[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/counting_crows.jpg]]
->''Well I dreamt I saw you walking up a hillside in the snow''\\
''Casting shadows on the winter sky as you stood there counting crows''\\
''One for sorrow, two for joy''\\
''Three for girls and four for boys''\\
''Five for silver, six for gold''\\
''Seven for a secret never to be told''
-->--"A Murder of One", ''August and Everything After''

Counting Crows is an alternative rock band from Berkeley, California. They gained popularity in the mid-nineties for their debut album, ''August and Everything After.'' The band takes its name from the divination rhyme about crows, which also appears in the song "A Murder of One," quoted above. The group is fronted by and essentially [[IAmTheBand is]] singer-songwriter Adam Duritz, a "Russian-Jew-American impersonating African-Jamaican" whose lyrics are largely inspired by his personal relationships, life, and chronic dissociative disorder.

Their music can be best described as a harmonious blending of alternative rock and country rock. Some of their most prominent influences include Music/VanMorrison, Music/{{REM}}, Music/BobDylan, Music/TheBand, and Music/NeilYoung; they have paid tribute to many of their other influences with their cover album ''Underwater Sunshine''.

Music by Counting Crows has been featured on the soundtracks of ''Clueless'', ''Mr. Deeds '', ''Cruel Intentions'', ''Two Weeks Notice'', and ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}} 2''. "Accidentally in Love" from ''Shrek 2'' was nominated for the Best Original Song Oscar in 2005 and played at the Oscar ceremony.

The band is unusual in that it actively encourages the recording of its concerts and the distribution of the resulting bootleg recordings. The band hosts a [[http://www.countingcrowsdb.com/ trading network on its website]] to enable fans to swap concert recordings. Fans can also visit an unofficial torrent site, [[http://www.crowstown.com/ Crowstown]], which offers video and audio bootlegs for free.

------
'''Current members'''
* Adam Duritz (Lead vocals, piano, primary songwriter)
* David Bryson (guitar, mandolin, vocals)
* Dan Vickrey (guitar, vocals)
* David Immerglück (guitar, mandolin, pedal steel guitar, slide guitar, vocals)
* Charlie Gillingham (keyboards, accordion, vocals)
* Jim Bogios (drums)
* Millard Powers (bass guitar, upright bass, piano, vocals)

'''Prior principal members'''
* Steve Bowman (drums, 1991-1994)
* Matt Malley (bass guitar, vocals, 1992-2005)
* Ben Mize (drums, vocals, 1994-2002)

'''Discography'''
* ''August and Everything After'' (1993)
* ''Recovering the Satellites'' (1996)
* ''Across a Wire: Live in New York City'' (2-disc collection of live performances recorded for [=MTV=] and [=VH1=]) (1998)
* ''This Desert Life'' (1999)
* ''Hard Candy'' (2002)
* ''[[GreatestHitsAlbum Films About Ghosts (The Best Of...)]]'' (2003)
* ''New Amsterdam: Live at Heineken Music Hall'' (2006)
* ''Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings'' (2008)
* ''Live from [=SoHo=]'' (an iTunes exclusive album, 2008)
* ''August and Everything After - Live at Town Hall'' (recorded 2007, released 2011)
* ''Underwater Sunshine [[EitherOrTitle (or What We Did on Our Summer Vacation)]]'', a CoverAlbum (2012)
* ''Echoes of the Outlaw Roadshow'' (live album, 2013)
* ''Somewhere Under Wonderland'' (2014)

----
!!Songs, albums, and performances by Counting Crows feature the following tropes:

* AntiLoveSong: About half of them, most notably "American Girls", "Anna Begins", "Anyone but You", "Ghost Train", and "Butterfly in Reverse".
* AlbumTitleDrop:
** ''This Desert Life'' is named for a line in the song "High Life".
** ''Films About Ghosts'' is named for a line in "Mrs. Potter's Lullaby", which is included on the album.
** ''Somewhere Under Wonderland'' is named for a line in "Earthquake Driver".
** Also related, the above mentioned band name drop in "A Murder of One".
* BlatantLies: “Anna Begins” contains the repeated line “I am not worried/I am not overly concerned” to signify the narrator’s denial that he’s falling in love with the titular character. Later in the song he admits he’s been worried the whole time. This may be a nod to Music/TenCc’s “I’m Not in Love”, which employs a similar rhetorical device. Another similar instance is in “Colorblind”, where Duritz sings, “I am fine.” He does ''not'' sound fine.
* BreakupSong: "Mrs. Potter's Lullaby", among others.
* CaptainObvious / ShapedLikeItself: From "Le Ballet d'or"
--> "I would be lying if I didn't tell you the truth"
* ConceptAlbum: ''Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings'', divided into two sides on the precept that "On Saturday night, you sin; on Sunday morning, you repent". The album is also a deep exploration of Duritz' depersonalisation-derealisation disorder and, more generally, failure.
* TheCoverChangesTheGender: The cover of Music/JoniMitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi" turns "a big yellow taxi took away my old man" to "a big yellow taxi took my girl away."
* CoverSong: In addition to the CoverAlbum, their official discography includes covers of Music/JoniMitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi" (which provided one of their biggest hits), Music/TheGratefulDead's "Friend of the Devil", and Jackson C. Frank's "Blues Run the Game" (a bonus track on some versions of ''New Amsterdam''). Several of the songs from ''Underwater Sunshine'' have also made appearances on their various live albums.
* DarkReprise: The original recording of "Mr. Jones" is a song about wanting to be famous. The version featured on ''Across a Wire'' is about why you ''[[CelebrityIsOverrated shouldn't]]'' want to be famous.
** TriumphantReprise: The version of "Mr. Jones" on the ''August and Everything After - Live At Town Hall'' album (recorded in 2007), seems to [[{{Reconstruction}} reconstruct]] the concept--while fame has its issues, it's still got a big upside.
* DarkerAndEdgier: ''August and Everything After'' was a sweetly melodic, very subdued folk album. Their second, ''Recovering the Satellites'', added distorted guitar, angry lyrics, and several swear words.
** Also, the original version of "Round Here". See DespairEventHorizon.
** ''Saturday Nights'' is probably the darkest and edgiest Counting Crows will ever get. It's borderline metal at times. ''Sunday Mornings'' is way lighter musically but, lyrically, is still pretty dark.
* DespairEventHorizon: "Round Here" is about a girl who's crossing it. The narrator doesn't sound much better off.
-->''Round here we talk just like lions, but we sacrifice like lambs''\\
'''Round here she's slippin' through my hands.''
** It should be noted, while the Crows' version mainly comes across as a melancholy classic-rock tune, the original Himalayans (Adam's old group) version ''seriously'' fits with the lyrics (to the point that you're unlikely to ''ever'' hear the Crows' version the same way again).
* DistaffCounterpart: Maria. The most widely-accepted and often-quoted explanation, [[Main/WordOfGod from Duritz himself]]:
--> "She's just an idea of someone I came up with when I was writing 'Round Here.' I mean, she's me. It's through the eyes of a girl, but it's someone very much like me struggling at the edge, not sure if she's going to fall off on one side or the other. It's a theme that's stuck through songs. So she keeps popping up."
* DistinctDoubleAlbum:
** ''Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings'' is probably one of the most extreme examples out there. While it was released on one CD, the band themselves consider it a double album, as the two halves were written and conceived separately, and it's usually referred to that way in marketing because its two halves are so different. ''Saturday Nights'' is hard rock, bordering on metal. ''Sunday Mornings'' is mostly contemplative country-folk, with the two exceptions of "You Can't Count on Me" and "Come Around"; these are both closer to the style of ''Saturday Nights'', though not as dark musically. Lyrically, the two halves of the album explore different aspects of failure.
** ''Across a Wire'' is a live example, with the first disc (''VH1 Storytellers'') being (mostly) acoustic and the second (''MTV Live from the 10 Spot'') being electric. Some songs are included on both discs, but the arrangements are significantly (often radically) different.
* DrivenToSuicide: Maria in "Round Here" sounds pretty close to this.
-->''She looks up at the building, says she's thinking of jumping''\\
''She says she's tired of life. She must be tired of'' something.
* EitherOrTitle:
** The title of one song on ''Hard Candy'' is given as "If I Could Give All My Love -or- Richard Manuel Is Dead".
** The full title of ''Underwater Sunshine'' is ''Underwater Sunshine (or What We Did on Our Summer Vacation)''.
* EpicRocking: "Mrs. Potter's Lullaby", at 7:46.
** "Palisades Park" clocks in at 8:21, making it their longest studio track ever released.
** Live versions of "Round Here" and "Rain King" are known to go on for over eleven minutes. The version of "Round Here" on disc two of ''Across a Wire'' is exactly ten minutes long. ("Anna Begins" on the first disc runs for 13:55, but less than half of that is the song proper; it's still a bit over six minutes long, though).
** Also topping the six-minute mark are "High Life" (6:21) and the hidden track "Kid Things" (7:06).
* FadingIntoTheNextSong: "Hanginaround" fades into "Mrs. Potter's Lullaby" on ''This Desert Life''.
* FlyoverCountry: "Omaha, somewhere in middle America..."
* GratuitousFrench: "Le Ballet d'or" means "Golden Ballet".
* GreatestHitsAlbum: ''Films About Ghosts (The Best Of...)''
* HiddenTrack: They are fond of putting hidden tracks on their albums, usually by placing a long period of silence after the last song followed by the hidden one. This means that the track won't show up as an option when viewing the tracks on the CD — the only way to hear it is to wait through or fast forward through the silent portion of the last track.
* IAmTheBand[=/=]FaceOfTheBand: Most people only know Adam Duritz by name. This is because he writes almost all the songs, is literally the voice/sound of the band, and is extremely charismatic. The band simply wouldn't exist without him.
* IncrediblyLongNote: In "Sullivan Street".
* IronicNurseryTune: In "A Murder of One" with the "One for Sorrow, Two for Joy" rhyme (see MagpiesAsPortents trope) used in a song about an abusive partner, and then later in "I'm Not Sleeping" we get "I said rain rain go away\ Come again some other day,\ Cause I got all this shit to say\ But I've gone back to find my way", which is very powerful in context.
* LiteralMetaphor: There are many passages in their work that probably come across as metaphorical to people who haven’t had dissociative experiences, but are likely fairly literal descriptions of Duritz’ experiences. For instance, the following passage from “Round Here” probably reads as poetic imagery to most people, but is actually a fairly accurate description of how people with depersonalisation-derealisation syndrome experience reality:
--> I walk in the air, between the rain
--> Through myself and back again
--> Where? I don’t know.
:: Having a sense of oneself as an outside observer of one’s own experiences is a fairly common symptom of dissociative disorders; a person suffering this disorder may not feel connected to their body or their self.
* UsefulNotes/LosAngeles: "Goodnight L.A.", "Come Around", and "Los Angeles".
* LongRunnerLineUp: Since 2005, the lineup of the band has been stable[[note]]Adam Duritz, Dave Bryson (both founding members), Charlie Gillingham (joined 1992), Dan Vickrey (joined 1994), David Immerglück (joined 1999 but was a session musician for several albums before), Jim Bogios (joined 2002), and Millard Powers (joined 2005)[[/note]].
* LyricalDissonance: Adam Duritz is pretty much the ''master'' of upbeat, poppy rock songs about emotional detachment and despair.
** "American Girls" is a sparkly, upbeat pop song -- about realizing your lover is insane yet being unable to leave them.
** "Einstein on the Beach (For an Eggman)" is similarly upbeat and cheerful-sounding, but it's about UsefulNotes/AlbertEinstein's guilt of being involved in the design of nuclear weapons.
** "If I Could Give All My Love -or- Richard Manuel Is Dead" is another upbeat pop-rock song... about the singer realizing that his childhood idols are dying one by one and that he's unable to connect emotionally with the women in his life.
** And then there's "You Can't Count on Me", where the singer is almost ''joyful'' to finally realize that the women in his life are nothing but playthings he can toss aside when he's bored with them.
* MadnessMantra: Several. For instance, “She says, ‘It’s only in my head’/She says, ‘Shh, I know; it’s only in my head’”, from “Round Here”, reflecting Maria’s awareness that her mental problems are not reflective of external reality. Of course, as the next stanza reveals, her awareness that her problems aren’t real doesn’t make suffering them any easier for her. This is TruthInTelevision, as anyone who’s been there will be able to tell you. Depersonalisation disorder is not a psychosis, since its sufferers maintain intact reality testing (i.e., they can distinguish fantasy from reality and are aware that their mental issues are problems with their own perception rather than consequences of external reality). However, this does not necessarily make the disorder easier to deal with, as sufferers often obsess over their sanity and may continually worry whether they exist or whether their perceptions are real.
* MohsScaleOfRockAndMetalHardness: They mostly stay in 1-5 territory, but most of the ''Saturday Nights'' half of ''Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings'' is probably in 6-7 range. A few other songs, mostly from ''Recovering the Satellites'', may also reach this high.
* MoodWhiplash: Often used to great effect. The “Sleeping children better run like the wind” segment is much more turbulent than the rest of “Round Here” and is used to indicate Maria’s internal turmoil, and contrasts dramatically with the almost lullaby-like “It’s only in my head” that immediately follows. ''That'' is immediately followed by Maria suggesting the song’s narrator sleep with her, ''then'' admitting that she’s contemplating suicide. This trope can also be TruthInTelevision regarding some mental disorders, as sufferers may feel they have unstable grasps on reality or experience strong, rapid changes in mood. ''Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings'' is also a spectacular example, not just between the two halves of the album but, often, within individual songs.
* MusicalPastiche: On the whole, while they have clear musical influences, they don't wear them on their sleeves, but there are a few cases that stand out. "New Frontier" nails Music/{{REM}}'s style so closely that you might think it was Michael Stipe singing at times. "Carriage", meanwhile, seems to be Counting Crows' Music/DaveMatthewsBand song, again with Duritz doing a fairly convincing impersonation of Matthews. "Anyone but You" has a pretty good Music/TheBeachBoys pastiche towards the end. "I'm Not Sleeping" is, at several points, quite reminiscent of Music/TheBeatles' "[[Music/MagicalMysteryTour I Am the Walrus]]", particularly in its string arrangement. The ''Across a Wire'' version of "Ghost Train" sounds more than a bit like a lost Music/NeilYoung & Crazy Horse track, organ solo aside. And "If I Could Give All My Love -or- Richard Manuel Is Dead" makes its influence from Music/TheBand plain in its very title.
* OdeToIntoxication / OdeToSobriety: "Perfect Blue Buildings" and "Amy Hit the Atmosphere" are both about heroin users. The former is about jonesing for a fix, trying to get "a little oblivion" so he doesn't have to think about himself or his life. The latter is happier, though--Adam, Amy, and the others they'd shoot up with always used to talk about being taken on a "rocket ride" to somewhere they really belonged; eventually, Amy got clean, finally getting "out of this gutter".
* OneSteveLimit: Averted since 1999; David Bryson was a longtime member of the band, and then David Immerglück joined up. To lessen confusion, the former is now listed on the album as Dave Bryson, and the latter is often announced in-concert as "Immy".
* PerishingAltRockVoice: Just listen to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAe3sCIakXo Round Here]].
* PrecisionFStrike: They don't use profanity that much, but there are a few songs where it pops up ("I'm Not Sleeping", "Recovering the Satellites", etc.).
* RealLifeWritesThePlot: "A Long December" is about Duritz's breakup with Courtney Cox, and "Come Around" is partly about his leaving California and moving to New York.
* RearrangeTheSong: The acoustic disc of ''Across a Wire'' features several radical examples of this trope, incorporating instruments like banjos and accordions that weren't included on the original versions. Adam actually says they played mostly rearrangements of their electric material for this show because they liked the new feelings and meanings the process of rearranging the songs brought to the surface.
* RockstarSong:
** "Have You Seen Me Lately?"
** And more recently "Los Angeles".
-->So if you see that movie star and me\\
If you should see my picture in a magazine\\
Or if you fall asleep by the bedroom TV\\
Honey, I'm just trying to make some sense out of me.
* RunningGag:
** Well, less of a gag than a theme; during live performances, the band tends to work sections of "A Murder of One" into their other songs. It helps that they tend towards jamming while performing live.
** They also name drop a woman named "Maria" in several of their songs, such as "Mr. Jones", "Round Here", and the unrecorded "August and Everything After". {{Lampshade}}d in ''Mrs. Potter's Lullabye'':
--> There's a piece of Maria in every song that I sing
* SanitySlippageSong: Up to half of their songs, really. This is somewhat a case of WriteWhatYouKnow, as Adam Duritz has revealed that he has suffered from [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depersonalization_disorder depersonalisation-derealisation disorder]], a dissociative mental disorder that results in severe difficulty perceiving one's place in reality (it can be compared to having an existential crisis of epic proportions, as experiencing events as if they are occurring to someone else rather than to oneself, or as sensing oneself as a character in a fictional story rather than as a participant in reality).
* ShoutOut:
** They're fond of slipping in references to ''ComicBook/TheSandman'' in many songs.
** Also many references to ''Literature/HendersonTheRainKing'', including one song title "The Rain King"
** "The only sure road to true love is to find your inner Ric Ocasek". Duritz about his cover of [[Music/TheCars "You Might Think"]]
** On ''Across a Wire'', Adam opens "Mr. Jones" by quoting [[Music/TheByrds the Byrds']] "So You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star". All versions of the song refer to Creator/PabloPicasso and Music/BobDylan.
** "If I Could Give All My Love -or- Richard Manuel Is Dead" emulates both Richard Manuel's signature piano style and the main riff from "The Weight", his biggest hit with [[Music/TheBand the Band]].
** It is quite likely that the subtitle of ''Underwater Sunshine'' is a tribute to Music/FairportConvention's album ''What We Did on Our Holidays'', considering that it contains a cover of one of the songs from that album ("Meet on the Ledge"). The main part of the title may be a reference to the Soft Boys' ''Underwater Moonlight''.
** "Monkey" has a reference to Music/BenFolds.
** Multiple songs refer to artist Creator/MichelangeloBuonarroti, including "Angels of the Silences" and "[[CaptainObvious When I Dream of Michelangelo]]".
** In addition to the [[Music/ElvisPresley obvious one]], "Elvis Went to Hollywood" contains references to [[Literature/{{Frankenstein}} Viktor Frankenstein]] and [[Music/BigStar Alex Chilton]].
* TheShowMustGoOn: A 2002 performance in Los Angeles saw drummer Ben Mize fall ill mid-show, requiring his hospitalization. After a brief intermission, the band switched to acoustic instruments and performed several songs without a drummer, before drummers Randy Guss of Toad the Wet Sprocket (their opening band) and Todd Roper of Cake (who was in the audience) were persuaded to appear onstage to finish the show.
* SomethingCompletelyDifferent: "Palisades Park" opens with a minute-long trumpet solo coupled with a jazz-influenced piano piece. Then the main piano riff kicks in with the first verse, backed by very jazzy, swingy drums, vibrato-infused, bluesy guitar licks and a new, almost talk-ish singing style that differs from Adam Duritz' usual style. Despite all of this, the rest of ''Somewhere Under Wonderland'' is pretty much standard Counting Crows.
* UncommonTime:
** Most of "Mercury" is in 4/4, but the intro and some of the instrumental fills are in 7/4. This likely ties in with the lyrics, actually ("She'll change so suddenly/She's just like mercury/Yeah, but she's all right with me").
** "Start Again" (a country-styled cover of Scottish alternative rock band Teenage Fanclub) jumps around a lot.
* WordSaladLyrics: Adam Duritz just might be the king of this trope. Ironically, most of his lyrics make perfect sense in context.
----