The odd title of my post is a thought I had this morning. I was thinking about bands that through their music have accompanied my life so far, comparing their presence and history with long-life bands of the generations before (i.e. Rolling Stones, Eagles, ELO) and after (Keane, Coldplay, Killers) wondering what to make of CH's latter stage revival period since 2007. Two albums and various tours in 12 years, set against increased solo activity in various constellations by Neil.

Don't get me wrong; I like those, and I salute Neil for going his way and experimenting with different formulas. But what did he need Crowded House resurrected for, save that mourning period after Paul's death? I dig "Time on earth" as a "coming to terms-album", but "Intriguer" in 2010 did not feel like the opening of a new chapter to me. It's been almost nine years since. The band is in storage, I guess, waiting to be taken out of mothballs once Neil thinks it's a good idea. But will there be such a time? *Should* there be such a time?

Neil and Nick will turn 61 this year, Mark 66. I know, Jagger & Co are way older than this, but the Stones as a band are a completely different animal when it comes to energy and originality (not better or worse, just different). What corner could CH take into a new direction? I'd love them to do so, if it feels right for them to push off into unknown waters. But please, no occasional "An Evening With Crowded House" greatest hits tours for CH in the future. I'd rather see this chapter closed and their legacy undiminished.


The adventure that we meet is the one for which we are ready. (Joseph Campbell)
Original Post

I think Neil's decision to reform CH was one taken on the spur of the moment with little thought as to whether or not it was a good idea. Clearly, Neil needed the comfort of a band after Paul's loss and CH was the obvious way to go. But after the initial euphoria I think the novelty wore off. Intriguer sounds to me like a band trying too hard.

I think Neil pulled the plug because he realised that reforming CH was a one-night stand with a former lover. Will they ever make new music? Never say "never" but I wouldn't be surprised if they never do.

I pretty much agree with all of this. I admit it was disheartening ten or so years ago to realise that everything Neil was releasing under numerous guises was of no interest to me at all. To go from savouring and loving all CH, Finn Bros and early NF solo releases to then actively disliking Pajama Club, Liam collabs etc was an unexpected development. And then Fleetwood Mac! But with such a back catalogue to be swept away with I'm really not bothered much at all, and I'm so glad people are digging whatever he does. The thing I try to remember is; he is incredibly talented but still human. Having such a long career is going to mean he's not always going to pick the perfect path, for himself or for his fans, and that's ok. That's life.

Most of us longtime fans are always happy when attention is brought to the brand. Mark II was fine, and they came to play for the fans. Yes, the band's tacit is pronounced when the founder brings us another project. At least with every Fleetwood Mac appearance these days, there's article and mention of CH (and dare I say, wistful remembrance).  

The gentlemen seem to enjoy it when they do play. Keep your fingers crossed.

I can understand the perceptions mentioned here, but I do have a slightly different view.

I don't think CH was revived for nostalgia or comfort reasons, but because it felt right musically. The scouting for Matt as a proper member would be a case in point for me. And they had an absolute ball on those two tours (as did we)! I still sometimes listen to the Wembley recordings and the euphoria among everyone is amazing.

Intriguer, well. I don't think they were trying too hard. What I see is Neil wanting to try other stuff, at least a bit, and realising that, at this point, people's expectations of what CH should sound like really took the joy out of it and he got frustrated. He has mentioned this being a problem for his songwriting a couple of times over the years in general. I think he has come to the conclusion "If I want to experiment a little, I have to do it outside CH." Hence Pyjama Club, the Dizzy Heights and Out of Silence solo albums, and now Liam. 

When will we get another CH album? When Neil stops trying out new things (unlikely, luckily), or when he's confident enough to not give a s*** about people's expectations, or when his fanbase has diversified enough to not have a specific sound in mind. I think he is well aware of the musical and personal qualities of the other CH members (see Encore shows), beyond nostalgia and comfort. 

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