Prior to my purchase of August & Everything After my music collection was full of 80's hair band music (some of it the worst of the worst: White Snake, Warrant, yes I was lost). I heard Mr. Jones on the radio and it sounded like nothing else on mainstream radio, I had to have it and more of that type of music- I was fourteen at the time and didn't know a damn thing about the kind of music that would really speak to me... I remember the day I bought August & Everything After. I remember it well, because I picked it up after work (i had a job working in a grocery store at the time, I miss the stress-free days of good manual labor sometimes) and I remember sitting in the parking lot of the music store and listening to the entire album start to finish at least three times through. I actually looped Round Here probably a half dozen times because I was just so moved by what I was hearing
Maria says she's dying/through the door I hear here crying/why?/I don't know... She parks her car outside myself and takes her clothes off/Say's she's close to understanding Jesus....
The lyrics and others on that album resonated with me at a level nothing had before. It was a song that connected with me and had so many parallels to my life, to the person I was dating at the time, to all these crazy emotions about being a lost generation looking for a path. To this day I will argue with anyone who tries to fight me on it, August & Everything After is a fucking masterpiece. I would rate it up there with U2's Joshua Tree or Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. Regardless of everything I've learned since hearing it, it remains perhaps the most sacred of my collection from my youth, because it changed me. it changed my taste it music and my direction as a musician. It turned me on to Folk music. Adam said he wanted to be Bob Dylan, I had to find what really made Dylan's music so special that this brilliant songwriter was aspiring to be him... At a time when it was very uncool to be a modern Folk band Counting Crows dared to do it and they did it better than anyone had before in my opinion.
Which each album that followed I seemed to drift a bit further away from the band, I would still pick up each release first day and spend quite a bit of time with each song, but other bands had become had taken over my attention. We all evolve I suppose. I remember listening to Saturday Nights & Sunday mornings and just feeling so disconnected from what the band was trying to say, I think Washignton Square was the only song that really struck a chord, there are some great songs on that album so don't misunderstand, I'm just saying where I was at that time the songs on that album just didn't connect.... I'm so glad the band is releasing a live DVD/BRD of the August & Everything After performance, I hope Adam has made some peace with the incredible genius of some of those earlier songs (Margery, 40 Years, Open All Night, etc..) the band should be very proud of those songs, because they are all very good. If I could only ask two things of this band it would be that they stay true to themselves as artist regardless of what the mainstream wants of them (I think they always have stayed true) and that they work some of those early songs back into set list... Oh well, one can hope. I was a bit worried that the band might be considering a break-up and very, very glad that does not seem to be the case.... A few days ago I found out one of my younger relatives had (own their own) discovered Counting Crows for the first time and expressed feeling a lot of what I did all those years ago, that made me realize how special this band is in spite of what the dumb ass industry insiders might think. Keep it going guys!