Crowded House – The Collection

I had heard of Crowded House when their song and debut UK hit, ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’ came out in 1986. This was in a period when I didn’t buy much music and so I must have heard it on the radio or one of the few TV Chart Shows we had in the UK at the time. I liked the song but not enough to buy it. Roll on five years to 1991 when I heard the song ‘Fall At Your Feet’. At the time, this sort of well crafted melodic pop song was not the sort of thing I was listening to. Guitar gods such as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Peter Green were pretty much all that was being played around this period. I took a punt and popped along to Music Inn in Ashford (Middx), another of the great lost record shops of my youth and duly picked up a copy of the parent LP. 

Putting the vinyl on the deck, I was almost put off playing anymore by the albums opening song, Chocolate Cake. I really didn’t understand what this song was going on about, and how was Tammy Bakker they kept going on about? Turns out she was married to disgraced TV evangelist Jim Bakker but as this was before the days of widespread internet, I only found this out later. It was also the albums lead single which ended up pretty much losing the band its American fan base. Crowded House had been a lot more successful Stateside than the UK with their first two albums but ‘Woodface’ would change all of this. The rest of the alum was stunning, with a set of beautiful songs that lasted stayed in the memory. This album was also quite long for an LP clocking in at over 47 minutes. Not a minute wasted either (apart from Chocolate Cake, and in time Weather With You, a song I grew tired of quite quickly). 

What I didn’t realise at the time is that this album should not have sounded like this. Neil Finn, the band’s main songwriting had delivered an album that the record company had refused to release. Neil had been working on material with his brother Tim for an album that they would release under the moniker of the Finn Brothers. Neil asked Tim if he could use some of this material for the next  Crowded House album, with Tim saying yes as long as he could become a member of the band. The Finn brothers had already been in the band Split Enz. Tim later said he was joking, but Neil took him at his word and Tim became a member, if only for a short time. I actually had a go at recreating this lost LPs back in January of 2022 (

In time, I would buy the two proceedings album, ‘Crowded House’ and ‘Temple of Low Men’. Neither of these would have the impact on me that ‘Woodface’ did and they did not get a lot of airtime. I missed out on the release of their forth album, ‘Together Alone’ as I feel it just passed me by. 1993 was the beginnings of the Britpop era and that was taking all of my attention. What swung me around to possibly my favourite album by them was the fact that during my University days, I ended up working in an Off License that had a CD player in it. One day a copy of ‘Together Alone’ appeared and from then on I was hooked. A bit different from the albums that preceded it but still full of beautiful songs with well crafted melodies and neat hooks. The band unfortunately split up in 1996 and even though they have reformed and released a number of albums since, none of these have graced my record collection. I’m not sure why. It must just be down to the fact that I am not a great fan of bands that reform and release new music. The Small Faces and Smashing Pumpkins being other examples. The spark they once had is no longer there.

My one regret is that I did not get to see the band live during their first incarnation, especially when Tim Finn was in the line up. Live music also passed me by at that point. I either spend the money on records or going to the gig. I pretty much exclusively spent my money on the records. 

Disc 1

  1. World Where You Live
  2. Love You ‘Till The Day I Die
  3. Something So Strong
  4. Hole In The River
  5. Now We’re Getting Somewhere
  6. Don’t Dream It’s Over
  7. Tombstone
  8. Can’t Carry On
  9. Sister Madly
  10. When You Come
  11. Fame Is
  12. There Goes God
  13. Four Seasons In One Day
  14. Tall Trees
  15. Its Only Natural
  16. Fall Out Your Feet
  17. Whispers & Moans
  18. As Sure As I Am
  19. She Goes On
  20. Into Temptation
  21. All I Ask
  22. How Will You Go
  23. Better Be Home Soon

On my mix of ‘How Will You Go’, the hidden song of ‘I’m Still Here’ was edited out. Unfortunately, Spotify does not give me the option to do this. It does make the end of this playlist a little disjointed.  

Disc 2

  1. Kare Kare
  2. In My Command
  3. Nails in My Feet
  4. Black & White Boy
  5. Scared Cow
  6. Instinct
  7. I Love You Dawn
  8. Fingers Of Love
  9. Pineapple Head
  10. Skin Feeling
  11. Locked Out
  12. Catherine Wheels
  13. Walking On The Spot
  14. Time Immortal
  15. Distant Sun
  16. Help Is Coming
  17. Not the Girl You Think You Are
  18. Private Universe
  19. Together Alone

As far as I can tell, nearly all of the bands LP artwork was produced by the bands bass player, Nick Seymour. Art, like music is subjective and I am not great fan of what he has produced down the years. So I took a shot of the band when Tim Finn was a member and tried to emulate the minimalist approach record companies took in the mid 90s when it came to sleeves as the artwork needed to fit into a CD and/pr cassette box and this is what I came up with.

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