One positive result of the Wu-Tang Flu shutting down the entire concert industry is that we were spared a Black Crowes reunion tour. However, that’s not keeping their products off of record store shelves. Shake Your Money Maker, the 1990 debut album from the Crowes, will be re-released in an assortment of “30th Anniversary” expanded CD and vinyl editions on Feb. 26. The most extensive of these reissues – choose from 3-CD or 4-LP versions – tack on a plethora of demos, outtakes, live recordings and some of the B-sides from the album’s singles.
Produced by George Drakoulias and featuring Chuck Leavell guesting on piano and Brendan O’Brien playing whatever else was needed, Money Maker introduced most of the world to the Crowes, then consisting of brothers Chris and Rich Robinson (vocals and guitar, respectively), Steve Gorman (drums), Jeff Cease (guitar) and Johnny Colt (bass). For Atlantans, it marked a clear departure from the raggedy college bar rock of Mr. Crowe’s Garden into the group’s reincarnation as strutty Faces/Humble Pie imitators and reefer advocates. The former is represented on this reissue with a pair of Mr. Crowe’s Garden demos (including a version of “She Talks to Angels,” one of Money Maker’s hits) while the latter is underscored with covers of Humble Pie’s “30 Days in the Hole” and John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy,” which The Faces also used to cover. Also seeing light on this expanded edition is an original, “Charming Mess,” originally intended to be Money Maker’s lead single but ultimately left off altogether.
Along with a patch, 20-page booklet and reproductions of an early setlist, tour laminate and MCG flyer, the deluxe edition includes a 14-song unreleased concert recorded at Atlanta’s Center Stage Theater in December 1990, the culmination of a year of touring by the band in support of the album, which by that point was all over rock radio and had gone platinum.