Rahul Sharma (Editor)

Temple of Low Men

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July 1988 (1988-07)

Temple of Low Men (1988)
Woodface (1991)

Release date

Capitol Records


Crowded House

Mitchell Froom

Temple of Low Men httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediaenthumb1

Platinum Studio (Melbourne) Sunset Sound (Los Angeles)

Rock music, Pop rock, Alternative rock, Jangle pop

Crowded House albums, Alternative rock albums

Australian ad crowded house temple of low men album 1988

Temple of Low Men is the second studio album by the band Crowded House, which was released in July 1988. The three band members: Paul Hester on drums and backing vocals; Neil Finn on lead vocals and lead guitar; and Nick Seymour on bass guitar and backing vocals; recorded the album in both Melbourne and Los Angeles with Mitchell Froom as producer for Capitol Records. Finn had written all ten tracks during the two years since their self-titled debut. Temple of Low Men peaked at number one in Australia, number two in New Zealand, number ten in Canada and number 40 on the Billboard 200 in the United States.


It provided five singles, "Better Be Home Soon" (July 1988), "When You Come" (August), "Into Temptation" (December), "Sister Madly" (1989), and "I Feel Possessed" (January 1990). In most markets the highest charting was "Better Be Home Soon". Additionally an album track, "Never Be the Same", appeared on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. At the ARIA Music Awards of 1989 the group won four categories: Album of the Year and Best Group for Temple of Low Men; Best Cover Art for Seymour's work; and Song of the Year for "Better Be Home Soon".


Crowded House and Neil Finn, as their main songwriter, were under pressure to create a second album to match their self-titled debut from June 1986; the band joked that one potential title for the new release was Mediocre Follow-Up. Eventually titled Temple of Low Men, their second album was released in July 1988 with strong promotion by Capitol Records.

Crowded House undertook a short tour of Australia and Canada to promote the album, with Eddie Rayner (former Split Enz bandmate of Hester and Finn) as a touring member on keyboards. Multi-instrumentalist Mark Hart (ex-Supertramp) replaced Rayner in January 1989. After the tour, Finn fired Seymour from the band. Music journalist Ed Nimmervoll claimed that Seymour's temporary departure was because Finn blamed him for causing his writer's block, however Finn cited "artistic differences" as the reason. Seymour said that after a month he contacted Finn and they agreed that he would return to the band.

Composition and recording

Neil Finn wrote all ten tracks for Temple of Low Men during the two years since their first album. It was produced by Mitchell Froom, recorded by Tchad Blake and mixed by Bob Clearmountain. The cover was created by Seymour. The lyric 'Tongue in the Mail' from the track "Love This Life" gave its name to the band's official mailing list.


AllMusic praised Temple of Low Men, but noted a change of tone from the previous album, saying, "The material on Temple of Low Men demonstrates great leaps in quality over its predecessor, it is a darkly difficult album...Finn digs into the depths of his emotional psyche with obsessive detail, crafting a set of intense, personal songs...Through all of this introspective soul-searching, Finn reveals most of all his true mastery of melody. Robert Christgau of The Village Voice panned the album as being buried in sanctimonious self-pity, and commented that "Finn has neglected the only thing he has to offer the world: perky hooks."

In October 2010, Temple of Low Men was listed at number 71 in the book, 100 Best Australian Albums, with the band's next album, Woodface at No. 3.

Track listing

All tracks written by Neil Finn.

  1. "I Feel Possessed" – 3:48
  2. "Kill Eye" – 3:14
  3. "Into Temptation" – 4:33
  4. "Mansion in the Slums" – 3:45
  5. "When You Come" – 4:45
  6. "Never Be the Same" – 4:28
  7. "Love This Life" – 3:36
  8. "Sister Madly" – 2:52
  9. "In the Lowlands" – 3:56
  10. "Better Be Home Soon" – 3:07

2016 reissue

All tracks written by Neil Finn, except where noted.

Crowded House

  • Neil Finn – vocals, guitar
  • Nick Seymour – bass, backing vocals
  • Paul Hester – drums, backing vocals
  • Additional musicians

  • Tim Finn – backing vocals
  • Richard Thompson – guitar solo "Sister Madly"
  • Alex Acuña – percussion
  • Heart Attack Horns – horns
  • Mitchell Froom – keyboards
  • Production

  • Mitchell Froom – producer
  • Tchad Blake – recording engineer
  • Bob Clearmountain – mixer
  • Bob Ludwig – mastering
  • Tom Whalley – A&R
  • Nick Seymour – art direction, album art
  • Tommy Steele – art direction
  • Kelly Ray – art assistance
  • Margo Chase – lettering design
  • Dennis Keeley – photography
  • Album

    In the United States Temple of Low Men did not chart as well as their debut, only reaching number 40 on the Billboard 200. However it reached number one in Australia, number two in New Zealand, and number ten in Canada. It was certified platinum in New Zealand (x3), Canada (x2) and Spain.

    The album did not chart in the UK until February 1995.


    The first single "Better Be Home Soon" peaked at number two in Australia and New Zealand. number eight in Canada, and reached the top 50 in the US Billboard Hot 100. The following four singles had less chart success in Australia or New Zealand, and generally less success in other markets. Additionally an album track, "Never Be the Same", appeared on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.


    1I Feel Possessed3:48
    2Kill Eye3:14
    3Into Temptation4:34


    Temple of Low Men Wikipedia

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