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Here�s the scenario.

Two years from now, Neil Finn does a U-turn and announces that from now on he will be performing as �Crowded House�. He�s bought the rights to use the name from Nick, Paul and Mark Hart, and they lose their artistic interest as a result, but keep their royalty payments only.

Neil falls out with Paul and Mark, but stays friendly with Nick, and occasionally co-writes with him.

He announces a new tour called �Crowded House Live � All The Hits And More�, and says that he will playing mainly the popular Crowded House material, with one or two songs from his solo stuff thrown in. The setlist is pretty much along the lines of the �Recurring Dream� compilation, and he plays the same set every night of the tour. The band consists of himself, Peter Jones on drums, and he invites some new musicians to play bass, keyboards and guitar.

This improves his visiibility, and the band begins to play in slightly bigger venues as a result, but sticks to established territories like the US and UK. No Canada or Europe etc. EMI releases another compilation CD to cash in. Neil sets up his own label and sells the new CDs and a range of Crowded House merchandise via his website only � the band doesn�t have a record label and is anxious to minimise costs.

The fan club is closed, but there is a thriving web community who still follow Neil�s every move.

He announces in interviews says that there will be a new Crowded House album on the way, but after a year there is still no sign of it. They join an �80s retro� tour for a few shows. The following year, another tour is announced, which is identical to the previous one, playing similar venues and material. He releases a new Crowded House Live CD of these shows.

My questions are:

As a long-time fan of the band, how would you feel about all of this?
Is this �Crowded House� still the same band, albeit with different members, because Neil is at the core of it?
Would the artistic integrity of the original material and lineup be compromised?
How would you feel about a �Greatest Hits� only type tour, with no sign of new original material?
Would the new album appeal to you, without any contribution from original members?
How would this reflect on Neil�s relationship with longtime fans?

I�ll give the reasons behind this debate later, but thought I�d ask you all what you think first!
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Interesting premise... if you ask the diehards, many will probably answer along these lines (which also happen to be mine) --- Crowded House has always been the common denominator of the three/four/five members, and a Neil or Finn Brothers gig has always been different from a CH set (and that's the fun and quality of it). If Neil were to follow the path outlined above, he would not only risk alienating his core audience (which is accustomed to a high level of quality and integrity - which also includes the expectation that the Finns are in it for the fun alongside the groceries on their tables), but also much of the respect of his fellow musicians, many of which regard him as a supreme songwriter if not a "role model".

Of course I would check out any new material by Neil, but I don't know whether I would not begin to listen to the new stuff on earphones in the shop instead of buying it blindly like I use to until the present day.

No, I wouldn't feel like "seeing the Crowdies again" the same way if I knew they were just in for "the dollar". Eight years after the split, I wonder what the reunion would look like anyway, and how well in the end it has benefitted the Beatles and Abba (to name two) that they had not started a reunion tour when the big money was held under their noses. I still think that the only reason why Crowded House should reunite is when they really think that they can recapture their glory and have a lot of fun and creative satisfaction at the same time.
Though provoking post Anselm!
Personally I haven't listened to a CH album for as long as I can remember...and if I did it's for the odd song or two, but they don't stay on my CD player for very long.

I'm more into Neil's solo album...used to be TWT, One One All...and of course Finn 2 (yes Finn 1 I get out to listen to more than CH).
So therefore I'd prefer Neil keeps doing new material, new bands etc. On the Sessions @ 54th Sreet DVD...Neil's band does a riveting modern day version of SE's 'I Got You'...If Neil/Tim & co can revitalise/reinvent old CH/SE songs with a new twist I'd be a paying customer fan. Speaking of which...anything unplugged Neil/Tim I'd buy/eat Tim singing a verse/chorus here of DDIO/Neil solo albums or vice versa; Neil singing Tim solo/SEs numbers.

I made no long term lasting emotional connection to the band members of CH (it was good while it lasted, but now it has gone, so face up to what you have done): Paul, Nick & them regrouping up is like an old ageing band going for one last dash at success. Though if they did regroup I would utmost SUPPORT them and welcome buying their CDs, be it online, minus the expensive expense of retail prices...
Originally posted by Paul H:
[qb] OK, let me have a think about which band you happen to be a long-time fan of who've gone down this sad and sorry line and have led you to feel so peeved as to ask this rhetorical question...

Brother Beyond?
ELO? [/qb]
You cheeky sod Big Grin I'd hardly miss any of those! You're spot on with your reasoning though....all will be revealed.

Good points raised so far - any more?
Incidentally, I don't want people to mistake this as a 'Reunion/regrouping of original members' thread...that has already been discussed here may times before.

Instead I'm talking about the name, the band, the integrity, the songs, the profile - and how the situation described above would make fans feel about your band, and your loyalties/passions for it.
What was the reason for this post? you said you would tell us anselm. You are making me think you know something the rest of us might not know. I hope this isn't a serious topic. As much as I would LOVE to see ch (since I became a fan shortly after "Farewell to the World") I would hope that Mr. Finn would never be sucked "into temptation" of the bottom line.
Originally posted by rmw2g:
[qb] What was the reason for this post? you said you would tell us anselm. You are making me think you know something the rest of us might not know. I hope this isn't a serious topic. As much as I would LOVE to see ch (since I became a fan shortly after "Farewell to the World") I would hope that Mr. Finn would never be sucked "into temptation" of the bottom line. [/qb]
Don't worry, Mr Finn will not be selling out on us just is purely a 'what if....' question.

As Paul H correctly guessed, I have seen EXACTLY this situation happen to a certain 80s band who have a loyal following, and their fans have been bitterly divided about the whole thing. It's caused a real debate on another web forum, which I'm enjoying being part of. So I wanted to see what Finn fans would make of it if it happened to them Smiler
I hate going backwards (one of the reasons you don't see me at eighties reunion type gigs). I believe in progression in music/musicians. It's ok to visit the past and I love it when Neil playes crowded house but I love it more when he brings me something new to get my teeth into.

Would I buy the albums of this fictitious reunited group? No. Would I see them live. Probably once or twice then I would think it was all pretty sad and lose interest.

Onwards and upwards!
I think the most under-rated single act of Neil's career was to dispense with the CH tag. It would have been very easy for him to go down the Tears For Fears / Simply Red route and keep the name but ditch the band. I know that Parlophone asked him to keep the CH name...

Personally, I think it would ruin everything. I always thought they were the perfect band (although subsequent revelations about internal politics has soured that somewhat). Even so, I think that CH DID have something special and Neil paid the other members the ultimate tribute by abandoning the brand name. If he'd kept it, he would have dismissed their achievements.

For that reason, I don't think Anselm's hypothetical question will ever come to pass. Neil knows that CH were more than an average band and wouldn't ever pull a stunt like that.

I think if he did, it would also negate much of what he's achieved as a solo artist: it sends out a clear message that he accepts that his own profile isn't high enough for him and that he'd rather have that and the money than the integrity he's built up since 1997.

I'd still buy his records, still see him perform (hell, I'd appreciate a Hits Only gig just to hear the old songs again - my girlfriend has never heard Don't Dream It's Over or Into Temptation live). I'd still love him and want him to have a big hit record but something would be lost. And he knows it.
Well, my take on it is that it'll never happen. But maybe the fans of whatever other band that was felt the same way beforehand.

Considering I'm Canadian, I doubt I would be particularly enthused. I'm not that much of a fan of Neil's solo work - I like Tim's recent stuff better - so I'd probably keep listening to Tim and to Crowded House, like I'm doing now.

Would it be the same band? I don't think I'd feel that way. Of course most of Crowded House's songs are Neil's but the members of a band produce its dynamics. If only Neil was in the band, it wouldn't have the same dynamics. Sting can play Police songs but if he called the band he was touring with The Police, fans would scoff.

And part of the elements that made up Crowded House were Hester donig occasionally crazy things, and Mark Seymour handling the artwork. Imagine Split Enz without the costumes that Noel Crombie created for them!

You know, I was reflecting not that long ago that Together Alone does not sound at all like the band that produced Crowded House, either. Smiler
Thought as much but didn't want to admit that I knew anything about them Razzer

They played Sherwood Forest a year or so ago (about 3 miles for where I used to live) and by all accounts it was dreadful - no passion, no atmos, perfunctory performances of hits.

Many disillusioned fans about (still, they got some fresh air and a bit of exercise!)
Nick Seymour was the only member of Crowded House that wanted to be the best band in the world. Funny thing is that they were, the world just didn't know it. That's my opinion.

But all good things must come to an end. And better to end with dignity than in a mud slinging mess. Not that it wasn't without its moments....

But I think a band can be creatively confining. And I think we've all witnessed that Neil likes to stretch his legs and doesn't fit well into a box. Is this not partly why we love him? I love it that he continues to redefine himself.

I also love it that he does it for the love of it. That he is about moving forward while continuing to embrace and celebrate the past. I love it that he will perform a recently written song and a song from twenty years ago in the same gig, with equal enthusiasm, and make both sound fresh.

We all have our ideas regarding who we think Neil Finn is, but of course we don't really know for sure. I would think that this scenario would be unbecoming of the Neil Finn (we think) we know and love, and I doubt it would happen. To me, the sourest taste would come from the focus on the bottom line. And of course the lack of Canadian touring!

I wish I had the opportunity to see CH live. But the real CH, not some half-hearted, money motivated venture. I'd rather remember CH as they were. Unless there was a real, inpired coming together of the old band, one that all involved were really into. That would be ok......but with new material. Ulness is was just like a reunion tour. That would be ok too.

I look forward to all Neil's FRESH new ideas for the future...especially those crazy hair brained ideas that turn out amazingly.....I wanna see some more of those!! Smiler
It's funny someone mentioned DURAN DURAN, they are reuniting the original Band members after 21 years. The band (Simon Lebon and one or two of the original members - depends on the record) never actually ceased to exist. They took a 2 or 3 year break and came back to the charts with there 1992 release. Again it didnt actually qualify as a "reunion" back then, as it doesnt now.
In the FINN World Scenario, It would be really difficult to imagine either Neil or Tim to have enough time on their hands to come up with such a crazy stunt.
Just think for a minute how busy they keep up with solo projects as well as collaborations and side projects.
Lets be real, they could probably write records every year by themselves or together, from now until they die. The time-consuming process of actually writing-recording-mixing-distributing-touring takes almost 2 years (being extremly optimistic).
I doubt they would reach such a dry point in either one of there 30 year careers, as to have to end up touring as something they are not...
On the other hand... I saw fellow Aussie's "Men At Work" live a couple of years ago (here in Venezuela) and they rocked! They were only two of the original line-up (Colin Haye and Greg ham) but they were the two that actually mattered. So in that case it was great!
On the other hand... I saw fellow Aussie's "Men At Work" live a couple of years ago (here in Venezuela) and they rocked! They were only two of the original line-up (Colin Haye and Greg ham) but they were the two that actually mattered.
I'm sure the other Men At Work band members would be a bit pissed off to find that you thought their contributions were so unimportant! - would they have had those hits without the collaboration of all of them? The Beatles weren't The Beatles without Ringo, good drummer or not. And that's exactly what I'm talking Neil actually Crowded House? If so, then Neil + 2 others = Crowded that not the case? Is Crowded House actually Neil, Nick and Paul? Where does that leave Mark Hart? Which ones are dispensable? Could CH exist without Neil? Is Neil the only one who "actually mattered".... Smiler
Hello All , long term viewer but non poster - the first post that i thought i could input to . How i see it is - Crowded House made cracking music but the further i got 'into' the band i saw the 'people' come through and to me i think that the different qualities of the members made the band what it was . The guys maybe weren't always the best of mates (fairly obviously) but the connection between them was nothing short of fantastic . I never saw them live Frowner but i have had the pleasure of seeing Neil on his last two UK jaunts (TWT and NILFUN) and i just have not been able to get over the quality of sound that he can reproduce on a live stage , i think Neils musical ability rubbed off onto Nick and Paul and made them better musicians . Neil is decent enough to never do a 'cr0wded h0use - honest' revamp , so i would never expect to see it - i think behind the split he would still have alot of respect for the band and it's members not to do a B/S tour . Lastly - when Neil has done any Split Enz get togethers he has always seemed to me to be very humble and respectful and i think this would follow through if the CH reunion should ever resurface .
Hey Anselm. Awesome topic! Smiler . You have created a monster! And it's been pretty cool reading everyone's responses - great work! It's thought provoking discussions like this that make this forum what it is.

Anselm wrote:

is Neil actually Crowded House?

Yeah, pretty much (if you want my opinion). Neil Finn wasn't just a regular band leader; he was the genius behind the wonder that is Crowded House. Neil Finn is one god that would have succeeded post Split Enz no matter who jumped on board for the ride. As much as I respect them, Paul Hester and Nick Seymour were realistically just the 2 lucky guys that made up the numbers & maybe took a little of the focus off Neil (due to Neil's semi-shy/unselfish factor).

If so, then Neil + 2 others = Crowded that not the case?
That is basically the case. Regardless of the 2 or 3 or 4 other guys, Neil Finn was, and always will be Crowded House, despite the "image" - which was '3 guys'.

If you want to get technical about it, Paul, Nick, (Tim), Mark & Peter were officially in the band line-up, but we all know who wrote the songs & created the sound. Neil could have just as easily used a drum machine during the recording sessions if he wished, and used an anonymous drummer @ the concerts. No, i'm not a fan of drum machines, and Paul & Peter were great drummers, but you get my point.

Is Crowded House actually Neil, Nick and Paul? Where does that leave Mark Hart? Which ones are dispensable?
That's a good question(s). As we know, Paul Hester gave it the flick in 1994 - and "Crowded House" continued to thrive at the concerts with Peter Jones filling the hole perfectly (musically)... Tim Finn was given the flick (mutual agreement?) with ease by Neil (that was the guy who actually did have some creative imput into writing!)... Nick Seymour was temporarily sacked for a while, Mark Hart didn't join until the Woodface tour (by which time "they" were well established), and Peter Jones (would you even call him a proper member?) - the band's drummer - was given the arse in favour of a "special guest" who had quit the "group" for the 1996 sessions (although they still had him tour the record!)... and didn't even end up being the #1 drummer for the farewell concert. Then there's Eddie Rayner, who was long gone from the recording sessions after the first 1 (or 2?) albums.

^ It seems that, as talented as they all are, were all pretty dispensable.

Could CH exist without Neil? Is Neil the only one who "actually mattered"....

Well as far as I'm concered, 'Mr. Crowded House' is still going strong & writing great music regardless of his current line-up.

I'm not saying the other other members didn't matter, just that they weren't at all important in the creation process, and progress of the "band".

Having said that, I would not like to see Neil take back the Crowded House tag 8 years on, as it would be the biggest sellout ever - not like our Neil!. However, I guess I would like to see him rightly become just a little more poular in Australia (not just 'famous', as he is known), as his music is still the best in the world, as it was when he was Crowded House - which were, in turn, (as Half-Full said), the best band in the world (on the back of one man).

And I must admit, Anselm, that I thought you were referring to Guns N' Roses as the "certain '80s band" who "reformed" with a different line-up (in GNR's case, only the 1 original member, and he was not even the main songwriter!). Either that or Fleetwood Mac...

Paul H - Could you please elaborate on Parlophone asking Neil to keep the 'Crowded House' name? This would have been after the massive hysteria surrounding the split of Crowded House, right? Did they want him to reform the band (with at least Nick), or to just have whoever in the line-up & just have him (Neil) be the face of Crowded House?

Phew... there you go!
I have to admit, I haven't read all of the posts listed here, I've just skimmed through. Although I have been a Frenz member for over 20years, one of the things that has kept my interest in all things Finn is the fact (completely outside the brilliant music that I love) the fact that they don't sell out. OK, the one little ad for New Zealand tourism DDIO, I can forgive. The only other uses of Finn music (that have come to my attention) have been for the AIDS campaign (All I Ask) and more recently, Red Nose Day for SIDS (I See Red) There is integrity in lending ones work to campaigns such as these. Fundraising as it were. Anslem's original question I read / interpreted as "What if Neil sold out? Would we still love the music?" My answer is this, Neil would not sell out.Anybody remeber the Geoffrey Robertson Hypothetical that Neil was on? He didn't get a lot of air time (edited I suspect?) But the question was thrown at Neil,(something along the lines of) what would he do if a foreign "despot" government was selling his albums to fund cutting down rainforests /heroin on the streets (or some such wicked thing.. can't remember to tell the truth) the bit I DO remember is Neil saying (paraphase not direct quote)"We don't have a lot of control over where our albums get sold. Thats up to our record company. What we could do would be to have a fund raiser concert for the trees / heroin addicts and fight the good fight from another angle." THAT'S integrity!! So a) IMHO not likely to sell out b) if he did, for me, it's too late to change the habit of a lifetime. I've loved Finn music for over 25years of my life. That is not going to stop soon!
See ya 'round!!
here�s my point of view,
I became aware of Crowded house in 1996,so...I�ve never been to a concert,therefor I�d love them to be together again (even if they just want money and don�t do new songs).
Talking about if Neil was the only one who mattered in CH,I don�t think so.Come to think of it Neil solo albums are not Crowded House, don�t you think so? they had something especial, and I love to hear nick or paul�s voice while I�m listening to a Ch cd...
Anyway I think that if they were together again it wouldn�t be the same but...want to see them playing live!
I can't ever see Neil doing this. It would've happened by now - Something about comments he's made in interviews also seem to (anecdotally) support this.

CH revolved around Neil, but as a live band, they weren't just "Neil and those two other guys" - the band had a spirit which the three of them (and Mark) added to. I mean, there's that whole talk of the live dynamic changing when Tim joined.

Also seeing some of the post-Hessie live stuff confirms to me that Paul brought a lot more to the band than a 'human drum machine'. He brought a life to the band.

Listen to those Hessie songs - Skin Feeling, Italian Plastic - you know it's not Neil singing, but you still know it's Crowded House!

It would be a bit like Paul McCartney and Ringo touring as "The Beatles" with some other session guys - each of the four of them had said on differing occasions that it just wouldn't be the Beatles without all of them. Same thing here.

If the scenario ever happened, I'd lose a lot of respect for Neil, but it wouldn't stop me listening as it'd still probably be good music (although not the real CH).
Cool post, Phil Judd Jones Smiler

...eXcept for your Beatles reference. The analogy, in my opinion, wasn't very similar to the Neil Finn situation, because it's a whole different kettle of fish when you're talking about a band without 2 of it's main songwriters. For The Beatles, John Lennon and George Harrison were a major part of the group - the 2 of them were probably 60% of the band... and taking that away doesn't leave much (40% to be exact), where as Neil Finn probably equates to about 85% of Crowded House... if you all get my drift... which you all do, right... guys... guys?
Being logical we could say,

We are talking about an idea that is CH, as a band, as a concept.

But the concept itself has broken during the years it lasted. Why?

Well, CH were Neil, Nick and Paul. 6 years later or so, Tim joined the band. At that point we could say:

CH are not the same, cause the members are not the same, so there's a lack of integrity, the concept has vanished.

But, if we don't bother that lack of integrity because of the joining of a new member, we shouldn't mind the leaving of a memeber, as CH's concept disappeared with Tim's joining.

If we do mind the integrity of the band with the leaving of a member but not with the joining of a new guy, we are being a bit hypocritical. Is Tim important enough to keep the integrity of the band?

I do consider the Mark Hart's CH era as being a proper CH era, and I miss Paul on stage too. But that doesn't seem logical as I've said before.

Should we be a bit flexible considering the leaving of a memeber is not the same as the joining of a new one?
Hi all. This is my first time to this forum. I am here because i`m interested in Mr.Finn ( duh ). Anyway on to the subject.

I hope that Neil will keep his integrity and not come back with a CH reunion. I feel that the farewell concert was a fitting ending to their era. And furthermore i don`t think he needs it either as Neil has the possibility to work with other musicians anyway. I believe that the name Neil Finn has as much credibility as Crowded House has. And he can play CH songs anyway as their his songs for the most part anyway. I mean, we all saw Blondie reunite and that was quite too much for a lot of people Smiler
Must say that I disagree wholeheartedly with Secret God on this one (not that I have a problem with your views - I like that you have an opinion on the subject, and it was well rationalised).

I think that, to use a poor analogy, Neil was the brains behind the outfit, Nick the brawn and Paul was the heart and soul. Especially live, but also in the studio. For me, CH had a feel about them that Neil has never recaptured (not necessarily a bad thing, I don't think CH could have produced Sinner or much of the TWT album).

I don't think it's any co-incidence that CH broke up after Hester left. Follow the time line: Hester leaves, CH fulfill their touring obligations because they can't afford not to. Neil is left with a band that comprises a session man they asked to join permanently and a bassist he once sacked. He needs space to think, so he goes off and does a record with his brother.

Returns to CH, tries out some new material with Peter Jones but ultimately rejects it. Decides to issue a greatest hits album but add some new songs to provide a bit of value for money. BUT INVITES HESTER TO PLAY.

Clearly for Neil, there can be no CH without Hester. In the beginning, post Enz, the band that became CH started out as Neil and Paul and a demo tape. I think it is no co-incidence that (apart from the retrospective "out of the vaults" compilation Afterglow and the odd stray Finn Bros recording that ended up on Woodface) there are no CH recordings without Paul.

CH was WAY WAY more than just Neil + 2/3. Despite the burden placed on Neil to write, and the occasional clash of characters, they WERE a band in the true sense of the word. Anyone who saw them live will tell you that.

Neil has been excellent since, and I'm convinced that he'd taken CH as far as he could (which gets me back on-topic!) but to say that he could tour / record as CH and it wouldn't matter is just not correct. Any such record would sound far more like solo Neil than original CH.

Finally, to answer SG's query about Parlophone: I can't remember where I read or heard it, but I definately recall Neil saying in an interview that, following his decision to quit the band, he was asked by Parlophone to consider continuing to use the CH name to record his solo albums under, i.e. TWT would have been exactly the same album with exactly the same players but would have been issued as a Crowded House record. And there's NO WAY that TWT sounds like a CH record. I think it proves my point.

For what it's worth, Mick Hucknall did exactly that with Simply Red (sacked the band and carried on with the name) and nobody but their diehard fans noticed the difference. I think that also illustrates how CH differed from other bands.

And now, back to the music... Smiler
Cheers for the reply Paul H Smiler .

And just for the record, I did say (and I quote) "I would not like to see Neil take back the Crowded House tag 8 years on, as it would be the biggest sellout ever".

Your post made complete sense, and I do (to an extent) agree with your point of view, but raul hinted at something worth thinking about: The band line-up changed considerably through the years, that there comes a point where you can't say what is Crowded House, and what's not.

Aargh... g2g. I'll reply properlys ome othre time.
SG, I wasn't suggesting that I thought you WANTED Neil to take back the CH tag, just that I didn't agree with your view that Neil WAS Crowded House.

I think, for me, and possibly Neil too, given the timing of things, that bands can be fluid up to a point, and that the point is different for each band.

You have to remember that all through the personnel changes CH went through, the core of the band (Neil, Paul and Nick) remained unchanged. I think that they were the heart of the group and that, once one of them left the group lost its identity.

I also wonder whether Neil would have carried on without Nick if Paul had stayed. I know I'm straying a bit off topic here, but I think it's within the general question of "What is Crowded House". I really don't think it's a co-incidence that Neil was happy to add to the band, and was happy (if that's the right word) to replace Nick (remember, Nick was fired after TOLM only to be reinstated after pressure was put on Neil to change his mind), but wasn't happy without Paul Hester.

For my money, I think that Neil would have considered CH to be the three of them or, if pushed, him and Paul. After all, it was Paul and Neil who first got together after Split Enz and went looking for a record deal. Nick only appeared on the contract at the very last minute. Even then, the axis of power was Neil and Paul.

Raul is right in his suggestion that the make-up of the band could be fluid without losing its identity, but (obviously) not so fluid as to lose a founding member...
I just got a copy of "Handheld Torch" a new CD from TARMAC ADAM (Nick Seyomur and Paul Hester�s new group). While listening to it last night, it reminded me of this topic and certainly sheds some new light on this topic.
Even though the music and melodies are great (to me its a mix of 2 of my favourite groups Coldplay and The High Llamas), they show "0" resamblance to anything even remotely close to the Crowded House "sound".
I understand that musicians evolve (thus the case of both Tim and Neil), but there always seems to be a common sound that comes through even after several years or diferent projects.
Neil�s music today, still incorporates certain aspects of what made Crowded House sound as good and special as it did, and honestly the same can not be said in any sense of this Paul Hester/Nick Seymour project (by the eay it looks as if Nick was the one who came up with the idea of creating this new group...)
Again, dont get me wrong the music is GREAT and I recomend it to any FINN FAN, just doesnt sound like two thirds (or one half...) of Crowded House...
>>is Neil actually Crowded House?

Indeed... the Magick, the tone, the voice, the front man ... the writing.

If new had gone solo after Split Enz - UNDER the Name Neil Finn. it wouldn't have been all that different. -

Neil has always had and WILL always have great players in HIS bands...

I liked Paul, Eddie, Nick, Peter, Mark etc... but to me it's simply a matter of perspective .

It's all about Neil as far as this house is concerned.

Fritz Jung
Originally posted by Paul H:
[qb]Clearly for Neil, there can be no CH without Hester.[/qb]
I don't know how many of you have heard the Recurring Dream Live Bonus Second Disc Thingy, but the version of Sister Madly kinda sums up what a lot of us have been saying.

About the second verse, Paul screws up, so stops playing. Neil then stops singing and has a chat with him, and then improvs a whole new verse. I've also heard the emotion in the voices at the farewell gig; there is no way you can give a concert like that, break the musical hearts of thousands of fans, and then say "actually, I'm gonna call myself Crowded House now".

Having said that, Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend played the Isle of Wight festival this year as "The Who", with Zak Starkey and Simon Townshend filling in for Moon and Entwistle (who were otherwise engaged). There's even rumours of a new album on the way. And this is a band who had a phenomenal effect on British and World Music for 20 years or more. It remains to be seen whether they can pull it off.

Much like Crosby, Stills and Nash, without Young, there is not that same creative tension and the music is not the same. I have to assume that the CH stuff from the Jones sessions has the same problem.

There - I'm 17 and I think I've pulled off name dropping two of the biggest bands of the 60s in my post. Very pleased with that!

Hi this is my first post here so I hope I don't offend too many people.

I'm surprised by some comments regarding the contribution Paul Nick and Mark made to the sound of the band. There's a huge difference between the sound on the last Crowded house album and Neils first solo one.
TWT was a big disappointment for me as I felt it was cold and lacked heart . I think that the other band members added this ingredient to Neils already great songs.

So to answer the questions

As a long-time fan of the band, how would you feel about all of this?
If Neil went on tour playing CH Songs I would go as I never heard them played live. However I'd be much happier if it was the original band.

Is this ‘Crowded House’ still the same band, albeit with different members, because Neil is at the core of it?
No its not the same band at all.

Would the artistic integrity of the original material and line-up be compromised?

How would you feel about a ‘Greatest Hits’ only type tour, with no sign of new original material?
Would the new album appeal to you, without any contribution from original members?
A new album would have more appeal if the original band played on it. I much prefer Neils crowded house work to his solo albums or the Finn album

How would this reflect on Neil’s relationship with longtime fans?
I could sour it if people thought the tour/album was a money making project.

As a final point. I can't see Neil doing this its clear that his artistic integrity means more than money. He could have carried on with Crowded house for a few more albums if he was in it for the money and done solo material on the side
I believe that Nick Seymour and Paul Hester were critical to the particular sound that I associate with Crowded House; at the core of it was Neil Finn's songwriting and vocals, but the sound as a whole came from all of them, and from their long and tangled relationship with each other. Others might come and go around the edges, but they were not as crucial as those three. A band without Nick or Paul, call it what you want, wouldn't be Crowded House for me, and I don't think I'd go to see Neil and a band do Crowded House's greatest hits. Were he to do such a thing, Neil would lose a lot of my respect.

I also get the strong feeling that Neil is done with "Crowded House" and happy doing what he's doing: on his own, with his brother, with his various musical friends. As he should be - as tempting as I'm sure it can be to rest on your laurels, there is something very sad indeed about wanting to do so when those laurels are firmly associated with music that you wrote a quarter century ago. I'm glad that Neil and the others continue to write, continue to perform as it suits them, and continue to grow and mature their own sounds.
You can be sure that Neil has moved on. Look at the pattern- every 3 years he puts out some sort of record with whoever he feels like. Long may he go on doing what he does by himself, with Tim, with the Enz, with the Crowdies, with whoever comes along. I'd love to hear the album he could put together with Andy Partridge of XTC- sparks would fly, but I think both would have to be on top form.
I think that CH was very much a Neil thing. He wrote sang and made the music. Drums and bass guitars can be played by others, but I can agree that songs like "Italian Plastic" have the paul Hester sound that can`t be played by anyone else as the man himself.

I think for people who have seen CH live changes would feel weird but for those who didn`t have the luck to see CH live things might look the same, cause they can`t really tell what`s different.
But being lucky myself and to have seen CH with Paul H and without the only thing I think is different is the interaction on stage, i really liked the interaction on stage when CH was with Neil, Nick and Paul. The 3 together interacting with the audience.
If Neil was to reform CH and tour/expose a 'greatest hits' only scenario into the future then I'd probably go to a concert or two, buy the 'live' album and then say ta ta to the band. But Neil Finn would not go down this route. If you listen to any of the post CH interviews, his thinking is lucid, his reasons and future plans defined. Having now seen the new Finn concert and having heard a heady mix of old and new, I think Neil has set the tone for the next few years anyway - and it's enjoyable. Neil is creative and I guess the old juices are still flowing and will continue to do so. Like some of the previous posters I only listen to Neil Solo, Tim solo and to Together Alone. It's an interesting proposition/theory/hypothesis and as such is open to scrutiny � In my view it could not happen, but the discussion is interesting, Joe

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