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So I guess the 25th anniversary of the first Crowded House album passed by without much fanfare.  Which is too bad considering how incredible that album was and how it rocketed Crowded House to fame and glory.  So, never mind the record companies, I've decided in this downtime between releases to just go ahead and do it myself.


What I came up with is a 3 CD set.  The first CD is the original store-bought album, the second CD is the remastered stereo version of the album from the 5.1 DVD mix, and the second CD is made up of rarities, b-sides, and demos.


I designed the artwork to fit in a 3CD double wide (chubby) CD case, because I always felt those were the best packaging CDs ever came in.  It was a little complex because I needed to modify the cover art from a square to a rectangle, but it turns out extending the edges wasn't that hard to do.



Next I had to re-work the back cover to make a lot more room for track names. I liked this retro Polaroid photo look too.  It reminds me of the video for "Don't Dream It's Over" for some reason.



I stayed away from anything that's already been released on Afterglow.  Turns out that I never really appreciated the song "Everything to Live For".  Yes, it's a huge ball of 80's cheese, but it's catchy and full of good fun.  Neil and Tim both sing on it, Crowded House wrote and plays all the music, and I think Paul Hester might do a rap towards the end, but I can't tell if it's actually him.


Some of the demos come from the Split Enz box sets, some from Enzology, and the others are from the Finn/Hester demo tape, though I did a lot of work to reduce hissing and correct the pitch and speed on those.


Finally, here's the CD artwork for discs 2 and 3 (disc 1 is the original release):



As you can see, I did my best to match the feel of the original CD and artwork.  I even put all the numbers inside black boxes and included the Capitol logo and that retro-looking Compact Disc logo too.  The images on the CDs were from advertisements cut out of magazines from the 80's.


I'm working on Temple of Low Men next.  I'll share it when I'm done.

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Thanks for the compliments.  I have no plans to sell this, but I hope record companies who have the ability to produce this sort of thing for real can see the value and demand for such a product.


Of course, I do invite people to download the artwork and use it to make their own deluxe editions.  Most of the music I used is available around the internet.   For example, you can download "Everything to Live For" from this website here:


And you can get the full resolution images from my flickr account here:


I scanned the vinyl covers for all my artwork, so it's very high resolution.

Originally Posted by Spencer Goode:

Great artwork. I have to ask: Was there a CH demo of My Darkest Day or was this the '83 home demo?

it's the '83 home demo from Enzology (though I looped out the announcer from the intro [sorry Jaffaman]) .  I don't know if any of these demos could be called "CH demos" in that I don't think Crowded House existed at the time they were recorded and I don't think Nick was in the band yet either.

Hot off the press, the 25th anniversary edition of Temple of Low Men!


For the cover, I knew I needed to take the typically square cover and turn it into a rectangle but, if you ask me, the original Temple of Low Men cover looks like a poorly photoshopped attempt to take a rectangular cover and make it fit into a square.  So, perhaps I'm restoring the cover to its original intent?  Anyone who has ever compared the CD cover to the vinyl cover should know that the CD cover is severely lacking anyway.  That's why I used the vinyl as my scanning source.



When creating these deluxe editions, I really look to the 25th anniversary edition of R.E.M.'s albums as my guide.  And what does R.E.M. do when they don't have enough demos to make a bonus disc?  They choose a period-appropriate live recording, which is exactly what I chose to do with Temple of Low Men:



Now it's true that I just took my copy of the fan club CD State of Mind for disc 3, but I made some much needed improvements.  I don't know who cut together the State of Mind CD, but it was actually quite armature.  The songs don't cross fade and sometimes the reverb of the final notes of a song are actually chopped off, which is quite jarring to the listener.  So, I put the reverb back on and added cross fades.  I also had to move "I Feel Possessed" to after "Hole in the River" because IFP fades in from a jam or something and sounded terribly awkward on the original fan club CD.


For disc 2 I used another period-appropriate Neil Finn interview and some 1988 acoustic performances from WNEW.  The only thing I wish is that I had the entire WNEW performance complete with interview segments.  Instead, all I have are the songs - which sound terrific.  I can't believe the WNEW recordings took place in New York City just days after the State Theatre live performances in Sydney - this band sure got around!  It all fits together quite well as an archive of the launch of the Temple album.


Disc 2


Disc 3

A couple years early is better than a couple years late.  Here's my 25th anniversary edition of Woodface.


There are so many Wooface-era stories that the music could tell, but I decided to stick with the early, early days before Tim leaves the band.  I wanted to include some acoustic radio performances, but it turns out I have enough terrific Woodface-era radio performances to make a separate collection just for those.  So, for the anniversary edition I decided that the Capitol Records carpark performance was the most iconic live show from the early-era Woodface performances.


I think the Capitol Records concert shows both why Tim was great for the band but also why in some ways it just didn't work.  It also features Mitchell Froom on keyboards for the entire concert - which is one of the few times I've ever heard Froom play with the band.  Kind of like getting to see the man behind the curtain. 


Of course I couldn't make the Woodface a rectangle to fit my CD case, that would just be wrong.  So, I simply extended the star field behind the woodface.


Lots of tracks to squeeze on to the bonus disc.  So many demos and rarities that have popped up over the years.  I think I had to rip from 9 different source CDs to collect all of these tracks. 


That "Weather With You (remix)" is something else.  I think it must have been Tim's idea.  The notes say it was remixed at Platinum Studios in Melbourne.  "My Legs Are Gone" was released the same time as Afterglow, though not included on the album.  The unplugged performance of "Four Seasons in One Day" comes from MTV's best of unplugged volume 2 and is the only officially released track from Crowded House's unplugged performance.  "Throw Your Arms Around Me" was recorded by Crowded House with Tim Finn on lead vocals around the same time as the Woodface tracks were being written/demoed.  This comes from volume 1 of Tim's own rarities album released a couple years ago.  Most of the rest of the demos come from the Finn album b-sides, except for "As Sure As I Am", which came from an I Like It Rare fan club CD and "Italian Plastic", which came from the Farewell to the World DVD set.


For Woodface I was happy to be able to keep the CD designs pretty simple since the actual Woodface CD itself is very simple.


OK, in hindsight, choosing the Capitol Records performance as the bonus disc for Woodface was a mistake.  I've since listened more closely to that performance and found it to be rather bad.  I'm going to chalk the band's lackluster performance to a couple of factors:


1. They were playing in a carpark in the afternoon for a bunch of record company folks instead of in a club in the evening for a bunch of crazy fans.


2. Even though Tim Finn and Mitchell Froom are great musicians, neither of them had enough experience performing live with Crowded House and this seems to throw off the band's live chemistry which results in some rather unmusical moments throughout the show.


3. Recording/mix isn't bad, but it isn't great either.


So, performing in the Capitol Recording parking lot with Tim Finn and Mitchell Froom on keyboards sounds like a great idea.  Compared to a typical Crowded House gig, however, it leaves much to be desired.  I believe I'll be replacing this bonus disc with a fan club CD.  Either Taxi, Detroit Rock City, or Bent in Gent.

This is the sort of thing I wish we could see for Crowded House:




"As our friends at SuperDeluxeEdition point out, the Hurting reissue — both the box set and a 2CD edition — is due out Oct. 21 via Universal Music, and the first 500 people who pre-order the four-disc set via Universal’s Box Set Store website will receive a free “Change” 7-inch in a special black-and-white sleeve.


The box set also will include a replica of Tears For Fears’ 1983 tour program and a new 34-page hardback book featuring an essay about the album and new interviews of Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith by SuperDeluxeEdition’s Paul Sinclair, as well as never-before-seen photos."

I think TFF were significantly more successful.  We're talking about a band that had multiple top ten hits spanning more than one album in both the US and the UK.  Just a quick look at their Facebook pages shows that TFF have 500,000 likes, while Crowded House has 145,000. 


The only markets where Crowded House probably had more sales than TFF are Australia and New Zealand.  Unfortunately, those markets probably aren't large enough to encourage a record company to do something like this for CH.

Painaporo, any chance of you doing this for TA as well? I'm curious to see what you come up with for TA seeing as how you did one for WF a few years early?


I know the making of TA was uploaded to YT and surely there's enough live stuff in existance from the TA era. I know there's a few club-recordings in existance for example.

I'm actually going to stump up the cash for the TFF Hurting box set... I think Roland Orzabal is a genius.... BUT I know Crowded House have a lot better stuff content wise in the locker than what TFF have, and a large quota of that hasn't been released at all... It's a just a pity really.  I think a LOT of people here would pay for a deluxe box of each of the first four Crowded House albums and say Split Enz True Colours and Time & Tide.


Great work Painaporo - I'd hire you to do the art for the box set.... and to quote Tears For Fears 'I hope we live to tell the tale'.  

And finally, here is the special deluxe edition for Together Alone.


Anyone who has the vinyl version of Together Alone knows how much the band was into this gold leaf look.  It was removed from the CD release, probably to make more room for the red car carving on the limited surface area of a CD cover.  I'm actually not too sure if I even like all the gold leaf.  I think it's ends up looking a bit tacky and honestly, despite Together Alone being my favorite album of all time, I think this is probably my least favorite Crowded House album cover (at least in the original four).  It's connection to the music and lyrics of the album is tenuous at best.  For Christ sake, they went to all the trouble of recording the album at a beautiful remote beach on the the west coat of New Zealand.  The lyrics of the album are full of beach imagery and Maori cultural influences.  Why not ensure that some of those things end up on the cover?  Or how about the band members?


I've heard the story behind this cover, but I remain unconvinced.  Show me the beach!


Just like Woodface, there's a lot of text to fit on the back on this deluxe edition.  I wanted to make sure I included the red curtain look from the back of the vinyl rather than the black on the back of the CD version.  I felt like I had enough black on the TOLM artwork.  I had to hunt down this front, which was quite the search.  It's called Bradley Regular and it costs US$40.  Who knew fonts were so expensive?!


The first bonus disc includes a BBC1 radio interview and acoustic performance with Neil, Nick, and Mark (no Paul, he "wasn't feeling well").  The second half of the first disc is CH's full on electric performance from MTV UK's Most Wanted TV show.  This is the best recording of the song "Most Unwanted" that has ever seen the light of day and it rocks!  I finish off the disc with a radio mix of "Private Universe", which is substantially different from the album version and of course the b-side "Zen Roxy".


The second bonus disc was something I put together just for this set.  A couple late-era fan club CDs have vastly superior audio quality than earlier discs, so I took two of them - Live in San Fransisco and Live in Berlin - and used them as the basis for a new live compilation CD.  The only song from TA not found on this live disc is "Skin Feeling" because I've just never heard a strong live performance of it.  However, the live version of "When You Come" is from Paul's last night with the band in Atlanta and includes Neil singing a verse of "Skin Feeling", so it's in there a bit. The live version of "Together Alone" comes from Wembley Arena and includes both log drummers and a Maori choir.  Very cool to hear!


Finally, for the discs,since this was 1993 nobody was putting text on CDs anymore, so I just found some more Maori artwork that suited the feel of the original disc:



Next I have to decide if I want to make one for Recurring Dream or move on to Finn and Try Whistling This.  Any if anyone wants to download full resolution version of this artwork and try to put together their own collection, you can get it from my Flickr site:



In terms of presentation, these things are works of genius. And you've got a decent scan of the vinyl covers of TOLM and TA *drools*. I don't have the ability to scan vinyl covers without doing much editing (easily done but I don't have a truly flat scanning surface so I get curves at the edges...).


Also, what's that "Outlaw Mix" of WWY? Never heard of it. But I do have a bunch of Godawful remixes of which this might be a renamed member...

Thanks Paul!


The "Weather With You" remix is I believe the only ever officially sanctioned dance mix of a Crowded House song.  It came from the dance mix single, which had 4 different versions of the mix.


Having high quality scans of the vinyl covers is no easy task.  I have to take 4 different scans and then paste them together!  You can download high resolution versions of the artwork from this Flickr page:

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