October 1, 2007

Evolution of ... The Dave Matthew's Band

Since it's inception in 1991, The Dave Matthew's Band has been one of the biggestand most successful modern rock bands to date. Utilizing a number of different styles and roots, the band has a song list that numbers in the hundreds, it not thousands, and routinely fills stadiums and venues wherever they go. In addition, a number of its members have gone on to numerous side projects between solo albums, as well as television and film acting. They have also frequently collaborated with the likes of Johnny Cash, Alanis Morsette, Trey Anastasio, Mike Doughty, Santana, Jimmy Buffet and the Rolling Stones, among others.

The group's first album, Remember Two Things, was released in 1993, an indie release that attracted a lot of attention, leading to the 1994 release of Under the Table and Dreaming, which featured a number of hits, eventually going four times platnium. Under the Table and Dreaming featured a number of DMB favorites, characterized by it's quick guitar and drum work, tight vocals and saxaphone.

What Would You Say? - Dave Matthew's Band

Under the Table and Dreaming was followed in 1996 by Crash, which spawned several more hits for the band. It continued with a similar sound to UTTAD, although with several slower songs to go along with it.

Too Much - Dave Matthew's Band

After Crash, the band released two live albums, Live at Red Rocks and Live at Luther College, before returning to the studio to record Before These Crowded Streets. This album was more experimental than the prior two albums. Rapunzel utilizes some interesting rhythems, while Don't Drink the Water, Last Stop and Halloween are some of the darker songs that the band has released, tonewise and themewise.

The Last Stop - Dave Matthew's Band

The band's 2001's release, Everyday was also a departure from their normal sound. Already with a huge fanbase, there was a huge anticipation for their next album. However, tensions in the studio forced the band to scrap their work and start anew, creating an album in just a couple of weeks. This marked the first time that Dave Matthews used an electric guitar, and while the album was a commercial success, it was viewed as too mainstream and pop-like by numerous fans, as well as some of the band members.

Fool to Think - Dave Matthew's Band

Everyday was followed up by the remains of the scrapped album, known as the Lillywhite Sessions, dusted off and now called Busted Stuff. The album went back a bit to the band's typical style, with it's distinctive guitar and drumwork and lyrics. The album's speed is a bit slower, but musically, it was much stronger than Everyday. Dave Matthews would also collaborate with Carlos Santana in 2002

Bartender - Dave Matthew's Band

2004 for Dave Matthews brought Some Devil, a fantastic solo album that brought in a number of well known artists, such as Trey Anastasio and Tim Reynolds. The album is brilliant musically and lyrically, and some of it's song have been used by the band as a whole.

Save Me - Dave Matthews

2005's Stand Up is the band's latest album, and once again represents a jump in style, this time utilizing a sound closer to Before These Crowded Streets, as well as R&B, a little country and seems more whimsical to me. In addition, it's far more laid back than most of their music, but seems to be the most advanced and rich of all their albums.

Stand Up (For It) - Dave Matthew's Band

In 2006, DMB released their greatest hits album, something that they were a bit reluctant to do, pulling a list of their better known hits and a list of fan-picked live favorites. In 2007, Dave Matthews released the odd Eh Hee, as well as Live at Radio City, a live album with longtime collaborator Tim Reynolds. As of now, the band is currently writing for their next album, which should be released in the next year or so. I'm excited for it, and from some of their latest concert releases, they've got a bunch of newer songs that sound really cool.
The band is a huge staple in the music industry, with a huge track collection and from all reports that I've heard, have an amazing live experience. (Hopefully I'll get out to see them in the near future.) All in all, DMB will probably be looked back on as a band that was just as important as the Rolling Stones or Chicago as far as influence goes (although not music style) in the music industry. Hopefully, they'll be around for years to come.