Sheryl Crow – It is quite rare for an Artist to appear fully formed with a brilliant hit album, as if out of nowhere. But it seemed at the time that Sheryl had done just that. Her debut album Tuesday Night Music Club was an instant success, and it really sounded as if she had been singing for years. Which isn’t so far from the truth; she graduated as a music teacher and began recording radio jingles which was quite lucrative. She was a backing singer with Michael Jackson for a couple of years on tour, and recorded backing Stevie Wonder and Don Henley – but she had higher ambitions. She recorded a debut album but felt it wasn’t strong enough and she scrapped it (although some of the self-penned songs were recorded by other artists). Then she met and dated a musician who belonged to a loose collective calling themselves the Tuesday Night Music Club – hence the name of the album. They had written songs but had no decent singer until Sheryl came along and sung with them. The rest, as they say is History. That album (1994) was huge and sold over 7 million copies. It just seemed to hit he spot, great songs, a mixture of laid back Americana and occasional heavy guitars and oh, that voice. That gravelly lived in drawling American voice was wonderful. I loved this record – best songs ‘Leaving Las Vegas’, ‘Can’t Cry Anymore’ and ‘All I Wanna Do’. Possibly one of the greatest debut albums ever.
Two years later and she almost repeated the trick with her self-titled Sheryl Crow second album. Again a very confident set – best songs ‘If It makes You Happy’ and ‘Every Day Is A Winding Road’. And although the album is very good somehow, for me, it doesn’t quite work like the first one did. This release also included a 6 song live album, which was really excellent. I only have one other record of hers, though she has continued releasing them every year or so. This is The Globe Sessions (1998) and again it is perfectly acceptable, well sung, well-written songs – and yet…somehow it was just too samey. The trouble is that nowadays both Artists and Record Companies seem content to simply repeat the formula and sell a slightly diminishing piles, but still piles of records. There is nothing wrong with that I suppose, but I grew up in the Sixties and Seventies when musical progression was the norm; I like my artists to develop, to move on, to explore new sounds and styles. Still – not a bad artist – and she has gone on an on, making more records and more millions too I expect, it is just that I hopped off the bus after record number three.