When you tell people that Counting Crows are your favourite band, they usually respond in one of two ways. Either:
“Who the hell are Counting Crows?”
“Oh yeah, Mr. Jones.”
As the band’s biggest hit and the song that shot them into the mainstream back in the early 1990s, it’s no wonder that most music fans of a certain age only remember the band for that song.
I Was Down at The New Amsterdam…
It never surprises me when people can only name Mr. Jones or “that one from Shrek.”
In fact, the only surprise comes from those I’m talking to when I tell them that neither of those songs are among my favourite Counting Crows songs.
Look, it’s not that they’re bad songs.
Both still sound great, but when you consider how overplayed they are, and especially when you consider how many truly incredible songs Counting Crows have written, tracks like Mr Jones cease to be the only thing a true CC fan has to enjoy.
Yet even now, at a time when I frequently skip over that song to get to stuff like Rain King, I have to admit that I would not be the Counting Crows fan, nor the music fan, I am today if it wasn’t for that one song.
Hell, if it wasn’t for Mr. Jones, I would not be the person I am today.
Staring At This Yellow-Haired Girl
I’m pretty sure I’ve told this story somewhere before on this blog, but here it is again:
Counting Crows first came into my life sometime between the year 2000 – 2001, when the DJ at Maximes Rock Night in Wigan would randomly spin Mr. Jones between in sets mostly comprised of the nu-metal sound that was so popular at that time period.
The song was so different from anything else that I heard on those loud, debauched Friday nights, that it instantly stuck with me, and I listened to it as often as I could.
That song followed me everywhere too.
Having never heard it before until Maximes, I was surprised to hear Mr. Jones popping up on the radio at the part-time job I had, and even going with to a holiday several hundred miles in Newquay, where it came out through the speakers in a particularly awesome club we went to one night.
Mr Jones Strikes Up A Conversation With A Black-Haired Flamenco Dancer
As I mentioned in the first part of my Top Ten Favourite Albums list, falling in love with Mr Jones eventually led to me falling in love with Counting Crows’ debut album, August & Everything After.
From there, falling in love with August & Everything After led me to fall in love with a girl.
She was neither a yellow-haired girl nor a black-haired flamenco dancer, but she was a Counting Crows fan, and that was more than enough for me.
We met originally via the Myspace group for Maximes Rock Night (you know, the same one where I first heard Counting Crows), met up in the club a few times, went out on a few dates, and eventually got married.
Yes, even I managed to convince someone to marry me once, even if it was only for a brief time.
She Dances Whilst His Father Plays Guitar
Eventually, Anna and I broke up, but today I am grateful for the time we had together.
Being with Anna changed me.
I am the person I am today because of her and our brief marriage, and I have Counting Crows to thank for that.
Mr Jones by Counting Crows is the 32nd song on my list of 52 songs that changed my life. Other entries in this list are below:
- Michael Jackson – Bad
- Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody
- Queen – The Hitman
- R.E.M – Drive
- Pink Floyd – The Wall
- The Eagles – Take it Easy
- Beautiful South – Old Red Eyes is Back
- Coal Chamber – Loco
- Type O Negative – Everything Dies
- Monster Magnet – Space Lord
- Live – The Dolphin’s Cry
- Metallica – The Memory Remains
- The Prodigy – Poison
- Nirvana – Territorial Pissings
- Iron Maiden – The Angel & The Gambler
- Metallica – Creeping Death
- Pantera – Cowboys From Hell
- System of a Down – Sugar
- Guns ‘n’ Roses – Garden of Eden
- Guns ‘n’ Roses – Mr. Brownstone
- Metallica – King Nothing
- The Cranberries – Zombie
- The Offspring – The Meaning of Life
- Muse – New Born
- Biohazard – Resist
- Rage Against The Machine – Testify
- Soil – Halo
- Slayer – Seasons in the Abyss
- Alice in Chains – Would?
- Pearl Jam – Alive
- Tom Petty – Free Falling