Before These Crowded Streets

Before These Crowded Streets

by Dave Matthews Band


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The Dave Matthews Band made their reputation through touring, spending endless nights on the road improvising. Often, their records hinted at the eclecticism and adventure inherent in those improvisation, but Before These Crowded Streets is the first album to fully capture that adventurous spirit. Not coincidentally, it's their least accessible record, even if it's more of a consolidation than it is a step forward. Early Dave Matthews albums were devoted to the worldbeat fusions of Graceland and Sting, but his RCA efforts incorporated these influences into a smoother, pop-oriented style. Here, everything hangs out. Old trademarks, like jittery acoustic grooves and jazzy chords, are here, augmented by complex polyrhythms, Mideastern dirges, and on two tracks, the slashing strings of the Kronos Quartet. Some fans may find the new, darker textures a little disarming at first, but they're a logical extension of the group's work, and in many ways, this sonic daring results in the most rewarding album they've yet recorded. The Dave Matthews Band haven't completely vanquished their demons, however -- songwriting remains a problem, especially since relying on grooves, improvisation, and texture allows them to skimp on melody, and Matthews' lyrics can be awkward and embarrassing, especially if he's writing about sex. Still, these are minor flaws on an album that relies on tone and improvisation, both of which are in ample supply on Before These Crowded Streets.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/28/1998
Label: Rca
UPC: 0078636766027
catalogNumber: 67660
Rank: 34404

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Dave Matthews Band   Primary Artist
John D'earth   Trumpet
Kronos Quartet and Trio Da Kali   Ensemble
Dave Matthews   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Tawatha Agee   Background Vocals
Hank Dutt   Viola
Béla Fleck   Banjo
David Harrington   Violin
Joan Jeanrenaud   Cello
Brenda White-King   Background Vocals
Cindy Myzelle   Background Vocals
John Sherba   Violin
Butch Taylor   Organ,Piano
Alanis Morissette   Vocals
Carter Beauford   Percussion,Drums,Background Vocals
Greg Howard   Chapman Stick
Stefan Lessard   Bass
LeRoi Moore   Bass Clarinet,Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone,Penny Whistle
Tim Reynolds   Mandolin,Electric Guitar
Boyd Tinsley   Violin

Technical Credits

John D'earth   Orchestral Arrangements
Steve Harris   Engineer
Steve Lillywhite   Producer
Stephen Harris   Engineer
Thane Kerner   Art Direction

Customer Reviews

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Before These Crowded Streets 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite DMB cd yet. I can play this cd straight through and not get tired. I recomend this cd to anyone who enjoys his differnet moods because the instruments on this cd express them very well.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This CD is the best CD ever made by any artist in the history of music!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I got this album for my birthday recently and I have to say, I really loved it. Until now I’ve been listening mainly to the live albums, and some of their more popular songs (such as the ones from Crash), so it came as a surprise to hear tracks on this CD that were so dark and intense. The use of strings on some of these songs was amazing. I really think that this album allowed Boyd to shine, and the backing of other string instruments gave some songs, such as Halloween, a haunting feel that pulls the listener in and makes them feel Dave’s pain. One of the things I really enjoyed was the addition of Alanis Morrissette for backing vocals on Don’t Drink the Water and Spoon. I find myself looking forward to that last track just to be able to hear that beautiful blend of voices. However much I enjoyed this CD, though, it wasn’t perfect. Halloween and Stay (Wasting Time) are two that I find myself skipping most of the time. You have to really be in the mood for Halloween, considering the fact that it is an angry, painful, heart wrenching song, and when I need that type of song, it’s welcomed. Stay (Wasting Time) just gets on my nerves. The overwhelming, almost gospel-esque backing vocals seem to take away from Dave’s singing, and the song itself sounds like it was written by someone else. It’s very far from Dave’s style as seen throughout the rest of the album. All in all, though, I really enjoyed this CD, and would recommend it to any Dave Matthews Band fan.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great CD to listen to while driving on a sunny day!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is DMB's absolute best album! It is very eclectic, creative, powerful, and brilliant!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Like their former "Crash," CD, "Before These Crowded Streets" continues to weave the many tales of the life experience, though this CD carries a darker tone in many of the songs. In fact, one may view Matthews' lyrical vision as a profit when you go back and spin "Last Stop" and "Don't Drink the Water," both songs that carry the horrific message of what happened on 9-11. The trademark extended arrangements and unique instrumental sound illustrate a band who's musical talent is undeniable. With every song, the CD is a continuous journey of life and love, and the highs and lows that accompany them. Timeless and endless, "Before These Crowded Streets" is a must for all music collections.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A lot of times people tell me that DMB is all the same but from an album such as Before These Crowded Streets I can prove them wrong. Such romantic tunes as The Stone and Crush are very different then semi political tunes such as Don't Drink the Water and the Dreaming Tree. While this album has a bit of a harsher sound, a little darker then previous albums such as Crash and Under the Table and Dreaming, you will still feel very comfortable listening to it. I find this album a big step for DMB, instead of always sticking to the romantic songs the band is now branching out! Even if you aren't a DMB fan, if you are a fan of well written music you will most definitely enjoy this album!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this is one of DMB best album. I have all his cd's,and I never get tired of any song.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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