Digitally remastered and expanded two CD edition of this classic album from the Australian band led by former Split Enz member Neil Finn. This edition sees the original 13 track album expanded to 27 tracks. The 36 page booklet boasts lyrics, rare photos, newly commissioned liner notes from journalist Dino Scatena and new interviews with Neil Finn and Nick Seymour. Together Alone is the fourth studio album by 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. Together Alone featured the singles "Private Universe," "Distant Sun" and "Locked Out."
For full disclosure I've docked the rating a star because the sound is unnecessarily compressed.
I'm convinced that "Together Alone" remains the band's masterpiece with its mixture of hope and despair. Neil clearly was being dogged my darkness himself while writing the songs and, although it wasn't evident, so was drummer Paul Hester who left the band during this tour. Frustrated at the disparity in income in the group (Neil wrote almost all the songs), personal issues, etc. Hester was the clown of the band--always evoking laughter and entertaining the audience while something darker was ruminating beneath it all. Ultimately Paul took his life after the band broke up.
The songwriting on "Together Alone" with its contradicting title represents the dichotomy in the compositions.
This deluxe edition builds on the original album rather than subtracts (which some deluxe editions can do if the material isn't chosen well). Disc two consists largely of demos of songs--some of which didn't make the album--with "Blue Smoke" and "Tail of a Comet" being a highlight of the unreleased tracks. We also get the three songs that the reunited (briefly) Crowded House recorded for the "Recurring Dream" best of album as well as demos for those songs. Sometimes the spare arrangements of these demos breath new life into songs that you know well while other times these "new" approaches with their intimate recordings better the final versions.
The mastering is louder with compression applied for the original album but more bottom end is in evidence as well.
As with the other releases in this deluxe reissue series, the discs are housed in a DVD Amray case sized heavy duty cardboard case. Inside the case there are a booklet of the same size with a brief essay, lyrics for the original albums and comments from Neil and Nick and a Digipak housing both discs with one overlapping another. They aren't too difficult to get out either.
It's nice to see this album get some love since it was virtual ignored in the U.S.