Title - 'Farewell to the World [LIVE]' (EMI)
Artist - Crowded House
On Nov 24, 1996, over 120,000 Crowded House fans from all over the world gathered outside Sydney Opera House for the band's farewell concert, a benefit for Sydney Children's Hospital. This double CD is the end result of that legendary final show along with a double DVD sold seperately. In my humble opinion, Australia's Crowded House were one of the most underrated bands of the late 80's and 90's. They experienced their biggest commercial success with their first, self-titled album. The album contained the superb single, the languid "Don't Dream It's Over" which peaked at number two in 1987. It was followed by the more upbeat, but equally superb "Something So Strong" which also hit the top ten peaking at number seven. The band would never again hit the top forty with a single! Their next album, 'The Temple Of Low Men,' was a 180-degree turn from their first album. It was dark and somber with intensely personal songs that probably turned fans away. Leader Neil Finn starting writing songs with his brother, Tim Finn for a proposed Finn Brothers project. That idea was scraped, Tim joined the band and the songs were included on their third album, 'Woodface,' which is their masterpiece. The strength of the album is the brother's flawless harmonies that a deep richness to the songs. "Weather With You" is the band's best song and was unjustly never the hit it deserved to be. During the Woodface tour, Tim, left the band and he would be replaced on the fourth album by American guitarist, Mark Hart. 'Together Alone' added a heavier guitar sound as well as a Maori influence and features the excellent "Pineapple Head". The band broke up in 1996. 'Farewell To The World' is a fine overview of the band's music, amply filled out by 24 tracks spread over two CDs. The wonderful set includes live renditions of all of Crowded House's hits, including the aforementioned "Weather With You." "Don't Dream It's Over," "Fall At Your Feet," "It's Only Natural," "Distant Sun," and "Locked Out." This album is truly a more than fitting finale for an incredibly special group whose songs touched millions over their 11-year career. Highly recommended for hardcore fans and general fans of just-great music.