Crowded House (album)

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Crowded House
Studio album by Crowded House
Released June 1986 (1986-06)
Recorded Late 1985-Early 1986, Sunset Sound
Genre Rock, pop rock, alternative rock, new wave
Length 38:40
Label Capitol/EMI
Producer Mitchell Froom
Crowded House chronology
Crowded House
Temple of Low Men
Singles from Crowded House
  1. "Mean to Me"
    Released: June 1986
  2. "World Where You Live"
    Released: July 1986
  3. "Now We're Getting Somewhere"
    Released: September 1986
  4. "Don't Dream It's Over"
    Released: October 1986
  5. "Something So Strong"
    Released: April 1, 1987
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau C+[2]

Crowded House is the self-titled debut album by the band Crowded House. It was released in 1986 and produced by Mitchell Froom. The album was the first to feature band-leader Neil Finn following the break-up of his previous group Split Enz. 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", the first four of which were included on the group's first greatest hits album Recurring Dream.


Following the breakup of Split Enz in 1984, Neil Finn and drummer Paul Hester decided to form a band. Bass player Nick Seymour approached Finn during the after party for the Melbourne show of Split Enz farewell tour and asked if he could try out for the new band.[3] Former Swingers and soon-to-be Midnight Oil bass player Bones Hillman was also a candidate,[4] but it was Seymour's playing on the demo for "That's What I Call Love" that earned him the spot.[citation needed] The group, then named The Mullanes, also included The Reels guitarist Craig Hooper, who left the band before they signed with Capitol Records.[3] Capitol rejected the name "The Mullanes", as well as alternatives such as "Largest Living Things". The name Crowded House was adopted after the trio flew to Los Angeles to record the album and were provided with a very cramped apartment to live in.[3]

The album's rhythm tracks were recorded by Larry Hirsh at Capitol Recording Studios, Los Angeles. The remaining recording sessions for the album were at Sunset Sound studios, where the group first collaborated with engineer Tchad Blake who also worked on the next two Crowded House albums. The album was mixed by Michael Frondelli at Studio 55. Seymour and Hester do not appear on "Now We're Getting Somewhere", which was recorded early in the sessions with drummer Jim Keltner and bass player Jerry Scheff.

The original New Zealand and Australia release of the album featured ten tracks, however when the album was being prepared for export it was decided to include Crowded House's version of the Split Enz song "I Walk Away". At the same time the track listing was re-ordered and the song "Can't Carry On" was dropped from the album. After the release of the band's second album, Temple of Low Men, EMI re-released Crowded House internationally, using the original Australian/New Zealand track listing but with "I Walk Away" included too. This is now considered the "standard" track listing of for the album. A DualDisc version of this album was made available in 2005. The DVD side features a DVD-A version of the album with lyrics, a discography and the music videos for "Don't Dream It's Over" and "Something So Strong."

Original copies of the CD in Australia and New Zealand were made in Japan, but after the Disctronics B plant at Braeside was formed, it was manufactured there.

Track listings[edit]

All songs written and composed by Neil Finn, except where noted. 

No. Title Length
1. "Mean to Me"   3:15
2. "World Where You Live"   3:07
3. "Now We're Getting Somewhere"   4:09
4. "Don't Dream It's Over"   4:03
5. "Love You 'Til the Day I Die"   3:31
6. "Something So Strong" (Finn, Mitchell Froom) 2:51
7. "Hole in the River" (Finn, Eddie Rayner) 4:02
8. "Can't Carry On"   3:57
9. "I Walk Away"   3:06
10. "Tombstone"   3:30
11. "That's What I Call Love" (Finn, Paul Hester) 3:39

The original release of the album in Australia and New Zealand featured "Can't Carry On" as track 8. This song was replaced by a re-recording of the Split Enz song "I Walk Away" for other markets. Later re-issues of the album include both songs with the listing extended to 11 tracks, as above.

Chart positions and sales certifications[edit]

Preceded by
87 Hits Out by Various artists
Australian Kent Music Report number-one album
8 June 1987 (1 week)
Succeeded by
Whitney by Whitney Houston
Preceded by
"Funkytown" by Pseudo Echo
"Don't Dream It's Over"
New Zealand Singles Chart number-one single

17 April 1987 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"Lean on Me" by Club Nouveau
Preceded by
"Lean on Me" by Club Nouveau
"Don't Dream It's Over"
Canadian Singles Chart number-one single

2 May 1987 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"With or Without You" by U2


The album peaked at number one in Australia,[5] #3 in New Zealand[6] and #12 on the US Billboard 200 chart.[7] In the UK the album did not chart until February 1995 and then only reached #99.[8] It has been certified platinum in Australia (x7), New Zealand (x5) and Canada.[9] In the US it was RIAA-certified gold on 1 May 1987, and platinum on 25 November 1991.[10]

Chart Peak
Australian Albums Chart[5] 1
Canadian Albums Chart[11] 8
Dutch Albums Chart[12] 20
New Zealand Albums Chart[6] 3
UK Albums Chart[8] 99
US Billboard 200[7] 12


The single "Don't Dream It's Over" was an international hit that reached #2 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart on 25 April 1987.[13] Its enduring popularity was evident when 18 years later in 2005 it was used in TV commercials by the New Zealand Tourism Commission.[14] The follow-up single "Something So Strong," which lent its title to a 1997 biography of Crowded House by Chris Bourke, peaked at #7 in the US.[13] "Mean to Me", "World Where You Live", and "Now We're Getting Somewhere" were also released as singles.

Song Peak chart positions
Aus[5] Can Ned[15] Ger[16] NZ[6] Nor[17] UK[18] US[13]
"Mean to Me" 26
"World Where You Live" 43 76 65
"Now We're Getting Somewhere" 63 33
"Don't Dream It's Over"[19] 8 1 7 13 1 6 25 2
"Something So Strong"[20] 18 10 3 95 7
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

"Don't Dream it's Over" reached #27 in the UK singles chart on release in May 1987, but peaked at #25 when re-released in November 1996.

Album credits[edit]

Crowded House[edit]

Additional musicians[edit]

  • Tim Pierce – Guitar
  • Jim Keltner – Drums ("Now We're Getting Somewhere")
  • Jerry Scheff – Bass guitar ("Now We're Getting Somewhere")
  • Noel Crombie – Background vocals
  • Jim Gilstrap – Background vocals
  • Andy Milton – Background vocals
  • Joe Satriani – Background vocals[21]
  • George Bermudez – Percussion
  • Heart Attack Horns – Horns
  • Mitchell Froom – Keyboards

Additional credits[edit]

  • Mitchell Froom – Producer
  • Eddie Rayner - Producer "Can't Carry On"
  • Larry Hirsh – Engineer (Capitol Recording Studios sessions)
  • Steve Himelfarb – Assistant engineer (Capitol Recording Studios sessions)
  • Tchad Blake – Engineer (Sunset Sound Factory sessions)
  • Dennis Kirk – Engineer (Sunset Sound Factory sessions)
  • Michael Frondelli – Mixer (Studio 55)
  • Glen Golguin – Assistant mixing engineer
  • Wally Traugott – Mastering (Capitol Recording Studios)
  • John O'Brien – Art direction
  • Nick Seymour – Design/Cover painting
  • Dennis Keeley – Photography

Further reading[edit]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Crowded House Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  2. ^ "Crowded House Reviews". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c Bourke (1997)
  4. ^ "BAND OF BROTHERS The Finns’ Sibling Revelry" Chris Bourke - 2004
  5. ^ a b c Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, New South Wales: Australian Chart Book Ltd. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  6. ^ a b c "Discography Crowded House",
  7. ^ a b "Crowded House - Crowded House" Billboard
  8. ^ a b "Chris C. – CZR" Chart Log UK
  9. ^ "Crowded House (1986)"
  11. ^ "RPM Top Albums/CDs - Volume 46, No. 10, 13 June 1987" Library and Archives Canada
  13. ^ a b c "Crowded House > Billboard Singles" Allmusic
  14. ^ "Music used in New Zealand Television Commercials: T" Christchurch City Libraries NOTE: Scroll down to "Tourism New Zealand"
  16. ^ "Chartverfolgung / Crowded House / Single"
  17. ^ "Discography Crowded House"
  18. ^ "Crowded House" Chart Stats
  19. ^ "RPM Top Singles - Volume 46, No. 4, 2 May 1987" Library and Archive Canada
  20. ^ "RPM Top Singles - Volume 46, No. 17, 1 August 1987" Library and Archive Canada
  21. ^ "Archive: Neil Finn Interview" Flixelpix - September 22, 2011
  22. ^ "Crowded House: Something So Strong" (Note: limited preview for on-line version)

External links[edit]