Time on Earth, to me, isn't a Crowded House album. Don't get me wrong, I have Crowded House listed as the 'artist' in the album's FLAC files. But if something was not envisioned, written or recorded as a Crowded House album then I can't truly consider it as such.
Here are some examples of what I consider more (or as equal to) Crowded House than what the Time on Earth album was (which, by all intensive purposes, was a Neil Finn solo album that happened to feature Nick Seymour as its studio bass player).
- The 1993 Split Enz reunion tour (Neil, Tim, Paul — three quarters of the Woodface line-up, which was released just two years prior under the Crowded House name)
- The 1995 Finn Brothers album (The singer-songwriters behind Woodface, and in many respects a sequel to it)
- Deadstar, in 1996 and 1997 (featuring Nick and Peter — two of the four members of Crowded House's 1994-1996 line-up — as full band members. Irrelevant, but this band also featured Michael den Elzen of Schnell Fenster)
- The 1997 ARIA Awards performance, featuring Neil, Nick and Paul post-Crowded House break up).
- The 1998 episode of Hessie's Shed (featuring a rotating line-up of musicians including Neil, Paul, Nick, Largest Living Things, John Clarke and Paul Kelly).
- A few of the 1999 Try Whistling This shows (featuring Mark Hart in Neil's touring band, making it two thirds of the official Recurring Dream Crowded House line-up post-Paul)
- The 1999 Enz of the Millennium shows (Neil, Tim, Paul — three quarters of the Woodface line-up)
- The 2001 Live at the Chapel television special (recorded to promote One Nil and featuring the classic line-up of Neil, Paul and Nick playing Crowded House songs for the entire second half of the show)
- The 2003 Tarmac Adam album (which featured two thirds of the "classic" Crowded House line-up — Nick and Paul — as full members of the band)
- The two 2004 Finn Brothers shows in Melbourne (Neil, Tim and Paul — three quarters of the Woodface line-up playing Woodface songs)
- The two 2004 and 2005 Finn Brothers shows in Dublin (Neil, Tim and Nick — three quarters of the Woodface line-up playing Crowded House songs)
- The 2009 Sound Relief concert (billed as a Liam Finn solo set, featuring three fifths of the most recent Crowded House live band — Neil, Nick and Liam — and three quarters of the Woodface line-up — Neil, Nick and Tim)
- The 2013 A F'inn Christmas concert (featuring Neil, Tim and Liam — three musicians having performed with and as Crowded House in the past)
- The 2015 Finns at the Zoo show(s) — same deal, playing a heavy Crowded House setlist
- The 2017 Out Of Silence / Infinity Sessions project (which at various points featured Neil, Tim, Liam, Elroy and Nick during the webcast — five musicians who have performed as part of Crowded House at one point).
I agree with a lot of what @Paul H has said throughout this thread and have enjoyed what everyone has added to the discussion.
It definitely raises the question of what constitutes Crowded House and what doesn't. In some respects everything fits somewhere on a spectrum.
The first "Crowded House" album was reportedly envisioned, written and recorded as a Neil Finn solo album. Woodface was envisioned, written and demoed as a Finn Brothers album, the aborted 5th Crowded House album (Neil, Nick, Mark, Peter) didn't "feel like" Crowded House according to Neil, and (as already stated) Time on Earth wasn't envisioned, written or recorded as a Crowded House album.
And yet Time on Earth sounded more "Crowded House" than the next official album, which was written, recorded and released under the Crowded House moniker.
Then there are all those songs which started off as Crowded House songs, but ended up becoming Neil Finn solo songs (Can You Hear Us, Dots on the Shells, The Spirit of the Stairs, Loose Tongue, Blue Hotel, Strangest Friends, etc.)
As I said earlier, you could make the argument that everything fits somewhere on the Crowded House spectrum / compass. Neil has also said something to the effect that whatever project his batch of songs get released under (Crowded House, Pajama Club, 7 Worlds Collide, Finn Brothers, soundtrack, solo, Neil & Liam, etc.) is irrelevant to his songwriting process, and that every album cycle is part of his own continuity / a natural progression of Neil Finn. Obviously Pajama Club might be the exception to that rule, as the songwriting process was vastly different to his usual method. Don't quote me on my recollection of that Neil quote, as I can't find the source, but perhaps someone else recalls what I'm referring to?
But I digress. Back to the original topic (Crowded House Mark II). Perhaps the best 'Crowded House' album would be a double album of songs made up from outtakes and alternative versions from 2007-2010, featuring a few songs that were released on either Time on Earth or Intriguer, or during that era:
- The Only Way To Go Is Forward
- Turn It Around
- Either Side of the World
- Even a Child
- Lost Island
- Isolation (Original Version)
- Twice If You're Lucky (Original Version)
- Silent House
- Beautiful Live
- English Trees
- All Comedians Suffer
- Blue Hotel
- So Dramatic
- Don't Stop Now
- Better Things
- Bound to Rescue
- Transit Lounge
- Saturday Sun (No auto-tune version)
- People Are Like Suns (Piano Version)
- Cars Collide
- Pour le Monde
- Eyes Grow Heavy
- 798 (The Intriguer)