Every day is a winding road for Sheryl on tour
It is 25 years since singer Sheryl Crow released her debut long player. Since then she has shifted 50 million albums. The 56- year- old talks to Kevin Cooper
Can you believe it’s 25 years since you released Tuesday Night Music Club?
Isn’t that crazy? I can’t believe that at all. I also can’t believe that I have an 11- yearold son and an eight- year- old son. Or that I have been out on the road now for 30 years. That can be a scary thought sometimes but at this moment in time I feel so much gratitude for being able to still be doing it. And I am really enjoying it. I spend my time with people I love, enjoy and admire. I find that as I get older I am becoming more sentimental about these things.
That album sold over seven million copies in the USA alone.
I had the good fortune to make the album when people still bought records. I fear nowadays that no- one will ever know what that is like. When
you put a record out now and want to know how many people have it in their cars or on their home stereos, that is such an intangible thing that you will really never know the answer. Because a lot of music now comes out via subscription on Spotify or Apple Music, you really don’t know how many people are listening to it. It is a whole different thing.
Do you think that music streaming is killing the music industry?
Well, the toothpaste is already out of the tube and there is very little that you can do about it. But it’s the artists who take the hit. It is one of the reasons that we now have the cockamamie deals where young artists sign with a record label, and the record label takes half of their publishing and half of their merchandise sales - because that is the only
way that they can make any money. It really is the artists who suffer. The reality of it is that people don’t feel that they need to pay for music. I understand that because they have grown up with it being that way.
It was the highlight of your week wasn’t it? You would spend all week deciding what records you were going to buy, and then on Saturday you would go down to the record shop and buy them...
Yes you would but sadly that experience is over. Us older people can remember that feeling and just how exciting it was. All of your friends would come over and share in that experience. The relationship that young people have with music nowadays is entirely different. Have you ever got out of bed and thought to yourself ‘ I
don’t really want to do this anymore’?
I’ve had a couple of days like that. I was so disillusioned with the whole music industry, and about how I was continuing to make what I thought were good records but in the USA radio stations were no longer playing older artists like myself. At that point I reminded myself just how lucky I was to be doing this and that I really don’t have a choice. I know that I could still have a pretty good life if I never did this again. I have great children, I have wonderful friends, a great family, so me doing this is kind of the icing on the cake.
You are about to embark on your All The Greatest Hits Live Tour here in the UK, so what can we expect? A rocking good time ( laughs). It will be fun. I have a great band who I have now been playing with for the past five years and they are all people who I both love and admire. They are totally kick ass. All of us have this sense of ‘ aren’t we the lucky ones?’ that we are out doing what we love the most; we are out there playing music, loving and enjoying it. It is now much more fun than it ever has been.
As it is a greatest hits tour, has it been difficult for you to decide what to play and what not to play? Not at all. We play all of them. It’ll be an eight hour set ( laughs). We do play a lot longer than we used to do. Strangely, as I get older I play longer.
We don’t want to kill our audiences but we play, on average, two and a half hours. And we cover a lot. We play some of the newer things that we know the audiences want to hear, plus a lot of the older, more familiar songs as well.
Sheryl Crow plays Symphony Hall, Birmingham, on June 19.
Musician Sheryl Crow will be playing all her hits in Birmingham