The Wallflowers formed in 1989 and emerged with their eponymous first album in 1992. Their 1996 album, “Bringing Down The Horse,” is their most popular to date and featured their break-through hit, “One Headlight.” The band followed this album with a cover of David Bowie’s “Heroes” which was featured in the ill-received 1998 remake of the film “Godzilla.”
Listening to songs by the Wallflowers and David Bowie one can find many similarities. Jacob Dylan’s voice has a similar lower tone to David Bowie’s. Both bands make frequent use of harmonization during their songs as well as utilize the piano in their songs. When one first hears The Wallflower’s cover of “Heroes” as if they never heard David Bowie’s version most would not find it at all unusual with their style. This is also true if the band were to have also done a cover of David Bowie’s “China Girl.”
The bands co-headlined a tour with Counting Crows between their release of “Bringing Down The Horse” and their cover of “Heroes.” The two bands have both released two albums. The most popular song of Counting Crows is “Mr. Jones” which features the sentiment, “I wanna be Bob Dylan,” a nod to Jacob’s Father, Bob. Both bands have lyrics dealing with loss, love and angst. Instrumentally there is significant use of keyboards. The overwhelming focus is on the lead singer and front man of their groups whom both write most of the songs for their respective bands and maintain the center of attention on stage and in publicity.
Matchbox Twenty’s Rob Thomas is the face of the band and like Jacob Dylan went on to do solo work. The band is in the same “90’s alternative” category as the Wallflowers. Both bands make ample use of instruments other than the typical drum, bass and guitar. The band Semisonic also has a similar sound with lyrics pertaining to a specific vignette in a person’s life. The Gin Blossoms follow this pattern but feature more nostalgia.
The Wallflowers created three albums after “Bringing Down The Horse,” went on a seven year hiatus and then released, “Glad All Over” in 2012. They are still together and last toured in December of 2014.