10 Essential Crowded House Songs

Crowded House is a band that initially won listeners over with their undeniable wit and oddball charm.

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The Australian-New Zealander outfit, formed in 1985, was originally composed of frontman Neil Finn, drummer Paul Hester, and bassist Nick Seymour. However, Crowded House is a band with staying power, keeping fans coming back for the fine-tuned lyrics and irresistible melodies.

Here are 10 essential Crowded House songs that leave just enough room to dance.

10. “Into Temptation”

You opened up your door / I couldn’t believe my luck / You in your new blue dress / Taking away my breath, the moody tune, “Into Temptation,” plays.

Those first lines came to frontman Finn while staying at a motel in New Zealand where a rugby team and a women’s netball team were also lodging. “They were having a really big night in the bar together while I was playing my guitar,” the singer explained to Goldmine Magazine. “And one by one a lot of them paired off.

That night, he heard a knock at the room next door. Thinking it was his door, he opened it. “As I did, one of these netball players was knocking on this guy’s door,” he said. “They both saw me and went ‘Ooops!’ and he ushered her in. And then they proceeded to get it on in the room.” That moment was how the song’s opening lines were born.

9. “Mean to Me”

The band’s 1986 debut single, “Mean to Me,” is made up of sharp strums, guttural horns, and biting lyrics. The first song the band would showcase to the world is just as essential today as it was then.

8. “Four Seasons In One Day”

Even when you’re feeling warm / The temperature could drop away / Like four seasons in one day, the chilly “Four Seasons In One Day” plays.

The 1992 tune reportedly took inspiration from a common phrase in the band’s native Melbourne, Australia. The lyrics four seasons in one day refer to the city’s weather and, at the time, the rollercoaster climate reflected their ever-shifting moods back at them.

7. “Distant Sun”

Featured on their fourth studio album, the 1993 dreamy pop hit, “Distant Sun,” makes very little sense lyrically, but it’s hypnotizing all the same. With a sturdy rhythm, breathy harmonies, and explosive fits of passion, what more could a listener want from jangle pop bop?

6. “It’s Only Natural”

It’s only natural / That I should want to be there with you / It’s only natural / That you should feel the same way, too, plays the chorus of “It’s Only Natural.”

The 1991 essential brims with bright strums and glimmering vocals that pierce through the song’s murky groove.

5. “Something So Strong”

The fifth single from their 1986 debut record, “Something So Strong” was home among hits. A commanding song from the first notes, “Something So Strong” is no doubt an attention-grabber, partly because of the hammering beat, partly due to the flourishes of glimmering keys, and entirely because it rocks.

4. “Fall At Your Feet”

A sort of left turn in their repertoire, the 1991 tune “Fall At Your Feet” sidesteps their jangling pop sensibilities for a more moody, emotive sound. Assisted by little other than a sturdy rhythm and swirling harmonies, the song is one of the band’s sporadic stripped-back hits.

3. “Better Be Home Soon”

Another slowed-down essential, “Better Be Home Soon” has been a concert mainstay for the band since its release in 1988. The song is led by assertive vocals and punctuated by the band’s trademark chilling harmonies and less-is-more production.

2. “Weather With You”

Walking ’round the room singing Stormy Weather / At fifty-seven Mt. Pleasant Street / Now it’s the same room but everything’s different / You can fight the sleep but not the dream, opens the song “Weather With You” against an assault of otherworldly tones.

The location referred to in the song’s opening lines is, for the most part, a fictitious address. The frontman explained on his website that his sister used to live on a similar street, just not at No. 57.

“My sister used to live in a house in Mount Pleasant Road in Auckland and that’s what we were thinking of when we wrote the song,” Finn wrote. “It was just a good contrast to the theme of the song for it to be called Mount Pleasant Street because really it was about a guy who’s totally wrapped up in melancholia standing in his lounge room feeling lost.”

1. “Don’t Dream It’s Over”

Hey now, hey now / Don’t dream it’s over / Hey now, hey now / When the world comes in / They come, they come / To build a wall between us / We know they won’t win, goes the iconic chorus of the Crowded House mega success “Don’t Dream It’s Over.”

“I’m not sure if I remember what the context was, exactly,” Finn said of the song’s origins in an interview with Goldmine, “but it was just about on the one hand feeling kind of lost, and on the other hand sort of urging myself on: Don’t dream it’s over. That one actually fell out literally, without me thinking about it too much.”

The swaying ballad was a smash hit heard ’round the world. Another song from the band’s 1986 debut, “Don’t Dream It’s Over” quickly skyrocketed the group into popularity, and forever cemented their legacy.

Photo by Suzie Gibbons/Redferns

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