Sunday, January 24, 2016

On the turntable this Sunday...Three Snakes and A Charm

Three Snakes and One Charm is the fourth album by the American blues rock band The Black Crowes. It was released on July 23, 1996.

During the "Amorica or Bust" tour of 1995, many of the relationships within The Black Crowes had soured, the most public of which was the one between brothers Chris and Rich Robinson. "We just fucking hated each other," Rich noted in the September 1996 issue of Acoustic Guitar magazine. "It's just a normal phase bands go through. There was a lot of emotional baggage, and everyone got on each other's nerves. We almost broke up a few times, but finally we all let go and moved on."
Chris echoed his brother's sentiment in the March 1996 issue of Guitar World magazine. "Everyone goes through changes," he stated. "The trick is trying to remember that and keep it together, and having respect for everyone and not judging people because you're all goin' through changes. Perseverance is the thing. You have to get your ego in place."
With this new attitude in place, the band began planning what would be their fourth studio album. Their previous album, 1994's Amorica, was very much a studio recording, with a great deal of overdubs and other musical flourishes. This was a distinct change from the band's sophomore effort, 1992's The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion, which was recorded in eight days with little to no overdubs. A great deal of this was attributed to producer Jack Joseph Puig, who manned the board for Amorica. "The eight day album was coming off of 15 months of touring and we were still just flying," then-bassist Johnny Colt told RockNet in 1995. "This time we took some time off beforehand and tried to slow down...We consciously tried to take more time. I'm not even saying we really needed it, but we wanted to try it. We have worked ourselves into a position to afford to spend a little bit more time and try to make a different step."

Chris Robinson had a slightly different tone to his take on Amorica. "(It) wasn't hard to make because it was our third album," he told MOJO magazine in July 1996. "It was hard to make because we were depressed and in an angry, confused place. Most of it was personal shit."

Rather than make another "studio" record like Amorica, the band opted for a different approach in the latter months of 1995. "Chris suggested that rather than book a hotel for six months, it'd be cooler if we rented a house for everyone to stay in," Rich Robinson noted in 1996. "So Chris moved into the house, and I brought my little board over to work on the demos. It sounded so cool that I brought my big board over, and the rest of my shit, and we rented a Neve sidecar for 10 extra channels. And we just did it."

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