The Black Crowes were a band born at the wrong time. When they formed in 1989, rock and roll wasn’t hip. It was barely even happening. Metal, new wave, pop, and even house were all dominating the clubs and the charts, leaving little room for the Black Crowes’ very traditional, very established type of rock. But somehow, they found a crack and squeezed through. They might never have been cool, but it didn’t stop them from selling 30 million albums or being named ‘Best New American Band’ in 1990 by Rolling Stone. Their peak (at least in terms of fame and record sales) was between 1990 and 1995. But while their latter period has never really got the credit it deserves, it’s still given us plenty of great music. As to which of all their moments rank as the very finest, find out as we count down the 10 best Black Crowes songs of all time.
10. Wee Who See the Deep
By the end of the 90s, the Black Crowes had, for many people, become irrelevant. And that’s a shame. They may not have been delivering crowd-pleasing tracks like “Remedy” and “She Talks to Angels” anymore, but they’d grown, matured, and were still capable of pulling it out of the bag in a way that few of their contemporaries were. In 2008, they proved yet again why they weren’t ready to be consigned to the pages of history with “Wee Who See the Deep.” As beatsway.com rightly notes, the track has a huge groove, with the backing vocals adding some glam and the searing guitar of Luther Dickinson keeping things nicely bluesy.
9. Kickin’ My Heart Around
If Chris Robinson wasn’t exhausted by the end of this next one, then he’s a stronger man than most. “Kickin’ My Heart Around” is three and a half minutes of pure, unbridled energy. Its relentless rhythm will get your feet tapping for sure, but you’re going to need a lie down at the end of it.
8. My Morning Song
In 1992, The Black Crowes released their sophomore album, ‘”Southern Harmony and Musical Companion.” Commercially, it wasn’t anywhere near as successful as “Shake Your Money Maker” had been. Musically, the band had more depth and diversity than ever – it was just unfortunate that whatever people had connected with before, they weren’t connecting with now. But while the chart successes may have been thin on the ground, the album still delivered some incredible tunes. “My Morning Song” is a soulful, energetic track that, like the rest of the album, failed to receive the credit it deserved at the time but has since gone on to become a fan-favorite.
7. Soul Singing
As classicrockhistory.com writes, “Soul Singing” was always something of a fan favorite, and for good reason. Chris Robinson’s vocal performance is extraordinary. Bluesy, gutsy, and with a few gospel inflections for good measure, it’s quite possibly the best in his entire catalog. Despite being released several year after their peak, this 2001 nugget shows the Crowes on as fine as form as ever.
If you always liked the bluesy element of the Black Crowes but wished they’d explored it a bit more, listen to “Evergreen.” With guitarist Luther Dickinson lending his distinctive style of Southern blues to the track and Robinson delivering the goods like never before, this is 4:22 minutes of listening pleasure.
5. Twice As Hard
In 1990, The Black Crowes made their splashy entrance onto the scene with their George Drakoulias produced debut, “Shake Your Money Maker.” It didn’t take them long to let us know what they were about. The album’s Led Zeppelin-inspired opening track, “Twice As Hard,” is a belting good song that made no secret of the band’s love of old school rock. Rick Robinson does a fine Jimmy Page impression, delivering a weighted, sliding riff that carries beautifully over the thunderous drums – considering he was only 20 years old at the time, the skill level is astounding. The rest of the band don’t do too badly, either.
4. She Talks to Angels
After setting the tone of their debut album with the retro, 70s style “Twice as Hard,” the band didn’t look forward once. Yet despite sounding like a band out of time, they could still resonate with a 90s audience, as the sublime acoustic ballad, “She Talks to Angels,” proves. Inspired by a goth girl Chris Robinson knew in Atlanta with a taste for heroin and supernatural encounters, “She Talks to Angels” gave the band a No. 1 on the US Album Rock Track chart and a No. 30 on the US Hot 100.
3. Hard to Handle
The Black Crowes’ cover of Otis Reading’s “Hard to Handle” might not have reached the glorious heights of the original, but it came as close as any band ever has. Released in 1990, it took the Crowes straight to No. 1 on Billboard’s Rock Charts. All these years later, it’s still one of the band’s finest ever songs.
2. Jealous Again
“Jealous Again” is a stone-cold classic. Taken from the band’s debut album, “Shake Your Money Maker,” it’s big, dirty, and quite possibly the catchiest song the Black Crowes have ever made. If ever a 90s band delivered a hard-rocking blues number that could give even Led Zeppelin a run for their money, the Black Crowes did it here.
Not all 90s music has stood the test of time. In fact, quite a lot of it was best ignored at the time and best forgotten about now. But some of the songs to emerge from the decade weren’t just good, they were timeless. “Remedy” is a shining example of that. Nearly 30 years after it first hit the No. 1 spot, it still sounds as fresh and relevant as ever (even if Chris Robinson’s style choices in the accompanying video don’t). From the catchy guitar riff that forms the foundation of the track to Robinson’s swaggering vocals, it’s a joy from start to finish.