Interesting to see last two before some oldies

Here is mine:

1. Together Alone - as best album ever from anybody

2. Woodface

3. Intriguer

4. Temple of low Men

5. Time on earth

6. Crowded House

Woodface and Intriguer long time battled for second place, but Woodface won, because there has been too many excellent songs left off official Intriguer plus it would be interesting to hear Intriguer if production and all Wilco influence went in some other direction. Appart of that, Intriguer era was one of the most exciting with many brilliant songs to me.

And, if list would be expanded with Afterglow, I would put Afterglow on 5.th place together with Time on Earth. And if it would be expanded even more with never released album with songs from and around 1995., (Instinct, Everything is good, Not the girl, Anthem, Taste of something divine, Help is coming, Spirit of the stairs, I am so scared of losing, Loose Tongue) I would put that album with those songs directly on second place, shortly after Together Alone and before Woodface.

1. Together Alone - every song on this album is a 10 and there are 13 of them!

2. Woodface - this album has nearly as many 10's as TA, but it's got more tracks and not all of them are 10's.

3. Temple of Low Men - Every song is a 10 but there are only 10 of them!

4. Crowded House - OK, maybe not every song is a 10 here, but some of the 10's would be 11's if the scale went up that high.

5. Time On Earth - The excitement of the reunion combined with some great songs give this an edge over Intriguer. There are also so many songs that I can forgive a couple duds.

6. Intriguer - When you're doing your second reunion album with just 10 songs they had better all be exceptional and on this album they're just not. Still I love this album, but I can't place it over any of the others.

 

I'm surprised CH has been ranking so low and Intriguer so high (so far). Very interesting. I'd be interested to see what country everyone is from to see if there are any patterns. I'm in the U.S, and my ranking is:

1. Temple Of Low Men 

2. Woodface

3. Crowded House

4. Together Alone

5. Time On Earth

6. Intriguer

Honestly, it's a virtual tie between the first three. Also, I'm going by my feelings about the original releases, which feels odd to me now at this vantage point.

My apologies for expanding the topic a bit, but that's why these forums are fun - the free-wheleling. sprawling discussions that can branch out into interesting places. It makes me think about how hard it is now for me to think about "Crowded House" as a separate entity to any of Neil Finn's other work. The reissues (including "Afterglow") have really altered my perception about Neil Finn's entire catalog, which I now see as the blurred, monolithic musical continuum that he often refers to in recent interviews, with no real distinction between solo albums, CH, or Finn Brothers apart from how the songs are clothed.

For instance, as I understand it, Woodface contains a couple songs from the original Finn Brothers sessions where Nick and Paul aren't even playing (at least together), so are they really Crowded House by definition? Neil's solo home demos of unreleased songs on all the CH reissues are now Crowded House songs only because he released them on CH reissues, when he could have just as easily saved them and recorded them on solo albums at any point. "Loose Tongue" and "Strangest Friends" were both played/recorded by Crowded House (without Paul Hester in 1995 and 2011, respectively) before ending up on Neil's next contemporary solo albums, so does he just write songs and decide later where they belong? Are they considered CH, Neil solo, or Finn Brothers simply because that's who ended up recording them, when his original intent for the songwriting, itself, was just to write good songs and explore his craft - without any real gameplan for where they will end up? 

Even from the beginning, the lines are blurred between the songs he wrote, demoed and recorded in the last years of Split Endz and the beginning of Crowded House, with quite a bit of overlap. Then right after TOLM, he began writing with Tim for their aborted Finn Brothers album, so there's no real purity in either their first album or Woodface as "Crowded House albums" and by TA, he was already starting to think about a solo career and working with Tim on the first official released Finn Brothers album. The 1995 CH demo sessions didn't click for Neil and validated his already growing conviction that CH was no longer the right vehicle for his recent compositions.  

Those 1995 solo and studio demo songs ("Loose Tongue" for sure and who knows what else he had in the works with co-writer James Moginie), overlap with the material that ended up on "Try Whistling This." It's well known that "TOE" began life as a Neil solo album, but became a CH album after Paul's tragic death, so, clearly the intent for the original songs written and recorded at that time was NOT for them to be CH songs. Then, of course, there are the CH, Neil solo, Tim solo and the Finn Brothers live shows where they all seem to have no problem playing or drawing no distinction between songs from Split Endz, CH, Neil solo, Tim solo or Finn Brothers. While I can understand a human need to want to delineate and put things in neat categories, the Finn's by words and actions defy this categorization consistently since day one. 

I saw the other thread asking for rating/ordering the favorite Neil Finn solo albums, but I would be interested in seeing ALL of the Neil-Finn related releases ranked, all mixed together because, as far as Neil is concerned (and, now, me as, well) it's all one evolving body of work which has been labelled under different bands/projects names for the sake of clarity and marketing more than creative intent and Neil's own mind-frame and process during the writing and demoing of the actual songs over the years. 

I highly recommend creating a chronological playlist (mine's in iTunes) that includes every available recording official or unofficial, which show a clear evolution of Neil Finn's art from After Hours in 1977 through the "Dizzy Heights" symphonic shows in 2015 and every demo,  live performance, official release, side project and everything in between. It's a remarkable, impressive organic evolution of one of the greatest songwriters of all times. 

1 - Together Alone. Far and away my favourite album from any group. It's just perfect.

2 - Temple. A pretty close second. 

3 - Woodface. A great summer album that perhaps, is just a couple of songs too long.

4 - Crowded House. As much as I like it, it is the album of a band who haven't quite found their feet, and I could do without some of the 80's production.

5 - Time on Earth. It's not a bad album by any means, and it does have a couple of stone cold classics on it but again, it's too long and is the first CH album where I will routinely skip tracks.

6 - Intriguer. Last by a long shot. This is the only CH album I would class as poor. I like Saturday sun and Amsterdam but beyond that, I can happily live without it.

1. Together Alone
What can I say that hasn't been said? I've never been able to separate this and Earth & Sun & Moon in choosing my favourite album ever, nor do I want to as neither deserves to come 2nd in my books.

2. Afterglow
I know this album is outside the criteria, but I'm taking the opportunity to show how highly I rate it. As a compilation, it may or may not lack the flow of the other albums, but I wouldn't know- I rarely listen to albums start to finish. I listen through iPods etc and randomly choose whichever song I feel like hearing. As the sum of its parts, this is bettered only by TA.

3. Woodface
Extremley difficult to split this and ToLM, both contain about 5 of my very favourites, but Woodface just gets the nod for its depth of other solid tracks.

4. Temple of Low Men

5. Time on Earth
Without doubt the biggest 'grower' of an album I have experienced. These songs just worm their way a little further into me every time, even now- three years after first exploring it.

6. Intriguer
Perhaps its relative freshness helped put this ahead of the debut album...

7. Crowded House
Attending the Sydney concert in November, hearing the crowd recite every word to the classics from this album reinvigorated my appreciation for them after years of repeated listens had admittedly worn off some of the magic for me. It leaves me feeling a little bad ranking this last, but the reality is that in its studio form, this album always walked the tightrope between being joyfully 80's and gratingly 80's to my ears.

Together Alone

Temple of Low Men

Intriguer

Time on Earth

Woodface

Crowded House

...ToE and Woodface are the most frustrating to rank, as the highs are exceptional, but both have weak spots (Heaven That I'm Making, A Sigh, All I Ask, All I Ask, All I Ask...).

The first record isn't ranked low by so many because we've fallen out of love with DDIO or Mean To Me, it's just that about half the record is pretty forgettable.

Thom Bullock posted:

 

The first record isn't ranked low by so many because we've fallen out of love with DDIO or Mean To Me, it's just that about half the record is pretty forgettable.

I love all the songs on the debut (except maybe That's What I Call Love - but the tasteless horns at the end are still entertaining ) but I still put it at #5. It's being ranked so low because CH are one of the most consistent bands ever and they just kept on getting better as they matured.

Hawk57 posted:

I love all the songs on the debut (except maybe That's What I Call Love - but the tasteless horns at the end are still entertaining )

The gratuitous bells and whistles (and horns) are fun in a whacky way, but do get on my nerves eventually. The outro of Mean To Me, for example, almost becomes annoying. My blame now lays squarely on the production, as I've discovered that the outro is downright euphoric when played live.

I like this post. It's so interesting to see people's rankings...

Here's mine:

1. Woodface

2. Together Alone

3. Time On Earth

4. Temple Of Low Men

5. tie between Crowded House & Intriguer

I personally love them all, and they all have Classic songs. I ranked them based on how they make me feel or what memories they bring back.

1. Together Alone

2. Woodface

3. Crowded House

4. Temple of Low Men

5. Intriguer 

6. Time On Earth

 

Surprised to see that the debut album doesn't rank higher across the fanbase. I love it for its mix of hits, rock, pop and experimentation. I will say one thing - if the band had recorded their fifth album shortly after Together Alone, it would have been their best album now that we have greater insight as to the songs that would have formed the whole. 

I absolutely love the debut album. It's got a great sound and some ridiculously catchy songs (including DDIO, my favorite of all time). But boy did they manage to follow it up again and again and again. The Crowded House catalog is quite the embarrassment of riches.

1. Together Alone

2. Time on Earth

3. Crowded House

4. Woodface

5. Temple of Low Men

6. Intriguer 

I'd say 3 and 4, and 5 and 6 are interchangeable, on any given day. For what it's worth, I'd put Afterglow second.  I think Time on Earth is maybe the most inconsistent album, but it's peaks lifted out into 2nd for me. 

Just looking at the list, it seems harsh on Intriguer, but I can't say it's better than any of the others, though it's probably the one it's been the longest since I've heard. 

  1. TA & TOLM = equal
  2. TOE & INTRIGUER = equal
  3. WOODFACE
  4. AFTERGLOW
  5. CH

I really can't pick between my top 2 (or is it 4?), so don't insist, Woodface was my first foray into CH but after seeing them live on the Woodface tour I soon brought the earlier material and Mansion in the Slums has always been my best ever track

In reality, there's a Finn track for every mood or every hour so why choose?

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