Happy Monday everyone! It’s back to the Terror Dome, which means that I’m going to do my part to waste everyone’s time to once again write about some rock artist who I think is being wronged by the “brains” behind the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. And, since I have been on a little roll with women lately, I am throwing my weight behind another deserving lady, who just happens to be a former educator, Ms. Sheryl Crow.
When Sheryl Crow burst onto the scene back in 1994, many thought she was an overnight sensation (my apologies to the great Eric Carmen!), when in reality she was far from that. Sheryl got her big break as a singer on Michael Jackson’s Bad Tour, during which she sang the duet “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” with Jackson. From there, Crow got invited to do backing vocals for a variety of established artists of the late-Eighties and early-Nineties, most notably Don Henley. From there, she hooked up with a variety of producers to try to make a debut album, recordings which all got shelved by Crow herself.
It was then that she got hooked up with a variety of L.A. musicians who would meet and jam under the moniker the Tuesday Night Music Club. The biggest name of the bunch was David Baerwald, a former member of mid-Eighties duo David + David who had a noteworthy album, Welcome to Boomtown, as well as a alternative rock radio hit “Boomtown.” Baerwald ended up helping Crow write and pick songs that would establish Crow’s sound on her new debut album, the Grammy-winning Tuesday Night Music Club. The success of the album established Crow as a major singer/songwriter talent of Generation X.
From there, Crow has constantly expanded and evolved her music’s sound over the 25 years she has been on the scene. If you are going to compare her to someone in rock history, she is of the same bloodline as Stevie Nicks. She is fiercely independent and totally dedicated to her muse, creating a cache of songs that has made the world sing. Is she country or rock? Is she urban or a hippy country gal? In reality, she all those things and much more.
As a former high school boys’ track & field coach, I can tell you the boys on my teams loved her music, as we used to listen to her greatest hits compilation while working out during our “laidback” Saturday morning workouts. Her music mixed beautifully with songs by the Grateful Dead, Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac, Little Feat on those dewy Saturday morning workouts. Additionally, the boys on my Nineties teams loved to watch her videos in my classroom before a meet, but I think that may have been based more on their hormones. Whatever the reason, I believe she played a minor role in the success of those teams of mine, so thank you Sheryl.
Today, I am presenting to you my Top 20 Favorite Sheryl Crow songs, if nothing else, to remind the Hall voters to remember her when it is time for them to vote.
20. “Can’t Cry Anymore” (Tuesday Night Music Club, 1994)
19. “Easy” (Feels like Home, 2013)
18. “Run Baby Run” (Tuesday Night Music Club, 1994)
17. “Wouldn’t Want to Be like You (with Annie Clark)” (2018)
16. “Halfway There (with Gary Clark Jr.)” (Be Myself, 2017)
15. “Redemption Day” (Sheryl Crow, 1996)
14. “Water Proof Mascara” (Feels like Home, 2013)
13. “Picture” – Kid Rock with Sheryl Crow (Cocky, 2002)
12. “Steve McQueen” (C’mon, C’mon, 2002)
11. “Safe and Sound” (C’mon, C’mon, 2002)
10. “Leaving Las Vegas” (Tuesday Night Music Club, 1994). The song that kicked off my Sheryl Crow obsession.
9. “A Change Would Do You Good” (Sheryl Crow, 1996). The song that truly established the fact that Sheryl Crow was cool.
8. “Sign Your Name” (100 Miles from Memphis, 2010). Anyone who has the balls to cover a Terence Trent D’Arby song has my attention!
7. “The First Cut Is the Deepest” (The Very Best of Sheryl Crow, 2003). Crow does Rod Stewart better with this song.
6. “Everyday Is a Winding Road” (Sheryl Crow, 1996). What a great song from my favorite album of hers.
5. “All I Wanna Do” (Tuesday Night Music Club, 1994). The song that broke Sheryl Crow open.
4. “My Favorite Mistake” (The Globe Session, 1998). Easily the best song on an otherwise unusually weak album.
3. “Soak Up the Sun” (C’mon, C’mon, 2002). The song most associated with those Saturday morning track workouts, as it summed up the whole laidback vibe of those mornings.
2. “Strong Enough” (Tuesday Night Music Club, 1994). This is the song of a strong woman telling all the players out there just to back off. Only the strongest may apply!
1. “If It Makes You Happy” (Sheryl Crow, 1996). I have heard many versions of this song, and no matter how Crow plays it, I love it! This song will be played at my funeral.