Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: The Counting Crows

I grew up listening to this band’s music all of the time on the radio, and a fair amount of the band’s music is a part of my own personal music collection, and so I worry that my fondness for this band and their approach may be somewhat biased [1].  Strangely enough, there is a huge disconnect between the popularity of this band on radio stations (like those I grew up listening to) and this band’s chart history, which shows that the band’s first hit on the Hot 100 was the #28 Hanginaround in 1998, off of their third album, after they had several major radio hits on their first two albums.  With Counting Crows, we are faced with an issue that the band had a moody and even mopey aesthetic but managed to produce quite a few excellent albums in about a decade of major pop success before falling off due to the lead singer’s major depression issues and then the resulting exile from major label status.  Whether or not someone knows about the underlying situations behind the band’s music, though, this is a band whose insights are easy to appreciate and whose unsentimental view of life drew a lot of fans during the band’s long period of commercial success and remains true today even after the band has stopped producing very much music at all in the past few years.

The Influence Of The Counting Crows

It is hard to tell the influence of the Counting Crows for several reasons, and that is the fact that few bands have come out and claimed such an influence.  To be sure, they did help ensure the massive popularity of adult alternative music that featured witty and intelligent lyricism as well as a profoundly honest approach to mental health, and that was at least an indirect inspiration to many.  The band clearly was well-connected to other famous people, as the band members, especially its lead singer, were friends and had dated numerous other famous people both in the music and acting world [2].  The band’s music and approach is very much focused on California and its concerns and specifically the life and experiences of the band, especially Adam Duritz.  The band’s collaborations with bands like The Wallflowers showed that it was deeply involved in the adult alternative music of its age.  If it is not a band that readily comes to mind for many people, that does not mean that its influence does not run deep.

Why Counting Crows Belongs In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

Ultimately, the biggest case for the induction of the Counting Crows into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is the popularity of their albums and the enduring record of excellence in their music, and the continued radio play of the band’s songs long after their commercial peak.  All told, the band’s first four studio albums went at least gold (two of them multi-platinum and another platinum), and they had a platinum-selling live album as well as a gold-selling compilation album, demonstrating considerable popularity over their first decade as a band.  Although the band’s popularity fell off after that initial popularity, the songs produced during that period are well worth appreciating even now and continue to be played often on alternative and adult alternative stations to this day.  These songs include the following essential hits:  “Mr. Jones,” “Round Here,” “Rain King,” “A Long December,” “Daylight Fading,” “Hanginaround,” “Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby,” “American Girls,” “She Don’t Want Nobody Near,” and “Accidentally In Love,” along with late career highlights like “You Can’t Count On Me,” and “1492” and an excellent remake of “Big Yellow Taxi” along with Vanessa Carlton [3].  This is a body of work that deserves to be played on Cleveland jukeboxes for fans who wonder why it is that the Counting Crows’ lead singer has struggled with nervous breakdowns but somehow managed to write and sing such a lasting selection of great songs, even if only three of them ended up on the Hot 100.

Why Counting Crows Aren’t In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

Truthfully, the band has not been eligible for a long time, so it remains to be seen whether the band will be given its due credit over the next few years or if this band will suffer a lengthy amount of snubbing along with the other adult alternative bands of its time.  Only time will tell whether this band receives the credit it deserves or whether the absence of hit singles and Hot 100 placements for its biggest airplay hits will hurt its credibility with the nominating committee and voters for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame who may nonetheless be fond of their music.

Verdict:  Put them in, as it might lead to a late-career commercial renaissance that would be very well-deserved.

[1] See, for example:





[2] See, for example:


[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counting_Crows_discography


About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in American History, History, Music History, Musings and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: The Counting Crows

  1. Kathy durbin says:

    I think that they should be in the rock and roll Hall of Fame I have been listening to them since the 80 I am listening to them right now love them


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