The band was born in Atlanta in 1984 under the name Mr. Crowes Garden. Although the line-up has changed over the years, the driving force behind Black Crowes has been brothers Chris and Rich Robinson since the beginning. In 1989, influenced by groups such as Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, The Faces, The Band, Little Feat, and Creedence Clearwater Revival, they recorded their first demo, with which they became linked to American Recordings.
In 1990 they released Shake Your Money MakerHard to Handle", "She Talks to Angels", "Jealous Again", "Twice As Hard", "Sister Luck" and "Seeing Things", the album was a huge success, selling 5 million copies and securing 5 platinum records in 1995. "Hard to Handle" and "She Talks to Angels" were among the top 30 songs on the 1990 pop charts, and contributed to the group's notoriety. In 1991, the Black Crowes performed at Monsters of Rock alongside AC/DC, Metallica, Mötley Crüe, Queensrÿche and Pantera.
After replacing guitarist Jeff Cease with Marc Ford, the band released its second album The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion in 1992. The album featured the singles "Remedy", "Thorn In My Pride", "Sting Me", "Sometimes Salvation" and "Hotel Illness", and sold 2 million copies (resulting in 2 platinum records). For its creation, the band recruited keyboardist Eddie Harsch, who became a permanent member of the band on the "High As the Moon" tour.
In 1994, after discarding the previous year's album Tallwas marked by the release of AmoricaHowever, it was not as successful as its predecessors (500 000 copies were sold).
Three Snakes & One Charm was released the following year, in 1996; in early 1997 another work was recorded, but after the band's summer tour Marc Ford was fired, Johnny Colt left the band and the project was abandoned (later many of the songs on the CD were played during various live performances). Bassist Sven Pipien joined the Black Crowes in 1998 and the following year the album By Your SideColumbia Records label, a work that went in a very different direction from the previous two albums. Amorica e Three Snakes & One Charm. Guitarist Audley Freed, from Cry of Love, joined the line-up, but did not take part in the recording sessions of By Your Side.
In 2000, the Crowes toured and recorded an album with Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page. In the same year singer Chris Robinson married actress Kate Hudson (daughter of actress Goldie Hawn).
In 2001 the album Lionswhich included songs like "Lickin'" and "Soul Singing", and a year later released a new live album that included tracks recorded during two concerts at Boston's Orpheum Theatre; simultaneously with the release of this Live collection, the Black Crowes announced that they would be retiring from the music scene for an undetermined amount of time. Some members of the band reunited to perform the song 'Sometimes Salvation' with Gov't Mule at the 2004 Jammy Awards. During this period, Chris Robinson released two albums: New Earth Mud in 2002 and This Magnificent Distance in 2004. In the meantime, his brother Rich formed a short-lived band called Hookah Brown, and then recorded his own solo album Paper (2004).
In early 2005 the Robinson brothers and Eddie Harsch reunited the group, including Marc Ford and Sven Pipien, and introduced drummer Bill Dobrow. Five performances in clubs in the north-east were mysteriously advertised, but with little promotion, under the name Mr. Crowes Garden. Until they took the stage at The Staircase in Pittston, it had been rumoured that this group was a reformation of the Black Crowes. Shortly afterwards, the official end of the Black Crowes split was marked by seven shows at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom in late March. When these performances sold out, the band added dates to their US tour, making several nights sold out. After only a couple of gigs, Dobrows was fired for his lack of interest in the band, and in May 2005, Black Crowes reunited with opening drummer Steve Gorman at the Tabernacle in Atlanta and played five sold-out shows. During the summer, the band joined Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers on tour.
During the reunion tour, the Black Crowes played the 2005 New Year's Eve concert at New York's famed Madison Square Garden with the North Mississippi All Stars and early Phish frontman Trey Anastasio. Anastasio played the guitar part on "Hard To Handle".
On March 21, 2006, the band released their first concert DVD, entitled "Freak n' Roll...Into The Fog", a performance recorded at San Francisco's historic Fillmore Auditorium. Among the DVD's extras is a behind-the-scenes look at the performance.
Later, brothers Chris and Rich Robinson embarked on a tour of acoustic nights, during which they played their own songs, covers and new songs. Advertised as Brothers of a Feather: An Acoustic Evening With Chris & Rich Robinson of The Black Crowesperformances were recorded for a possible release. Shortly before the start of the 2006 fall tour, between August and September, guitarist Marc Ford and keyboardist Ed Harsch left the band, being replaced by Paul Stacey and Rob Clores respectively. The CD was released in July 2007, around the same time as the live performance at Taste Of Chicago.
In 2008 they released Warpaintthe following year the double Before the Frost...Until the Freezewith only the first disc printed (Before the Frost) and the second (Until the Freeze) downloadable from their website thanks to the attached coupon.
In 2010, to celebrate its twentieth anniversary, they released Croweology an album containing acoustic versions of the most representative songs of their career. Afterwards Chris Robinson devoted himself to the Chris Robinson Brotherhood project and Rich Robinson formed the group Magpie Salute with ex-crowds Marc Ford and Sven Pipien.
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