A Murder Of Crows

Save a crow. Never admit you were wrong…

We’ve sealed the Dusty Vinyl Archive for a while and taken the phonograph needle out of the hooves of DJ Scratchy.  Yep, I’m taking over the Monday muzak just long enough to play whatever the hell I want to in a little feature I’m calling the Top 30 Songs We Just Feel Like Playing!  The Countdown of Whatever started off nice and easy last week, so this week’s song will transition to….. um, nice and easy.  Well, kinda nice and easy anyway.  At least it’s from a different era, so it’s still variety!  Round here, we play what we want…

#29. “A Long December” – Counting Crows

At some point in the Starbucks fueled era of the early 90’s, the Billboard Hot 100 charts began to stray away from the music that was actually popularly played on radio stations across the nation at the time.  It was the beginning of the trend that continued up through this current decade where the “pop charts” are almost exclusively made up of pop divas (I include Justin Bieber in that category) and what constitutes hip hop and its many crossover derivatives currently.  The variety that dominated the 70’s and 80’s charts is long, long gone…

They’re just jealous of the hair, man!

Case in point… the 90’s standout band Counting Crows.  Led by the instantly recognizable dreadlocks of lead singer Adam Duritz, the Crows had a murder of big songs from the mid 90’s right through till their Oscar nominated theme from Shrek 2 “Accidentally in Love” in the mid 00’s.  Their breakout 1993 hit “Mr. Jones” is a bonafide 90’s anthem that can still be heard ad nauseum on radio stations that play “oldies” today.  You’d probably think that was a #1 song, or at least a Top 10….. but no.  “Mr. Jones” didn’t crack the official US pop charts at all.

AT ALL!!!

What Billboard magazine apparently preferred in the early 90’s.

While the Crows were big successes on the lesser charts in the 90’s, the best they could do on the Top 40 chart that all music is eventually judged by was a whopping #28 ranking for “Hanginaround” in 1999.  What in the name of Casey Kasum was up with that kind of popular snubbery?

That’s got me dazed and confused too, man!

Well, I’m not going to snub Counting Crows from my Countdown of Whatever… and while I like “Mr. Jones” (how could you not?), they have a song I enjoy even more… which is kind of an odd choice since it’s easily the slowest tempoed of their big hits.  Here is the beautifully done 1996 single “A Long December,” which was a big hit in Canada, even if the powers that be in the US rolled their eyes at it…

Rock songs that can seamlessly work in an accordion are so underrated…

Don’t laugh. He gets all of the chicks…

Mr. Squirrel and me will be back next Monday with song #28 on the Countdown of Whatever….

About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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22 Responses to A Murder Of Crows

  1. Not familiar with that one but it was a super interesting video “tale” – you’re right about the accordian – not often used – very subtle in this tune.

    Pam

    • A lot of rockers from Billy Joel to John Mellencamp to even Aerosmith have had hits with some accordion in them. I guess it isn’t used more because rock bands don’t want an accordion player in the group to steal all of the groupies! I hear Mitzi loves to play with the squeezebox…

  2. Thom says:

    This is why I thumb my nose at those who compare current chart achievements with those of the past…it’s just a whole different ballgame. The way these charts are calculated are totally different today…sure Drake can brag about having more songs on the Hot 100 at the same time than the Beatles did…but it’s easy to achieve when every stinking song from the album is counted on the chart because of downloads and You Tube views..they don’t have to actually be RELEASED as a single in order to qualify these days.

    End of grumpy old man rant. Now get off my lawn.

  3. Beautiful song. I’ve never heard it. Wow. Thank you.

    Accordion are under rated and don’t always have to be part of a joke. That said, I have to mention Weird Al. OK I’m done. Thanks again for the Counting Crows song.

  4. ghostmmnc says:

    That was a really nice song & video. I hadn’t heard it before. I did notice that Courtney Cox was the girl in the video. 🙂

  5. crimsonowl63 says:

    I had to look up Mr Jones because I wasn’t sure I remembered it, but I did. They have one other song I know : She Talks To Angels. Not for me.

    I’ve never heard this December song, but it’s really nice. Plus accordion. You can’t beat that except maybe with a banjo. As a HUGE (not size-wise) Weird Al fan, I do love a well played accordian.

    I’m really digging the new countdown!

    • She Talks To Angels was the Black Crowes, who are best known for their cover of Hard To Handle (I think they also did Remedy, which is another good song). Kinda weird that there were two big bands in the 90’s named after crows!

  6. Trisha says:

    To me, this is much better than any of the crap churned out by the pop divas! I like a song that can work a surprising instrument in.

    Odd coincidence: I’ve had Mr. Jones stuck in my head for the last couple of weeks but I had no idea who did it.

  7. I used to have a little book that told you what the collective term was for almost everything — you know — a pod of whales, a school of fish, a murder of crows et al. I used to know more of them, too, but I’ve forgotten a LOT of stuff.

    • That’s all truly useless knowledge, though. The kinda stuff you’d only need to know for trivia quizzes or to impress other people who like useless knowledge. Most regular people will just call everything a “buncha”….

      Lookie Ethel! There’s a buncha squirrels fightin’ at that thar feeder!

  8. draliman says:

    Sounds like the sort of song people wave their lighters around to at concerts. I wasn’t expecting that really strong American accent from someone with all those dreadlocks.

  9. I was never a Counting Crows fan, more of a Black Crows fan but this song is a great. I love the video!

    • This and Mr. Jones are the only two Counting Crows songs I like… though that would match my Black Crowes like count as well (Hard to Handle and Remedy). That’s not bad for the 90’s, though, which is one of my least favorite music decades…

  10. I was always a big fan of the Counting Crows. As for their popularity being greater in Canada, one look at who’s the prez is explanation enough of a lack of taste in the lower 48. Just saying.

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