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Ten years come and gone so fast
I might as well have been dreaming
Sunny days have burned a path
Across another season
(Paul Simon)

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.

1986-1996

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?

_______________

The adventure that we meet is the one for which we are ready. (Joseph Campbell)
Last edited by Dorthonion
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The Farewell To The World CD/DVD release was never to test the waters for a Crowdies reunion and new album. It was simply to mark ten years since the show.

Time On Earth started out as a solo album with Nick guesting. They called it Crowded House and got Mark in for four tracks cos they were all mourning Paul and needed the comfort of being together in a band again.

At the time I had some contacts at EMI Germany I could talk to freely. I realise that the "testing of the waters" may not have come from the band themselves, but the "tenth anniversary" of the concert was a talking point (how many bands do the live release of a goodbye concert a decade later*), and one of the guys at EMI said that certainly THEY were testing the waters with the release.

* a-ha released theirs just four months after the concert

Hi @Dorthonion, nice timeline you've made there.

I followed Crowded House after the farewell to the world concert and when I got the Greatest Hits CD! So one of those fans who was like, "wow, they're such a great band... oh, yeah. They've split up!"

1996 - 2006

Between then I did buy Chris Burke's Something so Strong book, so I did catch up between 1986 - 1996. A very interesting band background (understatement)! I also purchased the debut album, TOLM and TA.

When Afterglow came out in 1999, I was ridiculously excited and I played the CD repetitively over the months. And I still go back to it.

Just some other things to add in this time period was that Neil - despite splitting the band up - he still played with Nick and Paul on awards nights (ARIAs 1997, 1998), during his gigs (Live Chapel 2001) and Paul Hester's tv show (I think 1998, because Neil was promoting TWT at the time) **Sorry if I got some years wrong here. Please correct me if I'm wrong**

And also played with Mark Hart in US 1998 tour (would have obviously been harder for Mark to schedule times to pop over to Australia when he lives on the other side of the world).

(I only got that 10th anniversary DVD for FTTW last year and I love the commentary. It did appear they needed Laurie as a moderator to help the discussion to continue on, but it was a chance to find out some personalities from the band.)

Just include 2007 - 2010

From reading gig reviews in this Frenzforum, 2007 gigs were great but 2008 fans loved. And watching some 2008 YouTube clips, the band sounded great and loose. Who knows, whether it was because they weren't promoting an album at the time and it was just fun to try out new songs they could tinker with per gig.

2011 - 2021

When I saw in the newspaper (yes, the paper lol) and read that Neil was going to be playing with a band called Pajama Club and giving Crowded House a rest, back then I had a skulk because I was looking forward to another follow up from Intriguer. And I then stopped following Neil Finn's projects. Just occasionally, when I was in JB-HI, I would check out the Crowded House section for new CDs.

The 2016 encore was full on promoted in Australia (obviously) and the ABC did a great broadcast of it with no tv commercials.

In early 2020, I looked up wikipedia for Crowded House and saw Mark Hart listed as a former member.  I initially thought he was unwell and touring is a big thing. That was when I properly read up what happened and I've been following the Crowded House sites since then and reading these old frenzforum posts. Some have been very interesting and intriguing (no pun intended)

Last edited by Left Hand

Some great posts - especiallys Dorthtonion's initial one . So much of it resonates with me . So very true that when I was 20-30 years old  - a decade seems like a lifetime . Now, the most recent decade of my life has flashed past me in the blink of an eye

Crowded House has always been so important to me. it's always mattered to me that they existed - rather than just Neil solo or involved in some other collaboration. The guy Chugg ? I think his name is , says in one of the inteviews on the Farewell to the word DVD , they split in '96 just as they could have went into world domination.. (paraphrasing) . I share his frustration. Neil went on to release material that had to have the legend "from the voice behind Crowded House "etc...

If the 1995 album with Peter Jones had been completed , I think it would have been epic . Every song I've heard from it since has been superb.

Again in 2011 frustration . I love Intriguer . It may not have had the sales I believe it deserves, but it was for me  part of the bands redevelopment and progression. I was so frustrated when Neil deviated to Pajama Club (ok , but just not crowded house or anything close) . He then made Dizzy Heights - an ok album , but probably my least favourite of Neil's .

My frustration was again compounded when I heard "Two Minutes of Silence " and Nonsense Of Course" on the Intriguer special edition. Two tracks from the abandoned follow up to Intriguer produced by Nick Lunay . Again, my feelings of 95/96 resurfaced . These in my opinion are two of the most beautiful songs that Neil or Crowded House have ever presided over. I would like Two minutes of silence played at my funeral . My dad died around the time I first heard it and it still brings a tear to my eye.

That these songs are relegated to a bonus disk on an album re-issue borderlines on criminal for me (glad they've at least been released mind !)  At the end of nonsense of course , Strangest Friends is tagged on as a secret track . It's easily the weakest track of the 3 for me , but recorded by crowded house - very similar to Neil's solo version , and at least as good. For me it beggars the question - why abandon The Crowded House follow up to Intriguer in favour of Dizzy Heights ?! Just don't get it !

2016 - the encore shows . Amazing ! The band at the top of their game . Neil says at the end " and we will meet again" . Sadly , that was only partially  true . On two occasions now I've been beyond excited to hear that Crowded House were reforming. On the latest occasion though , the caveat was that Mark Hart was a casualty . I'm not going to lie - this partially ruined their return and took me months to get past - I'm still not fully resolved to it (with no offence intended to Mitchell)

Neil says in interviews that for him the band couldn't reform with the personnel it had. It's his band absolutley, but listening to them play Sydney in 2016 , I just can't get my head round that ...

Last edited by stuartjb

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