I have a stack of Cds in my car that have no labels on them. They might as well be blank Cds as far as I can tell… but the other day I happened to grab one out of curiosity, and man alive am I glad I did. The disc was full of live Black Crowes… VERY cool. I totally forgot I had this collection, so I was extra extra crispy when a live acoustic performance of “Remedy” came on.
I pulled a Scooby-Doo and said, “Raggy?” to nobody when I heard Chris Robinson introduce the song, then I did an Eep-Op-Ork-Ah-Ah! when I heard Steve Gorman count it off.
“Remedy” was the first single off their second album, The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion. The song went on to hit #48 on the Billboard singles charts, and #1 on the Mainstream Rock charts, holding that top position for a staggering eleven weeks.
This song hit during what is considered to be the “height” of The Black Crowes, as Southern Harmony debuted in #1 position. The album that knocked it out of the top spot was Billy Ray Cyrus‘ monster album, Some Gave All.
I have to be honest and say that I’ve never tried to interpret the lyrics to “Remedy.” Maybe a part of me didn’t want to because A) I’m lazy, and B) the lyrics are so cool to sing, that it’d be a shame if I found out the real meaning behind the song is something like, “I like popcorn.” Now, I highly doubt THAT is the meaning, but you know what I’m saying. As Nigel Tufnel once put so brilliantly, “It was really one of those things the authorities said… you know… well best leave it unsolved, really…you know.”
But just to let you know that I’m thinking of you, here’s what the song’s about. On the Crowes’ Vh-1 Storytellers show, singer Chris Robinson discusses the lyric. He first talks about actually seeing a bird dead on his hotel windowsill (there’s a direct reference to this in the song lyric), and then goes on to say, “I think it’s sometimes so strange they way people handle aids and HIV in a sense… not in the side of what you have to do for people who come down with any disease or anything that we really don’t know about, but in the fact that, what does it really do to our sexuality?”
Ok, that’s better than “I love popcorn.” I’m a happy boy.
Here’s that Vh-1 Storytellers performance of “Remedy.”
Very cool. I’ve always dug this performance because of (let’s be honest here) how sloppy it sounds. The backup vocals could have had a bit more pizzazz to them, though. Marc Ford and Rich Robinson sound like they’re about to keel over and die if they had to sing the chorus one more time.
One thing that has always bothered me is the fact that Lenny Kravitz‘s song “Fly Away” uses the exact same chord progression and groove as the chorus of “Remedy.” Now, I’m a fan of Lenny Kravitz, but that was just a little too close for comfort in my book. I’m surprised that nobody ever called him on it.
As you can see, I’m very protective and very defensive when it comes to the Crowes. I even got annoyed when Jason Mraz hit the radio and charts with his song called, “The Remedy.” It’s a good song, but dude, come up with your own title!
In the Dig-It section below, I’ve posted the live acoustic version that was on that unlabeled Cd from my car. It’s not the Vh-1 performance (which I’ve included as well below)… it’s about 10,000 times better. Keyboardist Eddie Harsh steals the stage in this version with a rollicking piano performance that makes me wish he’d come back to the Crowes’ lineup. I have no idea where or when this performance was recorded, so if anyone has any info on it, please share!
“Remedy” is definitely one of the Crowes’ most popular songs. It never fails to bring the crowd to their feet, and is an absolute show-stopper. It has a groove that, for reasons unexplained, hits you in all the right places (including every inch of your femoral periosteum), and induces you into a head-bobbing frenzy. I always look forward to hearing “Remedy” at a Crowes show, and it always delivers. So dig on these acoustic versions and go get some more Crowes music.
That’s what Batman would do. And I’m Batman.
Your Dig-It Downloads: (right click links to download)