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Before These Crowded Streets

660 customer reviews

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Before These Crowded Streets
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Audio CD, April 28, 1998
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Frequently Bought Together

Before These Crowded Streets + Crash + Busted Stuff
Price for all three: $20.47

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Editorial Reviews

The Dave Matthews Band moves its music forward by increments on Before These Crowded Streets. While the album offers more of the folkish melodies and vaguely internationalist rhythms that made this Charlottesville, Virginia, group a major record and concert draw, it also finds them adding new colorings to the mix. Alanis Morissette guests on two cuts, "Spoon" and the disc's first single, "Don't Drink the Water," and banjo whiz Bela Fleck sits in, too. More interesting, though, is the modernist string arrangement played by the Kronos Quartet on the driving "Halloween." Matthews's obvious hopes to lead something other than a jam band are at least partly fulfilled here; at the same time, Streets should keep his customers satisfied.--Rickey Wright


"Put your troubles down," Matthews croons in the 40-second opener "Pantala Nago Pampa." .... But the singer can't take his own advice.... [T]he bulk of Before These Crowded Streets feels morose and overlong, with most songs dawdling along for seven or eight minutes. In concert, the cumulative effect may well be ascension, but listening at home, what comes across is insularity, a party you're denied entry to. Cultists will eat this up ... [but] the rest of us will probably be left craving more meat and less sizzle. -- Spin

A conceptual and musical tour de force ... shines above much of today's disposable pop fare. -- People

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
  1. Pantala Naga Pampa0:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Rapunzel 6:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. The Last Stop 6:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Don't Drink the Water 7:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Stay (Wasting Time) 5:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Halloween 5:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. The Stone 7:28$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Crush 8:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. The Dreaming Tree 8:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. Pig 6:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. Spoon 7:33$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 28, 1998)
  • Original Release Date: April 28, 1998
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: RCA
  • ASIN: B00000638Q
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (660 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,172 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Andrew John Wilhoit III on January 20, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I've decided after listening to this cd such an awful amount of time, it was worthy of a review. This album is just so amazing to me. It's personally my favorite DMB record by far, Crash and Under The Table & Dreaming in at 2 and 3. This is probably their darkest release and it's so emotional. So many great jams on this and just about every song is 6+ minutes which i love. Every single song on here is just amazing, and it's a very diverse cd.

1.Pantala Naga Pampa 8/10...A short 0:40 second fun intro, that actually manages to hold it's own as a song. But still basically serves as an intro to..
2.Rapunzel 10/10...What a great song. Starts off fun keeping in unison with the previous and then it switches into lush melody, this is classic DMB.
3.The Last Stop 9.5/10...Wasn't a huge fan of this song at first, but it has since grown on me alot. It has an Native kind of feeling to it, and it's pretty dark, great song.
4.Don't Drink The Water 10/10...Probably my second favorite on the cd. The verses are amazing and kind of creepy, and then it gets passionate and a little darker towards the end, just fantastic.
5.Stay (Wasting Time) 8/10...Eh. Probably my least favorite song on the cd. Good, don't get me wrong, but the ladies singing gets annoying quick and this is probably the most up beat song on here, taking away from the mostly dark theme.
6.Halloween 10/10...Wow. Very rarely do you see this much emotion crammed into a song, a whole album for that matter. This is DMB's darkest song, and it's so raw and Dave pretty much loses it at the end, probably my favorite.
7.The Stone 10/10...The great songs don't stop rolling. Best violins on this song. The beginning is as cool as any DMB intro has been. Love it.
8.Crush 10/10...
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Surface to Air Missle VINE VOICE on December 8, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I remember thinking when this album came in 98' that expectations were insurmountable based on DMB success to that point. Their previous albums had soldified the band as a powerhouse on the brink of epicness and this album pushed them over the top. This album came out during the end of my freshman year of college and it was everywhere. Those who were unfamiliar with DMB quickly were beaten into submission as this was played at nauseum in dorms across and houses across campus.

This album really showcases Dave' creative ability, his songwriting abilities and the band ability to play as a cohesive unit. The songs are journeys and don't conform to radio friendly time constraints. They all pretty much transfer well to live shows and almost all of these songs are considered the "heavy hitters" of a set list. There is a good mix of slow songs and fast, happy and sad and the album successfully runs the gamut of emotions although this is definitely the darkest of the "big three". The band's energy is almost overwhelming and the performance is best described as intense. The songs almost tell stories as some clock in over 8-9 mins. I would say the only minor misfire would be the last two songs as they don't really match the overall quality of the rest of the lineup. These songs are rarely played live so maybe DMB agrees.

Personally I think this is tied for best studio album with Crash but that is always up for debate. For those people who missed this the first time around, its really a must and I think it works best listened to in its enitirety.

Bottom Line: A must have for those who are just getting into DMB or are just looking for some great new music.
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65 of 79 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 25, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Biased in the sense that if all other bands on earth (and i mean all, now that Soul Coughing broke up) except DMB (dave matthews band for those of you that aren't dave-o-philes) magically disappeared, i really would not care much. This is possibly the strongest of DMB's studio efforts. Crash was good, but had more weak links (just one: let you down) than BTCS. And UTTAD was an awesome CD (after all, its DMB) but a totally different style than this, so it's hard to compare. Now the run-down of the songs:
Pantala Naga Pampa: Amazing that this 30 second intro is so awesomely good. (bad english, so sue me) Rapunzel: This is just a GREAT song, completely fun to listen to, makes you wanna dance insanely. The Last Stop: The darkest, most angry song on a CD that also has "Halloween." Now THAT is an accomplishment. However, it really is a good song, and the lyrics are VERY nicely done. Don't Drink The Water: An awesome, almost hypnotic tale of colonization (and murder of the natives) told from the settler's point of view. The way Dave singing the lines "dont drink the water, there's blood in the water" turns to desperation at the end is an AMAZING touch. Stay (Wasting Time): A love song along the lines of Rapunzel, but a little less goofy. Female backup vocals give this song the perfect touch. Halloween: A song Dave wrote to a girl he was QUITE upset with (she turned down his marriage proposals multiple times, as the story goes). A very interesting, dark song with the Kronos Quartet (see "classical music") in the background. very different, VERY good. The Stone: A counter-part to Halloween, still with the Kronos Quartet in the background. I haven't the foggiest what this song is about, but its beautifully written.
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