Eighteen years is nothing to sneeze at. When the band Counting Crows signed with Geffen Records in the early '90s, it was the start of the grunge era. They were an odd fit then (bursting through with the occasional hit like Mr Jones), and now, with the label an entirely different place, they're more of an odd fit.
Which might explain why they're leaving Geffen after an 18-year run. Singer Adam Durvitz took to the band's website to explain their decision, saying, "When Counting Crows signed our first record contract, we were an unknown band signed to DGC, the cool indie-flavored boutique label of Geffen Records."
Durvitz remembers the Geffen of yesteryear
"Our label mates were Sonic Youth, The Posies, Nirvana, The Sundays, Maria McKee and That Dog, to name a few," Durvitz continues, "Bands knew each other, played on each other's records, toured together. It was a dream environment...
"A lot of things changed in seventeen years. DGC disappeared except as a logo on our records, and Geffen became one of many labels of a much larger conglomerate. Still, Geffen and Counting Crows never stopped working together and never stopped succeeding together. We made great music and together we sold a lot of records. We're still here.
"The Internet opens a world of limitless possibility, where the only boundaries are the boundaries of your own imagination. We want a chance to push those boundaries back as far as we can. Unfortunately, the directions we want to go and the opportunities we want to pursue are often things that our label is simply not allowed to do…We all want what's best for everyone which is why we've decided to part ways."
One can read a lot into Durvitz's comments (and you can check out his entire post here), but one thing we take from it is that the band could be plotting a Radiohead or Nine Inch Nails-type scenario.
Whether Counting Crows give their music away for free remains to be seen, but they're off to something of a start. On their website they're offering a free download of their cover of Madonna's Borderline, recorded at London's Royal Albert Hall.