Acoustic songs sound good but fail to capture the vibe of intimacy on previous efforts (Miller's Angels, Mercury, Perfect Blue Buildings... all sounds better compared to intimate songs on this record). The drumming just doesn't have the interesting character that Steve and Ben had. It sounds like a session drummer. I LIKE Jim, but it's true. Sounds like Adam is influenced by the plays he's been seeing in NY. This doesn't work as well for me because it sounds less honest than the deliveries on earlier records. Over enunciation sounds fake, even if it's popular. I preferred thinking of them as a California band too.

Hard Candy - I get what they were going for, almost too-sweet memories. But the tone of the instruments is too polished. It misses the sound of the amps, the sound of the room. But some of the songs are cool. There's a certain abrasiveness on the records from here on out. I think it's mostly Dan and Immy fighting over space, which is unfortunate.

SUW - Drums and really the whole record doesn't sound very good - kinda muffled and missing excitement in frequency range. Guitars are ok, but maybe can't be saved because of the tone of the drums. Songwriting is alright, but like some of SNSM, there's too much acting in Adam's delivery for my taste. I like plays, but incorporating delivery elements from them doesn't work for me. Johnny Appleseed's Lament is an awesome song though. I believe it's Dan's guitar on the left channel on this song - it sounds great. Immy's slide guitar in the center right is too overdriven and ultimately takes away from the song. He's a great player. I notice live that when he plays pedal steel the band sound improves greatly. He may just be too much for the overall sound of the band at times. Not always, but at times.

These opinions are subjective. The band is still fantastic. It's perfectly cool if you disagree.
Title: Re: Rank The Studio Albums
Post by: Mangaba on November 25, 2016, 07:10:59 PM
In general, the newer albums are considered the worst for everybody. Do they still have the ability to make an album as good as their firsts albuns?
Title: Re: Rank The Studio Albums
Post by: duritzfan13 on November 26, 2016, 11:38:41 PM
In general, the newer albums are considered the worst for everybody. Do they still have the ability to make an album as good as their firsts albuns?

Personally, I don't think the songwriting quality has deteriorated at all. It's just changed. I think the first few records connect to people a lot more emotionally, which IMO also has to do with nostalgia and certain feelings attached to those records based on the listener at the time they heard it. A lot of people want them to write another AAEA or another RTS, but 20 years later that's not going to happen.. because what does that even mean? I think the band has continued to write incredible songs, but they've grown and matured along with the fans, and sometimes the two just don't synch up. Every record is different so it all depends on the listener. I think the songs have always been incredibly written though.
Title: Re: Rank The Studio Albums
Post by: yidosengland on November 27, 2016, 10:24:34 AM
some of the songs on Somewhere Under Wonderland are as good as anything the band has ever written
Title: Re: Rank The Studio Albums
Post by: malysa on December 02, 2016, 02:36:26 AM
I totally agree with both of y'all! (it's taking everything to not say andy & andy & & even though I know it's about time, I'm not sure I can ever give up little d... you'll always be that awesomeass emotionally fighting 10 year old to me;)
Title: Re: Rank The Studio Albums
Post by: ridethemaverick on December 14, 2016, 08:11:18 PM
TDL - flawless to me, although if I hear Colorblind one more time, I'll scream. (Thank you, Cruel Intentions.)
AAEA - first Crows music I ever heard. I can still hear Mr. Jones and get all happy. (Plus it introduced me to Bob Dylan.)
RTS - kind of all over the place (seems like it's a harder rock edge than alt rock) but in a really good way.
 SUW - just a good, solid album. I think it's underrated.
(30 years of complete silence)
SNSM & HC - can't stand 'em. Too slick and polished. The kind of albums you have to make when you're finishing out a contract.
Title: Re: Rank The Studio Albums
Post by: Mangaba on February 09, 2017, 12:05:58 PM
some of the songs on Somewhere Under Wonderland are as good as anything the band has ever written


I think the problem is this: until HC, they used to make great ALBUMS; after HC they started to make good albums with some great songs.
Title: Re: Rank The Studio Albums
Post by: Sugar Mouse on March 10, 2017, 10:49:55 AM
1. August and Everything After - for me, their best collection of songs with strong production. A perfect debut.
2. Hard Candy - for me, the band's second best collection of songs. Incredible melodies.
3. Somewhere Under Wonderland - really good songs. Great comeback album.
4. Recovering The Satellites - I like some of the songs but I think the band stretched too far out of their sweet spot on this one.
5. Saturday Nights/ Sunday Mornings - good songs. Some of the songs sound like demos to me.
6. This Desert Life - this album never connected with me.
Title: Re: Rank The Studio Albums
Post by: Malayka on March 26, 2017, 11:23:57 PM
Id have to go:

RTS - perfectly imperfect and I don't think they've every bettered their elemental performances on this record. This record was raw - you can tell Adam was vulnerable, and the album cuts close to the bone. Hell, even the non album tracks from the time rank (for me at least) as some of their finest stuff (Suffocate, Good Luck, Chelsea, Barely out of Tuesday). Guitars which are cold, sharp and in your face, a stark piano sound, and a wonderfully muted ending to an album which remains one of my favourites of all time.
AAEA - The sound of a band emerging and discovering itself with material it had no right to have to start out with. Probably the main fault with this record is that virtually every song became even better live, I wish live from Town Hall was recorded 10 / 12 years earlier than it was, as that would have been difficult for anyone ever to have topped.
(Note - for me the zenith of the live performances of almost all of these songs was probably 1994 to 2002/3 and one or two even come across to me now as almost pale imitations - Omaha, ALD, Jones)
HC - I actually like most of this record, and imho it has aged reasonably well. I don't think some of the more interesting songs get played anywhere near regularly enough
TDL - Some great songs on here, but I'm not keen on the production and it still seems that they tried to remake AAEA. Great tour though!!
SUW - I must admit, this one leaves me a little cold. Probably only 3 or 4 songs on there which I think stack up against the larger body of work. The good songs are very good, but uneven for me.
SN/SM - As with SUW, because of its length possibly a few more songs I like than SUW, but also more that I'm not keen on. I think the idea (which seems to hark back to vinyl era, ironic since they haven't put this out on vinyl!) was probably better than the execution on this one.

I get the impression above all with the last 2 albums that there is a forced attempt to be relevant. Neither of the last 2 records has really caught my imagination, and I rarely listen to them now, but I listen to the first 4 regularly. Maybe that says more about me, but with other artists I like, it is the other way around, so I don't think I am completely nostalgic just yet.
This did, however, (to jump topics to another one) make me hope for a more random and mixed up setlist going forward. I don't just mean the songs played, but also versions of songs, and mix up alts (or indeed even having alts) - I cant be the only one who'd love a show featuring songs like T&TA, PBB, AOTS, Mercury, AHB, Sleeping, Amy, Up all night...... can I?

Finally, its all well and good re-issuing AAEA and RTS on vinyl for those who don't have them from first time around, but really the band ought to address the fact that too many of the records haven't had a vinyl release at all. IT makes my collection look kind of weird!
Title: Re: Rank The Studio Albums
Post by: yidosengland on March 27, 2017, 01:03:10 PM
good grief a post from Martin and who am I to argue with any of it , other than I actually like SUW
Title: Re: Rank The Studio Albums
Post by: cmigs on March 27, 2017, 09:06:12 PM

This did, however, (to jump topics to another one) make me hope for a more random and mixed up setlist going forward. I don't just mean the songs played, but also versions of songs, and mix up alts (or indeed even having alts) - I cant be the only one who'd love a show featuring songs like T&TA, PBB, AOTS, Mercury, AHB, Sleeping, Amy, Up all night...... can I?



Yes, for a band that prides itself on its live performance, they have gotten very stale. I mean, they sell the individual shows, yet there's literally no reason to hear different versions of most of the songs (even songs with alts have been the same for a couple of years), and they don't even mix up the setlists well (they played like 35 shows last summer and you can hear all the songs from the tour by buying 11 of them).
Title: Re: Rank The Studio Albums
Post by: Malayka on March 30, 2017, 12:00:12 AM
All's good in the hood Andy, I still lurk here when I get the chance - the great thing about music is that everyone hears different things and likes what they like, and your view on SUW is more than valid. In fact who am I to diss any of these records.

BTW, in reference to an answer you gave elsewhere, I too recall hearing that the studio tapes of RTS had been lost, which probably accounts for no deluxe version of the album. I believe that there was a studio version of Good Luck which was in a film but not on a soundtrack, but I'm not aware that anyone has heard the studio version of Suffocate. I believe that they also revisited it for SN/SM but Adam no longer likes the song so it didn't make the record. Not sure that the SN/SM version ever got out either. I hope that somewhere these things do exist and that one day they choose to release them, starting with the original version of AAEA....

Just looking at the Summer tour for 2017 - I like both bands but I reckon it means a roughly 75 min slot so it's likely to just be a festival type set and I understand that Matchbox 20 are the closing band this time round. For a band as good live as CC are, I think they've done way too many shared bill tours, and whilst money talks in the economics of touring, I cant help but wonder sometimes what could have been. In that respect, here in the UK we've been lucky to see the full length shows so many times. 
Title: Re: Rank The Studio Albums
Post by: Mangaba on April 20, 2017, 08:19:08 PM

This did, however, (to jump topics to another one) make me hope for a more random and mixed up setlist going forward. I don't just mean the songs played, but also versions of songs, and mix up alts (or indeed even having alts) - I cant be the only one who'd love a show featuring songs like T&TA, PBB, AOTS, Mercury, AHB, Sleeping, Amy, Up all night...... can I?



Yes, for a band that prides itself on its live performance, they have gotten very stale. I mean, they sell the individual shows, yet there's literally no reason to hear different versions of most of the songs (even songs with alts have been the same for a couple of years), and they don't even mix up the setlists well (they played like 35 shows last summer and you can hear all the songs from the tour by buying 11 of them).


I know that the last 2 albums arent as good as the previous ones, but I would like to see more songs of these albums in the shows. And with alts, why not? Why only onder songs get alts?


SN/SM is an album that deserved a little more attention. Washington Square for example, deserves to be played more. It seems that they dont "believe" in SN/SM and SUW. Today the shows are the first 4 albums plus some SUW. There are shows that they play more of AAEA than more recent songs.
Title: Re: Rank The Studio Albums
Post by: dutchieblue on April 21, 2017, 04:35:48 PM
Personally the only songs i want to hear of SUW at the moment are John Appleseed's Lament and Dislocation the other songs have been played enough unless they start playing around with them and do other versions.
Title: Re: Rank The Studio Albums
Post by: cmigs on April 21, 2017, 04:52:59 PM
They played the SUW songs a ton in 2014 and 2015. In 2016, a few of them got pretty rare, but a few were played pretty regularly - Palisades, Cover Up the Sun, Scarecrow, God of Ocean Tides.

I do wish they'd find some new songs to work alts into. The last song that hadn't had alts to get them was, I think, Miami in 2008. Of course, the alt songs themselves are pretty stale at this point, too. Hoping the shorter sets this summer means a bit of creativity with what they do play.
Title: Re: Rank The Studio Albums
Post by: oldn00b on May 08, 2017, 10:53:01 PM

Unoriginal here:
RTS
AAEA
TDL
HC
SN/SM
SUW


I think I just decided at one point that I liked them directly proportionately to how they resonated with me on an emotional level.  Even if I've grown to love some albums more than others, how I felt in the years they came out made those impressions pretty sticky.  Putting Hard Candy that low is tough - Up All Night is probably my favorite song of theirs.



Finally, its all well and good re-issuing AAEA and RTS on vinyl for those who don't have them from first time around, but really the band ought to address the fact that too many of the records haven't had a vinyl release at all. IT makes my collection look kind of weird!


I want Hard Candy on vinyl so bad.  SN/SM too, but man, give me a 3xLP Hard Candy like yesterday.  So many great songs on that album.