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The Record Vault: The Black Crowes – The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion

Eight hazy days is all it took for the band to record album number 2, released on May 12, 1992. Having done the pre-work, the band was ready to capture their live sound onto tape.

The band of Chris Robinson on vocals, Rich Robinson and Marc Ford on guitar, Johnny Colt on bass, Steve Gorman on drums and Eddie Harsch on keyboards are on fire. And the jam live spirit drips from the speakers.

Wikipedia tells me that it was the first time an album featured four album rock number-one hits. The previous record was set by the great Tom Petty in 1989, with three number-one rock hits. The album itself reached the top spot of the Billboard 200 album chart, propelled by the success of these singles.

The album’s name comes from an influential 1835 hymn and tune book compiled by William Walker. While I never knew that at the time, I did think the title was unique.

Sting Me

We needed rock and roll to reset from the glamorized rock and metal that did the rounds in MTV.

That’s what “Sting Me” is about. It shows the bands intention and confirms that the first album, “Shake Your Moneymaker” was not a fluke.

“If you feel like a riot, don’t you deny it” are the opening lines and man, with all that was happening in LA, it could have been the protest song of the rioters, when the shitty verdict was handed down to the four white policemen in their beating of African-American Rodney King.

And the Chorus is so Rolling Stones like, I love it.

Remedy

This song deserved to be a smash hit everywhere. It was the perfect amalgamation of blues rock and pop rock.

And I love the lead break on this from Marc Ford. It reminds me of the leads that Slash does with GNR and it’s something which Slash doesn’t get enough credit for, being a great blues rock player in the vein of Jeff Beck. And Marc Ford is up there as well, so underrated.

And how good arethe female backing vocals.

But the song is forgotten on streaming services, compared to the debut album songs like “Hard To Handle” at 132 million streams on Spotify and “She Talks To Angels” at 78.6 million streams, “Remedy” pales at 27.3 million streams.

I guess all the fans already have the album, and we’ve overdosed on it, so the last thing we want to do is to play it again on a streaming service.

Kind of like playing “Wanted Dead Or Alive”, “Enter Sandman” or “The Final Countdown” or “Kick Start My Heart”. Then again, people are playing those songs in the millions each week.

Thorn in My Pride

The acoustic guitar playing is so Led Zep like and the lyrics of “my angels and my devils being the thorn in my pride” are favorites of mine. And Marc Ford brings it again in the lead department, with a very accomplished SRV like shred.

Bad Luck Blue Eyes Goodbye

I like these kind of slow blues songs, like “Little Wing”, “Since I’ve Been Lovin You” and “Black Magic Woman”.

Actually Poison with Richie Kotzen wrote a killer track like this called “Until You Suffer (Fire and Ice) from the “Native Tongue” album, but no one purchased that album. So did Richie Sambora, with “Stranger In This Town”.

Sometimes Salvation

It’s a slow maybe mid temp blues rock song, about lessening your troubles, by hanging with less vultures, and wishing you had a nickel for every time you were tricked by some miracle.

Hotel Illness

It’s got this Beatles and Rolling Stones blues rock vibe and I like it.

Black Moon Creeping

I like the groove on this.

No Speak No Slave

The opening riff reminds me of “When The Levee Breaks”. It could easily be interchanged with a Corrosion of Conformity song.

My Morning Song

This should have been another hit off the album, but “Remedy” was so big that nothing else could measure up.

Time Will Tell

A Bob Marley cover, with acoustic guitars and gospel like backing vocals, as the band takes the reggae feel to the muddy waters of the Mississippi Delta and turns it into an acoustic blues rock track.

We loved the album in Australia. It charted as high as Number 6 on our ARIA charts and it earned a Gold Certification.

In the U.S market, it went to Number 1 on the Billboard charts and earned a 2x Platinum certification.

For a long time I called it “The Great Southern Harmony Musical Corruption”. So put it on and let it corrupt you.

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15 thoughts on “The Record Vault: The Black Crowes – The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion

  1. Love this one. I can’t believe it was only 8 days. So many great albums that the band went in recorded and was out before you know it. More bands should do that. Stop wasting time fixing this or that. Go with your instincts and pump it out.

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