Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Another of the benefits of the Universal/EMI merger is that more artists can show up on the Gold series.  These 2-CD sets put out by Universal contain generous best-of sets from their catalogue, and they know own the rights to the original Crowded House albums, up until the time of their first break-up in 1996.  Yes, the band reformed for two more albums in 2007 and 2010, but for me they have been disappointing, and rarely played.  If I want to relive one of my favourite bands, it's the late 80's - 90's tracks I want, and this delivers it in spades, 35 cuts over the two discs.

My only complaint is the sequencing, which seems to just be a random shuffling, certainly not chronological or flowing.  Two of their most glorious ballads, Weather With You and Four Seasons In One Day, open and close the collection, entirely the wrong places for mellowness.  I want to re-sequence this in the worst way.  Nothing against any of the songs however; from the brilliant and thrilling debut of Don't Dream It's Over to the mad rocking of later tracks Locked Out and Not The Girl You Think You Are, the craft of pop songwriting was not bettered in that decade.  Unabashed Beatles fans, you got both beautiful melodies and surprising studio moves with every song.  It was the ballads where Neil Finn could truly devastate though.  Infidelity is an open wound on both Into Temptation and Better Be Home Soon, while Distant Sun and Love You 'Til The Day I Die the desire for total commitment.  The intensity of that love grows only stronger in I Feel Possessed. 

Few bands could have so much fun, so much pain, and so much love in the space of a few songs.  Maybe that's why it was so hard to sequence such a collection.

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