Great Rock Albums of 1987: Crowded House

Does anyone have a time machine? If so, I need to use it so I can go back in time to 1987 and slap shit out of myself for ignoring Crowded House. True, the me in 1987 would have responded that they weren’t metal and that was my excuse at the time. Having been in the UK for around six months at the time, I had heard of the band but because they were on “Top of the Pops.” Therefore, I immediately dismissed them as another synth pop band. I realize now that I couldn’t have been more wrong, okay if they had been a metal band I would have been more wrong but Crowded House definitely weren’t synth pop.

One factor which might have had me in the synth pop mindset about them was their best known single, “Don’t Dream It’s Over.” Even now, it doesn’t really do much for me but at least it wasn’t synth pop. Now that I finally listened to the album, I can say that practically all of the other tracks are better than the single in my humble opinion. For me, the standout tracks are “Now We’re Getting Somewhere” and “Something So Strong.” The former has a very catchy vibe and you can easily bob your head along with it as you go about your daily task or if you just want to chill with a cup of something. While guitarist and lead singer Neil Finn is no (insert favourite metal guitarist here), he does have some intricate licks that if you listen closely, sound cool. It’s just it stands out on “Now We’re Getting Somewhere,” but they are on many of the songs here, even the single. Actually, as I listen to that single, it’s not as bad as I thought. I confess that I more than likely tuned it out in my mind because it wasn’t metal.

Another notable track is “Love You Til the Day I Die” which sounds quite a bit like INXS, not a bad thing at all. Finn does play some cool in the background licks and there is a good use of horns on the song. The other standout track I mentioned, “Something So Strong,” has a an interesting intro and a keyboard accompaniment which might sound 80s these days, still works for me. Finn does play a guitar solo and while I don’t want to shoot the horns in the air, is still sufficient for the song.

So far, I’ve been going on about Neil Finn but I can’t leave out the rhythm section of Nick Seymour and Paul Hester. Together, they provide a solid foundation for the songs to be built on. The track where this stands out for me the most is “Hole in the River” but they also show up on all the other tracks. Going back to singles, I think “Can’t Carry On” would have been a better single, at least as far as London’s trendy night club scene was concerned. I think it might have even been played at a student union disco at the time. Anyway, it along with the rest of the album, and I must add “Tombstone,” provide a good easy listening rock album.

Track Listing:

  1. Mean to Me
  2. World Where You Live
  3. Now We’re Getting Somewhere
  4. Don’t Dream It’s Over
  5. Love You Til the Day I Die
  6. Something So Strong
  7. Hole in the River
  8. Can’t Carry On
  9. I Walk Away
  10. Tombstone
  11. That’s What I Call Love
Crowded House

Neil Finn- lead vocals, guitar, piano

Nick Seymour- bass

Paul Hester- drums, backing vocals

Additional Musicians:

Tim Pierce- guitar

Mitchell Froom- keyboards

Jerry Scheff- bass (track 3)

Jim Keltner- drums (track 3)

So, if any of you have a time machine, let me know. God, I can’t believe how narrow minded I was back in 1987 or maybe it’s me mellowing with old age. Can’t be that, I was listening to Sepultura’s Greatest Hits yesterday. Anyway, Crowded House wasn’t the synth pop band I had so wrongly branded them back then.

Next post: U2- The Joshua Tree

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

24 Responses to “Great Rock Albums of 1987: Crowded House”

  1. 🙂 im a big fan so glad u Like them…they’re just so ludicrously easy to listen to …ive now got Them playing far too loud for Mrs Afterwards liking…Cheers indeedy

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Loved these guys, this was a magical album. Surprised but glad to see this on Metal Man’s site!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Actually, the one to thank is a guy named Damien McKee. He is always emailing me with suggestions for non-metal posts. It was he who suggested Crowded House and I’m glad I gave these guys a listen.

      Like

  3. New Zealand content! There’s a cool live version of Hole in the River that’s ten minutes long – it’s kind of ruined the studio version for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice pick to go outside the box on. Great review.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great album and band. I’ve got this one on vinyl. Also glad to see them put out a new album recently.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great album… great band. Like Mike, I’m surprised but glad to see this one here.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Long-time fan, here. I even have this one on LP. Glad to see them grace your pages!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I definitely remember “Don’t Dream it’s Over!” Great song! I don’t remember the rest of the songs. LOL Guess I’m getting senile in my old age. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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