THE BEST FUCKING COLLABORATION WEEK EVER
This series is “twice as hard”! Aaron at the KMA and myself are both taking a look at an old CD-R of Black Crowes B-sides, that he made for me umpteen years ago. Enjoy!
Aaron: Black Crowes B-Sides
RECORD STORE TALES MkII: Getting More Tale
#379: Aaron’s Black Crowes B-sides
Aaron has been a generous doner of Black Crowes music to Chez LeBrain for a long time now. Witness, Record Store Tales Parts 260 and 262, in which he provided copies of the Crowes’ Sho’ Nuff box set, and the CD single for “Kicking My Heart Around”. One of the most thoughtful items he ever gave me was a custom Crowes B-side CD, culled from his own library of tunes. The Crowes have a lot of singles and rare tracks, and my collection is still to this day woefully incomplete. The disc he made me covers a ton of songs that aren’t on albums.
There were quite a few tracks on this CD that I didn’t know the origin of. I found out that the first three tracks are from the “By Your Side” CD single, which I still don’t own physically. The opener, an acoustic version of “Horsehead” with a distorted lead vocal, is killer. It sounds live in the studio, which to me is proof that you don’t have to spend weeks and months and years in the studio to make music. “Horsehead” don’t need no frills. “Grows A Rose” and “Peace Anyway” are from the same CD single, but sound more like the By Your Side album. These are streamlined blues/rock tracks, but man “Grows A Rose” sure does smoke! “Peace Anyway” is a soulful Crowes also-ran that could have been on the album as well.
“It Must Be Over” is from the “Kicking My Heart Around” single that Aaron gave me. It’s a midtempo track much in the vein of the By Your Side album but not quite as catchy. It’s a fine B-side though. “You Don’t Have to Go” is really strong, but it could use more of that organ from Eddie Harsch.
Back to the olden days, “Don’t Wake Me” is an ass-kicker with plenty of that juicy slide guitar. This track was later reissued on the remastered Shake Your Money Maker album; I don’t know where it was originally from. For fans of that old Crowes sound before they really started to experiment, this is for you. The acoustic version of “She Talks to Angels” is available on the same remaster. It sounds like an old Stones ballad and it’s flawless in this incarnation.
“99 lbs” and the slow version of “Sting Me” are also available today on the Crowes remasters. I can’t believe how much “99 lbs.” kick ass for a B-side. I know it’s a blues cover, but that’s about all I know about this amazing steady rocking tune. Steady until the end that is, where it speeds up to a breakneck pace. “Sting Me” is one of those tracks that caused a huge battle between the brothers. One of them liked the slow version as heard on my Aaron Mix, and one preferred the fast album version. This resulted in one of those physical confrontations that involved a mike stand being used as a projectile. (I prefer the fast.)
As a B-side from Three Snakes and One Charm, “Just Say You’re Sorry” is surprisingly catchy and straitghforward. I love Rich’s watery sounding guitar tone. “Mellow Down Easy” is from the same period, this being a Willie Dixon classic. I don’t think the Crowes really did anything for it. Either way, it’s on the remastered Three Snakes, although “Just Say You’re Sorry” is not.
“Rainy Day Woman #12 & #35” is a bit of a gimmicky joke cover as far as I’m concerned. It comes from a pot compilation of some kind. “Pimper’s Paradise”, a Bob Marley cover, is a more successful experiment.
Aaron closed his CD with four live tracks in a row: all four are from Air studios in London, circa 1994. The four tracks sample the first three Crowes albums quite splendidly. “Remedy” in particular strikes me as awesome. The vocal is completely different from the album version which was only two years old. You can’t say the Crowes are content to leave things be.
Man, you just gotta give Aaron a 5/5 for making this CD. What a guy!