Here's a wealth of Crowded House material that is going to keep fans busy until well past Christmas at least, and probably much longer as they take in all the new musical information included here. This is one of the most impressive reissue campaigns ever seen, and I'm not being hyperbolic. Every one of the band's studio collections has been reissued with an additional disc of mostly unreleased material, and in each case, that second disc is much longer than the original album it matches.
Then there's the look of them. Instead of throwing the sets out in regular jewel cases, each has been packaged in an enlarged box, with a hard cover, and a bigger picture than ever of the unique artwork created by band bassist Nick Seymour. The visual side of Crowded House was always a delight for fans, a bonus that reflected the group's sense of humour and whimsy. Also included is a full-sized book that features a new essay, info on all the bonus tracks, and lots and lots of pictures of original singles, posters and such, again a visual treat.
For bonus cuts, there's precious little filler, no extended versions or remixes, none needed, and very little live material, only cuts that were out there but very hard to collect now, on fan club issues or long-out-of-print CD singles. There are still many, many live shows in the vault, and the idea of a concert box set is still under serious consideration, the compilers have said. This only covers the initial releases of the band, and in the 2000s the group was reformed, after Hester's sad suicide, releasing two more albums, Time On Earth and Intriguer. Those two have been reissued in this same manor, and hopefully I'll get to those soon. Meanwhile, the band has been on hiatus since the Intriguer tour ended, except that this very evening, they take the stage once more, again at the Sydney Opera House, scene of their greatest concert triumph, for a special two nights honouring the group's 30th anniversary. I'd go, but I gotta work.