Selected by Dan Grunebaum
most rock' band in the world"
Back with their rawest album in years, and just having wrapped up their Tour of Brotherly Love with Britpop badboys Oasis, the Black Crowes drop into town for a three-night engagement at Shibuya Kokaido.
Formed in Atlanta, Georgia by brothers Chris (vocals) and Rich (guitars) Robinson, the Black Crowes have come a long way since the Stones-esque raunch of their 1990 debut
Shake Your Money Maker. Coming on the scene at a time when alternative and grunge were ascendant, the comparatively old-school Black Crowes stuck it out, building a reputation based on their energetic live sets including stints supporting Aerosmith and ZZ Top.
The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion was released in 1992, again bringing the Black Crowes critical acclaim, and this time a headlining tour that saw them playing to stadium crowds of up to 75,000. Amorica appeared in 1994, by which time the Black Crowes were certified superstars.
The Snakes & One Charm, the Black Crowes' fourth album, was issued in 1996. But despite rave reviews, it quickly dropped out of sight.
By Your Side appeared in 1999 following a series of personnel changes, but it wasn't until the Black Crowes teamed up in 2000 for a series of wildly successful concerts (and an album), with former Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, that the Black Crowes' unabashedly classic rock approach began to make a comeback.
Nourished by their association with Page, the Black Crowes on the just-released
Lions opt for a robust, swaggering approach ("fierce and genuine," according to Chris Robinson) that avoids the overproduction of some of their previous work.
Meanwhile, the Black Crowes have just been inducted into the RockWalk, joining James Brown, Aerosmith and other luminaries in leaving their handprints on the sidewalk of Hollywood's famed Sunset Boulevard.
Black Crowes play Shibuya Kokaido July 25-27. See listings for details.