The performance was spurred in part by the fact that the Counting Crows album on which “A Long December” appears, 1996’s massive Recovering the Satellites, will celebrate its 25th anniversary in October. But the song also feels somewhat apt as the United States passes the one-year mark of the Covid-19 pandemic — or as Duritz dryly put it before launching into the song, “Happy corona-versary everybody.”
To that end, one of the song’s particular refrains carried a bit of extra potency, as Duritz performed the song solo on piano and sang, “A long December and there’s reason to believe/Maybe this year will be better than the last.”
Counting Crows released their most recent album, Somewhere Under Wonderland, back in 2014. In 2019, the band teamed up with the London Symphony Orchestra to finally record the song “August and Everything After,” the outtake that provided the name for the band’s 1993 debut LP but was never fully finished, let alone released.