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Crowded House

4.4 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 17, 1988
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Crowded House [Audio CD] Crowded House ...

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After gradually assuming a front-and-center role in brother Tim's band Split Enz, native New Zealander and transplanted Australian Neil Finn moved firmly into a leadership position with Crowded House, a trio whose debut album appeared in 1986. Slightly more mainstream than his new-wavy Split Enz work, the record nonetheless evinced signs of darkness ("Don't Dream It's Over," "World Where You Live," "Hole in the River") among more chipper numbers such as "Something So Strong." Often gorgeous, Crowded House proved to be the group's biggest release in America, which didn't seem to have a radio home for them after the success of "Don't Dream" and "Something." They disbanded in 1996. --Rickey Wright
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 17, 1988)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B000002UCR
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,901 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Reviewer Dr. Beth #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 24, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Anyone familiar with 80s music will recognize the soulful, expressive sounds of Crowded House from some of this album's biggest hits, including "Don't Dream It's Over," "Something So Strong," and "Now We're Getting Somewhere." These popular tunes accurately represent the entire album, whose songs range from pop-like tracks with catchy lyrics ("World Where You Live") to tracks with a similar beat but a more moody feel ("Mean to Me"). If you've ever purchased an album for 1-2 songs only to find out that the rest of the album was totally different, this will NOT be your experience with Crowded House, as the band's sound is very consistant throughout. Furthermore, although Crowded House experienced little fame beyond the 80s, their music still feels thoroughly fresh and modern. If you don't yet have any Crowded House in your 80s music collection, this album is a must-have.
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Format: Audio CD
They don't get no respect. Ask most Americans who they are and they'll say "They did 'Don't Dream it's Over',right?" Those with slightly better memories might recall the Aussie band's "Something So Strong" and perhaps "Locked out" (from 1994 disc TOGETHER ALONE). But the poor chart placement in the U.S. has nothing to do with the quality of music found here. (For what it's worth, the U.K. knew a good thing when it heard it. CH landed 10 Top 40 hits there.)

The band was Neil Finn's next musical endeavour after leaving 80s new-wavers Split Enz, taking its name from the cramped conditions of the band's home in California. The band combined somewhat Beatlesque melodies with Finn's expressive tenor to churn out a consistently tuneful pop, albeit with more depth than the typical Whitney Houston or Janet Jackson fare of the era.

Little known trivia: Guitar shredder Joe Satriani makes an appearance here but not the way you'd expect. Joe contributes some backing vocals to the disc.

HIGHLIGHTS:
The charging "Mean to Me" masks a dark subject in its happy pop: the smothering nature of a clingy woman. ("I could not escape/A plea from the heart/You know what it means to me/She said don't walk away/I'm down on my knees/Please don't be mean to me..") "Now We're Getting Somewhere" finds Finn and his lover coasting on the fumes of love. ("Somewhere in the middle than/Content and much too safe..") He cajoles her to "lay me out" in an effort to rediscover the passion in their jaundiced affair. You've no doubt heard the white soul of "Don't Dream it's Over". It peaked just out of #1 in the U.S. and is easily the best song here and perhaps the finest one penned by Finn thus far. He's desperate here, clinging to his lover in the face of the pressures of day-to-day life.
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Format: Audio CD
The first Crowded House album has finally been remastered for 5.1 and stereo on this marvelous dualdisc release. One side of the disc is playable as a 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround (and DTS 5.1)DVD disc and includes the entire contents of the previously available 5.1 release. In addition to all the songs remixed for 5.1 we also get two vintage music videos "Don't Dream It's Over" and "Something So Strong", the lyrics for all the songs and a complete discography of the band.

The other side presents the album is presented in its original stereo mix remastered at 24 bits. The sound quality is an improvement over the previous release with better clarity and detail as well as a much warmer sounding performance. As with the previous CD release the bonus track "Can't Carry On"(which was on the cassette edition and the original CD issue in 1987)is included. I do wish that some of the demos of the songs had been included as well (much as the import copy 2 disc set of "Wooden Face" inclued a handful of demos that Neil and Tim Finn recorded. I'm hoping that will also show up on the dualdisc edition of that classic album as well)but, regardless, this a marvelous reissue.

The DVD side is copy protected while the CD side isn't so you can rip this to your computer (or whatever gear your using)to lisen to while you're working or playing. The original CD booklet is included as well only slightly modified with the new credits for the album.
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The original release was a perfect album. They added a couple more throw-aways on this cd but the haunting beauty of "There's a Hole In the River" or the redemptive power of moving forward from the past in "Roll back the Tombstone" are so cinematic in their narratives and poetic in their use of lyrics, tunes and arrangement that I still get that existential wonder of, 'What's it all about?' 30 years after my first listening. Overall, the late 1980's were such a wonderful time of mixing Punk, New Wave and Folk. Bands like REM, They Might be Giants and 10,000 Manics along with Crowded House were putting out such great thought provoking music and extremely well crafted albums. I am so lucky I got to see them all live and at the height of that particular musical epoch.
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By A Customer on December 6, 1998
Format: Audio CD
Not if you happen to be Neil Finn. What "Crowded House" does is combine gorgeous melodies with intense lyrics. Finn and producer Froom masterfully combine reworked songs like I Walk Away with the quirky true story of Mean To Mean and tragedy of Hole In The River. The success of Don't Dream It's Over on the US charts gives hope to any talented garage band hoping to make the big time with thoughtful and passionate songs. Favourable comparisons with the likes of Lennon and McCartney prove that Finn is one talented Kiwi. "Crowded House" is not just the finest debut album of the 1980's (although given Finn's Split Enz history, he could hardly be deemed a rookie), it is arguably one of the greatest albums of all time, if not one of the most underated.
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