Reply to "Rank The Crowded House Studio Albums"

I'm surprised CH has been ranking so low and Intriguer so high (so far). Very interesting. I'd be interested to see what country everyone is from to see if there are any patterns. I'm in the U.S, and my ranking is:

1. Temple Of Low Men 

2. Woodface

3. Crowded House

4. Together Alone

5. Time On Earth

6. Intriguer

Honestly, it's a virtual tie between the first three. Also, I'm going by my feelings about the original releases, which feels odd to me now at this vantage point.

My apologies for expanding the topic a bit, but that's why these forums are fun - the free-wheleling. sprawling discussions that can branch out into interesting places. It makes me think about how hard it is now for me to think about "Crowded House" as a separate entity to any of Neil Finn's other work. The reissues (including "Afterglow") have really altered my perception about Neil Finn's entire catalog, which I now see as the blurred, monolithic musical continuum that he often refers to in recent interviews, with no real distinction between solo albums, CH, or Finn Brothers apart from how the songs are clothed.

For instance, as I understand it, Woodface contains a couple songs from the original Finn Brothers sessions where Nick and Paul aren't even playing (at least together), so are they really Crowded House by definition? Neil's solo home demos of unreleased songs on all the CH reissues are now Crowded House songs only because he released them on CH reissues, when he could have just as easily saved them and recorded them on solo albums at any point. "Loose Tongue" and "Strangest Friends" were both played/recorded by Crowded House (without Paul Hester in 1995 and 2011, respectively) before ending up on Neil's next contemporary solo albums, so does he just write songs and decide later where they belong? Are they considered CH, Neil solo, or Finn Brothers simply because that's who ended up recording them, when his original intent for the songwriting, itself, was just to write good songs and explore his craft - without any real gameplan for where they will end up? 

Even from the beginning, the lines are blurred between the songs he wrote, demoed and recorded in the last years of Split Endz and the beginning of Crowded House, with quite a bit of overlap. Then right after TOLM, he began writing with Tim for their aborted Finn Brothers album, so there's no real purity in either their first album or Woodface as "Crowded House albums" and by TA, he was already starting to think about a solo career and working with Tim on the first official released Finn Brothers album. The 1995 CH demo sessions didn't click for Neil and validated his already growing conviction that CH was no longer the right vehicle for his recent compositions.  

Those 1995 solo and studio demo songs ("Loose Tongue" for sure and who knows what else he had in the works with co-writer James Moginie), overlap with the material that ended up on "Try Whistling This." It's well known that "TOE" began life as a Neil solo album, but became a CH album after Paul's tragic death, so, clearly the intent for the original songs written and recorded at that time was NOT for them to be CH songs. Then, of course, there are the CH, Neil solo, Tim solo and the Finn Brothers live shows where they all seem to have no problem playing or drawing no distinction between songs from Split Endz, CH, Neil solo, Tim solo or Finn Brothers. While I can understand a human need to want to delineate and put things in neat categories, the Finn's by words and actions defy this categorization consistently since day one. 

I saw the other thread asking for rating/ordering the favorite Neil Finn solo albums, but I would be interested in seeing ALL of the Neil-Finn related releases ranked, all mixed together because, as far as Neil is concerned (and, now, me as, well) it's all one evolving body of work which has been labelled under different bands/projects names for the sake of clarity and marketing more than creative intent and Neil's own mind-frame and process during the writing and demoing of the actual songs over the years. 

I highly recommend creating a chronological playlist (mine's in iTunes) that includes every available recording official or unofficial, which show a clear evolution of Neil Finn's art from After Hours in 1977 through the "Dizzy Heights" symphonic shows in 2015 and every demo,  live performance, official release, side project and everything in between. It's a remarkable, impressive organic evolution of one of the greatest songwriters of all times. 

    All times London, UK.

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