by Sean Smith
Frontman Adam Duritz and his California based rock band Counting Crows released a new album this week. Somewhere Under Wonderland is the seventh studio album by the alt-rock band who first came to prominence in the early 1990s. The first single from the new offering was “Palisades Park” which was released back in July and was promoted with a short film music video directed by Bill Fishman. The second single from the album, “Earthquake Driver”, was revealed earlier this week when the Counting Crows performed it live on NBC’s TODAY show.
The Counting Crows have released a number of hit singles over their career. In 2004 the band had a huge pop hit with “Accidentally in Love” off of the Shrek 2 soundtrack. Before that, they gained fame with such hits as “Big Yellow Taxi” which featured Vanessa Carlton, “Hanginaround”, “A Long December”, and “Round Here”. But my personal favorite from Adam Duritz and the band was “Mr. Jones”, which is the focus of this week’s #tbt here on Clizbeats.
“Mr. Jones” served as the Counting Crows debut single from their very first album August and Everything After. The song itself reached as high as the number five spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and the number two spot on the Billboard Mainstream Top 40 chart. “Mr. Jones” also helped the Counting Crows to take home the MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist in 1994.
There is also an interesting story behind the writing of “Mr. Jones” by frontman Adam Duritz. During an episode of VH1’s Storytellers, Duritz revealed the real life Mr. Jones as being his good friend and former bassist Adam Jones, who played in a number of bands with Duritz before he eventually formed his current band the Counting Crows. He went on to describe the night that he spent with Marty Jones which spawned the basis for “Mr. Jones”. “(Marty and I) went out one night to watch his dad play, his dad was a Flamenco guitar player who lived in Spain (David Serva), and he was in San Francisco in the mission playing with his old Flamenco troupe. And after the gig we all went to this bar called the New Amsterdam in San Francisco on Columbus and we got completely drunk. And Marty and I sat at the bar staring at these two girls, wishing there was some way we could go talk to them, but we were too shy. We kept joking with each other that if we were big rock stars instead of such loser, low-budget musicians, this would be easy. I went home that night and I wrote a song about it.” And that is how the Counting Crows debut single “Mr. Jones” was born.
So with the Counting Crows releasing their latest album Somewhere Under Wonderland this week, today we remember their 1993 debut single “Mr. Jones”. Enjoy!