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(Erik Lunsford/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/MCT)

(Erik Lunsford/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/MCT)


ST. LOUIS — Rocker Sheryl Crow never banked on her 1993 album “Tuesday Night Music Club” being a game-changing breakthrough.


“I really don’t know what to expect,” Crow told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch during the album’s release week, when the Kennett, Mo., native, was living here. “Anything is possible. Not ever having had a record of my own out before, everything is new to me at this point.”


No one could have predicted what was coming. Released Aug. 3, 1993, the album was named after the musicians collective that helped create it, including producer Bill Bottrell, multi-instrumentalist Kevin Gilbert, bassist Dan Schwartz, drummer Brian Macleod, and guitarists David Baerwald and Dave Ricketts.


The CD, as defining and massive for Crow as it was controversial and tragic, pumped out hit after hit: “All I Wanna Do,” “Leaving Las Vegas,” “Strong Enough,” “Can’t Cry Anymore.” Grammy came calling with trophies for best new artist, record of the year and best female pop vocal performance. The CD kicked off Crow’s long-running love affair with the awards.


This week, “Tuesday Night Music Club” was re-released in a special deluxe edition.


Crow’s sales of over 7 million for the original “Tuesday Night Music Club” remain her best. The CD perfectly showcased the blossoming Crow, who kept things roots-rocky while still managing to be diverse over the 11 tracks.


“Tuesday Night Music Club” moved around fluidly, from the shuffling “Leaving Las Vegas” to the twangy “Strong Enough” and “No One Said It Would Be Easy,” the jazz-tinged “We Do What We Can,” the heartfelt “Can’t Cry Anymore” and, of course, the infectious “All I Wanna Do.”


“Somehow, amid the dance divas of MTV and the dark angst of Seattle grunge, Sheryl’s salty voice, twangy Telecaster, frayed Levis, red curls and bent upper lip scratched their way into the musical culture,” said Crow’s manager, Scooter Weintraub.


The new deluxe edition features three discs: the original CD; a second CD of unreleased music, outtakes and rarities; and a DVD of videos from “Tuesday Night Music Club.”


The second CD is the real treat here and justifies again buying “Tuesday Night Music Club.” The first song, the imperfectly lovely “Coffee Shop,” was originally intended for “Sheryl Crow,” the singer’s follow-up album, but failed to make the cut.


“Killer Life,” another song intended for Crow’s sophomore effort, pulsates vibrantly, as does the Steely Dan-like “Essential Trip of Hereness.” The last of the songs meant for her second CD is the folksy “You Want More.” These songs are strong enough to make one wonder why they didn’t make it onto “Sheryl Crow.”


The bonus CD also features U.K. B-sides “Reach Around Jerk,” guaranteed to make listeners swoon; “Volvo Cowgirl 99,” described as an alternate to “The Na-Na Song”; and an unnecessary piano- and guitar-driven cover of Eric Carmen’s “All My Myself.”


More interesting, yet simple, is her cover of Led Zeppelin’s “D’yer Mak’er.”


“On the Outside” is lifted from the “X-Files” TV-soundtrack album, and a new version of “I Shall Believe” is specially and gorgeously remixed by Bottrell.


All the fuss, past and present, is about an album that wasn’t supposed to happen the way it did.


Crow originally concocted another album meant for her A&M debut, then scrapped it in favor of what would become “Tuesday Night Music Club.”


“Listening to that (original) album now, it could be any female singer in the world,” Crow told the Post-Dispatch in that 1993 interview. “But it’s a testament to A&M’s belief in nurturing new artists that they gave me the opportunity to go back in to find out who I really was.”


But “Tuesday Night Music Club” didn’t come without scandal. Her band felt left out of Crow’s sudden elevation to the top of the music world. They said Crow took more credit for the songs than she deserved.


Things reportedly hit the fan after a performance of “Leaving Las Vegas” on David Letterman’s show. Letterman asked Crow whether the song was autobiographical and she answered yes, then corrected herself a bit. The song was a collaborative effort credited on the CD to Crow, Bottrell, Baerwald, Gilbert and Ricketts.


Baerwald’s contribution to the song was based on the novel of the same name by his friend John O’Brien, who committed suicide not long after learning that “Leaving Las Vegas” was to be made into a movie that starred Nicolas Cage.


“My press really changed. I went from being the underdog to being the person to be ripped apart,” Crow, during a 1997 Post-Dispatch interview, said of that period.


“I didn’t know how to deal with that. What’s really helped me is isolating myself from the whole press thing and actually just not doing very much of it.”


There was more controversy. Gilbert, Crow’s boyfriend during the recording of “Tuesday Night Music Club,” died of autoerotic asphyxiation in 1996, four months before Crow released her second, self-titled CD, which featured a different musical lineup. Some say Gilbert never got over the disputes between Crow and the original band.


Gilbert left behind a song he wrote called “Leaving Miss Broadway,” with the lyrics:


“I see you on my TV taking credit for our work/ and I knew if I said anything that I would be the jerk/ there’s always some ex-boyfriend, some jealous has-been clown/ trying to muscle in the spotlight, trying to keep the lady down.”


A Rolling Stone cover story the same year prompted Crow to say that “all they wanted to talk about was the ‘Tuesday Night Music Club’ scandal and all that stuff.”


She told the magazine that the behind-the-scenes fighting took its toll on her.


“It’s unfortunate in some ways that the record did so well, because I lost friends over it,” Crow said.


Now, it’s time to celebrate all that was good about “Tuesday Night Music Club,” and that’s what the deluxe edition does.


———


‘TUESDAY NIGHT MUSIC CLUB’ DELUXE EDITION


Disc 1 (original CD)


“Run, Baby, Run”
“Leaving Las Vegas”
“Strong Enough”
“Can’t Cry Anymore”
“Solidify”
“The Na-Na Song”
“No One Said It Would Be Easy”
“What I Can Do for You”
“All I Wanna Do”
“We Do What
We Can”
“I Shall Believe”


Disc 2 (previously unreleased material)


“Coffee Shop”
“Killer Life”
“Essential Trip of Hereness”
“Reach Around Jerk”
“Volvo Cowgirl 99”
“You Want More”
“All By Myself”
“D’Yer Mak’er”
“I Shall Believe” (new remix)


Disc 3 (DVD)


“Valuable Stuff” (documentary)
“Leaving Las Vegas”
“All I Wanna Do”
“Strong Enough”
“Can’t Cry Anymore”
“Run, Baby, Run”
“What I Can Do for You”
“All I Wanna Do” (alternate version)

Tagged as: sheryl crow
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