Counting Crows

Counting Crows

Films About Ghosts…The Best Of


Counting Crows’ albums contain so many rich moments of musical quality that selecting songs for a best of collection will inevitably provoke arguments. And so it proved with Films About Ghosts, with fans, and even lead singer Adam Duritz squabbling between themselves about what should be included. To the casual fan, though, the Crows’ 13-year career is neatly encapsulated on this 16-track opus.

When the band emerged in 1993, their rootsy, organic sound did not exactly fit in with the musical scene dominated by grunge (namely Geffen labelmates Nirvana), but the band’s honesty, commitment to their musical integrity and consistent songwriting have ensured them a respectable amount of longevity. Each successive Counting Crows album may have sold less than its predecessor up until 2002’s Hard Candy, but that is no indicator of the quality of the band’s catalog.

The band’s debut album, August and Everything After, sold six million copies, and some would say it contains the Crows’ best works; the bleak yet captivating “Round Here” and the heartfelt “Mr. Jones” are perhaps the highlights of this collection. But there are plenty of other noteworthy mentions here, such as an excellent cover of “Friend of the Devil,” the folksy “Omaha,” the bouncy “Hanginaround,” all eight minutes of “Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby” from This Desert Life and the joyously infectious “American Girls” which catapulted the band back into the mainstream in 2002. The most unfortunate inclusion is the band’s dire cover of “Big Yellow Taxi.” But hey, best of collections never please everyone, do they?

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