Although I have lived in Australia for just on 36 years, I was born in New Zealand and lived there for the first 22 years. So it will come as no surprise, that many of my musical influences and memories have a Kiwi base. Growing up, Split Enz was one of my favourite bands after they appeared on, I believe, New Faces in the early ’70’s. They were quirky and wore outrageous clothes and hairstyles, but their music was clever and sophisticated – and very original. The front man and lead singer was Tim Finn and some years later in 1977, his younger brother Neil joined. Neil was only 17 years old when he joined Split Enz, but his musical ability and harmonies with his brother were special, even then. The Finn brothers had grown up in a small country town in New Zealand called Te Awamutu, where they were taught piano by the grandmother of one of my school friends!
After many years of touring the world, eventually Split Enz disbanded for good in 1884, after Tim Finn had left the band the year earlier, to pursue a solo career. It was after this that Neil Finn and Australians, Paul Hester and Nick Seymour, decided to form, what would become Crowded House. Crowded House went on to have world wide success for years and Neil Finn’s songwriting earned critical acclaim. He is still thought by some in the industry, as one of the best craftsmen of his time. Crowded House performed together up until 1994, when Paul Hester decided to leave the band mid tour. It was later revealed that Paul was a sufferer of depression and sadly committed suicide in 2005. As the band had been on tour in the USA, when they disbanded – they decided to reform to play a farewell concert on the steps of the Sydney Opera House in 1996, for their Australian fans. Estimates of the crowd that day range from 120,000 to 250,000 and money from the concert went to charity.
Crowded House and the Finn Brothers have reformed several times over more recent history. They have also released solo albums and played solo concerts, as well as with the next generation of Finn musicians – Neil’s sons Liam and Elroy. The last Crowded House performance occurred in 2011.
The song a have chosen to share is the very beautiful Better Be Home Soon which hit the charts in 1988. It is my all time favourite of all the Crowded House tracks and Neil’s voice is perfect! Sometimes, when tough times would hit our marriage, (which happens to everyone at one time or another) – we would play this song and it used to help us to get back on track.
So the the Music From My Heart for today is – Better Be Home Soon by Crowded House.