Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Desert Island Discs 41 Temple of the Low Men by Crowded House


41 Temple of the Low Men by Crowded House 1988

I'm guessing that most people will go for the all conquering Woodface, however for me it is the 2nd lp that promised so much but sent the band into a bit of a tailspin , Temple of the Low Men.

I first heard it when I visited a couple of old school friends in Sheffield, and the sunday morning after a visit to the Leadmill's to see proto shoe gazers Chapterhouse play and then a bit of a dance and failed attempt to chat up nurses at the following indie disco. After all that jangly guitar , someone put this on and said "think you might like this it is all a bit Beatley for me"

It was a long way away from other stuff I was listening to at the time ,and for a while would become the most middle of he road lp I owned. The production from Mitchell Froom was pin sharp but the thing that stood out was the way that the melodies wormed their way into your brain with out ever being predictable



I could see what my friend meant about the Beatles influence, form the McCartneyesque Into Temptation to the one track that doesn't work , the almost pastiche of John Lennon that is Kill Eyes.

Into Temptations lyrics about infidelity are just so spot on that Mrs Finn must have felt a bit nervous when she heard them


Ever the sucker for a sad song it remains my favourite Crowded House song right down to the guilty whispered "Don't Tell" at the end.

Although the crisp, clean production was one of the lps key strengths the quality of the songs meant they pass the old one man and a guitar (or in the case 3 men) test



I still cant quite believe that this lp only got to 138 in the Uk charts. The record company tried their best with 5 singles coming from it. The disappointing sales only increased the pressure , saw a Nick Seymour leave for a bit and eventually Tim Finn drafted in.

Whereas Temple doesn't have the Finn harmonies of Woodface, it benefits from the fact that it wasn't as successful and so still retains a freshness each time I hear it.

They remain one of the few bands that I really regret not seeing live


It maybe very "fm tastic" but you can get the timeless Temple of the Low Men here

13 comments:

  1. Smart remark about how some albums benefit (some of us smug music aficionados) by being relatively unsuccessful, thus retaining their freshness. That being said, I prefer Crowded House's poppier debut!

    #41 - STRAYS DON"T SLEEP - Strays Don't Sleep (2006)

    - I've already profiled this album on Hissyfit @ http://hissyf.blogspot.ca/2012/10/toronto-tim-says-blue-nile-inspired.html

    Cars & History: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=qbB1pQ4DaQg
    For Blue Skies: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=8Q8xoRcnDC4

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    1. Strays is great TT; Im getting into Ryan's solo (gruff) stuff.
      Currently preferring the other guy's 'I Love Your Muscles'...

      Delete
  2. I remember taking 'Temple...' as the only cassette when Di and I took our first holiday together 26 odd years ago... Di, my Walkman and a pair of turquoise thongs were my only accessories for a glorious fortnight.

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  3. Sorry, it's 'a thong' and 'a pair of tongs' isn't it?

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    1. TJ in a turqoise banana hammock? I'm feeling queasy...
      TT

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    2. it is what he is doing with the tongs that has got me worried

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    3. Not to mention my tongue...
      I have photos.
      Wanna see 'em?

      Delete
  4. When you said you were compiling this list there were a number of bands that I would have bet my house on at being on it,Crowded House is one of those bands.Can't ague with this being a top album, as for me anything that Neil Finn is involved in is pure gold.Afraid I'm taking the predictable choice of 'Woodface' a little later,I just love those harmonies!
    # 41 Cowboy Mouth - Life as a Dog. In the mid 90's former Hipsway frontman Grahame Skinner teamed up with 3 ex-members of Love and Money together with Scottish guitar legend Mick Slaven to make 2 excellent albums.The funk had gone to be relaced by ballads to show off Skinners deep croon.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q60LzLiUeW8
    Phil

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    1. I keep meaning to get some cowboy mouth stuff - where should I start phil?

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    2. There's a best of Cowboy Mouth ( download only) available here
      https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/ballad-of-a-cowboy-mouth/id524418164
      For physical copies of their 2 CD's check out Marina
      Phil

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  5. I always bounced off the MOR sheen of Crowded House. Yet another band I'm not fully acquainted with, other than that bloody weather following me everywhere.

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    1. At the time anything that was remotely MOR I'd run a mile from but CH and a few other sneaked through

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  6. Great live too David; I saw them at Shepherds Bush on their last tour with Hester.

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