Counting Crows feat. Vanessa Carlton – “Big Yellow Taxi” – (2002)

“Big Yellow Taxi” is a song originally written and obnoxiously recorded by Joni Mitchell. It’s been covered a lot over the years, but most famously by Counting Crows with vocals by Vanessa Carlton. This was the biggest version, becoming an Adult Contemporary top five hit. This song came from an era of music where artists just covered older songs (looking at you Smash Mouth and Uncle Kracker). While I don’t love this song (but do love its message), it is infinitely better than the nerve-grating original.

#11 – Counting Crows – “Mr. Jones” – (1993)

There are people who really don’t like the Counting Crows, but I don’t understand how you can’t like this song. I can understand not liking some of their work, but not this. The lyrics in this song are a lot of fun: “Grey is my favorite color, I felt so symbolic yesterday, if I knew Picasso, I would buy myself a grey guitar and play.” Or: “I want to be Bob Dylan, Mr. Jones wishes he was someone just a little more funky.” Yeah, I still don’t really know what this song is actually about. Also from August and Everything After:Round Here,” which is okay at best. In 1994 the band released an album called DGC Rarities, Vol. 1 and it contained the never-released-as-a-single-but-still-Modern Rock #1 hit “Einstein on the Beach (For an Eggman)” – which is an awesome song (but I’m not sure about the video I linked to, it’s the only one I could find).

#199 – Counting Crows – “Hanginaround” – (1999)

This Desert Life was the follow-up album to 1996’s Recovering the Satellites, whose most memorable Top 40 hit was “A Long December,” which was good, but not as much fun as “Hanginaround.” Unfortunately, this is the last great song from the Counting Crows… they’ve since covered Joni Mitchell and appeared on a Shrek soundtrack.