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The Black Crowns
At the time of their 1990 debut, the kind of rock & roll the Black Crowes specialized in was sorely out of style. Only Guns N' Roses came close to approximating a vintage Stones-style raunch, but they were too angry and jagged to pull it off completely. The Black Crowes, on the other hand, replicated that Stonesy swagger and Faces boogie perfectly. Vocalist Chris Robinson appropriated the sound and style of vintage Rod Stewart, while brother Rich Robinson fused Keith Richards' lean guitar attack with Ron Wood's messy rhythmic sense. At their best, the Black Crowes echoed classic rock without imitating their influences, a blend that pushed the band to the top of the charts in the early 1990s, with 1992's The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion reaching number one on Billboard. While they didn't sustain that commercial peak, the band refashioned themselves as a harder-rocking jam band in the 2000s and beyond, a makeover that helped them stay on the road through lineup changes, hiatuses, and other assorted drama. The Robinson brothers originally formed the Black Crowes in Georgia in 1984. By the time the group released their first album with 1990's Shake Your Money Maker, the lineup comprised vocalist Chris Robinson, guitarist Rich Robinson, bassist Johnny Colt, guitarist Jeff Cease, and drummer Steve Gorman. "Jealous Again," the first single from Shake Your Money Maker, was a moderate hit, but it was the band's cover of Otis Redding's "Hard to Handle" that made the Black Crowes a multi-platinum success. "Hard to Handle" climbed its way into the Top 40, propelling the album into the Top Ten along the way. The acoustic ballad "She Talks to Angels" became the band's second Top 40 hit in the spring of 1991, and Shake Your Money Maker eventually sold over three million copies.
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