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Genre: mainstream rock


Born: Sheryl Suzanne Crow

When: Feb. 11, 1962

Where: Kennett, MO


The Studio Albums:

Hover over an album for the name and year of release. Click to see its DMDB page.

Tuesday Night Music Club (1993) Sheryl Crow (1996) The Globe Sessions (1998) C’Mon C’Mon (2002) Wildflower (2005) Detours (2008) Home for Christmas (2008) 100 Miles from Memphis (2010)


Compilations:

(Organized by dates of recording, not release)

Very Best of (1993-2003)


Live Albums:

(Organized by dates of recording, not release)

Live from Central Park (1999)


Key Tracks:

  • Leaving Las Vegas (1994)
  • All I Wanna Do (1994)
  • Strong Enough (1994)
  • If It Makes You Happy (1996)
  • Everyday Is a Winding Road (1996)
  • A Change Would Do You Good (1997)
  • My Favorite Mistake (1998)
  • There Goes the Neighborhood (1998)
  • Sweet Child O’ Mine (1999)
  • Safe and Sound (2001)
  • Soak Up the Sun (2002)
  • Steve McQueen (2002)
  • Picture (with Kid Rock) (2002)
  • The First Cut Is the Deepest (2003)
  • Good Is Good (2005)
  • Always on Your Side (with Sting) (2006)
  • Shine Over Babylon (2007)
  • Love Is Free (2008)
  • Summer Day (2010)


Album Sales (in millions):

sales in U.S. only 16.0
sales worldwide - estimated 29.5


Singles Sales (in millions):

sales in U.S. only 2.0
sales worldwide - estimated 2.0


Website(s):


Awards:

One of my personal top 100 acts of all time. Click to learn more.

SHERYL CROW
Overview:
“American singer-songwriter and musician” WK “Sheryl Crow’s fresh, updated spin on classic roots rock made her one of the most popular mainstream rockers of the '90s. Her albums were loose and eclectic on the surface, yet were generally tied together by polished, professional songcraft. Crow’s sunny, good-time rockers and world-weary ballads were radio staples for much of the ‘90s, and she was a perennial favorite at Grammy time. Although her songwriting style was firmly anchored to the rock tradition, she wasn’t a slave to it – her free-associative, reference-laden poetry could hardly have been the product of any era but the ‘90s. Her production not only kept pace with contemporary trends, but sometimes even pushed the envelope of what sounds could be heard on a classicist rock album, especially on her self-titled sophomore effort. All of this made Crow one of the most dependable stars of the decade, and she showed no signs of relinquishing her hard-won success in the new millennium.” SH


Early Years (1962-1992)
She was the third of four children and “her parents had both performed in swing orchestras, her father on trumpet and her mother as a singer; her mother was also a piano teacher, and ensured that all her daughters learned the instrument starting in grade school. Crow wrote her first song at age 13, and majored in music at the University of Missouri, where she also played keyboards in a cover band called Cashmere. After graduating, she spent a couple of years in St. Louis working as a music teacher for autistic children. She sang with another cover band, P.M., by night, and also recorded local advertising jingles on the side.” SH

“In 1986, Crow packed up and moved to Los Angeles to try her luck in the music business. She was able to land some more jingle-singing assignments, and got her first big break when she successfully auditioned to be a backup singer on Michael Jackson’s international Bad tour. In concert, she often sang the female duet part on ‘I Just Can’t Stop Loving You,’ and was inaccurately rumored by the tabloids to have been Jackson’s lover. After spending two years on the road with Jackson, Crow resumed her search for a record deal, but found that record companies were only interested in making her a dance-pop singer, which was not at all to her taste.” SH “Crow also sang in the short-lived Steven Bochco drama, Cop Rock, in 1990. The following year, she performed Hundreds of Tears, which was included in the Point Break soundtrack.” WK

“She revived her career as a session vocalist…and performed with the likes of Sting, Rod Stewart, Stevie Wonder, Foreigner, Joe Cocker, Sinead O’Connor, and Don Henley, the latter of whom she toured with behind The End of the Innocence. She also developed her songwriting skills enough to have her compositions recorded by the likes of Wynonna Judd, Celine Dion, and Eric Clapton.” SH

“Thanks to her session work, she made a connection with producer Hugh Padgham, who got her signed to A&M. Padgham and Crow went into the studio in 1991 to record her debut album, but Padgham’s pop leanings resulted in a slick, ballad-laden record that didn’t reflect the sound Crow wanted.” SH “The self-titled debut album was slated to be released on September 22, 1992, but was ultimately rejected by her label. However, a handful of cassette copies of the album were leaked along with press folders to be used for album publicity. This album has been widely dispersed via file sharing networks and fan trading over the years.” WK


Tuesday Night Music Club (1992-1995)
“Thanks to boyfriend Kevin Gilbert, an engineer who’d attempted to remix her ill-fated album, Crow fell in with a loose group of industry pros that included Gilbert, Bill Bottrell, David Baerwald, David Ricketts [the latter two formerly of David & David], Brian MacLeod, and Dan Schwartz. Dubbed the Tuesday Night Music Club, this collective met once a week at Bottrell’s Pasadena recording studio to drink, jam, and work out material. In this informal, collaborative setting, Crow was able to get her creative juices flowing again, and the group agreed to make its newest member – the only one with a recording contract – the focal point.” SH

“Crow and the collective worked out enough material for an album, and with Bottrell serving as producer, she recorded her new official debut, titled Tuesday Night Music Club in tribute. The record was released in August 1993 and proved slow to take off. Lead single Run Baby Run made little impact, and while Leaving Las Vegas attracted some attention through its inclusion in the acclaimed film of the same name, it reached only the lower half of the charts. A&M took one last shot by releasing All I Wanna Do…With its breezy, carefree outlook, ‘All I Wanna Do’ became one of the biggest summer singles of 1994…Suddenly, Tuesday Night Music Club started flying out of stores, and spawned a Top Five follow-up hit in Strong Enough…Crow was a big winner at the Grammys in early 1995, taking home honors for Best New Artist, Best Female Rock Vocal, and Record of the Year (the latter two for ‘All I Wanna Do’). Her surprising sweep pushed Tuesday Night Music Club into the realm of genuine blockbuster…After close to a decade of dues-paying, Crow was a star.” SH

“Unfortunately, success came at a price.” SH “Her relationship with Gilbert became acrimonious soon after the album was released.” WK Then, “in 1994, Crow had been invited to perform ‘Leaving Las Vegas’ on Late Night With David Letterman. In a brief interview segment, Letterman asked if the song was autobiographical, and Crow offhandedly agreed that it was. In actuality, the song was mostly written by David Baerwald, based on the book by his good friend John O’Brien (which had also inspired the film). Having been burned by the industry already, some of the Tuesday Night Music Club took Crow’s comment as a refusal to give proper credit for their contributions. Baerwald in particular felt betrayed, and things only got worse when O’Brien committed suicide not long after Crow’s Letterman appearance. Although O’Brien’s family stepped forward to affirm that Crow had nothing to do with the tragedy, the rift with Baerwald was already irreparable. Some Club members bitterly charged that Crow’s role in the collaborative process was rather small, and that the talent on display actually had little to do with her. Tragedy struck again in 1996 when Crow’s ex-boyfriend, Kevin Gilbert, was found dead of autoerotic asphyxiation.” SH


Sheryl Crow (1996-1997)
Stung by the charges, Crow set out to prove her legitimacy with her second album…Bill Bottrell was originally slated to produce the record, but fell out with Crow very early on, and the singer ended up taking over production duties herself…Released in the fall of 1996, Sheryl Crow [proved]…that she could cut it without her estranged collaborators…Crow brought home Grammys for Best Rock Album and another Best Female Rock Vocal (for If It Makes You Happy).” SH

“The album had songs about abortion, homelessness and nuclear war.” WK “The album was banned from sale at Wal-Mart; in Love Is a Good Thing, Crow suggests that guns sold by Wal-Mart too easily fall into the hands of children.” WK

“Crow toured with the Lilith Fair package during the summer of 1997 (the first of several times), and subsequently wrote and performed the title theme to the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies.” SH


The Globe Sessions and Live in Central Park (1998-2001)
“In the fall of 1998, she returned with her third album, The Globe Sessions. A more straightforward, traditionalist rock record than Sheryl Crow, The Globe Sessions didn’t dominate the airwaves in quite the same fashion, but it did become her third straight platinum-selling, Top Ten LP, and it won her another Grammy for Best Rock Album.” SH

“During this period, she discussed in interviews having gone through a deep depression, and there was speculation about a brief affair with Eric Clapton. The debut single from this album, My Favorite Mistake, was rumored to be about him, although Crow claims otherwise about a philandering ex-boyfriend.” WK

“In 1999, she contributed a Grammy-winning cover of Guns N’ Roses’ Sweet Child O’ Mine to the soundtrack of the Adam Sandler comedy Big Daddy. She also performed a special free concert in New York’s Central Park, with an array of guest stars including Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Chrissie Hynde, the Dixie Chicks, Stevie Nicks, and Sarah McLachlan. The show was…later released as the album Live in Central Park, just in time for the holidays. There Goes the Neighborhood won her another Grammy for Best Female Rock Vocal; however, partly because of some shaky performances, the album flopped badly, not even going gold.


C’mon C’mon and Other Projects (2001-2004)
“Hit with a case of writer’s block, Crow took some time to deliver her fourth studio LP. In the meantime, she produced several tracks on Stevie Nicks’ 2001 album, Trouble in Shangri-La, and also recorded a duet with Kid Rock, Picture, for his album Cocky. Finally, in the spring of 2002, Crow released C’mon C’mon, which entered the LP charts at number two for her highest positioning yet. It quickly went platinum, and the lead single, Soak up the Sun, was a Top 20 hit and another ubiquitous radio smash.” SH The album’s second single, “Steve McQueen, won the Female Rock Vocal Performance Grammy.” WK

Crow also contributed to a lot of various projects, including soundtracks for Bridget Jones’ Diary and I Am Sam. In addition to working on Rock’s album, she also guested on Michelle Branch’s and Johnny Cash’s. She also recorded a duet with Mick Jagger for 2004’s Alfie soundtrack.

“Crow began dating cyclist Lance Armstrong in 2003. The couple announced their engagement in September 2005 and their split in February 2006.” WK

“Crow released a greatest hits compilation called The Very Best of Sheryl Crow. It featured many of her hit singles, as well as some new tracks. Among them was the ballad The First Cut is the Deepest (originally a Cat Stevens song).” WK It “earned her two American Music Awards for Best Pop/Rock Artist and Adult Contemporary Artist of the Year.” WK


Wildflower and Cancer (2005-2006)
Crow’s “fifth studio album Wildflower was released in September 2005. Although the album debuted at #2 on the Billboard charts, it received mixed reviews and was not as commercially successful as her previous albums. In December 2005, the album was nominated for a Best Pop Vocal Album Grammy, while Crow was nominated for a Best Female Pop Vocal Performance Grammy for the first single Good Is Good. However, she ultimately lost in both categories to Kelly Clarkson. The album got a new boost in 2006 when the second single was announced as Always on Your Side, re-recorded with British musician Sting and sent off to radio, where it was quickly embraced at Adult Top 40. The collaboration with Sting resulted in a Grammy-nomination for Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals.” WK

“In 2006, Crow contributed the opening track, Real Gone, to the soundtrack for Disney/Pixar’s animated film Cars…Crow was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer in mid-February 2006, her doctors stating that ‘prognosis for a full recovery is excellent.’” WK “The singer also appeared on Larry King Live on CNN on August 23, 2006. In this show she talked about her comeback, her breakup with Lance Armstrong, her past job as Michael Jackson’s backup singer, and her experience as a breast cancer survivor.” WK


Adoption, Detours, and Memphis (2007-2010)
“On May 11, 2007, Crow announced on her official website that she had adopted a two-week-old boy named Wyatt Steven Crow.” WK

In 2008, “Crow returned with her sixth studio album Detours.” WK It “debuted at number two on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart.” WK “‘The songs are very inspired by the last three years of events in my life," Crow said of a time that found her battling breast cancer and splitting with partner Lance Armstrong.” WK

“Her first-ever Christmas album, Home for Christmas, hit HALLMARK stores on September 30, 2008.” WK Another studio album, 100 Miles from Memphis, followed in 2010. The title is a reference to Crow’s hometown of Kennett, Missouri.


Review Sources:


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Last updated July 20, 2010.