Crowded House: Very Very Best of Crowded House

Crowded House
Very Very Best of Crowded House
(Capitol)

To the casual music listener, Crowded House might be considered a two-hit wonder. But in reality the band was and continues to be very influential. In fact, Crowded House are nothing short of rock stars across the Atlantic.

Neil Finn formed Crowded House1985 after the break up of his previous band Split Enz. Shunning the new wave popularity of the time, Finn went back to basics creating some of the 1980s and early 90s finest pop music.

Despite line up changes over their career, it’s pretty well known that Crowded House is Neil Finn’s baby, even though then-unkown producer Mitchell Froom had a big part inb shaping the sound of Crowded House. Right off the bat, the band had two successful hit singles off their 1986 self-titled ebut album with “Don’t Dream It’s Over” and “Something So Strong.” Both songs hit the top 10 in the singles chart and put the band on the map.

The success was short-lived, at least in the United States, Their label, Capitol Records, did a horrible job of promoting Cowded House and backing them for extensive tours. However, oveseas, namely Australia, where they formed and New Zealand, where Finn was from, Cowded House had platinum selling record after platinum selling record. They even played to a packed house at Wembley Arena on consecutive nights.

Over their 11-year career (1985-1996), Crowded House released some of the best pop rock music since, dare I say The Beatles. They only released four albums over that time period, but the band and their songs are still highly influential. To put some perspective on the popularity of Crowded House, there has been around 10 Crowded House collections – be it best of’s, greatest hits, essentials or even live albums to showcase how great their music is.

Add another compilation to collection as EMI Has recently release The Very Very Best Of Crowded House. Technically, this is the second offical Crowded House “Best of” collection, the first being 1996’s Recurring Dream.

EMI has packaged The Very Very Best of Crowded House in two forms – a single disc of 19 great songs, and a second “deluxe” package with 32 tracks.

Here we have the single disc version and it is nothing less than spectacular. Right from the start, the music takes you back in time with the opening track “Something So Strong” and peppers the disc with their other major hits – “Don’t Dream It’s Over,” and “Locked Out.”

However it’s the lesser known songs which jump off the disc and show just why Neil Finn is considered one of music’s best song writers. “Weather With You,” is additively catchy and even though it was considered a “flop” single – “Chocolate Cake” is not only quirky but a fun head-bobbing number. “Nails In My Feet,” albeit a little dfark than other tracks, could be one of the best songs Finn has penned.

That’s where Crowded House separate themselves from a lot of bands which came out around the same time. At it’s core, Crowded House songs stand the test of time because of Finn’s magnifcant and heartfelt songwriting. He has the ability of honoesty, turning a phrase into a beautiful poetic verse without being too over the top.

Don’t worry about any other Crowded House compilations out there, The Very Very Best of Crowded House is the collection to have. The songs are as magical as they were 20 years ago and still could find their way up today’s current charts.