Music / Crowded House

Left to right: Mark, Nick, Neil, Paul

"If there is hell on earth
There must be heaven too
Both in one place
And not a second to lose"
— "Heaven That I'm Making"

Crowded House is an Australian/New Zealand Alternative Rock band formed in 1985. Its original members were lead singer and guitarist Neil Finn (previously of Split Enz), bassist Nick Seymour, and drummer Paul Hester. Crowded House got their name from their uncomfortable living conditions in L.A. during the recording of their first album.

The band gained early success in the U.S. with their brand of clever, exuberant Power Pop that avoided the overblown production prevalent in the The '80s. Their first album spawned the hits, "Something So Strong" and "Don't Dream It's Over" and proved Neil's knack for catchy songwriting. They soon became known for their anarchic live shows and Adorkable personas (in part carried over from Neil's time in Split Enz). Their second album, Temple of Low Men, however lost them support due to its Darker and Edgier themes - while still popular in Australia, the album barely cracked the American Top 40.

On their third album, Woodface, Neil's brother Tim Finn joined the band. It brought the band invigorated commercial success (while not charting highly in the States, it was the first of their albums that cracked the Top 10 in the UK) which allowed them to indulge in the artier Together Alone (Tim Finn however left the band before the recording of the album, to be replaced by guitarist Mark Hart) which is now widely considered their masterpiece, spawning seven singles.

Paul Hester departed in 1994, replaced by drummer Peter Jones, but when Neil Finn decided to disband the group in 1996 he returned to perform for the band's farewell show at the Sydney Opera House. A greatest-hits record, Recurring Dream, that included three brand-new songs, was the band's swan song.

Post-breakup, Neil launched a successful but low-key solo career, formed the charity Seven Worlds Collide, where he collaborated with members of Radiohead, The Smiths, Midnight Oil, and Pearl Jam for a series of concerts and CD releases, as well as releasing a second album of songs with his brother Tim. Paul hosted a talk-show on Australian television and had a recurring role on The Wiggles as Paul the Cook. Nick moved to Ireland, and notably, produced the debut album of Bell X1. Mark, meanwhile, toured with several other artists, including Ringo Starr. A collection of rarities, Afterglow, was released in 1999, and the final show at the Sydney Opera House was eventually released as the album and DVD Farewell To The World in celebration of the show's 10th anniversary in 2006.

However, Crowded House reformed in 2007, with Matt Sherrod on drums, after the tragic 2005 suicide of Paul Hester. They have since released two well-received albums, 2007's Time On Earth and 2010's Intriguer.

Neil Finn more recently recorded "Song of the Lonely Mountain" for the end credits for Part One of Peter Jackson's film adaptation of The Hobbit, formed an new band, Pajama Club, with his wife Sharron, and released his third solo album, Dizzy Heights, in 2014. One of the songs recorded for Reoccurring Dream, "Help Is Coming", was released as a charity single for Syrian refugees in September, 2015.

  • Neil Finn: Vocals, Guitars, Piano (1985-1996; 2007-Present)
  • Paul Hester: Drums (1985-1994; 1996; Deceased)
  • Nick Seymour: Bass, Art Direction (1985-1996; 2007-Present)
  • Tim Finn: Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards (1990-1991)
  • Mark Hart: Guitars, Keyboards, Lap Steel Guitar (1992-1996; 2007-Present)
  • Peter Jones: Drums (1994-1996; Deceased)
  • Matt Sharrod: Drums (2007-Present)
  • Craig Hooper: Guitars (1985)
  • Gill Civil: Keyboards (1987)

Studio Albums:
  • Crowded House (1986)
  • Temple of Low Men (1988)
  • Woodface (1991)
  • Together Alone (1993)
  • Time On Earth (2007)
  • Intriguer (2010)

  • Recurring Dream: The Very Best of Crowded House (1996)
  • Afterglow (Rarities) (1999)
  • The Very Very Best of Crowded House (2010)

Crowded House provide examples of the following tropes: