Crowded House: “Better Be Home Soon” (1988)

This is one of the better songs from their second album, but the dream was over.

Kronomyth 2.01: You better, you bet.

The first single from the band’s second album was the likeable Better Be Home Soon. It was not, however, as lovable as the singles from their first album, “Don’t Dream It’s Over” and “Something So Strong.” In fact, it set the stage (literally, from the video’s standpoint) for the band’s commercial fortunes to fall apart, at least in the U.S., and no more Top 40 singles would be forthcoming in the states.

The flip side is the album track, Kill Eye. It’s a prickly number that feels like a tense confessional, with a compressed and overproduced sound. In other words, not that far removed from latter-day Split Enz. The trouble is, Split Enz had a lot of extra hands, while Crowded House is mostly the Enz’s empty nesters, and it’s hard to create “big” songs with just guitar, bass and drums unless you happen to be called The Police, Rush or Cream.

Original 7-inch single version

A1. Better Be Home Soon (Neil Finn) (3:07)
B1. Kill Eye (Neil Finn) (3:10)

The Plastic

Released on 7-inch single in June 1988 in Australia (EMI, CP 2100), the UK (Capitol, CL 498), the US and Canada (Capitol, B-44164), Germany (Capitol, 1C 006-20 2673 7) and Japan (Capitol, RP07-2032) with picture sleeve. Also released as promotional 7-inch and CD single in 1988 in the US (Capitol, P-B-44164/DPRO-79341) feat. A only. Reached #42 on the US charts.

1 thought on “Crowded House: “Better Be Home Soon” (1988)

  1. Such a mystery that Crowded House didn’t enjoy any more success in the U.S. The dark material on Temple of Low Men confused American listeners? If that’s true, well, we should be ashamed. (“What’s this? I thought Crowded House only did HAPPY songs!”)

    The band was much more successful elsewhere and eventually was embraced in England. A comparison of American and British charts seals the deal: we should indeed be ashamed.

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