Crowded House

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Crowded House
Crowded House.jpg
Crowded House, August 2007 (L–R)
Liam Finn, Matt Sherrod, Mark Hart, Neil Finn, Nick Seymour
Background information
Also known asThe Mullanes (1985)
Origin Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Years active
  • 1985–1996
  • 2006–2011
  • 2016
  • 2019–present
Spinoff of Split Enz
Past members

Crowded House are a rock band, formed in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, [1] in 1985. Its founding members were New Zealander Neil Finn (vocalist, guitarist, primary songwriter) and Australians Paul Hester (drums) and Nick Seymour (bass). Later band members include Neil Finn's brother, Tim Finn and sons Liam and Elroy, as well as Americans Mark Hart and Matt Sherrod, [2] [3] with Neil Finn and Seymour being the sole constant members.


Originally active from 1985 to 1996, Crowded House had consistent commercial and critical success in Australia and New Zealand. [4] [5] [6] They achieved success in the United States with their self-titled debut album, which provided the Top Ten hits "Don't Dream It's Over" and "Something So Strong". [7] [8] Further international success came in the UK, Europe, and South Africa in the early 1990s with their third and fourth albums ( Woodface and Together Alone ) and the 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". [9] [10] Neil and Tim Finn were each awarded an OBE in June 1993 for their contributions to the music of New Zealand. [11]

Crowded House disbanded in 1996 following several farewell concerts that year, including the "Farewell to the World" concerts in Melbourne and Sydney. [2] [9] [12] Hester died by suicide in 2005. [13] A year later, the group re-formed with drummer Matt Sherrod and released two further albums ( Time on Earth and Intriguer ), each of which reached number one in Australia. [5] The band went on another hiatus, and reunited in 2020 with a new line-up featuring Neil Finn, Nick Seymour, Mitchell Froom, and Finn's sons Liam and Elroy. [14] Their most recent album, Dreamers Are Waiting , was released in 2021.

As of 2021, Crowded House have sold over 15 million albums worldwide. [15] In November 2016, the band was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame. [16]


Neil Finn (vocals, guitar, piano) and drummer Paul Hester (The Cheks, Deckchairs Overboard) were former members of New Zealand band Split Enz, which spent part of 1975–6 in Australia and several years in England. [2] Neil Finn is the younger brother of Split Enz founding member Tim Finn, who joined Crowded House in 1990 on vocals, guitars, and keyboards for the album Woodface . [2] Bassist Nick Seymour (Plays with Marionettes, Bang, The Horla) is the younger brother of singer-songwriter and guitarist Mark Seymour [2] of Australian rock group Hunters & Collectors. [9]

Formation and name change (1984–1986)

Finn and Hester decided to form a new band during the first Split Enz farewell tour, "Enz with a Bang", in late 1984. [2] Seymour approached Finn during the after party for the Melbourne show and asked if he could audition for the new band. [9] The Mullanes formed in Melbourne in early 1985 with Finn, Hester, Seymour, and guitarist Craig Hooper (The Reels) and first performed on 11 June. [2] They secured a record contract with Capitol Records, but Hooper left the band before the remaining trio moved to Los Angeles to record their debut album. [2] [17]

At Capitol's behest, the band's name was changed to Crowded House, which alluded to the lack of space at the small Hollywood Hills house they shared during the recording of the album Crowded House . [2] [17] [18] Former Split Enz keyboardist Eddie Rayner produced the track "Can't Carry On" and was asked to join the band. He toured with them in 1988, but was unable to become a full member due to family commitments.

Early albums (1986–1990)

Crowded House, San Francisco, April 1987. L to R: Paul Hester, Neil Finn, Nick Seymour Crowded-house1.JPG
Crowded House, San Francisco, April 1987. L to R: Paul Hester, Neil Finn, Nick Seymour

Thanks to their Split Enz connection, the newly formed Crowded House had an established Australasian fanbase. [2] They began by playing at festivals in Australia and New Zealand and released their debut album, Crowded House, in August 1986. [2] Capitol Records initially failed to see the band's potential and gave them only low-key promotion, [9] forcing the band to play at small venues to try to gain attention. The album's first single, "Mean to Me", reached the Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart top 30 in June. [4] It failed to chart in the US, [7] but moderate American airplay introduced US listeners to the group.

The next single, "Don't Dream It's Over", was released in October 1986 and proved an international hit, reaching number two on the US Billboard Hot 100 [7] and number one in Canada. [19] New Zealand radio stations initially gave the song little support until months later when it became internationally successful. Ultimately, the song reached number one on the New Zealand singles chart and number eight in Australia. [4] [6] It remains the group's most commercially successful song.

In March 1987, the group were awarded "Best New Talent", along with "Song of the Year" and "Best Video" awards for "Don't Dream It's Over", at the inaugural ARIA Music Awards. [20] The video also earned the group the MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist that year. [21] The song has often been covered by other artists and gave Paul Young a hit single in 1991. It was also used for a New Zealand Tourism Board advertisement in its "100% Pure New Zealand" worldwide promotion from October 2005. [22] In May 2001, "Don't Dream it's Over" was voted seventh in a poll of the best Australian songs of all time by the Australasian Performing Right Association. [23]

The band at the Montreux Pop Festival, May 1988. L to R: Seymour, Finn, Hester Ch-montreux.jpg
The band at the Montreux Pop Festival, May 1988. L to R: Seymour, Finn, Hester

In June 1987, nearly a year after its release, Crowded House finally reached number one on the Kent Music Report Album Charts. [4] It also reached number three in New Zealand [6] and number twelve in the US. [8] The follow-up to "Don't Dream it's Over", "Something So Strong", was another global smash, reaching the Top 10 in New Zealand [6] America, [7] and Canada. "World Where You Live" and "Now We're Getting Somewhere" were also released as singles with chart success. [4] [7] [9]

As the band's primary songwriter, Neil Finn was under pressure to create a second album to match their debut and the band joked that one potential title for the new release was Mediocre Follow-Up. [9] Eventually titled Temple of Low Men, their second album was released in July 1988 with strong promotion by Capitol Records. The album did not fare as well as their debut in the US, only reaching number 40 and selling around 200,000 copies, [8] but it achieved Australasian success, reaching number one in Australia [5] and number two in New Zealand. [6] The first single "Better Be Home Soon" peaked at number two on both Australian and New Zealand singles charts [5] [6] and reached top 50 in the US, [7] though the following four singles were less successful. [5] [6]

Crowded House undertook a short tour of Australia and Canada to promote the album, with Eddie Rayner on keyboards. Multi-instrumentalist Mark Hart, who would eventually become a full band member, replaced Rayner in January 1989. After the tour, Finn fired Seymour from the band. [3] Music journalist Ed Nimmervoll claimed that Seymour's temporary departure was because Finn blamed him for causing his writer's block; [17] however, Finn cited "artistic differences" as the reason. [3] Seymour said that after a month he contacted Finn and they agreed that he would return to the band. [3]

Early 1990s (1991–1994)

Crowded House took a break after the Canadian leg of the Temple of Low Men tour. Neil Finn and his brother Tim recorded songs they had co-written for their own album, Finn . [9] Following the recording sessions with Tim, Neil began writing and recording a third Crowded House album with Hester and Seymour, but these tracks were rejected by the record company, so Neil asked Tim if Crowded House could use the Finn songs. Tim jokingly agreed on the proviso that he become a member, which Neil apparently took literally. With Tim as an official member, the band returned to the studio. [9]

The new tracks, as well as some from the previously rejected recordings were combined to make Woodface, which was released in July 1991. The album features eight tracks co-written by Neil and Tim, [9] which feature the brothers harmonising on lead vocals, except on the sombre "All I Ask" on which Tim sang lead. The track was later used on AIDS awareness commercials in Australia. [9] Five of the album's tracks were Neil's solo compositions and two were by Hester, the exuberant "Italian Plastic", which became a crowd favourite at concerts [9] and the hidden track "I'm Still Here".

"Chocolate Cake", a humorous comment on American excesses that was not taken well by some US critics and sections of the American public, was released in June 1991 as the first single. Perhaps unsurprisingly it failed to chart in the US; however, it reached number two on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart. [7] The song peaked at number seven in New Zealand and reached the top 20 in Australia. [5] [6] The second single, "Fall at Your Feet", was less successful in Australia and New Zealand but did at least reach the US Hot 100. [7] The album reached number one in New Zealand, [6] number two in Australia, [5] number six in the UK [24] [25] and made the top 20 in several European countries. [26] [27] [28] The third single from Woodface, "Weather With You", peaked at No. 7 in early 1992 giving the band their highest UK chart placement. By contrast, the album had limited success in the US, only reaching number 83 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart and selling 225,000 copies. [8]

Despite the success of the album, Tim Finn left Crowded House suddenly part-way through the UK leg of the Woodface tour, a few hours before the band were due to play at King Tut's Club in Glasgow on 1 November 1991. Neil Finn noted that "on stage, it just didn’t feel right for us or him. We’re very off-the-cuff and conversational, whereas Tim is into creating a spectacle and the two approaches don’t get all that well... We’d all open our mouths at the same time and then stop and go, Oh, after you. From Tim’s point of view it was quite a relief to put it all on the table, I think. For half the set he was standing there with his acoustic guitar, not really feeling part of it." Paul Hester commented that "both sides felt good about parting before it could get ugly." [2] [29]

Multi-instrumentalist Mark Hart MarkHartCrop.jpg
Multi-instrumentalist Mark Hart

Performances on the UK tour, at the Town and Country Club in London, were recorded live and given a limited release in Australia, while individual songs from those shows were released as B-sides of singles in some countries. [30] In June 1993 the New Zealand Government recommended that the Queen award an OBE to Neil and Tim Finn for their contribution to the music of New Zealand. [11]

For their fourth album, Together Alone, Crowded House used producer Martin Glover (aka "Youth") and invited touring musician Mark Hart (guitar and keyboards) to become a permanent band member. [2] [17] The album was recorded at Karekare Beach, New Zealand, which gave its name to the opening track, "Kare Kare". The album was released in October 1993 and sold well internationally on the strength of lead single "Distant Sun" and followup "Private Universe". It topped the New Zealand Album Chart, [6] reached number 2 in Australia [5] and number 4 in the UK. [24] "Locked Out" was the album's first US single and received airplay on MTV and VH1. This track and "My Sharona" by The Knack, which were both included on the soundtrack of the film Reality Bites , were bundled together on a jukebox single to promote the film soundtrack. [9]

Saying farewell (1994–1996)

Crowded House were midway through a US tour when Paul Hester quit the band on 15 April 1994. [17] He flew home to Melbourne to await the birth of his first child and indicated that he required more time with his family. [2] [17] Wally Ingram, drummer for support act Sheryl Crow, temporarily filled in [17] until a replacement, Peter Jones (ex-Harem Scarem, Vince Jones, Kate Ceberano's Septet) was found. [2] After the tour, the Finn Brothers released their album Finn in November 1995. In June 1996, at a press conference to announce the release of their greatest hits album Recurring Dream , Neil revealed that Crowded House were to disband. The June 1996 concerts in Europe and Canada were to be their final performances. [9]

Crowded House at the Cafe De Kroon, Amsterdam, June 1996. Neil Finn (left) and Mark Hart Crowded kroon.jpg
Crowded House at the Café De Kroon, Amsterdam, June 1996. Neil Finn (left) and Mark Hart

Recurring Dream contained four songs from each of the band's studio albums, along with three new songs. The album debuted at number one in Australia, [5] New Zealand [6] and the UK [24] in July 1996. Early copies included a bonus CD of live material. The album's three new songs, which were released as singles, were "Instinct", "Not the Girl You Think You Are" and "Everything Is Good for You", which featured backing vocals from Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder. Paul Hester returned to the band to play drums on the three new tracks. [31]

Worried that their goodbye had been too low-key and had disregarded their home fans, the band performed the Farewell to the World concert on the steps of the Sydney Opera House on 24 November 1996, which raised funds for the Sydney Children's Hospital. The concert featured the line-up of Neil Finn, Nick Seymour, Mark Hart and Paul Hester. Tim Finn and Peter Jones both made guest appearances. Support bands on the day were Custard, Powderfinger and You Am I. The concert had one of the highest live audiences in Australian history with the crowd being estimated at between 120,000 and 250,000 people. [9] [12] Farewell to the World was released on VHS in December 1996. In 2007, a double CD and a DVD were issued to commemorate the concert's tenth anniversary. The DVD featured newly recorded audio commentary by Finn, Hart and Seymour and other new bonus material. [12]

Between farewell and reunion (1996–2006)

Paul Hester (1959-2005) Paul-hester-sf-np1.jpg
Paul Hester (1959–2005)

Following the 1996 break-up of Crowded House, the members embarked upon a variety of projects. Neil Finn released two solo studio albums, Try Whistling This (1998) and One Nil (2001), as well as two live albums, Sessions at West 54th (2000) and 7 Worlds Collide (2001). 7 Worlds Collide saw him performing with guest musicians including Eddie Vedder, Johnny Marr, Ed O'Brien and Phil Selway of Radiohead, Tim Finn, Sebastian Steinberg, Lisa Germano and Betchadupa (featuring his son Liam Finn). A double CD and DVD of the shows were released in November 2001.

Tim Finn had resumed his solo career after leaving the group in 1992 and he also worked with Neil on a second Finn Brothers album, Everyone Is Here , which was released in 2004. Paul Hester joined The Finn Brothers on stage for three songs at their Palais Theatre show in Melbourne at the end of 2004. Nick Seymour also joined them on stage in Dublin, where he was living, in 2004. Peter Jones and Nick Seymour joined Australian group Deadstar for their second album, Milk, in 1997. Seymour later worked as a record producer in Dublin, producing Irish group Bell X1's debut album, Neither Am I in 2000. Mark Hart rejoined Supertramp in the late 1990s and later toured with Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band. In 2001 he released a solo album, Nada Sonata. [32]

Paul Hester worked with children's entertainers The Wiggles, playing "Paul the Cook". [33] He also had his own ABC show Hessie's Shed in Australia from late 1997. [2] He formed the band Largest Living Things, [2] which was the name rejected by Capitol Records in favour of Crowded House. [13] It was on Hessie's Shed that Finn, Hester and Seymour last shared a stage, on an episode filmed as part of Finn's promotion for his solo album Try Whistling This in 1998. Finn and Hester performed "Not the Girl You Think You Are" with Largest Living Things, before being joined by Seymour for "Sister Madly" and a version of Paul Kelly's "Leaps and Bounds", which also featured Kelly on vocals. In late 2003, Hester hosted the series Music Max's Sessions. Hester and Seymour were reunited when they both joined singer-songwriter Matt O'Donnell's Melbourne-based group Tarmac Adam. [34] The band released one album, 2003's Handheld Torch, which was produced by Seymour.

In May 1999, Crowded House issued a compilation of unreleased songs, Afterglow , which included the track "Recurring Dream", recorded when the group were still called The Mullanes and included Craig Hooper on guitar. [2] The album's liner notes included information about the songs, written by music journalist David Hepworth. Some limited-release versions included a second CD with songwriting commentary by Finn. The liner notes confirmed that Crowded House had no plans to reunite at that time. [2] A 2003 compilation album, Classic Masters , was released only in the US, while 2005 saw the release of the album She Will Have Her Way , a collection of cover versions of Crowded House, Split Enz, Tim Finn and Finn Brothers songs by Australasian female artists. The album reached the top 5 in Australia and New Zealand. [35]

On 26 March 2005, Paul Hester was found dead. He had committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree in a park near his home in Melbourne. He was 46 years old. His obituary in The Sydney Morning Herald stated that he had fought "a long battle with depression." [13] Following the news of Hester's death, Nick Seymour joined The Finn Brothers on stage at the Royal Albert Hall in London, where the three played in memory of Hester. A snare drum with a top hat on it stood at the front of the stage as a tribute. [36] Writing in 2010 Neil Finn said, "When we lost Paul it was like someone pulled the rug out from underneath everything, a terrible jolt out of the dark blue. He was the best drummer I had ever played with and for many years, my closest friend." [37]

Reunion and Time on Earth (2006–2009)

Matt Sherrod, Dublin, 2007 Matt Sherrod Crowded House Dublin 220607.jpg
Matt Sherrod, Dublin, 2007

In 2006 Neil Finn asked Nick Seymour to play bass on his third solo album. Seymour agreed and the two joined up with producer and multi-instrumentalist Ethan Johns to begin recording. [17] As the recording sessions progressed it was decided that the album would be issued under the Crowded House band name, rather than as a Neil Finn solo album. In January 2007, the group publicly announced their reformation and on 23 February, after 20 days of auditions, former Beck drummer Matt Sherrod joined Finn, Seymour and Mark Hart to complete the new line up. [17] As Sherrod and Hart had not participated in the initial sessions, four new tracks were recorded with producer Steve Lillywhite including the album's first single "Don't Stop Now". [17]

On 17 March 2007 the band played a live show at their rehearsal studio in front of around fifty fans, friends and family. The performance was streamed live as a webcast. The two-and-a-half-hour set included some new tracks, including "Silent House" co-written by Finn with the Dixie Chicks. A concert onboard The Thekla , moored in Bristol, followed on 19 March. Crowded House played at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe, Arizona on 26 April as a warm-up for their appearance at the Coachella Festival on 29 April in Indio, California. They played at the Australian Live Earth concert in Sydney on 7 July. The next day, Finn and Seymour were interviewed on Rove Live and the band, with Hart and Sherrod, performed "Don't Stop Now" to promote the new album, which was titled Time on Earth. The single was a minor hit in Australia [5] and the UK. [24] The album was released worldwide in June and July. It topped the album chart in New Zealand [6] and made number 2 in Australia [5] and number 3 in the UK. [24]

On 6 December 2008 Crowded House played the Homebake festival in Sydney, with warm up gigs at small venues in Hobart, Melbourne and Sydney. For these shows the band were augmented by multi-instrumentalist Don McGlashan and Neil's younger son, Elroy Finn, on guitar. On 14 March 2009 the band joined Neil's older son, Liam Finn, on stage for three songs at the Sound Relief concert in Melbourne.

Intriguer, second split and Sydney Opera House shows (2009–2018)

Nick Seymour, Barcelona, October 2007 NickSeymour2007.jpg
Nick Seymour, Barcelona, October 2007

Crowded House began recording their follow-up to Time on Earth in April 2009, at Finn's own Roundhead Studios. The album, Intriguer , was produced by Jim Scott who had worked on The Sun Came Out by Neil's 7 Worlds Collide project. In August 2009, Finn travelled to Los Angeles to record some overdubs at Jim Scott's Los Angeles studio before they began mixing tracks. The album was released in June 2010, in time for the band's appearance at the West Coast Blues & Roots Festival near Perth. Finn stated that the album contains some, "Unexpected twists and turns" and some songs that, "Sound like nothing we've done before." [38] Intriguer topped the Australian album chart, [5] reached number 3 in New Zealand [6] and number 12 in the UK. [24]

Crowded House undertook an extensive world tour in 2010 in support of Intriguer. This was the first album where the band regularly interacted with fans via the internet on their own re-launched website, Twitter and Facebook. The band sold recordings of the shows on the Intriguer tour on USB flash drives and made individual live tracks available for free download.

A new compilation album, The Very Very Best of Crowded House, was released in October 2010 to celebrate the band's 25th anniversary. [39] It includes 19 of the band's greatest hits and is also available in a box set with a 25 track DVD of their music videos. A deluxe digital version, available for download only, has 32 tracks including a rare 1987 live recording of the band's version of the Hunters & Collectors song "Throw Your Arms Around Me". No mention of this album has been made on the band's official website or Twitter page, which suggests that they are not involved with its release.

Following the success of the album She Will Have Her Way in 2005, a second album of cover versions of Finn Brothers songs (including Crowded House songs) was released on 12 November 2010. Entitled He Will Have His Way , all tracks are performed by Australasian male artists. [40]

In November 2011 an Australian tour featured artists involved with the "She Will Have Her Way" and "He Will Have His Way" projects, including Paul Dempsey, Clare Bowditch, Seeker Lover Keeper (Sarah Blasko, Sally Seltmann and Holly Throsby), Alexander Gow (Oh Mercy) and Lior. [41] The band played what would be their last concert for over five years at the A Day on the Green festival in Auckland on 27 February 2011. [42]

Former Crowded House drummer Peter Jones died from brain cancer on 18 May 2012, aged 49. A statement issued by the band described him as, "A warm-hearted, funny and talented man, who was a valuable member of Crowded House." [43]

In September 2015, the song "Help is Coming" from the Afterglow album, was released as a download and limited edition 7" single to raise money for the charity Save the Children. The B-side, "Anthem", was a previously-unreleased track, recorded at the same demo session as "Help is Coming" in 1995, with vocals added in 2015. Peter Jones plays drums on both songs. The money will be used to provide shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene for refugees in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. Neil Finn said of "Help Is Coming"..."It was always a song about refugees, even if at the time I was thinking about the immigrants setting off on ships from Europe to America, looking for a better life for their families. There is such a huge scale and urgency to the current refugee crises that barely a day goes by without some crushing image or news account to confront us. We can't be silent any more." [44]

Neil Finn confirmed in a 2016 interview with the Dutch newspaper Volkskrant that Crowded House had been on indefinite hiatus since the end of the Intriguer tour. [45] Later that year, however, he and Seymour announced a series of concerts at the Sydney Opera House to mark the 20th anniversary of the Farewell to the World show (24 November 1996). The band, with the same lineup as its initial reunion and Tim Finn as guest, performed four shows between 24 and 27 November 2016. [46] Around the same time, each of the band's 7 studio albums (including the rarities collection Afterglow) was reissued in deluxe 2-CD format with bonus tracks including demos, live recordings, alternate mixes, b-sides and outtakes.

In April 2018, Neil Finn joined Fleetwood Mac, along with Mike Campbell of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, as a full-time member in the wake of Lindsey Buckingham's departure from the band. [47]

Reformation, new line-up and Dreamers Are Waiting (2019–2023)

In August 2019, Crowded House announced a reunion show at the 2020 Byron Bay Bluesfest. [48] Shortly afterwards, Mark Hart announced that he would not be involved in the group's reunion. [49] Finn confirmed Hart's departure on his podcast Fangradio, noting that he "love[s] Hart dearly as a friend, as a contributor and a collaborator" and that "all will be revealed... trust that good thought and good heart gets put into all of these decisions." [50] In December 2019, Neil Finn announced that the new Crowded House line-up would consist of himself, Seymour, the band's original producer Mitchell Froom and his sons Liam and Elroy. He added that they were making a new studio album, the first since 2010's Intriguer. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the band's planned 2020 concerts have had to be rescheduled to 2021, and later again to 2022.

On 15 October 2020, the band released "Whatever You Want", the first single from the band in over a decade. The band also shared an accompanying music video, starring Mac DeMarco. [51]

On 17 February 2021, the band shared another single, "To the Island." [52] The track serves as the second single to the band's seventh studio album, Dreamers Are Waiting , which was announced on the same day for release on 4 June 2021. [53] The band supported the single with a national tour of New Zealand in March 2021. [54]

On 19 August 2021, the band performed their single “To the Island” on CBS's The Late Show with Stephen Colbert . On 2 December 2021, the band announced that it will be touring Australia in 2022, with 6 shows around the country, including the 2022 Bluesfest lineup. [55] On 24 June 2022, the band played at Glastonbury Festival. [56] [57] In May 2023, Crowded House tour North America for the promotion of the album Dreamers Are Waiting .

Gravity Stairs (2024–present)

In February 2024, Crowded House released "Oh Hi" from their upcoming eighth album Gravity Stairs , set to be released on 31 May 2024. [58]


Songwriting and musical influences

As the primary songwriter for the band, Neil Finn has always set the tone for the band's sound. AllMusic said that Finn "has consistently proven his knack for crafting high-quality songs that combine irresistible melodies with meticulous lyrical detail." [59] Neil's brother Tim was an early and important musical influence. Neil first saw Tim play with Split Enz in 1972, and said "that performance and those first songs made a lasting impression on me." [60] His mother was another significant musical influence, encouraging him to listen to a variety of genres, including Irish folk music and Māori music. She would play piano at family parties and encourage Neil and Tim to accompany her.

Album covers, costumes and set design

Bassist Nick Seymour, who is also an artist, designed or co-designed all of the band's album covers and interior artwork. He also designed some of the costumes worn by the group, notably those from the cover of the group's debut album Crowded House. Seymour collaborated with Finn and Hester on the set design of some of their early music videos, including "Don't Dream It's Over" and "Better Be Home Soon". Since the band reunited, Seymour has again designed their album covers. [3]

The majority of the covers for the band's singles were not designed by Seymour. The artwork for "Pineapple Head" was created by Reg Mombassa of Mental As Anything. For the first four albums Mombassa and Noel Crombie, who had been the main designer of Split Enz's artwork, assisted Seymour in creating sets and costumes. For the Farewell to the World concerts Crombie designed the set, while Mombassa and Seymour designed promotional materials and artwork. [61]


Current members

ImageNameYears activeInstrumentsRelease contributions
FleetMacTulsa031018-45 (44511289974) (Cropped).jpg
Neil Finn
  • 1985–1996
  • 2006–2011
  • 2016
  • 2020–present
  • lead vocals
  • guitars
  • keyboards
  • percussion
all releases
Nick Seymour
  • bass
  • backing vocals
  • keyboards
Mitchell Froom 2020–present (session 1986, 1987–1988, 1989–1991)keyboards
Liam Finn shot by Kris Krug.jpg
Liam Finn 2020–present (touring member 2007–2008)
  • guitars
  • drums
  • backing vocals
Elroy Finn2020–present (touring member 2008, 2016)
  • drums
  • backing vocals
  • guitars
  • keyboards

Former members

ImageNameYears activeInstrumentsRelease contributions
Paul Hester
  • 1985–1994
  • 1996 (died 2005)
  • drums
  • percussion
  • keyboards
  • backing and lead vocals
all releases from Crowded House (1986) to Farewell to the World (2006)
Craig Hooper 1985
  • guitars
  • backing vocals
Tim Finn @ Sir Stewart Bovell Park (8 1 12) (6693050143).jpg
Tim Finn 1990–1991 (session 1987−1988; live guest 1996, 2016)
  • lead and backing vocals
  • keyboards
  • guitars
Mark Hart
  • 1992–1996
  • 2007–2011
  • 2016 (touring member 1989–1992)
  • keyboards
  • guitar
  • lap steel
  • backing vocals
all releases from Woodface (1991) to Intriguer (2010)
Peter Jones 1994–1996 (died 2012)drums Farewell to the World (2006) one track
Matt Sherrod.jpg
Matt Sherrod
  • 2007–2011
  • 2016
  • drums
  • percussion
  • backing vocals

Former touring musicians

ImageNameYears activeInstrumentsRelease contributions
Gill Civil1986keyboardsnone
Miffy Smith
Eddie Rayner and Alastair Riddell.jpg
Eddie Rayner
  • 1987
  • 1988
  • Crowded House (1986) co write and production on 2 tracks
  • Together Alone (1993)
  • Time on Earth (2007)
Mike Gubb1988none
Wally Ingram1994drums
Jules Bowen1994–1996keyboards
David Lane.jpg
Davey Lane 2007
  • guitars
  • keyboards
  • backing vocals
Don McGlashan in Raglan (cropped mug).JPG
Don McGlashan 2008
  • guitars
  • keyboards
  • mandolin
  • euphonium
  • vocals
  • Time on Earth (2007)
  • Intriguer (2010)


Crowded House


Studio albums


Crowded House has won several national and international awards. In Australia, the group has won 13 ARIA Awards from 36 nominations, including the inaugural Best New Talent in 1987. [20] The majority of their wins were for their first two albums, Crowded House and Temple of Low Men. [20] They won eight APRA Awards from eleven nominations and were nominated for The New Zealand Silver Scroll for "Don't Stop Now" in 2007. [62] "Don't Dream It's Over" was named the seventh best Australian song of all time in 2001. [23]

In 1987, Crowded House won the American MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist for their song "Don't Dream It's Over", which was also nominated for three other awards. [21] In 1994, the group was named International Group of the Year at the BRIT Awards. [63] In 2009, "Don't Dream It's Over" was ranked number fifty on the Triple J Hottest 100 of All Time, voted by the Australian public. [64]

In November 2016 Crowded House was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame, 30 years after their formation.

See also

Further reading

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Neil Finn</span> New Zealand musician (born 1958)

Neil Mullane Finn is a New Zealand singer-songwriter and musician. He is best known for being a principal member of Split Enz, of which he shared lead duties with his brother Tim, and the lead singer, guitarist, and a founding member of Crowded House. He has also been a member of Fleetwood Mac since 2018. Ed O'Brien of Radiohead has hailed Finn as popular music's "most prolific writer of great songs".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Paul Hester</span> Australian musician (1959–2005)

Paul Newell Hester was an Australian musician and television personality. He was the drummer for the band Split Enz for their last year together from December 1983 to December 1984, and co-founding member and drummer of the band Crowded House.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Split Enz</span> New Zealand new wave band

Split Enz were a New Zealand band formed in 1972. Regarded as the first New Zealand band to gain significant recognition outside of Australasia, they were initially noted for their progressive/art rock sound, flamboyant visual style and theatrical performances. The band later moved toward a pop/new wave sound that yielded the breakthrough hit single "I Got You" (1980). Split Enz broke up in 1984. Since that time, the band has staged several brief reunions.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nick Seymour</span> Australian bassist (born 1958)

Nicholas More Seymour is an Australian musician and record producer. He is the founding bass guitarist and a mainstay of the rock group Crowded House, and is the younger brother of Mark Seymour, singer-songwriter-guitarist in the rock band Hunters and Collectors.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tim Finn</span> New Zealand musician and founder of Split Enz (born 1952)

Brian Timothy Finn is a New Zealand singer, songwriter, musician, and composer. He is best known as a founding member of Split Enz. Finn founded the band in 1972 with Phil Judd and served as lead singer and principal songwriter. Following Judd's departure in 1977, he was joined by brother Neil. Finn wrote or co-wrote some of the band's best-known songs, including "I See Red" and "Six Months in a Leaky Boat". While still a member of Split Enz, he began a solo career, scoring the two hits "Fraction Too Much Friction" and "Made My Day" in 1983; he left the band in early 1984, briefly returning for their farewell tour later that year.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Finn Brothers</span> New Zealand musical duo

The Finn Brothers are a New Zealand musical duo consisting of brothers Neil and Tim Finn. In June 1993 both members were awarded the OBE for their contribution to music.

<i>Woodface</i> 1991 studio album by Crowded House

Woodface is the third studio album by New Zealand band Crowded House. The album was produced by Mitchell Froom and Neil Finn and was released by Capitol Records in July 1991. It features five singles: "Chocolate Cake", "Fall at Your Feet", "It's Only Natural", "Weather with You", and "Four Seasons in One Day". Woodface was a major hit in Australia and New Zealand as well as giving the band their first top ten hit album in the UK. It was listed at No. 3 in the book 100 Best Australian Albums in October 2010. It was voted number 80 in the third edition of Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums (2000).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mark Hart</span> American musician (born 1953)

Mark Hart, is an American musician and multi-instrumentalist best known for being a member of both Supertramp and Crowded House. As well as being a group member, touring and session musician for acts such as Ringo Starr, Hart has composed film scores and is a record producer.

<i>Together Alone</i> 1993 studio album by Crowded House

Together Alone is the fourth studio album by New Zealand-Australian band Crowded House. It was released in October 1993 and was their first album to feature multi-instrumentalist Mark Hart as a full band member. Unlike the band's first three albums, which were recorded in the US and Australia and produced by Mitchell Froom, Together Alone was recorded in New Zealand with producer Youth. Six singles were released from Together Alone, including "Distant Sun", which was a top 10 hit in New Zealand and Canada, and "Locked Out" which reached number 12 on the UK singles chart and number 8 on the US Modern Rock chart, the latter on the strength of the song's inclusion on the soundtrack of the 1994 film Reality Bites.

<i>Temple of Low Men</i> 1988 studio album by Crowded House

Temple of Low Men is the second studio album by New Zealand-Australian rock band Crowded House, released by Capitol Records on 5 July 1988. The three band members, Neil Finn, Nick Seymour and Paul Hester, recorded the album in Melbourne and Los Angeles with Mitchell Froom as producer. Finn had written all ten tracks during the two years since their self-titled debut. Temple of Low Men peaked at number one in Australia, number two in New Zealand, number ten in Canada and number 40 on the US Billboard 200.

<i>Crowded House</i> (album) 1986 studio album by Crowded House

Crowded House is the debut album by New Zealand-Australian band Crowded House. Produced by Mitchell Froom, it was released in August 1986 and was certified platinum in four countries. The album includes the hit singles "Don't Dream It's Over", "Something So Strong", "Mean to Me", "World Where You Live" and "Now We're Getting Somewhere".

<i>See Ya Round</i> 1984 studio album by Split Enz

See Ya 'Round is the tenth and final studio album by New Zealand's premier new wave band, Split Enz, and was released in 1984, following the departure of founding member Tim Finn, whose solo career had officially taken off the year before. Remaining songwriter Neil Finn, claiming to be a little daunted by the prospect of leading his older brother's band, subsequently announced that this would be the final Split Enz studio recording. Since he only had an EP's worth of material ready, the record was filled out by lightweight, experimental contributions from each of the other band members. In interviews, Neil has revealed that the original EP was to have been the first five tracks on the album.

<i>Recurring Dream</i> (album) 1996 greatest hits album by Crowded House

Recurring Dream: The Very Best of Crowded House, usually abbreviated to Recurring Dream, is a compilation album by rock group Crowded House, released in 1996. It includes most of their singles, as well as three new songs, "Not the Girl You Think You Are", "Instinct", and "Everything Is Good for You".

<i>Time on Earth</i> 2007 studio album by Crowded House

Time on Earth is the fifth studio album by the pop-rock band Crowded House. Tracks have been produced by both Ethan Johns and Steve Lillywhite and the album was released on 30 June 2007 in Australia, 2 July in the United Kingdom and 10 July in North America. Time on Earth is the band's first studio album since 1993, and marks the reunion of the band eleven years after they disbanded and features new drummer Matt Sherrod in place of the original drummer, Paul Hester, who died in 2005.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fall at Your Feet</span> 1991 single by Crowded House

"Fall at Your Feet" is a 1991 song by Crowded House, from their 1991 album, Woodface. It is the only single from Woodface to be written solely by the group's leader Neil Finn, who co-wrote all other singles from the album with his brother Tim Finn. It peaked at number 17 in the UK, making it Woodface's second most successful single behind the follow-up, "Weather with You".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Weather with You</span> 1992 single by Crowded House

"Weather with You" is a song by Australian-New Zealand rock band Crowded House. It was the third and most successful single released from the group's third studio album, Woodface (1991), reaching top 50 in 10 countries, including the United Kingdom, where it reached number seven. At the APRA Music Awards of 1994, the song won Most Performed Australian Work Overseas. The song was intended to be part of the Finn Brothers' unreleased 1990 debut, but after Capitol Records found the recordings, they were merged with a Crowded House session to become Woodface.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Four Seasons in One Day</span> 1992 single by Crowded House

"Four Seasons in One Day" is a song by rock group Crowded House, released as a single in June 1992. It was co-written by Neil Finn and brother Tim Finn, originally intended for their debut Finn Brothers album; however, it was moved onto the Woodface project as the two projects amalgamated. The song's title references a common saying used in Melbourne to describe the city's changeable weather. The song reached number 26 on the UK Singles Chart and number 47 on the Australian ARIA Singles Chart. The song also peaked at number 68 in Canada, but was not released in the US.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">I Walk Away</span> 1984 single by Split Enz

"I Walk Away" is a song written by Neil Finn, and originally recorded by Finn's group Split Enz. It was released in September 1984 as the lead single from their tenth and final studio album See Ya 'Round, and was a chart hit in New Zealand and Australia.

<i>Goin Your Way</i> 2013 live album by Neil Finn and Paul Kelly

Goin' Your Way is a live album collaboration recorded by Neil Finn and Paul Kelly during a performance at the Sydney Opera House on 10 March 2013. It was released on 8 November as a stand-alone 2× CD, Blu-ray or DVD; or in a Limited Edition Deluxe version with all three formats. From 18 February to 18 March, Finn and Kelly undertook a joint tour of Australia, they performed tracks from their respective careers, including re-interpreting each other's work. The CD album peaked at No. 5 on the ARIA Albums Chart while the DVD reached No. 1 on the related Music DVD Chart.


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