Ten years come and gone so fast
I might as well have been dreaming
Sunny days have burned a path
Across another season
So ten years after the last one we are about to get the first new Crowded House record. So in celebration of this I intend to ramble a little about three distinct time frames of ten years each. Bear with me.
The "first run" of the band from the release of the debut album to the final concerts in 1996 is roughly ten years. For me, that is the decade that "feels the longest". Much of this has to do with youth and the way you perceive time. I had bought the debut album while I was in the US from May to September 1987. Having bought a CD walkman there (soooo much cheaper than in Europe), I spent a lot of time sitting in trains and greyhound buses listening to the three or four CDs I had with me. I had time to learn all the lyrics by heart. About a year after I got home, "Temple" was released, not that much of an impact here commercially, but I liked the album just as much. But the hiatus between 1988 and 1991 was really long for me. Not a member of FOTE at the time and cut off from "relevant" information, I had assumed CH had split up by 1990, because it had been so long since I had heard anything from them.
Living in Munich in 1991, one evening I was watching MTV, and "Fall At Your Feet" came on. "What? They still exist?" I liked the song, and a few days later I went to "World of Music" to see whether there was a new album. Yes, there was. I was working as a crew driver and gopher for a movie shoot at the time and had to do long early morning drives to pick up talent and crew, and the bus had a CD player, so I put "Woodface" on heavy rotation. Again, I had time to listen to the songs repeatedly and think about the meanings of the lyrics. I fell in love with "Four Seasons", "Whispers" and "Tall Trees". Renewed interest in the band made me buy "True Colours" and "Time And Tide" on import. That fall, CH toured Germany, so I got to see them live for the first time (and just in time to see Tim's last show with them). I think that was when I turned into a proper fan of the band, and I joined FOTE soon after. A well justified step, since the best was yet to come. "Together Alone" for me was the perfect record at the right time, and I think I bought five or six copies of the CD to give away as gifts, trying to get others to see the light. Between 1994 and 1995 the internet really picked up steam, at University I got my very first e-mail-address (something like s07yTZ5@public.uni-muenchen.de) and the chance to get in contact with other fans of the band through the newsletter "Tongue in the mail". I learned about the "Finn" record that way, and read fresh fan concert attendance reports of their tour every other day.
In 1996 "Recurring Dream" was announced, "way too early for a career retrospective", I thought at the time, so imagine my shock when a Tongue scoop in early June revealed CH were about to split up the next day. The subsequent weeks were really long, I got to see them live for the third time in Hamburg in a radio concert, and they really did call it a day soon afterwards.
1996 - 2006
I remember thinking "at least they went out at the top of their game". I still maintained my FOTE subscription, what with all the solo stuff coming out, still called myself a fan, but I was very busy in my grad program and started working for a living -- my perception of time shifted, and when Paul died, I thought, "wow, yeah it was ten years ago when he left the band". At the time, Tim and Neil were busy touring the second Finn album, so it never occurred to me that there was something going on behind the scenes. 2006 saw the "10th anniversary release" of "Farewell to the world"; later I learned that this must have been a way to test the waters whether the name of the band still had (commercial) weight, and soon after, a new album was announced. The 10-year hiatus for me felt shorter that the one mentioned above. "So they're back."
2011 - 2021
After touring "Intriguer" I truly did not believe that it would be another ten years until we would get a new album. By that time I thought CH had become an entity regularly re-visited between Neil's solo records, collaborations and Finn brothers albums, so I never worried that much. They would get around to it, and Neil must have given up on having a single in the charts, anyway, so there's no hurry. Whoever has been around as a fan now will likely be there later also. At least there was no big announcement to the effect of "splitting up again" like a-ha did in 1993, 2010 and 2016 to boost hysteria and "final chance to see them" ticket sales. The latter is a joke now, anyway, with a pandemic and the need to postpone a tour for a whole year these things are of less immediacy. The third decade demonstrated that as time accelerates, it also eases back on immediacy and urgency, so it doesn't feel that long.
Is there a point to this? I guess not really, but ... what do you think?