Friday Night Music Byte
Crowded House (or The Crowdies to fans) is a rock group formed in 1985 in Melbourne, Australia and led by New Zealand singer-songwriter Neil Finn. Finn is widely recognised as the primary songwriter and creative director of the band, having led it through several incarnations, drawing members from New Zealand (his brother, Tim Finn and Eddie Rayner), Australia (Paul Hester, Nick Seymour, Peter Jones and Craig Hooper) and the United States (Mark Hart, and Matt Sherrod).
The band owes its original success to the Australian live music scene, though references to New Zealand people and places are included in several of their songs. (“Kare Kare” is written about Karekare Beach, “Mean to Me” mentions Finn’s hometown of Te Awamutu). Queen Elizabeth II bestowed the Order of the British Empire on both Tim and Neil Finn, in June 1993, for their contribution to the music of New Zealand.
Originally active during 1985–1996, the band has had consistent commercial and critical success in Australia and New Zealand; and international chart success in two phases. Their self titled first album, Crowded House, peaked at #12 on the US Billboard 200 in 1987 and provided the Top Ten hits, “Don’t Dream It’s Over” and “Something So Strong”. The second phase of international success was experienced in the UK and Europe with their third and fourth albums, Woodface and Together Alone and compilation album, Recurring Dream which included the hits “Fall at Your Feet” ,”Weather with You”, “Distant Sun”, “Locked Out”, “Instinct” and “Not the Girl You Think You Are”.
Founding drummer, Hester left in May 1994, citing family reasons, but briefly returned for their 1996 final tour prior to disbanding in November. Neil Finn had decided to concentrate on his solo career, and with Tim in Finn Brothers. On 26 March 2005, with a previous history of depression, Hester hanged himself from a tree in a park near his home, aged 46. In 2006, the group reunited with a new drummer, Sherrod; and released a new album, Time on Earth on 29 June, which reached #1 on Australia’s ARIA Album Charts.
Please enjoy this video clip of Crowded House performing their hit “Don’t Dream it’s Over” on the 1987 MTV Video Music Awards show.