Jump to content

Crowded House - did they deserve better?


pierre

Recommended Posts

I would say that this is my favourite band from the late 1980s to the mid-1990s. They started off with 2 big American hits (Something So Strong and Don't Dream It's Over), but then pretty much fell off the American radar for their last three albums. They sustained a larger audience in Canada, but (other than the Antipodean market) found later success in Europe (especially the U.K.). Many fans consider their first album to be their weakest.

Perhaps I haven't looked around enough, but I haven't seen this band mentioned very much on this site. I thought they would be, given the parallels with the Raspberries. In addition to the "diminishing U.S. returns", the band's compositions were very melodic and reminiscent of McCartney's compositional style.

Do they deserve more recognition? Later songs such as "It's Only Natural", "Nails in My Feet" and (especially) "Distant Sun" are wonderful pop masterpieces that easily outshine "Something So Strong" and "Don't Dream It's Over". And their "difficult" second album had great songs like "Into Temptation" and "Better Be Home Soon".

Were they blacklisted because of their anti-American "Chocolate Cake"?

I could go on, and I usually do. But I will pause here to see if anybody has something to add.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's good to hear that there are other CH fans around. And even one from New Zealand!

Kiwi, were they always such a good live band? I saw them in Toronto in 1994, and they were brilliant. Sadly, their drummer (Paul Hester) had just left the band and they were performing with "Andy from Cleveland" on drums.

Woodface is sometimes trotted out as one of the Best Albums of the 1990s (or whatever) by the British music press. Hard to argue with that - Side 1 in particular sounds like a greatest hits collection. Yet it is so easy to find in used CD shops. Wonder why?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kia ora Pierre,Way Back when, in the mid 70's, that I was seeing them around the clubs in Auckland, they were still learning their craft,but they certainly stood out from most of the local bands of the day. Maybe it was the hair styles and make up!!!!!.Their music style was a bit off the wall for me, but I still appreciated their talant, and still do. I prefer the music that Tim and Neil Finn are producing today.(more mellow)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kiwi: Yes, I found the Split Enz material rather jittery...Crowded House was more my speed, although some Split Enz singles were really good - "I Got You", etc. I also like Neil's solo effort "She Will Have Her Way" - it's like the Beatles' "Rain" with more of a tune.

Marvin - close, Trenton is within an hour.

Angloberry - yes, their bass player was great, and he was a decent artist as well. What's he doing these days?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Man, I LOVED Crowded House. They absolutely deserved better. I didn't think "Chocolate Cake" was particularly anti-American either--was it a poke at American pop culture? Yes. Not particularly anti-American, though.

I was lucky enough to see them in concert in London, Ontario with a Canadian friend many years ago. Excellent concert and their sense of humor shone through too, not just their musicianship, which I also appreciated a lot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They played London, Ontario? I would have loved to have seen that, as it undoubtedly would have been a more intimate venue than in Toronto.

I agree that Chocolate Cake was more a comment on pop culture than anti-American, but I bet that a lot of music directors heard that certain line from that song and yanked it from the fabled A-slot.

For those who are unfamiliar with the song, the line in question was quite clearly enunicated and stated that "the excess of fat on your American bones will cushion the impact as you sink like a stone." Not exactly "I want to hold your hand"!

If any fans haven't seen it, I recommend the video collection "Dreaming"...20 or so videos, including absolutely beautiful ones for "Distant Sun" and "Nails in my Feet". Great use of colour. I was less impressed with the Neil Finn & Friends concert in New Zealand DVD. Maybe my expectations were too high, but I thought it lacked energy in a lot of the performances (but Neil's son's band sure put a lot into their turn).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Crowded House was solid, some great stuff. Cant speak to their latter albums though. Saw the Split Enz in Detroit many years ago but I thought they were inconsistent, that is to say functioned on two disparate themes musically; very poppy stuff (I got you) and sorta Psychadelic Furs-ish

ramblings. Prefered Crowded House.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought the Crowded House albums improved each time around (except the new songs that came out with their "best of" - they sounded bored by then, or perhaps they knew that the gig was over). Their first album had an "immediate" appeal (especially "Mean to Me", despite its dark lyric), but their last real album (Together Alone) was much more of a grower.

I must admit that I didn't go for the make-up and exaggerated mannerisms of Split Enz. But maybe I'm missing something.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Yes, I saw Crowded House on the University of Western Ontario campus. Definitely a cool show. And the line about "the excess of fat on your American bones" always seemed to me like they were taking a poke at what they saw as the goofy side of American culture. Yes, they were poking at it from the outside, but it can as easily be poked at from the inside.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know whether you are aware of it but Split Endz is reuniting for a tour of Australia next month. It is basically the True Colours lineup of Tim and Neil Finn, Eddie Raynor, Noel Crombie, Nigel Griggs and Malcolm Green. psych

They did get together last year to perform at their induction into the ARIA Hall of Fame and prior to that a one off for the millenium celebrations on New Years Eve here in New Zealand.

If you want to catch up on what is happening go to the Finn Brothers website or to frenz.com. It also has a forum.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 10 years later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...