It has been 30 years (32 actually) since the Robinson brothers (Chris and Rich) joined forces with Jeff Cease, Johnny Colt and Steve Gorman to bring their brand of southern rock swagger to the masses as The Black Crowes. Their debut album "Shake Your Money Maker" was originally released on February 13, 1990 and became an instant success, featuring four hit singles and ushering in a new wave of southern rock music during a time when the Northwest was becoming the melting pot for new music. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of their landmark album, UMe/American Recordings have dug into The Black Crowes vault to release a new 4LP, 3CD set, which due to COVID-19 will be available in March, but available February 26th on all digital platforms.
The original 11-track release has been remastered and displays a cleaner, more clear and spacious sound, allowing Rich Robinson's guitars to breathe on their own during tracks like "Could I've Been So Blind" and "Struttin' Blues." The acoustics on "She Talks To Angels" feels more natural, as if you were in the studio, hearing him pluck the strings, while Chris' timeless, iconic vocals sound youthful and energetic on "Thick n' Thin."
The new 30th anniversary edition of this release adds ten bonus unreleased songs and B-sides, along with their hometown show in Atlanta, GA from December 1990. One of the things that The Black Crowes did was take someone else's song and turn it into one of their own, as shown in their version of John Lennon's "Jealous Guy" and Humble Pie's "30 Days In A Hole." The raw, acoustic version of "Jealous Again" sounds like what it would be to hang out with the band on the back porch of one of their houses, just loose and free. The addition of a couple tracks from their early demo, when they were known as Mr. Crowe's Garden, are also a nice addition and sound like they have been cleaned up, showing the band's early country side.
Their live show from 1990 sounds amazing and finds The Black Crowes in their true element, performing live to a crowd that has supported them early in their new career. Chris works up the audience with his between song banter, while the band perform every song from the "Shake Your Money Maker" album, along with a couple extras. The extended jam during "Words You Throw Away," is pure gold, as Rich's guitar work is second to none. Once again, The Black Crowes turn The Beatles' "Get Back" into one of their own, adding a bluesy, southern swagger to the song's famous lyrics. Also, the way The Black Crowes constructed their setlist was just masterful, interweaving their hits with lesser known tracks to keep the energy flowing through the entire performance. The deluxe version of this set includes a reproduction of one of the band's early posters, along with a backstage laminate and a 20-page book with liner notes from Rolling Stone senior editor David Fricke. To find out more about this amazing new 30th anniversary set of "Shake Your Money Maker" from The Black Crowes, please visit theblackcrowes.com.