Video

Neil Finn plays ‘Better Be Home Soon’

Lockdown video: Enjoy this Crowded House classic

Neil Finn, with sons Liam and Elroy, has been performing songs from his back catalogue in recent times, to entertain fans in this period of lockdown. Most recently he tackled the Crowded House classic Better Be Home Soon, which you can watch below…

It’s such a beautiful song and is taken from Crowded House’s second album, 1988’s Temple of Low Men. It reached number two in New Zealand and Australia and was a top ten hit in Canada, but incredibly didn’t trouble the charts at all in the UK. Then again, in Britain even Don’t Dream It’s Over stalled at a lowly number 27! Temple of Low Men contains no UK hits at all despite being full of wonderful pop songs like ‘When You Come’, ‘Sister Madly’ and ‘Into Temptation’.

The band’s lack of success in the singles chart over here is one of life’s great mysteries, and you have to wonder what the marketing department of Capitol was up to, letting mainstream success in the UK elude the band at this period in time. Mind you, they only ever had one top ten UK single and that was Weather With You, which was of course from Woodface, the follow up to Temple of Low Men.

You can buy the 2016 2CD deluxe of Temple of Low Men for less than a tenner right now. While it’s not their absolute best (hello, Together Alone) Crowded House simple didn’t make bad records and all I will say is that if you don’t know this album, it will cheer you up no end. In fact, Crowded House will make your life better, period. You can depend on it.

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Crowded House / Temple of Low Men 2CD deluxe edition

CD 1

1 I Feel Possessed
2 Kill Eye
3 Into Temptation
4 Mansion In The Slums
5 When You Come
6 Never Be The Same
7 Love This Life
8 Sister Madly
9 In The Lowlands
10 Better Be Home Soon

CD 2
1 Whispers And Moans (Home Demo)
2 Never Be The Same (Home Demo)
3 Dream On (Home Demo)
4 Never Been Born (Rehearsal Excerpt)
5 Think I’m Gonna Change (Home Demo)
6 Into Temptation (Home Demo)
7 Fire Will Keep Me Warm (In The Lowlands Home Demo)
8 Love This Life (Home Demo)
9 Sister Madly (Studio Outtakes)
10 Mansion In The Slums (Live)
11 This Is Massive (Live)
12Love This Life (Live)
13In The Lowlands (Live)
14 I Feel Possessed (Live)
15 Burnt Out Tree (Live)
16 Mr Tambourine Man (Live)
17 Eight Miles High (Live)
18 So You Want To Be A Rock ‘N’ Roll Star (Live)
19 When You Come (Live)
20 Sister Madly (Live)
21 Better Be Home Soon (Live)

48 responses to Neil Finn plays ‘Better Be Home Soon’

  1. df1chicago says:

    i love this! now get to recording with fleetwood mac!

  2. Graham Thomas says:

    Saw Finn Bros at the Palais in St Kilda (Melbourne) when Paul Hester turned up for a guest slot and sang Sister Madly. Then about six months later at Hamer Hall after Paul’s suicide. Neil sat front of stage with his acoustic guitar, said this is for Paul, and sang Better Be Home Soon to a sombre and silent crowd. Never forget it. RIP Paul Hester.

  3. Daz says:

    I’ve been playing my old crowded house cds ever since I read this article paul and in these troubled times there really is something soothing in neil finns voice and melodies! By the way my pet shop boys cd arrived safe and very well packed today so many thanks paul!

  4. NabobOfDub says:

    I sometimes wonder about us how we can neglect a magnificent band like Crowded House. That Paul Hester with his beaming smile will never ever grace a stage again is an extremely sad thought and his genius drumming was just truly special. Neil Finn’s songwriting is under appreciated in these isles. Thanks for sharing this Paul. Off to have a slice of Chocolate Cake’ now!!

  5. Mark Jensen says:

    This post has mad me think about how it would be really nice if some hard to find Split Enz material was re-released. For example, I’d really love a new singles comp that included tracks like Things and Next Exit.

  6. Ken.e says:

    I was lucky enough to be at a show on this album’s tour. Richard Thompson opened for them solo and then came out to play his solo on Sister Madly. Neil made a comment that he could never play that solo as well as Richard. We were second row. Without a doubt one of my favorite concerts. It felt so intimate, almost like they were playing at a friends house. However it was Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto a venue reserved for classical music.
    I recall at some awards show the three of them played Better Be Home Soon from what appeared to be their seats. It would have been a new song at the time.
    I was still a vinyl only listener at this time as I had no CD player yet. I still have the original album I bought on release day. I do remember there were more CDs at the store the LPs. It must have been coming up to the premature killing of vinyl in Canada.
    The expanded version is amazing and as many have mentioned there is not a bad CH album. I even really enjoy the last two.

    • John McCann'. says:

      I had read for years about how good Richard Thompson is,but I had never heard his work,a few years ago I decided to buy a Blu-ray,live from the Glasgow royal,concert hall,(I live 5mins walk away from hall),he wasn’t really for me,but what i really disliked was that he did a song called Geordie about sting,,, the song was awful and he seemed very smug as he sung it, Also his bass player a guy that looks like Fabiola cappello had a smug grin on his face throughout the song, just cheapened it a bit for me,gave the Blu-ray away soon after, but im sure he is a great artist,but the childish fried thing put me off,,

  7. Jarmo Keranen says:

    Lovin’ Spoonful’s Darling Be Home Soon is much better!

  8. Daz says:

    Brilliant album, hav’nt got the remaster but the original cd sounds great!

  9. mike says:

    I still find Crowded House V2 material not worthy of V1, I wish they had let it lie. Temple Of Low Men is their best album imho, simply magical.

  10. dazzler says:

    Fischer-Z and Talk Talk, two more of my favourite bands that had a poor chart history in the UK. I think the late 80’s the UK was more than every other European country into SAW acts and artists that matched that cheap prefab pop sound.

  11. Paul Woodgate says:

    Good article, as ever, but one correction, if I may.

    It IS Crowded House’s best album, and by quite a long way.

    I know. Saying something, right?

  12. SimonP says:

    The 7 Worlds Collide live video is an excellent buy if it’s still available. I recall standing up and clapping when I bought it and then realising I was in my living room and Neil couldn’t hear me! Doh!

    https://www.discogs.com/Neil-Finn-Friends-7-Worlds-Collide-Live-At-The-St-James/master/145565

  13. Steven Campbell says:

    Cracking band and Neil Finn is a very gifted songwriter. I have to echo one of the previous posters comments and say Woodface is for me their definitive album, yes they have a few Best ofs and Together Alone is great but Woodface for me encapsulates everything you need to know about this cracking band. It was also the first album of theirs I heard.

  14. Marc Kieser says:

    See and hear Neil play Bowie’s “Heroes” in lockdown:

    https://player.vimeo.com/video/406325469

  15. Adrian BB says:

    Love the well deserved shout out for Neil Finn. Criminal that none of his bands were ever really huge in the US or UK. I don’t think anyone is more appreciative of fans, from the hundreds of official bootlegs over the years, to the current daily streams from quarantine mentioned by JasonC on Mixlr. Also, one of the great live performers with an encyclopedic knowledge of pop, Yes, I’m a fan.

  16. Marxisn't says:

    Love Crowded House (the first four are essential and TOE is a grower) but the last album was disappointing owing to losing their creative sparks to later over-thinking in the studio. A shame as most of those same songs pre album, I actually thought we may have had an album to give Together Alone a run for its money. The post demo and later 2008 live versions ended up better than the finished versions… Alas sadly most of those missed the Intriguer box.
    I seem to be having diminished returns regarding Neil as a songwriter as I’ve liked less and less per album. So much so my copy of Out of silence ended up in the charity shop and I didn’t bother with Neil and Liam’s effort.
    I am also sad that Mark Hart’s services are strangely dispensed with and it’s now even less Crowded House than before… so I didn’t bother getting a ticket this time. Still I’ll give this version of Crowded House the chance if they can wow me with their new music.
    Better Be Home Soon is a great record… Kind of a standard that wasn’t a hit here in the UK. Strange as people always comment when I’ve played it about how good it is. The version you posted is quite nice; thanks for that Paul.

    • Ryk says:

      Marxisn’t,

      Completely agree with you regarding diminishing returns re: Neil’s stuff since Woodface. I have loved everything from Frenzy onward with Split Enz, as well as the first 3 CH albums and the 2 Finn Brothers albums. Although I own them all, I find the last 2 CH albums, more recent Neil solo albums, and the Pajama Club album lack repeated playing. Strangely overlooked is Neil’s older brother, Tim, who has had a great solo career (10 studio albums to date), albeit for a slightly different audience; check out his stuff if you get the chance – my personal favourite is Big Canoe.

      • Marxisn't says:

        Ryk I found Pajama Club about half a decent album, Dizzy Heights about a third of a decent album and Out of Silence dull and forgettable. I did have a listen to a few tracks of Neil and Liam’s off YouTube and decided I’d save my money. Neil to me is an amazing songwriter of melody, hook and atmosphere. He seems content to be focussed on the latter, forgetting the former at the moment… Which is not playing to his strengths in my opinion. Still he can afford to and it is up to him really isn’t it; it’s just not for me.
        I own everything by Crowded House, Split Enz (Time and Tide my favourite there) and pretty much everything by Tim too (Say It Is So = a cracking album that everyone should check out). There a great cannon of work there no doubt.

        • Ryk says:

          Marxisn’t,

          As you are interested in Tim Finn, you might be interested in a new project he’s involved in called Forenzics, with some former Split Enz members. They have a recent single called “Walking” which is reminiscent of early Split Enz songs.

          As whenever I put a link in the body of my posts they either don’t work or are ignored, I’ve linked to the song through my name above the post. Check it out!

    • Christophe says:

      Hi Marx Bing a long time CH and Neil Finn solo stuff addict i have to admit Dizzy .. and out of silence were very disapointing .Too much effects and production les melodies. We need songs like ” anytime she will have her way homesick souvenir rest of the day off wherever you are and driving me mad. One nil is his best work in my opinion.

  17. Andy says:

    Hi All, another hidden gem is “Goin Your Way” recorded live in 2013 at Sydney Opera House. It has Neil Finn and Paul Kelly doing each others classic songs. It’s a family affair also with Neil’s son Elroy on drums and Paul’s nephew Dan Kelly on guitars. The bassist Zoe Hauptmann is also a great addition and together they are a superb listen or get the Blu-ray or DVD to watch. Its one of my favourites!

  18. Brian Roberts says:

    Together Alone is such a sublime and special album, the textures added such depth to Neil’s songs. The EPK (easily found on YouTube) gives a great background to the recording sessions. Quality and consistent work throughout.

  19. Bob McCartney says:

    Crowded House is definitely All Killer No Filler.
    Got to the party late but have scooped up most everything Finn related. Saw the Finn Brothers at an old hall in Lawrence KS and it was an intimate and enchanting experience.
    I’ve only seen Crowded House once on the Time On Earth tour.
    Love Love Neil Finn and all incarnations. If you have not checked out 7 Worlds Collide, you are missing a real gem.
    Stay Well!

  20. DiscoDave200 says:

    I don’t think they’ve made an average album in their time. If I had to pick a favorite though it would be Woodface for the sheer joy of the Finn brothers’ harmonies, the songwriting that spanned the spectrum from stadium ready sing a longs (Weather With You) to beautiful pop moments (It’s Only Natural) to crooner ready ballads (All I Ask), and the superb production throughout.

    In other down under related news, I’m also reading Robert Forster’s “Grant & I” and revisiting the Go-Betweens fine catalog. I’m stalled about about 80 pages from the end because I know how sadly this one ends. But the songs, oh the songs!

  21. JuzzyB says:

    Time On Earth doesn’t get mentioned much but I think it’s great. Temple Of Low Men is easily the best, though.

  22. Christophe says:

    World where you live . I feel possessed .distant sun . don t’ stop now best songs ever. And there is all his solo stuff especially the One Nil album . You re true Paul no bad album for CH

  23. puptonbluton says:

    Great performance from a first- class songwriter. This post is very timely as I’ve been re-discovering Crowded House over the last few days, particularly Together Alone (obviously) and Intriguer, which I’d never really got into before but absolutely love now! Fingers crossed that the recent reconvening of the band produces some new material.

  24. Mark Jensen says:

    That is a great performance. I’ve only seen Crowded House play once on the Woodface tour. It was amazing , though it did seem like there was a bit of friction on stage at one point between Neil and Tim. We went backstage after the show and talked to Neil – he was really nice. Temple Of The Low Men is a great album.

  25. Patjoller says:

    tis album is gold, perfect songs by a genius songwriter. The deluxe reissues were absolutely stunning and were worth the wait.
    I never got why they didn’t have a more success and should deserve more recognition. Got also the chance to catch them live on the together alone tour, the show was amazing and entertaining (the banters between songs are hilarious). I just wish now that they will release a huge boxset of the shows released for the fan club over the years

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I saw them on that tour also, when Paul Hester was still in the band (something I very pleased about in retrospect).

      • SimonP says:

        I saw them then, too. I seem to recall a Maori choir backing them up on a few songs and it was stunning. One of the Hammersmith places if I recall, but the Odeon, Apollo bit, or whatever, escapes me…

      • kook says:

        I caught that tour too, a few months after U2’s Zooropa extravaganza. What struck me was that the CH show was every bit as enjoyable, despite being a totally different performance: wonderfully laid back and spontaneous, with Hester at one point electing to climb up a lighting rig while Finn shouted “you f***ing part-timer!”

        An excellent gig, a great band, and a sadly missed drummer.

  26. Matt says:

    I love Crowded House and this is a beautiful song…. Way back when, I used to listen to Casey Kasem do a run down of the American charts on a Saturday afternoon and they had success in America with Don’t Dream Its Over and Something So Strong…. I am sure Better Be Home Soon was the first single released in America off this album and it also charted…. I went to a local record shop back in them days and treated myself to both their debut album and Temple of Low Men and have never looked back…. I am supposed to be seeing them this July in London…. I can’t see it being on though…. Still love all of their stuff and Neil Finn is a genius…. Superb album and well worth £10 of anyone’s money, not a duff track on the record.
    Keep up the great work Paul…. Brilliant website

    • Ryk says:

      Matt,

      Considering Neil is in an extreme lockdown here in NZ with the borders closed for the foreseeable future (until a vaccine is widely available they estimate) I can’t see CH performing internationally for a long time, sorry

      • Matt says:

        Thanks Ryk

        I was hoping against hope, but like many others have mentioned I did see the Together Alone Tour at Sheffield UK when the Maori choir supported them on some songs… It was standing too (unusual for that venue) so was very close to the stage…. So pleased I saw them and hope to see the new line up whenever it is possible in the future….

        Stay safe everyone

      • Paul Taylor says:

        A friend’s mother is in NZ on holiday just now and has been told she can’t fly out back to Scotland until July. I suspect Neil will be in the same boat

      • Ryk says:

        Sorry, I was misinformed. Neil and co are in L.A., not NZ at the present time. Apologies.

  27. JasonC says:

    Neil is doing a live broadcast every night at 11pm on Mixlr – he’s on lockdown in LA and he plays a selection of tunes every night. He has revealed on there that Pete Paphides is working on a rerelease of the Finn album on vinyl through his Needle Mythology label. Can’t wait.
    http://mixlr.com/fangradio

  28. Glen says:

    Same thing here in the US. Huge hit with “Don’t Dream It’s Over,”” small one with “Something So Strong” and they faded into the distance. Shame, but at least I kept listening…

    Saw them live only once, before I bought the album. They played the Southern Star Amphitheater at Astroworld (RIP), and put on a great show. Tim joined them for “Six Months in a Leaky Boat” and I’ll never forget Paul playing his brushes on Neil’s guitar. A day or two later I bought the CD.

    My next opportunity to see them was a missed one, on the Woodface tour. I was in Dallas at the time; they had the audacity to choose my wedding day for their show, and my wife-to-be wouldn’t let me go! Oh well.

    The fickleness of the American music listening public never ceases to amaze me….

    • Mister Stick says:

      I can only echo the remarks already stated: They were largely overlooked here in the states, and we were worse for it. But the first record never leaves my turntable for long. I was in radio when it was released, and the first single serviced to stations was not “Don’t Dream It’s Over”, but “World Where You Live.” I was sold, first play. Not only a great song, but a great ‘radio ending’. That finish would make it great to back-call, and I thought it might do well, but I never heard it on another station. Wisely, Capitol threw some MTV money into “Don’t Dream It’s Over”, giving the band a chance to get some attention before it was too late.

      Glen’s recollection reminds me of the first time I saw ‘The House’, that same year, opening for Los Lobos. There were a few Split Enz songs in the set, and when they got to “I Got You”, for laughs, they asked a guy from the crowd to come up and sing the chorus. He was both drunk AND a lousy singer, and the move backfired completely. A crowd the band had won over handily was now lost. Maybe that trick works back in Melbourne, but not on a snowy night in Cleveland, when just getting to the show took guts.

      But Neil rescued the moment: He stepped to the mic and sang the first verse and chorus of “I Got You” as a very slow, sad a cappella. The crowd went stone silent. Hairs on necks, pins dropping… Pick your cliché. When he finished, the room was right back in his pocket, and the band blasted into the next tune. It was a move almost as genius as the songwriting.

      Stay in The House everybody. “This thing is happenin’ to us all…”

  29. guy1 says:

    I agree they haven’t made a bad album. Love all their music.

  30. Lee says:

    I’ve never quite understood how or why Temple Of Low Men gets so overlooked. Yes, I get that the debut Crowded House album had Don’t Dream It’s Over and World Where You Live, and Woodface was the big international hit, but this album is a gem. I Feel Possessed is my all time favourite, possibly (probably) as it feels “the most Split Enz-y” of any of their stuff. My Dad’s review of this album will always stay with me; “there is not a single moment wasted on this record, it’s a gem”.

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