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Together Alone is the fourth studio album by New Zealand-Australian recording artists Crowded House. It was released in October 1993 and was their first album to feature multi-instrumentalist Mark Hart as a full band member. Unlike the band's first three albums, which were recorded in the US and Australia and produced by Mitchell Froom, Together Alone was recorded in New Zealand with producer Youth. Seven singles were released from Together Alone, including "Distant Sun", which was a top 10 hit in New Zealand[2] and Canada,[3] and "Locked Out" which reached number 12 on the UK singles chart[4] and number 8 on the US Modern Rock chart,[5] the latter on the strength of the song's inclusion on the soundtrack of the 1994 film Reality Bites.[6]

Together Alone
Crowded House-Together Alone (album cover).jpg
Studio album by
Released18 October 1993
Recorded1992–1993
StudioKarekare Beach, New Zealand
Periscope Studios, Melbourne
Platinum Melbourne
GenreRock, alternative rock, pop rock
Length51:32
LabelCapitol
ProducerYouth and Crowded House
Crowded House chronology
Woodface
(1991)
Together Alone
(1993)
Recurring Dream
(1996)
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3/5 stars[1]
Q5/5 stars[citation needed]

BackgroundEdit

The album was mainly recorded at Neil Finn's friends Nigel and Jody Harrocks' house at Karekare Beach in New Zealand, with additional recording in Melbourne, Australia at both Periscope and Platinum Studios. The album's opening track was named "Kare Kare". Paul Hester said, "We flew in Youth and an engineer called Greg Hunter straight off the streets of Brixton to Karekare Beach, New Zealand — miles from anywhere, no shops, no nothing. They were in shock for days. Didn't know where the fuck they were."[7]

The album topped the album chart in New Zealand,[2] reached number 2 in Australia[8] and number 4 in the UK.[4] Due to its inclusion on the Reality Bites soundtrack, the song "Locked Out" was bundled with The Knack's "My Sharona", which also features in the film, as a promotional jukebox single.[9] The video single release of "Nails in My Feet" featured a documentary of the making of Together Alone entitled Footage from the Together Alone recording session.

The song "Catherine Wheels" was written by Neil and Tim Finn while with Split Enz and was originally titled "The First To Say Gone". The final version included input from bass player Nick Seymour which earned him a co-writing credit, one of only five he has with Crowded House. (The others are "Recurring Dream" and "Help Is Coming" from Afterglow, "Newcastle Jam" from the Special Edition Live Album and "Isolation" from Intriguer).

Allmusic noted that the album is, "More experimental and musically varied than any of their previous releases" and cited the addition of Mark Hart to the band's line-up and new producer Youth as reasons for this.[1] The album features more complex, layered guitar and keyboard arrangements than on Crowded House's previous works. The title track features a New Zealand Māori choir and log drummers and was co-written by Ngapo 'Bub' Wehi of the Te Waka Huia Cultural Group Choir, who also provide backing vocals on "In My Command" and "Catherine Wheels".

The Japanese edition contained the bonus track "You Can Touch" which later appeared on the compilation Afterglow.

Cover artEdit

Bassist Nick Seymour created the album cover, which features a red car, possibly a taxi. It contains Jesus, a golden figure and a third occupant in the back of the car of whom only an arm, clad in a striped shirt, is visible. The car is surrounded by a golden halo and has fluffy dice hanging from the rear view mirror. The cover of the 2007 single "Don't Stop Now" has a similar red car and the song's video features the car during its animated sequences. The album artwork was co-designed by Seymour and Margo Chase. It incorporates photography, by Youri Lenquette and Merlyn Rosenberg, of the band and of landscapes including Karekare beach.

Critical receptionEdit

Writing in The Michigan Daily, Heather Phares called it a "catchy and spiritual listen that runs the gamut of emotions, from the hyperkinetic 'Locked Out' to the hushed 'Distant Sun'." She credited producer Youth for making it a "challenging yet listenable album."[10]

Track listingEdit

All tracks are written by Neil Finn, except where noted.

No.TitleLength
1."Kare Kare" (Finn, Mark Hart, Nick Seymour, Paul Hester)3:35
2."In My Command"3:43
3."Nails In My Feet"3:39
4."Black and White Boy"4:00
5."Fingers of Love"4:26
6."Pineapple Head"3:27
7."Locked Out"3:17
8."Private Universe"5:39
9."Walking on the Spot"2:54
10."Distant Sun"3:49
11."Catherine Wheels" (Finn, Tim Finn, Seymour)5:12
12."Skin Feeling" (Hester)3:56
13."Together Alone" (Finn, Hart, Ngapo 'Bub' Wehi)3:55

A limited edition of the album in some territories featured a bonus disc of live tracks from their previous 3 albums:

  1. "World Where You Live" – 5:30
  2. "Mean to Me" – 4:06
  3. "Sister Madly" – 5:42
  4. "Better Be Home Soon" – 3:23
  5. "It's Only Natural" – 3:52
  6. "Weather with You" – 5:19

2016 reissueEdit

All tracks are written by Neil Finn, except where noted.

Note

  • * When compiling the deluxe edition a longer edited version of "Together Alone" was accidentally used, with additional chatter from the recording session at the end of the track included.

All tracks are written by Neil Finn, except where noted.

Disc 2 (Unreleased and rare material)
No.TitleLength
1."Blue Smoke (Home Demo)"1:56
2."Fingers of Love (Writing Demo)"1:02
3."Private Universe (Home Demo)"2:22
4."The Same Language as Me (Live)"3:02
5."Tail of a Comet (Live)"4:14
6."Distant Sun (Writing Demo)"0:43
7."I Am In Love (Band Demo)"4:29
8."Fingers of Love (Band Demo)"4:02
9."Fingers of Love (Alternative Studio Take)"5:11
10."Black and White Boy (Early Rough Mix)"5:06
11."Locked Out (Zen Mix)"4:17
12."Newcastle Jam (Studio Version)" (Finn, Mark Hart, Nick Seymour, Paul Hester)3:45
13."Convent Girls"3:24
14."Zen Roxy *" (Finn, Hart, Seymour, Hester)6:44

Note

  • *Previously Released

PersonnelEdit

Crowded HouseEdit

  • Neil Finn – vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, piano, keyboards
  • Nick Seymour – bass, backing vocals
  • Paul Hester – drums, percussion, vocals
  • Mark Hart – keyboards, electric and acoustic guitars, lap steel guitar, mandolin, backing vocals

Additional musiciansEdit

  • Eddie Rayner – Keyboards on "Kare Kare" & "Pineapple Head"
  • Noel Crombie – Percussion on "Private Universe"
  • Geoffrey Hales – Percussion on "Fingers of Love" & "Locked Out"
  • Tim Finn – Background vocals on "In My Command" & "Catherine Wheels"
  • Sharon Finn – Background vocals on "Black and White Boy", "Fingers of Love" & "Private Universe"
  • Dror Erez – Accordion on "Walking on the Spot"
  • Te Waka Huia Cultural Group Choir – Vocals on "Together Alone", "In My Command" & "Catherine Wheels"
  • Joe, Tereo, Martie, Jamee, Benjamin – Log Drummers on "Together Alone" & "Private Universe"
  • Clyde Dixon, Stephen Bremner, Laura Astridge, David Bremner, Shaun Jarrett – Brass Band on "In My Command" & "Together Alone"

ProductionEdit

  • Youth – Producer
  • Bob Clearmountain – Mixer
  • Greg Hunter – Engineer
  • Nick Morgan, Graeme Myre, Angus Davidson, Chris Corr, Kalju Tonuma – Additional engineering
  • Dugald McAndrew – Equipment & additional engineering
  • Matt Austin – Programming

ChartsEdit

AlbumEdit

Sales of Together Alone highlighted Crowded House's continued popularity in Australasia[2][8] and the UK.[4] The album also had some success across Europe, but like its predecessor, Woodface, it failed to make much impact in the US.[11] The album was certified platinum in the UK,[12] New Zealand (x2) and Australia.[13]

Chart Position
Australian Albums Chart[8] 2
Canadian Albums Chart[14] 19
New Zealand Albums Chart[2] 1
German Albums Chart[15] 55
Dutch Albums Chart[16] 19
Norwegian Albums Chart[17] 14
Swedish Albums Chart[18] 25
UK Albums Chart[4] 4
US Billboard 200[11] 73

SinglesEdit

Apart from the top 10 success of "Distant Sun" in Canada[3] and New Zealand,[2] the singles from Together Alone generally performed poorly outside the UK, where five singles reached the top 30.[4] One exception was "Nails in My feet", which narrowly missed the New Zealand top 10.[2]

Single AUS
[8]
CAN GER
[19]
NZ
[2]
UK
[4]
"Distant Sun"[3] 23 4 70 5 19
"Nails In My Feet" 34 11 22
"Locked Out"[20] 81 12
"Fingers of Love" 25
"Pineapple Head" 27
"Private Universe" 46 50
"Together Alone" 37

Further readingEdit

  • Bourke, Chris (1997). Crowded House: Something So Strong. South Melbourne, Victoria: Macmillan. ISBN 0-7329-0886-8.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas "Together Alone – Review" Allmusic
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Discography Crowded House" charts.org.nz
  3. ^ a b c "RPM Top Singles – Volume 59, No. 6, February 28 1994" Library and Archives Canada
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Crowded House" Chart Stats
  5. ^ "Crowded House – Locked Out" Billboard
  6. ^ "Soundtracks for Reality Bites" IMDb
  7. ^ Phil Sutcliffe. "Crowded House: Crowded House OBE". Rock's Backpages.(Subscription required.)
  8. ^ a b c d "Discography Crowded House" australian-charts.com
  9. ^ Bourke, 1997
  10. ^ Phares, Heather (1 June 1994). "Records". The Michigan Daily. 104 (5): 10. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  11. ^ a b "Crowded House > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles" Allmusic
  12. ^ "Certified Awards Search" British Phonographic Industry (Note: Enter "Crowded House" into the "Search" box and ensure that the "Search by" box says "Artist")
  13. ^ "Albums > Together Alone" Archived 31 October 2010 at the Wayback Machine crowdedhouse.com
  14. ^ "RPM Top Albums/CDs – Volume 59, No. 2, January 31 1994" Archived 20 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine Library and Archives Canada
  15. ^ "Chartverfolgung / Crowded House / Longplay" musicline.de
  16. ^ "Discografie Crowded House"dutchcharts.nl
  17. ^ "Discography Crowded House" norwegiancharts.com
  18. ^ "Discography Crowded House" swedishcharts.com
  19. ^ "Chartverfolgung / Crowded House / Single" musicline.de
  20. ^ "RPM Top Singles – Volume 59, No. 15, May 02 1994" Library and Archives Canada

External linksEdit