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