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With their angst-filled hybrid of Van Morrison, the Band, and R.E.M., Counting Crows achieved mainstream success almost overnight in 1994. Behind their breakout single, "Mr. Jones," the Bay Area group's debut album, August and Everything After, went multi-platinum, earning a slew of Grammy Award nominations and setting them up as one of the more prominent acts of the mid-'90s. Their roots-driven approach to alt-rock struck a chord with fans of classic rock, and they've managed to carry their initial success well into 21st century with albums like 1996's chart-topping Recovering the Satellites and 2002's Hard Candy, as well as the 2004 hit "Accidentally in Love." While Counting Crows' recorded output slowed somewhat in the 2010s, they still managed a certain amount of prestige and respect, thanks in part to 2016's well-received Somewhere Under Wonderland. After a six-year gap, they delivered the 2021 EP Butter Miracle, Suite One. Formed in San Francisco in 1991, Counting Crows initially began as an acoustic duo featuring vocalist/songwriter Duritz and guitarist/producer David Bryson. Keyboardist Charlie Gillingham, bassist Matt Malley, and drummer Steve Bowman soon came aboard, with guitarist David Immerglück filling in as a session player before joining full-time in the late '90s. From the start, the group's buzz was strong, and on the strength of their early demos, a multi-label bidding war ensued, with Geffen ultimately emerging as victor. Produced by T-Bone Burnett, their 1993 debut, August and Everything After, was a dark and somber record, driven by Duritz's morose lyrics and expressive vocals. While still relatively unknown, the band filled in for the absent Van Morrison at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ceremony, where they were introduced by an enthusiastic Robbie Robertson. Not long after, the album's only uptempo song, "Mr. Jones," became a Top Ten hit and effectively launched the group to stardom. Critical praise and Grammy nominations soon followed.
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