Sunday, June 12, 1988

Crowded House released “Better Be Home Soon”

Better Be Home Soon

Crowded House

Writer(s): Neil Finn (see lyrics here)

Released: June 12, 1988

Peak: 42 US, 30 GR, 26 AC, 18 AR, 4 CO, 29 MR, 8 CN, 2 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 6.98 video, 39.74 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

After the new wave band Split Enz split up in 1984, Neil Finn formed Crowded House. The group found success with their debut album, which produced the “Don’t Dream It’s Over” and“Something So Strong,” #2 and #7 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 respectively.

When it came time to record their second album, the band jokingly said it would be called Mediocre Follow-Up. While the collection proved quite worthy, it didn’t measure up to its predecessor commercially. The lead single, “Better Be Home Soon,” just missed the top 40. It did, however, get to #2 in Australia and New Zealand. It also won Song of the Year at the 1989 ARIA Music Awards (the Australian equivalent of the Grammys).

The song’s lyrics are open to different interpretations. When asked specifically about the video for the song, Nick Seymour said it was “about being home, how it’s better being home.” WK In a article, David Oke suggested it could “be about a relationship where the partner is ‘absent,’ but possibly, not physically. It seems to be a cry out for restoring a relationship and for partners being honest with one another.” DO

Oke also floats the idea that Neil wrote the song about Hester and his struggles and his need “to be in the security of being safe at home.” DO This takes on even greater weight in the context of Hester’s suicide in 2005 and Finn’s subsequent performance of “Better Be Home Soon” at the 2005 ARIA Awards as a tribute to Hester. DO


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First posted 10/25/2020; last updated 12/26/2022.

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