Blues rock from USA, discography of three full-length albums released between 1969-1971.
Crow is a Minneapolis-based blues rock band, that was first active from 1967 to 1972. They are best known for the song "Evil Woman (Don’t Play Your Games With Me)," which was notably covered by Black Sabbath.
Crow was formed in 1967 by singer David Wagner, guitarist Dick Wiegand, bassist Larry Wiegand, keyboardist Kink Middlemist, and drummer Harry Nehls under the name South 40, which was used until the group went national. Nehls was replaced by Denny Craswell at that time. Columbia Records brought them in to record a demo in 1969; they passed, and Crow was signed to Amaret.
In 1969, Crow’s debut album Crow Music was recorded. The single "Evil Woman (Don’t Play Your Games With Me)" made the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100 that fall, peaking at #19. Crow by Crow and Mosaic were the follow-up releases in 1970 and 1971 respectively. Singles released off Crow's later albums were not as successful; the band wanted to move to Elektra Records, but Amaret would not release them from their recording contract while retaining their name. Wagner left the group in 1971; the band replaced him with Mick Stanhope and attempted to move forward, but collapsed for good in 1972. David Wagner recorded a solo album for Amaret in late 1972 titled: d/b/a Crow.
They disbanded in 1972, but reformed again in 1980. This version of Crow included original lead vocalist David Wagner, John Richardson and Jeff Christensen on lead guitar/vocals, Denny Johnson on bass and Robby Belleville on drums. From September 1980 to July 1981, they recorded many sessions, which resulted in a new studio album titled Crow on the Run in 1982. This version of Crow disbanded in early 1982. In 1988, Crow reformed and they continue to play concerts all over the United States and have released numerous albums. All the members have won Minnesota Music Awards for their own individual instruments. In 2005, they were inducted into the Minnesota Rock/Country Hall of Fame and, in 2009, the Iowa Rock & Roll Music Hall of Fame.
Crow still play occasionally in the Midwest with Dave Wagner on vocals.
Minnesota's Crow were one of those bands who made an impressive dent in the charts early on, only to be victimized by a ruthless business and left in disarray before they could truly capitalize on their success. Led by Dave Wagner, this quintet flourished in the midwest for several years under the guise of 'South 40', before changing their name in 1969. That year, Crow bypassed an offer from Atlantic Records and signed with the smaller Amaret instead. This decision marked the beginning of what would eventually cause the band to implode. Their debut, "Crow Music" was issued that year and quickly their first single began its run up the Billboard charts. "Evil Woman" (which was later covered by Black Sabbath) went on to be the band's highest charting single. Despite the grand entrance the band had made, Amaret was unable to market the band properly due to their financial limitations and soon the band's momentum began to wane. Crow hurried into the studio and released "Crow By Crow" in 1970, which did not measure up to the success of their debut. A few singles made low chart entries and the album quickly vanished from distribution.
This album, "Mosaic" was released the following year and features some of the band's most memorable material. With Wagner's gritty vocals falling somewhere between Jim Dandy Mangrum and Janis Joplin, the material here is fiery and driving. Bearing a strong bluesy hard rock feel, each of the nine cuts smolder with a passion that borders on spiritual. Despite the quality of the songwriting, this album sank without a trace and the band fizzled by late 1972. It's sad because alot of the band's early material had been saddled with horn sections, which was forced upon the group by Amaret Records. The band were never happy with the change of direction and it is this album where the band finally return to their true sound. Unfortunately, it was a case of too little too late. Adding insult to injury, the band's three albums have never seen reissue. Luckily, this clean vinyl rip will provide listeners a chance to hear the band at its most distilled and clear. Try this out....you'll dig it.