Crowded House are a rock band, formed in Melbourne, Australia and led by New Zealand singer-songwriter Neil Finn. Finn is the primary songwriter and creative director of the band, having led it through several incarnations, drawing members from New Zealand (his brother, Tim Finn and Eddie Rayner), Australia (Paul Hester, Nick Seymour, Peter Jones and Craig Hooper) and the United States (Mark Hart, and Matt Sherrod). Crowded House are referred to as The Crowdies by Australian fans.
Originally active from 1985 to 1996, the band has had consistent commercial and critical success in Australia and New Zealand and international chart success in two phases, beginning with their self titled debut album, Crowded House, which reached number twelve on the US Album Chart in 1987 and provided the Top Ten hits, "Don't Dream It's Over" and "Something So Strong". Further international success came in the UK and Europe with their third and fourth albums, Woodface and Together Alone and the compilation album Recurring Dream, which included the hits "Fall at Your Feet", "Weather with You", "Distant Sun", "Locked Out", "Instinct" and "Not the Girl You Think You Are". Queen Elizabeth II bestowed an OBE on both Neil and Tim Finn, in June 1993, for their contribution to the music of New Zealand.
Founding drummer Hester left in May 1994, citing family reasons, but briefly returned for their Farewell to the World concerts in Melbourne and Sydney in 1996. Neil Finn had decided to end the band to concentrate on his solo career and the Finn Brothers project with Tim. On 26 March 2005 Hester committed suicide, aged 46. In 2006, the group re-formed with new drummer Matt Sherrod and have since released two further albums, which have both reached number one on Australia's Album Chart.