Counting Crows is an American rock band from Berkeley, California. For more than three decades, the band has been dishing out hits upon hits to their fans around the world. Besides, their live performances are nothing short of awesome.
One of the many things that attract Counting Crows to their fans is their soulful lyrics. Overall, the band has seven studio albums, received two Grammy nominations, and has sold more than twenty million records worldwide.
As a fan of rock music, you’re missing out if you’ve not heard their lineup of songs. So, we prepared this list of the best Counting Crow songs for you. Plug your headphones and enjoy these bangers!
Counting Crows: The Story Behind the Glory
Counting Crows is a rock band that was formed in California in 1991. At the start, the band had two members, Adam Duritz (vocals) and David Bryson (guitar). Both of them would play gigs around San Francisco, eventually catching the attention of the band’s other members.
The names of the other members are Jim Bogios (drums), Millard Powers (bass), Charlie Gillingham (keyboard), David Immergluck (guitar), and Dan Vickrey (guitar). After the release of their debut album, August and Everything After (1993), the band became popular. They sold seven million copies of the album and got two Grammy nominations the next year.
Since the band started, Counting Crows have released seven studio albums, five live albums, two compilation albums, and 32 singles.
20 Best Counting Crows Songs
Here is our roundup of the best Counting Crows songs:
1. Mr. Jones
It’s no surprise that the #1 song on the list of the best Counting Crows songs is ‘Mr. Jones’. Besides, the band’s first major hit is this song. Off their debut album, August and Everything After, this song shot to #5 on US Billboard, and did numbers in Canada and France.
The song is a commentary on the perceived idealism of celebrities. The inspiration for this song is a night out at the bar with pre-fame rejection. ‘Mr. Jones’ sounds like the film, Reality Bites, condensed into a pop song. It’s a must-listen song!
2. A Long December
‘A Long December’ is a rare song that exudes both loneliness and hope. Duritz is enduring a frigid L.A. winter in his opulent Laurel Canyon mansion. Besides, he wished he could be with the girl he left behind when he got famous.
Of course, sticking to any serious New Year’s resolution is out of the question. Because of the band’s success, his life is now fixed in so many ways. What’s Duritz’s simple wish? “Perhaps this year will be better than last.”
3. Round Here
Many fans believe this song is an insane masterpiece. Depending on who you ask, the phrase ‘Round Here’ can mean a variety of things. If you ask the band, they will tell you that it is about life’s struggles.
On the other hand, fans attribute it to overcoming mental health issues, family problems, and standing up for yourself. The song is smooth and mellow, with noticeable guitar riffs and light percussion.
4. Accidentally in Love
If you’ve seen the movie Shrek 2, then you must be familiar with this monster hit! ‘Accidentally in Love’ was the first song played in the movie. Besides, it tells the story of falling in love with someone unique. The sullen voice of Counting Crows lead singer Adam Duritz is overlaid by punchy, lively music with catchy lyrics.
Critics, fans, and even children adored the happy song, which is unlike what the band normally releases. ‘Accidentally in Love’ got a nomination for Best Original Song at the 2005 Academy Awards.
‘Colorblind’ is a moody, dark, and haunting song written by Adam Duritz and Charlie Gillingham. The song’s deep lyrics match the classical-sounding piano, soft violin, and mellow guitar.
Besides, it is the seventh track on the album, This Desert Life. The song is also featured in the 1999 film, Cruel Intentions. Many fans describe the song as intense and heavy, with a wide range of interpretations. This is without a doubt one of the best Counting Crows songs.
6. Anna Begins
‘Anna Begins‘ is a song from Counting Crows’ debut album, August and Everything After. The song was not released as a single, but it is a fan favorite. Besides, Duritz wrote this song about an Australian girl named Anna, whom he met while on vacation in Greece and who broke his heart. The song is about denial and how people attempt to hide their true feelings in a relationship.
7. Big Yellow Taxi (ft. Vanessa Carlton)
Counting Crows featured Vanessa Carlton on their version of Joni Mitchell’s original 1970 song, which was featured in the hit film, Two Weeks’ Notice. ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ appeared on the band’s fourth album, Hard Candy, released in 2002, but this version did not include Carlton’s vocals.
Besides, it’s a popular cover played on the radio all the time. With its important examination of society’s urbanization and gentrification, the song aged so well.
The song is the second track of the band’s debut album, August and Everything After. ‘Omaha’ is a soulful song that combines Celtic influences with upbeat rock. The lyrics of Omaha criticize the influence of Christianity on American society and the rigid rules that it imposes, rather than focusing on spreading love.
9. Angels of the Silence
What is a list of Counting Crows best songs without this song? ‘Angels of the Silence’ is one of the band’s pure rock songs. It’s the lead single of Counting Crows’ album, Recovering Satellite. The song has all the elements of a perfect rock song.
It peaked at #3 on the US Modern Rock Tracks chart, becoming the album’s most successful track. If you’re looking for a dynamic and catchy rock song from Counting Crows, then you should look no further!
10. Rain King
‘Rain King’ is a catchy pop-rock number from the band’s debut album, August and Everything After. Many fans praise the song for its nostalgic magic, which draws you in and makes you reflect on your life.
Besides, this song was inspired by a character in Saul Bellow’s book but focuses on the creative process. That is, finding your vision and translating it into the final, creative masterpiece.
11. Goodnight Elisabeth
‘Goodnight Elisabeth’ is a part of the album, Recovering the Satellites. Despite not being one of the band’s singles, the song is a fan favorite and is loved when performed.
Moreover, Duritz wrote this song about a girl he was dating when the Counting Crows started. He wanted the girl to know that she would always have a place in his heart after they broke up when he returned from the tour.
12. American Girls
‘American Girls’ is the lead single of the album, Hard Candy. While the typical rock ingredients make up the majority of the song, it also includes catchy riffs and some extra elements. The song begins with an old-school keyboard, which sounds almost like a harmonica and a jangled guitar.
Some lush synth barre chords pervade the second half of the first minute of the song. ‘American Girls’ is undoubtedly one of the best Counting Crows songs.
13. Raining in Baltimore
This is an emotional song that stresses the intensity of being lonely, isolated and wishing to be somewhere else. Adam Duritz was born in Baltimore but moved away when he was only three years old. The lyrics are visibly painful, and the listener feels sympathy for them.
Like many of Counting Crows’ hits, the meaning of this song depends on the listener. Many fans can relate to the song, believing it’s about people who choose to live outside of their home country. Perhaps in a place with fewer resources, and how they deal with this.
14. Time and Time Again
In ‘Time and Time Again’, you can hear Adam Duritz’s sorrow in his voice as he sings about the difficulties of being in love, time apart, and self-doubt. His angst-filled voice is paired with heavy guitar and percussion, resulting in a mellow, tragic hit from their debut album. If you’re new to Counting Crows, this is a good song to start.
15. Sullivan Street
‘Sullivan Street’ is the eighth track on Counting Crows’ debut album, August and Everything After. The song features soft piano and guitar, percussion, with an emphasis on Duritz’s angsty vocals.
Besides, it’s a heavy song about the heartbreak of knowing you have to leave someone or somewhere you still care about. The lyrics of the song also talk about a place with distinct memories that make it difficult to return. Yet, it’s a permanent fixture.
16. A Murder of One
This intense, percussion-heavy tune is the final track on the band’s debut album, August and Everything After. Besides, it lasts nearly 6 minutes and discusses the loss of the innocence of childhood and the reality of life’s sorrows and frustrations.
The word “murder” in the title is a clever reference to both the band’s name and the superstition of counting magpies. Clearly, one of the best Counting Crows songs of all time!
17. Mrs. Potters Lullaby
This song is a part of Counting Crows’ 1999 album, This Desert Life. ‘Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby’ is a catchy, upbeat song that makes you want to get up and dance. It was inspired by a secret movie star who had a crush on the band’s singer, Adam Duritz. Besides, it took him about 8 hours to write the hit.
In addition, ‘Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby’ is of the band’s longer songs, nearly 8 minutes long. They later released a popular music video in which the band is seen in a sort of daydream party setting.
18. Perfect Blue Building
Perfect Blue Buildings is a mellow, soft rock song. Many fans described the song as “agonizing” and “haunting” to listen to because of its rawness. Besides, it was written by Adam Duritz. He addresses the problems of being sober.
Moreover, it appears to be a desperate cry for help, with lyrics asking for “help” over and over again. If you’re in search of a sad Counting Crows song, then is one for you!
‘Hanginaround‘ peaked at #3 on the Canadian charts and was a top 30 hit in the US. Adam Duritz, Davis Bryson, Charlie Gillingham, Matt Malley, Ben Mize, and Dan Vickrey worked on the script.
Besides, the chorus of this song was used as the main theme for the 2006 NBC sitcom ‘Four Kings,’ The song is a part of the album, This Desert Life.
20. Ghost Train
Finally, we are wrapping up our list of the best Counting Crows songs with the song, ‘Ghost Train’. This angsty percussion-heavy tune didn’t get enough buzz. It’s a solid addition to the band’s debut album, August and Everything After.
The poetic lyrics, like those in the band’s other songs, are a bare look at how previous relationships, romantic and otherwise, sit with you. Also, how they stay with you and continue to have an impact on your life long after they have finished.
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How Was Counting Crows Formed?
Casting Crows started in 1990 when lead singer Adam Duritz and guitarist David Bryson began playing acoustic shows in San Francisco. Although Duritz was in another band, he teamed with Bryson on the side. They finally formed the Counting Crows and signed a record deal with Geffen Records in 1993.
Does Big Star Have an Influence on Counting Crows’ Music?
Yes, absolutely! Big Star is a talented Memphis-based American rock band. They were popular in the 1970s and 1980s. In an interview with USA Today, Adam Duritz stated that Big Star had a huge influence on the band’s music. In Duritz’s words, “They were possibly the biggest influence on me”.
Other bands like Nirvana, The Band, and Van Morrison also rubbed off on Counting Crows.
How Many Studio Albums Does Counting Crows Have?
The band has seven studio albums under their belts. Besides, their most recent is the album, Somewhere Under Wonderland.
Why Is the Band Called Counting Crows?
The name of the band comes from a British nursery rhyme, ‘One for Sorrow’. Moreover, the rhyme is about the superstitious counting of magpies. Here’s the catch the magpies are a member of the crows family.
What Genre of Music Is Counting Crows?
Counting Crows’ music fall under two genre namely; Rock and Country Music.
We hope you had fun listening to our roundup of the best Counting Crows songs. Besides, these songs were carefully handpicked for your listening pleasure. For max effect, make sure you increase the volume on your speakers to the loudest! Get groovy!
What do you think about our list of Counting Crows’ best songs? Which is your favorite? Let’s know your thoughts and recommendations in the comments!