Tracks

  1. Recurring Dream
  2. There Goes God
  3. World Where You Live
  4. Love You Till The Day I Die
  5. Into Temptation
  6. Black and White Boy
  7. Private Universe
  8. In The Lowlands
  9. You Can Touch
  10. I Feel Posessed
  11. Nails In My Feet
  12. Italian Plastic
  13. Four Seasons In One Day
  14. Weather With You
  15. Fall At Your Feet
  16. When You Come

The Crew:

Angus Davidson
audio
Bruce Johnston
audio

The Band:

Neil Finn
vocals/guitar
Nick Seymour
vocals/bass
Paul Hester
vocals/drums
Mark Hart
vocals/gtr/keys

Crowded House were a band that were more about running than standing still. Which is why it’s so difficult to define or describe their music.

There was a certain impetus about what they did. Neil Finn remembers that at their very first rehearsal, at Factory Sound in South Melbourne, they came up with ‘Recurring Dream’ – one of their most loved live staples, and which kicks off Crowded House LIVE ’92-’94 Part 2.

Through the years, Neil (full name: Neil Mullane Finn), jumped from project to project, from solo to duo to various collectives. Crowded House was never about polishing what they achieved but tinkering with the parts and working out how to make them evolve to the next reel. It made them indispensable.

Nick Seymour once described the making of one of their tracks as “a jigsaw puzzle”. In many ways that description could be applied to all, if not, most Crowded House tracks.

In the liner notes of the Crowdies’ greatest hits set, Recurring Dream, journalist Peter Paphides tells of the times when the late British comic Spike Milligan was having a nervous breakdown, lying on his bed crying uncontrollably, when his baby daughter came to him carrying a glass of water.

The journalist wrote, “She wanted to give something. Something to make it alright. This was all she could find.

“A while ago someone asked me to sum up the music of Crowded House. For some reason, I responded with that tale – perhaps because it’s simultaneously the saddest and most uplifting thing I’ve ever heard.”

‘Fall At Your Feet’, one of the stand-outs of the Woodface album, is a radio, talent quest and karaoke favourite and been covered by many artists.

It’s seamless pop but it came together in the studio from the fragments of two songs that the band was having difficulty with. This was the song that Seymour described as a “jigsaw”.

On the SBS documentary series Greatest Australian Albums, Finn described what he was trying to achieve with the song: “It was really that moment post a conflict or a struggle, when you sense a great sadness in the person you’re with … where you want to offer yourself as some kind of sounding board or a weeping wall. You want to take all their sadness, especially if you’ve been responsible for some of it.”

With lines like “The finger of blame has turned upon its self and I’m more than willing to offer myself. Do you want my presence or need my help. Who knows where that might lead?”, Crowded House fans remain divided on whether it was about Neil’s elder brother Tim who left the band midway through a UK tour, or drummer Paul Hester who would take his life in a Melbourne park after the band split.

Another hotly-debated line is the relevance of the address 67 Mt Pleasant Street in ‘Weather With You’. When we asked Neil how many of his songs started at the house, he replied, “Every city has a Mt Pleasant St but I’ve never lived in one.”

However, Neil and Tim’s sister did live at Mt Pleasant Road in Auckland but not at that number.

Neil says it was Tim who came up with the lines “Everywhere you go, you always take the weather with you” and “Walking round the room singing ‘Stormy Weather’” and explains, “Ultimately, the theme of the song is of course, that you are creating your own weather, you are making your own environment, always.”

‘Four Seasons In One Day’ is the second most famous global song about Melbourne’s ever changing weather, the first being The Beatles’ ‘Rain’ penned by John Lennon during The Beatles Australian tour in the ‘60s.

Debate remains to this day as to whether the Beatles’ “Rain” is about Sydney (it was pelting down when the band arrived off the plane) or Melbourne.

‘Four Seasons In One Day’ came together quickly in a house in East St. Kilda in Melbourne. It was actually written for a Finn Brothers record. But when Crowded House’s US label Capitol rejected many the songs Neil had written for the third album Woodface with Seymour and Hester, Neil asked Tim if some of their songs could be used in the band’s 1991 record.

‘The World Where You Live’, the first international Crowded House single, was inspired when Neil was staying at his manager’s house in Los Angeles. He’d be woken up around 6 am when the woman next door enjoyed very loud sex. He never met her, but lines like ‘I don’t know where you go, do you climb into space, to the world where you live,’ was just speculating what was going on there.

The first verse of ‘Into Temptation’, “You opened up your door, I couldn’t believe my luck”, started about the time when a (male) rugby team and (female) netball team were staying in the same motel as he, and the two teams started drinking heavily in the bar and pairing off.

When Finn returned to his room he thought he heard a knock on his door. When he opened it, he discovered the netballer was trying to get into the room next door. The chorus was about how in the wake of an earthquake in Los Angeles, some people thought it was a punishment from God for the city’s hedonistic lifestyle.

The other songs on Crowded House LIVE ’92-’94 Part 2 are ‘There Goes God’, ‘Love You Till The Day I Die’, ‘Black And White Boy’ (according to fans, it was either about Paul Hester or Neil’s dalmation dog Lester), ‘Private Universe’, ‘In The Lowlands’, ‘You Can Touch’ (initially a Japan-only release), ‘I Feel Possessed’, ‘Nails In My Feet’ (apparently Neil feeling the pressure of stardom), the Hester-penned ‘Italian Plastic’ and ‘When You Come’.