The Black Sheep of the Crowes Albums
Richard Thompson | El Paso, Texas | 10/03/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"By Your Side - (1999) 11 Tracks **** (44:56)
First of all, let me just say, I like this album. I like it better than Three Snakes and One Charm. Now a lot of people will disagree with me, as many people consider By Your Side one of the Black Crowes "worst" albums ( I wonder what those people think of Lions? ). Anyway, this album was a departure from the Black Crowes usual line-up as long-time guitarist Marc Ford left the band. Instead of replacing him, Rich Robinson just took up the task of playing all the guitar parts. I didn't really notice at first, but I later realized the usual nice guitar solos and slide guitar was not present. Also affecting the sound of this particular release was a new producer, Kevin Shirley.
Well now, on to the music on this album: in typical Crowes fashion this CD kicks off with a nice upbeat "rocker" in Go Faster. It's loud and fast! With a quick tempo kick-drum that will keep your feet tapping and hands clappin'. Then they roll right into Kickin' My Heart Around. More dirty guitar rockin' from young Rich Robinson. I remember this track getting a little air-play back in the day, but not much more exposure than that. The song features some good harmonica playing by Chris Robinson. Things slow down a bit on the title track. Finally, a little "cleaner" guitar sound that actually lets us hear the keyboard parts and the back-ground singers too. There is really not a bad song on the whole disc. Not a bunch of outstanding songs, but just a lot of solid tunes. And some real variety too. The Crunchy wah-wah guitar sound that Rich evokes on Horsehead is almost unreal. Chris's vocal effects add to the surreal sound of the song. We have another winner! Lookout, even more variety, Only A Fool and Welcome to the Goodtimes both feature a horn section!
Any true Black Crowes fan will already own this. If they haven¡¦t listened to it in awhile, slip it into the CD player for a spin or load it in your iPod for convenience. If you are wondering if you should buy this Crowes album, the answer is Yes, sooner better than later. This release has a 6 page tri-fold booklet with complete lyrics for all songs. Recommended.
A real gem...
Baberufus | West Jordan, UT USA | 10/23/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great CD from a band that simply does not run out of steam! A mixture of the Stones-ish rock and roll as featured on their first two albums, with some gospel-tinged numbers as well--great stuff! Chris and Rich robinson are amazing songwriters! Any Black Crowes fan should not be without this disc in their collection!
This album did not sell well back when it was released, and their label subsequently dropped them--a shame, because were it not for the general public's downspiraling of musical tastes back in the late nineties, the album would have done much better. Korn, Limp Bizkit, and other crap were ruling the charts. Mainstream rock wasn't as bad back then as it is now, but starting to get there...the last 20 years or so of the general decline in quality of what the public considers good music just makes my stomach turn.
So let's not let the tanking of mainstream rock music ruin our OWN individual tastes! Buy this CD, and support quality blues-rock music! Hang in there!"