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Crowded House

An institution in their homeland, a two-hit wonder in the U.S., and, during the last half of their ten-year career, bona fide stars in the U.K. and most of Europe, Crowded House recorded some of the best pop music of the late '80s and early '90s. Leader Neil Finn's carefully crafted songs, meticulous eye for lyrical detail, and gift for melody are matched by few other songwriters.

Crowded House formed in 1985 when Finn dissolved Split Enz rather than carry on after his brother Tim, the group's founding member, left to pursue a solo career. Instead of carrying through with the new wave direction of latter-day Split Enz, Neil moved in favor of a stripped-down, back-to-basics combo featuring ex-Enz drummer Paul Hester, bassist Nick Seymour, and guitarist Craig Hooper. Initially, the group dubbed itself after Finn's middle name, touring Australia and recording demos under the name the Mullanes; Hooper was dropped shortly after this formative period. In June of 1985, the group headed to Los Angeles to shop for a record label, eventually signing with Capitol Records. Capitol requested that the band change its name, and the group settled on Crowded House, a reflection of the bandmembers' living conditions in L.A. They began work on their debut, enlisting the help of then-unknown producer Mitchell Froom. A partnership between the band and the producer formed, making Froom nearly a fourth member. The partnership benefited both the band and the producer -- the band was helped by Froom's direct approach and more "American" sound as well as his input as a musician, and Froom was able to build a career as a high-profile producer.

Crowded House's self-titled debut didn't gain much attention upon its release in the summer of 1986, due to insufficient promotion from Capitol Records. In wake of the weak support from Capitol, the bandmembers took matters into their own hands. Rather than setting out on an expensive large-scale tour, the group took a more low-profile route, playing acoustic sets for industry insiders and for small crowds at ethnic restaurants and in record stores. This unorthodox approach began a buzz within the industry. On the talk-show circuit, they won over American and Canadian audiences with their charm and wit as well as their wacky antics. By February of 1987, the album broke into the American Top 40, eventually peaking at number 12. The album spawned the number two hit single "Don't Dream It's Over" and "Something So Strong," which reached number seven. In Australia and New Zealand, multi-platinum success followed.

Released in 1988, Temple of Low Men was anything but a sophomore slump -- Finn's new songs were among his finest, showcasing a notable progression in his songcraft. The album's slightly darker material, however, made for a more difficult listen and, although the material was stronger, the record lacked the immediate appeal of the debut. This, coupled with Capitol's lack of promotional support, led to disappointing sales -- the album barely broke the U.S. Top 40 and the single, "Better Be Home Soon," stalled at number 42. Since hope had basically run out for the album, they abandoned plans for a major U.S. tour. A three-month break in touring revitalized the band for a well-received Australian and Canadian tour, but by mid-1989 the band had effectively broken up.

Late in 1989, Neil reunited with his brother Tim and the duo began writing songs together for the first time, with the intention of releasing the material on a proposed Finn Brothers album. The collaboration was successful and the duo was prolific, writing 14 songs in a very short time. After the initial sessions with Tim, Neil began working on a new set of songs, designed for the next Crowded House album, but he soon found the new material unsatisfactory. Neil decided to combine the better moments of the Finn Brothers project and the scrapped third album, adding his brother as a fourth member of Crowded House.

Crowded House's third album, Woodface, released in the summer of 1991, proved the decision to combine the material from the two scrapped records was sound -- the album certainly represents their finest recorded moments. Although the choice of "Chocolate Cake" as a leadoff single was both misleading and off-putting to American audiences, effectively sinking the album's chances of success in the U.S., England and Europe embraced the band for the first time. After about six months of dormancy, they began charting in the U.K. and Europe with several singles, including the smash "Weather with You." The British success of "Weather with You" helped Woodface achieve platinum status in the U.K. and led the group to several headlining concerts at Wembley Arena. Tim, for all of his invaluable contributions in the writing and recording of Woodface, proved extraneous to the band's live show. He left the band in November 1991, as the band was in the middle of its tour and just prior to its breakthrough success in England. Following the success of Woodface, both Neil and Tim were awarded OBEs from the Queen of England in 1993; the honor was bestowed for their contributions to the arts.

In early 1993, Crowded House regrouped to record their fourth album, adding American guitarist Mark Hart (who had briefly toured with the band around the time of Temple of Low Men) to the band and dropping Mitchell Froom as their producer, opting instead for ex-Killing Joke member Youth. Together Alone was released in October 1993 (January 1994 in North America) to unanimously positive reviews and solid sales in every country except the United States. Upon its release, Together Alone entered the English charts at number four; at the time, Woodface was still in the U.K. charts. After the album was released, Crowded House embarked on a successful European tour. They were beginning an American tour when Hester decided to leave the band to spend more time with his new family. Hiring a session drummer, the band rounded out the tour, eventually returning to Australia.

By the end of 1994, Neil decided to cut back on the touring to work on side projects, which included some production work for Dave Dobbyn and a second try at a Finn Brothers album with Tim. The Finn Brothers finally released their long-awaited duet album in the fall of 1995. In June of 1996, Neil officially broke up Crowded House. That same month, Recurring Dream: The Very Best of Crowded House was released, entering the U.K. and Australian charts at number one. After a handful of "final shows" in various locations, on Sunday, November 24, 1996, Crowded House played their official farewell show at the Sydney Opera House to 100,000 fans as a benefit for the Sydney Children's Hospital Fund.

In 1997, Hester formed a new band, Largest Living Things, releasing two EPs and playing regular gigs in Australia as well as hosting his own television show. Neil made his debut as a solo artist in June 1998 with Try Whistling This. In December 1999, Afterglow, an album's worth of Crowded House leftovers and rarities, was issued in Australia and New Zealand; the album was released in the U.K. during January of the following year.

Neil continued recording both as a solo artist and as part of the Finn Brothers with Tim. In 2005, Hester, after years of battling depression, took his own life near his home in Australia. A year later, the archival release Farewell to the World captured the Sydney farewell show on both CD and DVD. In 2007, Neil reactivated the band with Nick Seymour, Mark Hart, and a new drummer, Matt Sherrod. The album Time on Earth followed soon after. In 2010, the Neil and new Crowded House line-up returned with the studio album Intriguer. ~ Chris Woodstra
full bio

Selected Discography


Track List: Intriguer

1. Saturday Sun

2. Archer's Arrows

3. Amsterdam

4. Either Side Of The World

5. Falling Down

6. Isolation

7. Twice If You're Lucky

8. Inside Out

9. Even If

10. Elephants


Track List: Farewell To The World

Disc 1

1. Mean To Me (Live)

2. World Where You Live (Live)

3. When You Come (Live)

4. Private Universe (Live)

5. Four Seasons In One Day (Live)

6. Fall At Your Feet (Live)

7. Whispers & Moans (Live)

8. Hole In The River (Live)

9. Better Be Home Soon (Live)

10. Pineapple Head (Live)

11. Distant Sun (Live)

12. Into Temptation (Live)

13. Everthing Is Good For You (Live)

Disc 2

1. Locked Out (Live)

2. Something So Strong (Live)

3. Sister Madly (Live)

4. Italian Plastic (Live)

5. Weather With You (Live)

6. It's Only Natural (Live)

7. There Goes God (Live)

8. Fingers Of Love (Live)

9. In My Command (Live)

10. Throw Your Arms Around Me (Live)

11. Don't Dream It's Over (Live)


Track List: Afterglow

1. I Am In Love

2. Sacred Cow

3. You Can Touch

4. Help Is Coming

5. I Love You Dawn

6. Dr. Livingstone

7. My Telly's Gone Bung

8. Private Universe

9. Lester

10. Anyone Can Tell

11. Recurring Dream

12. Left Hand

13. Time Immemorial


Track List: Recurring Dream, The Very Best Of Crowded House

1. Weather With You

2. World Where You Live

3. Fall At Your Feet

4. Locked Out

5. Don't Dream It's Over

6. Into Temptation

7. Pineapple Head

8. When You Come

9. Private Universe

10. Not The Girl You Think You Are

11. Instinct

12. I Feel Possessed

13. Four Seasons In One Day

14. It's Only Natural

15. Distant Sun

16. Something So Strong

17. Mean To Me

18. Better Be Home Soon

19. Everything Is Good For You


Track List: Together Alone

1. Kare Kare

2. In My Command

3. Nails In My Feet

4. Black & White Boy

5. Fingers Of Love

6. Pineapple Head

7. Locked Out

8. Private Universe

9. Walking On The Spot

10. Distant Sun

11. Catherine Wheels

12. Skin Feeling

13. Together Alone


Track List: Woodface

1. Chocolate Cake

2. It's Only Natural

3. Fall At Your Feet

4. Tall Trees

5. Weather With You

6. Whispers And Moans

7. Four Seasons In One Day

8. There Goes God

9. Fame Is

10. All I Ask

11. As Sure As I Am

12. Italian Plastic

13. She Goes On

14. How Will You Go


Track List: Crowded House

1. Mean To Me

2. World Where You Live

3. Now We're Getting Somewhere

4. Don't Dream It's Over

5. Love You 'Til The Day I Die

6. Something So Strong

7. Hole In The River

8. Can't Carry On

9. I Walk Away

10. Tombstone

11. That's What I Call Love


Track List: Don't Stop Now (Radio Single)

1. Don't Stop Now


Track List: Temple Of Low Men

1. I Feel Possessed

2. Kill Eye

3. Into Temptation

4. Mansion In The Slums

5. When You Come

6. Never Be The Same

7. Love This Life

8. Sister Madly

9. In The Lowlands

10. Better Be Home Soon


Track List: Time On Earth

1. Nobody Wants To

2. Don't Stop Now

3. She Called Up

4. Say That Again

5. Pour Le Monde

6. Even A Child

7. Heaven That I'm Making

9. A Sigh

10. Silent House

11. English Trees

13. Walked Her Way Down

14. Transit Lounge

16. People Are Like Suns


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Great melody. Great lyrics. ..sooooooo good. Timeless band of all time.
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A superb CD
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I love the 80s
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I wish I could bring back the 80s
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I'm in my 50's....and yes, 50's, 60's, 70's & 80's music were and are the best hands down !!!!
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I don't think this actually works
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Kiss your hand 5 times then post this on 2 other artists and a blue iphone will be under your pillow
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Hey now ! ! !
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I actually live in a crowed house,kinda ironic... Love the 80's...
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lilygraceflo r a
They come they come to build a wall between us
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lilygraceflo r a
Although there is a wall between me and my lover i will find you soon��������
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Hey now, hey now.. Don't Dream I ts Over..
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Don't read this because it actually works you will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in two days. Now you started don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in the next 143 minutes when done press f6 and your lovers name will appear in big letters this is so scary because it actually works.
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I think they were just saying that CH had two Bllboard hits in the US, but had many more in the UK.
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F**k you, description writers. They were not a two hit wonder! THEY WERE AWESOME! Every song is equally amazing!
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One of my favorite songs of all time!
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No ka oi-- Hawaiian for - simply the best!!
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It kills me to read two-hit wonder for Crowded House. They crafted some of the best songs. Have you heard Afterglow? Even their rejected songs were brilliant.
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@ericvivienn e Yes! They're still active, just check out their Facebook page.
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One of the most underestimat e d bands. Music now days lack the passion or talent
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I was a big Split Enz fan when I was a little girl...then I loved Crowded House. Such a talented bunch. Are Crowded House still together??
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The soundtrack of my youth stands up so well I often forget to act my age. THANK GOD! Crowded house takes me to college.
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Counting the steps, to the door of your heart ❤ these words!
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Born in 95 love 60s-70s-80s 3 decades of the best music 90s not bad but today is trash
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You can tell they put everything into performing this song...they didn't leave anything on the studio floor. Great recording!
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Damn good song.
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This is one of those songs were when it's on I can always listen to it... Unless you played it like 50 times in a row!
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Sorry, but I am facing the truth of reality, I am NOW "Dreaming It's Over" 'cause The One I Loved, expressed to me in person over Valentine's Day weekend he doesn't feel the same love for me as I do him. I guess it's finally time for me to comepletely move on from him...... So, I'm looking for a new love....I guess I should let GOD make that decision for me. Ok God, introduce me to "The One" I'm supposed to be with for the rest of my life.....
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chelseaolivi a c r a m e r
I love your music!
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You know they won't win...should use this to announce the starting lineups for the New York Knicks. Good tune, though
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S**t this is a great song, one of my favs from the 80"s.
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yea love it 80-:
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dinoralemus5 4
I love it <3
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80's songs, the best!
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Crowded house was one of the greatest bands ever.
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I adore this song
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What a song
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beautiful song
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Great Band Should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
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Great song..
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Prettiest song ever
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I hear a little Rubber Soul in there.
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Hey Erika Gomez!
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O for Owesome.good stuff.
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Like coming home
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I swear u r really jamming this esrly Sunday morning as im in the kitchen prepareing Sunday dinner thanks keep up the good work
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