Top 10 Black Crowes Songs
It’s hard to believe, but the Black Crowes‘ first single, ‘Jealous Again,’ was released in 1990. Frontman Chris Robinson was 23 years old and his younger brother, guitarist Rich, was 20 years old. More than 20 years later, the Black Crowes may not be releasing new albums anymore but the impact of their career is still resonating in the world of music.
While it would be totally acceptable to simply list the 10 tracks from ‘Shake Your Money Maker’ as the band’s best songs, we decided to dive into the Crowes’ deep and dynamic catalog to pick out some of our favorites. A list like this couldn’t exist without much discussion and many heated arguments; the fans are as passionate about the music as the band is. Keeping that in mind – and after much of our own arguing – we give you our Top 10 Black Crowes Songs.
‘I Ain’t Hiding’
The most recent Crowes’ studio album featured several psychedelic tunes, but one song stands out amongst the 20 offered, and that’s the Dylan-esque, ‘I Ain’t Hiding.’ With a funky bass beat and wicked guitars, the song’s vibe is amplified with Robinson’s lyrics and vocals. Opening with, ‘Rust on my pickups and blood on the stage / Seeds in the ashtray and coke on the blade,’ the Chris Robinson-penned song is flawless in its old-school rock and roll style.
‘My Morning Song’
‘The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion’ was the perfect follow-up to the band’s debut album. With even more rock and musical depth, the record showcased the band’s quick growth in just a couple of years. One of the shining examples of that growth is ‘My Morning Song,’ a tune with so much soul it’s become a regular fan-favorite at live shows. Besides the energy Robinson and company exude during the song, it also has a powerful breakdown that comes around the 3:30 mark when Robinson belts out, ‘If your rhythm ever falls out of time / You can bring it to me and I will make it alright.‘ ‘My Morning Song’ proves to be a track that has a lasting effect on its listener.
On an album full of blues-, soul- and classic rock-tinged tracks, ‘Lickin” stands out as the most memorable. Built on a wicked guitar riff manned by Rich Robinson, the song is filled with gritty vocals and lyrics as well. While ‘Lions’ may have caused some mixed reviews from critics, it’s hard not to argue that ‘Lickin” rocks from start to finish. Adding to its appeal, it is a rarity for the band to perform the song live, having done so less than 100 times since its concert debut in 2001.
‘Thorn in My Pride’
One of the tamer songs on ‘Southern Harmony,’ ‘Thorn in My Pride’ perfectly captures the soulful edge of the Black Crowes. As opposed to ‘Lickin,” the band is obviously comfortable with performing the song live as they’ve played it nearly 1,000 times since the early-’90s. With emotional lyrics that have become definitive for the Crowes’ career, ‘Thorn in My Pride’ is a must on anyone’s list of the Top 10 Black Crowes Songs.
No list of the Top 10 Black Crowes Songs could be complete without ‘Jealous Again,’ the second track – and lead single – on the band’s debut album, ‘Shake Your Money Maker.’ A purely blues-based rock and roll song, ‘Jealous Again’ is arguably one of the catchiest Crowes songs ever released. Elevating the song to a new level, the band covered the tune on their 2010 acoustic greatest hits album, ‘Croweology,’ opening fans up to a different interpretation of a true classic.
While the blues have always played a role in the Black Crowes’ music, ‘Evergreen’ is a shining example of just how far they can push their talents. ‘Warpaint’ is the first studio album with Luther Dickinson on guitar, and his Southern rock and blues influence is obvious on ‘Evergreen.’ Dickinson’s chops shine around 2:20 as he takes front-stage for a lively and one-of-a-kind solo that bleeds perfectly into the final chorus.
‘Kickin’ My Heart Around’
Starting things off with a raucous slide up the guitar neck, ‘Kickin’ My Heart Around’ never slows down for three minutes and 41 seconds. The song is soaked in overdriven guitars and a non-stop toe-tapping rhythm that culminates with an ear-piercing harmonica-laden bridge. With lyrics like, ‘Well I told you so now it’s time to go / Got to get this show on the road / Just stop kickin’ my heart around,’ it’s easy to get this song stuck in your head.
‘She Talks to Angels’
Possibly one of the most recognizable Crowes tunes out there, ‘She Talks to Angels’ is a beautiful song that focuses on a woman battling addiction. Written by both Robinson brothers, what makes the song even more extraordinary is the fact that Rich wrote the music for it when he was just 15 years old. Even though the song will forever be associated with the music of the early-’90s, as with most of the Crowes’ music, ‘She Talks to Angels’ will hold up for many years to come.
‘Hard to Handle’
Originally written and recorded by Otis Redding during his final recording sessions before his death, the Black Crowes’ cover of ‘Hard to Handle’ reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Rock Charts in 1990. More than two decades later, the song still stands out as a significant contribution to the world of rock and roll. An honest rendition of Redding’s tune, the radio promo remix of ‘Hard to Handle’ takes the cover even further by including a brass section throughout the song.
Two years after ‘Hard to Handle’ hit No. 1, ‘Remedy’ did the exact same thing for 11 weeks. Like all of the Black Crowes’ music, ‘Remedy’ stands the test of time and even 20 years later, it sounds better than ever. Taking a cue from an old Parliament song, ‘Remedy’ is most memorable thanks to the catchy guitar riff that not only opens the song, but is also a major part of its foundation. With such a vast catalog, we’re happy to have ‘Remedy’ hold the No. 1 slot on our list of Top 10 Black Crowes Songs.