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Sheryl Crow
Celebrated as a true rock star, Sheryl Crow is best known for light-hearted, uptempo hits like Soak Up the Sun and All I Wanna Do. Wildflower, Crow's first new full-length release in three years, is a dramatic new direction for the nine-time Grammy winner with a collection of intimate, introspective compositions, heavy on string arrangements rather than her distinctive guitar solos.

Born on 11th February 1962, Crow was raised in the small town in Kenneth, Missouri, USA to musician parents ~ her mother a vocalist, and her father a trumpeter with his close friend. After Leo's death, Wendell Crow put away his trumpet and did not play again until his daughter recorded the tribute song We Do What We Can. With music in her genes, Sheryl Crow had dreams and wanted to make it big, and so she arrived in Los Angeles in 1986 with $10,000 in savings and the determination to be a musician. She sang with a band called Kashmir and later took on session work. Soon, Crow was one of the most sought after singers around and received offers to work with some of the biggest names in the business.

At the very brink of her career in the late 1980s, Crow was caught up in the world of drug and substance abuse but was also determined to come out of it. After taking some time to recover, she ventured back into the session world and in no time was signed onto A&M Records to launch her debut album Tuesday Night Music Club (1993), which spawned the smash hit single All I Wanna Do. Her self-titled second album Sheryl Crow (1996) recaptured all her magic, winning Crow a Grammy for Best Rock Album. Both her follow-ups, The Globe Sessions (1998) and The Sheryl Crow Live Collection (1999) provided a welcome antidote to the AOR slickness of her second album. Crow has continued to explore her passions and define her distinctive voice as a singer-songwriter. Her 2002 release C'mon, C'mon, an instant charmer of a rock album, became an immediate road trip classic.

On Wildflower, Sheryl Crow demonstrates once again just how well she can sell a song and herself to her million fans. The rock princess is all out to soothe with this new album, for which she packed her bags and some guitars and a tape recorder and went to Spain to create. The Record Music Magazine got an exclusive with Sheryl. Excerpts.

How would you describe the environment when you got down to writing this album?
Sheryl Crow: Well, this record really came about after The Greatest Hits was released. And actually, The Greatest Hits did a lot better than what we thought, because for me, I thought with iTunes, why would anyone buy a greatest hits? So, we were all really surprised and we tacked on a tour to The Greatest Hits. It kind of gave me or allowed me to take some time to figure out what direction I wanted to go in after The Greatest Hits, because I felt like that was the end of a chapter. And it gave me an opportunity to sort of switch gears a little bit. I moved country and was alone for a while in a strange land and I guess that is what triggered my mind to write songs just out of the blue. So I wrote more for the joy. I just wrote songs that came into my mind. Being an American in a foreign country also made me feel a little bit like an alien. And I think that really attributed to the aloneness feeling of the record.

How autobiographical are these songs on this album?
SC: I think in the last few years, most of my records have been more autobiographical than the first record, which was much more narrative. This one is definitely nearest to telling the story of who I was when I was writing it. A lot of it stems from a real change in in my life. And just getting involved with somebody and moving away. And I think when you really get into a deep relationship it shows you the better parts of yourself that you're also going to reintroduce to some of the worst parts of yourself.

So, when you were writing the songs, was it really just you and an instrument? Did you do any recording there?
SC: I started out with really good intentions. I did something on my computer and thought, well, I'll just do real rough demos. And then, I found that for me, it's just easier to be in the moment and just run a tape recorder. And so I had a couple of guitars and a bass and wound up just sitting in a room that was kind of designated my room for that purpose. And once I'd written a whole collection of songs, which I felt like were an art album and then a pop album, I came home and started sort of sorted through it. And then made almost two complete records completely different.

You can read the rest of our feature on Sheryl Crow in the October 2005 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.


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