The Black Crowes

Sho' Nuff

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American Records' alliance with Warner Brothers fizzled shortly after the release of the Black Crowes' fourth album, Three Snakes and One Charm. Following some behind-the-scenes wrangling, American set up shop at Sony in 1997, leaving the band with a new label willing to push them a little bit harder. The first sign of the newfound enthusiasm was Sho' Nuff, a five-disc box set collecting remastered versions of their first four albums, all with bonus tracks and multi-media videos, plus a bonus live EP. Exhaustive, it surely is, but it's enlightening as well, since it's possible to hear the group forge out a distinctive voice through its devotion to the Stones, Faces, and Allmans when listening straight through its catalog. True, all the bonuses are essentially fodder for fans -- the unreleased cuts are usually solid but unremarkable, the videos familiar but entertaining, the live EP fun but not vital -- but so is the box set itself. After all, only diehards will notice remastering on albums as young as two years old. Still, those very fans will not be disappointed by Sho' Nuff. It may not be a complete-recorded-works retrospective, but it delivers on everything it promises.

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