This is terrific. Great to have a version of Black and White Boy on here, the only other Paul era live recording I have is from LA ‘94 where they do something really weird with the ending, this is much better.
A couple of other highlights:
- This is an epic version of In The Lowlands, and I think highlights it’s potential as a main set closer. I know he drifts toward Distant Sun or When You Come most often for that these days, but with its understated beginning, big bouncy melody, and dark jam at the end, I think In the Lowlands would be amazing to finish a set.
- I know Neil/Tim is the hallowed harmony singing combination, but as evidenced on Italian Plastic and WWY in this set, Neil and Paul could harmonize together just as well. Most “Tim” Woodface songs when performed without Tim tend to bury his harmony for some reason, here Paul’s an equal with Neil and it sounds brilliant.
- And speaking of Paul, his harmony in Fall At Your Feet on “do you want my presence or need my help?” is here and it’s glorious. Missing in the Farewell To The World version, and not attempted by CH Mk 2 or 3, I find it lifts that already extraordinary bridge to new heights.
These two sets are great to have, and make me long for a sort of live version of the deluxe editions from 2016 - one “show” per album era, could be from one actual gig or compiled, but including the maximum number of songs from that record plus whatever older songs were especially good in that era.
It’s hard to imagine that selling well enough to justify the effort unfortunately, but a guy can dream.
Interesting. This specific version of "In the Lowlands" is actually my favorite live version of the song ever. I have 22 different live versions in my collection but this one is the best. It was originally available on the fan club CD Back on the Bus where it was listed as being recorded at Brielport, Deinze, Belgium on 1993 Nov 30.
So, either the fan club CD is mislabeled or these new live collections include tracks recorded outside of Australia. I thought I read in a press release that the tracks were all recorded during the band's tours of Australia. Am I remembering that right? I wouldn't be surprised in the fan club CD was mislabeled as it was a compilation of live versions.
This is the only previously released live version I've come across so far. I'll keep my ear out for others. It would be nice to know where and when these songs were recorded.
I think it’s “recorded by Australian engineers,” not “recorded in Australia.” It sure makes me want to hear the rest of that “Back on the Bus” show now.
Jaffaman mentioned in the thread for v1 that one of the tracks was definitely from Birmingham as Neil name checked it - we now know this was When You Come, last track on v2.
Wow. So, the songs on these collections could come from anywhere in the world that the band performed between 1992 and 1994? That must be a hundred shows!
I'd love to hear more about how these compilation were put together. Was someone sent 100+ live recordings to sift through the same way Nigel Griggs did for the Recurring Dream live album? That sounds like a lot of work! I seem to recall that Nick did some live recording work in preparation for a Crowded House box set project that later got replaced by the deluxe editions. I wonder if these releases represent any of that work.
It is no small feat to try to cull the best live tracks from a band with such an extensive touring history and what must be a massive live tapes collection to choose from. That's why it was no surprise when Nigel chose to center the Recurring Dream Live CD around a single show with additional songs peppered throughout.
Seems like someone should get the compiler of these collections on to a podcast or something!
Ah, I see that in the Pt. 1 thread, Jaffaman comments, "The audio comes from a number of MiniDiscs compiled by the live sound engineers nearly 30 years ago."
So, these sets come from a compilation created by sound engineers either at the band's request or for their own use back before the band even broke up. We've got 32 tracks. I wonder how many were on the MiniDiscs. Did Jaffaman get to choose which songs to release and which to leave off?
I was going to check "You Can Touch" but hadn't gotten around to it yet. You are correct, both "You Can Touch" and "I Feel Possessed" are also on the Manchester Split fan club CD -1993/11/21-22. Also, the new release misspells "Posessed." Anyone else catch that?
Since @Lance LaSalle brought up the mixing, I've A/Bed the mixes on the new released with their original fan club releases and I can confirm that the new mixes are identical to the fan club CD mixes. Backing vocals, drums, everything is mixed in the same channels and at the same levels. Though for "I Feel Possessed" and "You Can Touch" the left and right channels have been incorrectly switched (low piano notes should be on the left, high notes on the right - the new version has it backwards).
The main difference is in the mastering. However, the mastering of fan club CDs varied greatly throughout the 1990's. To my ears, Back on the Bus has better mastering than the new releases. However, the new releases are superior to the mastering on Manchester Split. I chalk this up to when the club CDs were originally produced. Manchester Split was released many years before Back on the Bus, which was one of the last live Crowded House CDs the Fan Club released. I think whatever mastering process the fan club CDs went through improved over the years.
One question: why this particular version of Into Temptation? It’s missing the first line, and has a rather dubious improv at the end: “Don’t break this spell/What’s that smell?”
That is the only version available on the source material given by the original engineer to ARCA, who produced the two albums. I did do an edit, borrowing the intro from a previously released fan club CD, but the producer either didn't like it or forgot to use it. I like the improv
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