I Walk Away

I just had Pandora internet radio running in an attempt to find new music for my iPod. A largely successful exercise - I discovered 'Better Than Ezra' - when the Crowded House version of 'I Walk Away' came on. Now this is the first time I've heard this version in full. Oh my good god - what had Neil done? Was he really that desperate to distance himself from Split Enz while at the same time trying to cash in on some of the popularity he enjoyed in his former band?

The Split Enz version of 'I Walk Away' is an all time classic Neil Finn song. Indeed the few song's I have from the 'See Ya Round' album all sound more Crowded House than Split Enz anyway. So, why oh why did he do that to such a fantastic song? The Crowded House version is an absolute mess.

Needless to say the Split Enz version is a regular player on the iPod and the Crowded House version will never ever ever ever be allowed anywhere near my music collection.
Original Post
I agree with you, Kiwi, and like Tiawamutu I heard the Crowdies version first.

And NO Neil is not the type of person to try to 'cash in' on anything.

I guess Neil can do his own songs however he wants, some people will like different takes on songs, some people won't.
I think it's only natural (pun intended) that people will generally prefer whichever version they were familiar with first. Personally, I like both versions quite well, but the CH version is probably the best, IMO. Aside from it being the version I heard first, I think the general sound of the CH version is more "timeless".
I think the Split Enz version of "I Walk Away" represents a band that has lost control of their music. The machine has taken over and the Enz version is over produced with too much percussion and too many keyboard parts. I think this "band that's lost control" sound is what ruined both Conflicting Emotions and See Ya Round.

The Crowded House version, however, sounds like four guys playing their instruments It's very honest and immediate and the focus is on Neil's voice instead of being on a dozen different little guitar and keyboard melodies. The Enz version sounds like a band trying too hard while the CH version sounds like a band just being themselves.

(PS - Terry, Better Than Ezra are my second favorite band!)
quote:
Originally posted by Terry:
The Split Enz version of 'I Walk Away' is an all time classic Neil Finn song. Indeed the few song's I have from the 'See Ya Round' album all sound more Crowded House than Split Enz anyway. So, why oh why did he do that to such a fantastic song? The Crowded House version is an absolute mess.
.


Er . . . There's some history here.

See Ya 'Round wasn't released outside of New Zealand and Australia, so no one outside of those countries heard the Enz version of "I Walk Away," and even there it wasn't a "hit" for Split Enz anyway.

"I Walk Away" was not originally included on the original Australian/New Zealand version of Crowded House either -- "Can't Carry On" was.

On the other hand, in North America, "Can't Carry On" was left off in favour of "I Walk Away" on the original vinyl/cassette version of Crowded House.

It wasn't until the CD version came out that either "Can't Carry On" or "I Walk Away" were included as a bonus track, depending upon where you lived.

I like both versions.

I'm not sure what you mean by "absolute mess," since the CH version is about as straight-forward as it gets. In comparison, the SE version has been accused being cluttered -- and indicative of everything "wrong" with latter-day Enz. I don't share that sentiment, but that's the argument.
Mmmm, have to admit I did not know the history of See Ya Round, or the fact the I walk Away was not included in the Aus version of CH. Maybe it is a case of which version you hear first. To me the CH version sounded almost like a ballad being forced into the mold of a rock song. There's something, for me, in the production of the CH version that just sounds off. Re-releasing the song on the CH album for those who hadn't had chance to hear the SE original does make sense. But was a total re-production necessary?
I agree with the above posters who say that whatever version you hear first is often your favourite (ie. I heard Dixie Chicks do Silent House first and still hear their twang when I listen to Dixie Dicks' version)

I Walk Away CH version was the first I heard and have always loved. When I started getting into SE and heard the original for the first time, it was jarring but it has grown on me since. Feels like two different songs from two different bands.
quote:
Originally posted by Terry:
But was a total re-production necessary?


CH also included "Breakin' My Back" and "This is Massive" in its live set lists in the early days -- and these too were stripped down afairs. See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0V3HntaABg and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRTLebsdUFo for examples.


From comments Neil made during those years, he was relishing in being able to strip songs down to basics -- guitar, bass, and drums . . . as opposed to the layers of keyboards and percussion that dominated the last few Enz albums. Re-making "I Walk Away" (for a non-antipodean audience only) was indicative of his back-to-basics philosophy of the time. It's a good song, didn't get much exposure the first time around, so why not use it?

Ironically, Mitchell Froom is all over Crowded House and Temple of Low Men -- sometimes too much so, . . . so the real back-to-basics never 100% quite made it on to an album.


Here are the various track listings of Crowded House. "World Where You Live" always seemed like the better 1st track to me . . . but again, that depends upon where you live . . . :

Original vinyl & cassette release
Released in Australia and New Zealand only.

"Mean to Me" (Neil Finn) – 3:15
"World Where You Live" (Finn) – 3:07
"Now We're Getting Somewhere" (Finn) – 4:09
"Don't Dream It's Over" (Finn) – 4:03
"Love You 'Til the Day I Die" (Finn) – 3:31
"Something So Strong" (Finn, Mitchell Froom) – 2:51
"Hole in the River" (Finn, Eddie Rayner) – 4:02
"Can't Carry On" (Finn) – 3:57
"Tombstone" (Finn) – 4:29
"That's What I Call Love" (Finn, Paul Hester) – 4:22

Original international vinyl & cassette release
"World Where You Live" (Finn) – 3:07
"Now We're Getting Somewhere" (Finn) – 4:09
"Don't Dream It's Over" (Finn) – 4:03
"Mean to Me" (Finn) – 3:15
"Love You 'Til the Day I Die" (Finn) – 3:31
"Something So Strong" (Finn, Froom) – 2:51
"Hole in the River" (Finn, Rayner) – 4:02
"I Walk Away" (Finn) – 3:06
"Tombstone" (Finn) – 4:29
"That's What I Call Love" (Finn, Hester) – 4:22

International CD & DVD-A release
"Mean to Me" (Finn) – 3:15
"World Where You Live" (Finn) – 3:07
"Now We're Getting Somewhere" (Finn) – 4:09
"Don't Dream It's Over" (Finn) – 4:03
"Love You 'Til the Day I Die" (Finn) – 3:31
"Something So Strong" (Finn, Froom) – 2:51
"Hole in the River" (Finn, Rayner) – 4:02
"Can't Carry On" (Finn) – 3:57
"I Walk Away" (Finn) – 3:06
"Tombstone" (Finn) – 4:29
"That's What I Call Love" (Finn, Hester) – 4:22
quote:
Originally posted by gph:
I'm not sure what you mean by "absolute mess," since the CH version is about as straight-forward as it gets. In comparison, the SE version has been accused being cluttered -- and indicative of everything "wrong" with latter-day Enz. I don't share that sentiment, but that's the argument.

I agree, I'm not sure how the CH version can be considered a mess either. Granted, out of the two versions I prefer the SE version, but that's probably because I heard that one first, and I also prefer SE to CH anyway. I don't really think SYR is that awful of an album, but that's just my opinion.

The CH version though really highlights the differences between the two bands, though.
quote:
Originally posted by Zuf:
Of course there is the 12" extended version of 'I Walk Away' to throw in the mix (no pun Smiler ), which is the SE version done for the discos!!
Ahh, those were the days...


Yeah . . . It's pretty fun, actually.

Then you can also throw in the the two demos from the boxsets, "Love and Success" and "Your Inspiration" (which contain elements of "I Walk Away" and "Can't Carry On" - just to add to the confusion).
quote:
I think it's only natural (pun intended) that people will generally prefer whichever version they were familiar with first. Personally, I like both versions quite well, but the CH version is probably the best, IMO. Aside from it being the version I heard first, I think the general sound of the CH version is more "timeless".



Exactly my thoughts.
I read in a Muscian magazine article with Neil from '88 that World Where You Live was the song Capitol was pushing for to be the first big single from the album...could explain why it was moved up front on the North American versions? I actually like the Aussie/Kiwi running order better.

As for I walk Away...both versions have their merits and it's hard for me to pick a favorite. I do like the musical flourishes of the Enz version though. Cool
I heard the Enz version first but still think the Crowdies track is the best. As others have said, the Enz version is overproduced. I remember Neil also saying in the 80's that part of the problem with the latter day Enz is that everybody had to play on every track and Enz's I Walk Away typifies this point for me.

As for the track listings, I thought the NZ album always had I Walk Away on it and that it was only the Aussie version that didn't. I always presumed that this was due to record company conflicts - Mushroom had exclusive rights to Enz recordings in Australia, Capitol(??) overseas. Also I always thought that Can't Carry On was on every track listing the world over which would explain why there are 2 different versions of it (the international version is easily superior to the Aussie release).
Ok folks, could we just be practical about this for a moment???????

Neil is at the enz of the Splits and he needs material after he forms CH. Now it isn't that he JUST needs matrerial, he needs material that a working band can play in concert. The SE version of IWA is not going to cut it since he can't lug around a string section. Please also remember, this is 1986. The capacity for a band to reproduce a decent string sound with say a keyboard is VERY limited.

Given those restrictions it is quite evident that if he wants to use IWA its going to have to change.

After listening to both versions I LOVE BOTH. But I feel that the CH version is much more real and vital for what he is trying to say in the song. IMHO the strings in the SE version "pretty up" the sentiment, and its not a pretty sentiment.


Black day
In the coldness of winter
Black words
Slipping off my tongue
I say forget it - it's over
As a dark cloud covered up the sun
quote:
Originally posted by Trajan:
I read in a Muscian magazine article with Neil from '88 that World Where You Live was the song Capitol was pushing for to be the first big single from the album...could explain why it was moved up front on the North American versions? I actually like the Aussie/Kiwi running order better.

As for I walk Away...both versions have their merits and it's hard for me to pick a favorite. I do like the musical flourishes of the Enz version though. Cool


I do believe World Where You Live was the first single released off of CH. I am not 100% sure on this but that is what is buried deep in the back of my mind. They released it, the video went to MTV but it didn't make a dent in the charts. Does anyone else remember this also?

As for which version I like best--definitely CH version.

Lorrie
quote:
Originally posted by Lorrie:
I do believe World Where You Live was the first single released off of CH. I am not 100% sure on this but that is what is buried deep in the back of my mind. They released it, the video went to MTV but it didn't make a dent in the charts. Does anyone else remember this also?

Lorrie


That is my recollection also.
I agree with Songwriter and Painaporo (actually I seem to agree with Painaporo a lot Smiler). I heard the CH IWA first, and always loved it because it was so raw and honest about the pain associated with willingly walking away...

And then I recently heard the SE version and thought "what, it's a party?? This is a *painful* moment, not a 'walkin' on sunshine' moment" --I thought that the band was in control, rather than the music.

Funny how people can have such different opinions and love the same band and even same songwriter.
quote:
Originally posted by Riverdeboz:
quote:
Originally posted by Lorrie:
I do believe World Where You Live was the first single released off of CH. I am not 100% sure on this but that is what is buried deep in the back of my mind. They released it, the video went to MTV but it didn't make a dent in the charts. Does anyone else remember this also?

Lorrie


That is my recollection also.


Mean to Me was the debut single. It was an Australian-only release.
Revisionists again.... Jeez, CH would be nothing without the Enz.

The SE Version of 'I Walk Away' sounds like a real honest to goodness pop song, whereas the CH version sounds like the expulsion of a gripe set to music, not fit for human consumption. Now I say all this only for effect and I would probably still like the CH version if we didn't have the Enz one, otherwise there is no comparison. The "I heard the other one first" rule does not apply for me because there are alternate versions of songs that I like better after being well acquainted with other versions before hand.

I like both versions. Didn't heat the SE version until about 15 years after the CH version, but they are both good.

What I will say is that, when having to choose between IWA and CCO (on various original pressings), I'll go for IWA every time.

The tracklist difference prompted a very confused response from Amy, who grew up with the AU version, when she heard my (UK) international copy with IWA on it for the first time!

soda posted:

Just received the Wiltern 91' show from Mr amazing PG.

 

Has a beautiful version of IWA, reminded me how much I love this song. Slightly slower tempo start than I remember, which adds to the build.

What is this 1991 Wiltern performance? I thought I had all the shows from PG!

From the frenz July email.

 

Crowded House- Live-The Wiltern. Los Angeles. 17th December 1991

 

A nice surprise to discover 9 copies of this amazing show. We've never heard it before and it sounds totally awesome. Crowded House played The Wiltern quite a few times and it was always a great gig. 

Tracks: Something So Strong, Weather With You, Four Seasons, In The Lowlands, Hole In The River, Don't Dream It's Over, There Goes God, Tall Trees, Fall At Your Feet, Mean To Me (Intro), Mean To Me, When You Come, Italian Plastic, World Where You Live, I Walk Away, Into Termptation. Better Be Home Soon.

 

I've not heard the Enz version, but I always heard I Walk Away to be part of a pairing of songs. As in, "I Walk Away/Tombstone", and "Tall Trees/Weather with you" (and similarly, "All the colors/Part of me part of you")

For some reason, I've come to associate song pairings, probably due to similar musical themes, heavily repeated listenings and track sequence.  

Once I actually heard WWY as a standalone song, I was a little befuddled. : )  I just presumed it went with Tall Trees!

That said, I'll have to check out the Enz version! Thanks for the word.

Add Reply

Likes (0)
    All times London, UK.

    ©1998-Eternity, Frenz.com. All post content is the copyrighted work of the person who wrote it. Please don't copy, reproduce, or publish anything you see written here without the author's permission.
×
×
×
×
×