Single Again: Counting Crows – ‘Mr. Jones’

By Dan Weiss

Single Again is a new column on where Dan Weiss investigates chart hits of the past and present, their stories and what they meant and how good they really are.

For this edition of Single Again, spoke to Adam Duritz of Counting Crows about “Mr. Jones,” the biggest of several hits that helped make Counting Crows’ debut album August and Everything After the fastest-selling album since Nirvana’s Nevermind at the time.


“Mr. Jones”: blessing or curse?

Umm…what do you mean?

Well, did the band get sick of it after a while or was there trouble getting out from under its shadow as a hit?

Oh, I thought we did. But I’d get sick of any song.



When you make a record, there’s no sense of what’s the single. It’s just one of ten songs. It wasn’t even the one the label wanted, nobody wanted it as a single.


I just thought it was a good introductory track. Everybody thought the big hit was probably “Rain King,” or that the first single should be “A Murder of One.” I mean, it had that Jesus Jones drumbeat, and what they think is going to be successful is what was just successful right before that. So “A Murder of One” had that little boom-chi-ba-di-ba-doom drumbeat, so they wanted it to go after what the kids wanted. But we didn’t really blow up over “Mr. Jones,” that’s the thing. It wasn’t even until we played Saturday Night Live and played “Round Here” that the record took off. I always thought “Round Here” was more responsible for it.



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