Originally posted by Paul H:
1) The relations between band members. Obvious but, y'know... Split Enz broke up because Tim wanted to persue a solo career and Neil didn't want to lead Tim's band. No-one fell out.
This is a key reason (for me, at least) that I suspect there have been SE reunions but none for CH in any incarnation (Paul or no Paul). The dynamics and reasons for the breakups of the two bands were different. You can see SE winding down over time, without any real falling outs, while CH came to a more abrupt end with less than aimable feelings between Neil and Nick.
CH split - I guess - because Neil and Nick had a fractious relationship (did Nick get sacked once?) and once Paul had left, Neil felt uncomfortable. That and the desire to expand his musical palatte. I'm not suggesting there was bad blood but wounds were opened and sometimes time needs to pass...
Coincidentally, I've been listening to an old VH1 interview with Neil in 2001 (?) and the interviewer asks him about 'ending CH'. Neil says there was 'no one reason' but that he wanted to work with different musicians, have more creative freedom and 'fresh challenges', and he felt that "bands become accustomed to their own sound and it is very hard to change it." This indicates to me that he felt his creativity suffer somewhat as time passed with CH. What I find interesting, and quite true, is that Neil mentions that in his own experience he "can't think of one band that possibly shouldn't have broken up up at some point." I can certainly think of a few long-term bands that could use a good break-up to freshen things up.
Neil also refers to the play he had with Nick and Paul in Melbourne in 2001 and how "it felt really good", but he didn't feel come away feeling like he should get it (CH) going again. The one-off "reunion" was right in that it happened as something new, but just for that one moment.
3) For myself, I agree with an earlier post on this: I think Neil is very aware of how special CH was. Which is why he hasn't wanted to try to recreate it. Maybe he realised that the '96 sessions didn't produce the spark he'd wished for and that he knew that it had run its course. I think the ultimate compliment he could pay the band was to let it lie.
From what I've read in Something So Strong, when Neil was writing songs for the 5th CH album, he realized that they were more his
songs, they didn't sound like CH songs and didn't fit his perception of what CH was. And that, in conjunction with other reasons, basically sealed the fate for the band.
As to whether anything new will come, who knows. My guess is that, without Hessie, they will never work together again as Crowded House (that's not to say they won't work together again, though).
I wholeheartedly agree with this point made by yourself and others here.
Part of my grief at Hessie's passing was (sad to say) the realisation that I'd never be able to take my girlfriend to a CH gig and say "now you know what the fuss was all about".
An excellent point! My husband has seen Neil solo and the Finn Brothers with me, but I rave to him how CH was so awesome as an ensemble live and that it is a shame he'll never experience them as they were. It will never be the same without Hessie, but thankfully we have all of these "archived" recordings and videos of CH performing so we are able to show people "what all the fuss was about" and bring new fans into the mix.