Who Killed That Bird On Your Window Sill

The Black Crowes

Now that the Black Crowes have reunited, looking back on their bountiful past offers a unique perspective on a group of Georgia misfits that began as a classic rock derivative and became a surly and gyrating force sharp enough to tour with Jimmy Page. Sealing the deal is Who Killed That Bird On Your Window Sill, orginally released as a home video in 1992 and recently reissued, remastered and expanded on DVD with loads of live performances, interviews, backstage and studio footage, videos from the first two albums, and more. For fans and newbies alike, this messy montage of a movie is an infallible history lesson of the first order.

Examining the inner workings of the Black Crowes is not always pretty. Vocalist Chris Robinson and his guitar playing brother Rich make no bones about the internal strife they endured as the band began to take off. The singer, enamored by his own wit, is particularly vocal about drugs, alcohol, and other members of the band. The only time he holds his tongue is when a Japanese commentator rambles on while the Robinson brothers and guitarist Marc Ford look anxiously on, sitting idly and smiling politely. To this day, they are rarely on such good behavior. Ultimately, however, it’s the music that does most of the talking. The videos of “Jealous Again,” “Hard To Handle,” “She Talks To Angels,” “Thorn In My Pride,” “Remedy,” and “Sting Me” tie the whole sordid tale together in a prudent and entertaining manner.

As a live unit, the Black Crowes have and continue to excel. The road footage and live performances illustrate an affinity for the tour bus and all places in between. The intensity switches to a new high when the group makes an appearance at the Monsters in Moscow Festival, where security-happy Russian soldiers clashed with a half-million overzealous fans newly tuned into the world of rock and roll. Who Killed That Bird On Your Window Sill and the double CD of outtakes and leftovers called The Lost Crowes both build on the momentum presently swirling around the Black Crowes. Fans waiting for new music will appreciate the context and spirit in which the DVD and CD sets have been unveiled. It can only mean something even better is right around the corner.

~ Shawn Perry

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