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I was over on the Neil Finn board lurking on discussions of best songs to convert people to Finn-dom. Pineapple Head kept popping onto lists. The boys seem to like playing it live, too. It never cranked me up as a must have CH/Finn song. Maybe I'm missing something (wouldn't be the first time). Can anyone enlighten me? Or just let me know what it is about this song that gets to you? I'll read and then listen again.

Thanks.
Love is Faster than Light Consciousness is fading fast
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The line "and if you choose to take that path/I will play you like a shark/and I'll clutch at your heart" has a lot of depth for me. To me it's kind of about relating to people--if someone comes at you presuming to be on a "higher level" than you (choosing to take that path) your human instinct is to shoot that attitude right back at them (clutch at [their] heart). Maybe it only makes sense in my head, but that's how I've always thought of it.

It's just one example of Neil's talent for zeroing in on those human experiences we all have, but choose not to think too much about, wanting to avoid pain or the truth...the most recent, obvious example of this, of course, is "Nobody Wants To."
Something about the swirling guitar work makes me feel like I am on a merry-go-round, or staring up at the stars, feeling the earth spin. It's dizzying and exhilarating.

Then there is the insanely infectious melody. I hear the song once and it haunts me for hours, nay, days! I can't stop sinking it. And I love to add some harmony on top.

And years ago I heard Neil tell the story of the songs origins, having something to do with one of his boys (don't know which) suffering from a terrible fever, and in his delirium saying something about "Pineapple Head." I love the idea of Neil ministering to his sick child and then, after the boy drifts off to sleep, slinking out to scribble down song ideas or picking up an acoustic and coming up with that gorgeous figure.

And of course there is lots of talk about allusions to masturbation. Smiler

There are a million reasons to adore this tune.
Masturbation?! This is a family channel. Wink

I think that if I hadn't been listening to a lot of XTC at the time of first hearing Pineapple Head, I wouldn't have connected it to Yacht Dance. Then the swirly nature of it would have had greater impact on me.

Interestingly, when we saw Neil, Nick and Mark play at a radio station in Toronto, they did a meet and greet afterwards. We got to chat with Nick for a little while and asked him what he was listening to during the recording of Together Alone. XTC? Nope. The Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Two of my friends (one my ex-boss and one close friends) were converted to Crowded House fans by "Pineapple Head".

I made my old boss a CH mix CD and her favorite songs were PH and "I Feel Possessed". We and I just saw CH together in Boston and she was hoping for PH all night but it never came round.

I made my friend Dave a copy of Recurring Dream and PH convinced him to buy Together Alone first. He eventually bought all the albums and turned into a huge Woodface fan but PH is still one of his favs.

I don't think it's all that mysterious. It's a very well done song with a catchy guitar line and goofy lyrics. It's easy to love but understandable if comes off sounding a bit lightweight.
I saw Neil at the Coach house on one of the solo tours and he talked about the origin of the lyrics. Pretty much what Emily said, Liam had a high fever and he and Sharon were watching him. Liam was rambling about odd things and yelled out "pineapple head" and also "detective is flat". Neil mentioned that Sharon wasn't too happy with him running out of the room to write some of this down. Smiler

quote:
Originally posted by emilybeck:

And years ago I heard Neil tell the story of the songs origins, having something to do with one of his boys (don't know which) suffering from a terrible fever, and in his delirium saying something about "Pineapple Head." I love the idea of Neil ministering to his sick child and then, after the boy drifts off to sleep, slinking out to scribble down song ideas or picking up an acoustic and coming up with that gorgeous figure.

And of course there is lots of talk about allusions to masturbation. Smiler

There are a million reasons to adore this tune.
It's really cool to hear where the inspiration for Nail's songs comes from. That's why I like Lester and Anytime. "The time my dog was bowled by a car in Melbourne". The minor chords in that song kill me.

I have been inspired by my kids ravings. My oldest used to say he was writing a song called "Drive Blind" as he listened to my band jamming. So I took his idea and turned into a poem where I can't see the road, although the wipers are on. They can't push away the thoughts that haunt me.
That is interesting to hear that Pineapple Head is oft cited as a song that converted folks to CH. Personally, I always liken PH as the type of CH song that didn't initially jump out at me as catchy, but that I later realized is fabulous. After initially hearing the song on Together Alone, I thought "Hmmm..." and moved on to, say, "Distant Sun".

"Then," I tell my friends, "On the 500th listen, suddenly Pineapple Head became one of my favorite Crowded House songs!"

Why? I don't know... I'll echo what the others say about the great loopy lyrics that play off each other, especially the shark/spark part. Smiler
I liked PH from the start. The only part of the lyrics that I often wondered about were just what was the Pineapple Head and just how could it 'Sleep alone just for pleasure'? (Although, I still hear "seeping"). I always took the lyric quoted by slowpogo as a reference to lust. The "If you choose to take that path" meaning "If you'll give me a go". I always thought the song was about someone remembering the face of a girl/women he, perhaps, lusted after in his 'youth' but failing to remember the precise occasion. I have a vivid imagination but as you can see I’m not one for taking lyrics on anything but face value.
I listened to Pineapple Head for the first time in quite a while this morning, and what leapt out was Nick's bass playing. I'd always liked the song's Beatles-esque 12-string acoustic sound, but its loping, whirling bass notes are so integral to the feel of the song.

I watched Matt Sherrod on the Crowded House website the other day, and he remarks there that Nick's bass style is unlike anything he's played with before; the word he used was "liquid," and I understood exactly what he meant as I listened to Pineapple Head today.
quote:
Originally posted by chickfriday:
I'm with KermitDFrog's thoughts above - that's the same tale I heard meself a few years back. I don't get the um, masturbation reference, though - can someone shed some light?


nor do I . I always thought Fingers of Love referred to that a bit... not sure about Pineapple Head though.
Pineapple Head is the song that shook me back to my musical senses in 1993. I had been working in Moscow, Russia for years (March 1989 through September 1992) and was massively out of touch with... everything. Even for the first few months after I got home, I didn't listen to the radio or watch TV because it was all sensory overload after years of Soviet pop and the three channels of Russian TV (and the limited amount of music I'd been able to haul with me when I moved there to work.)

A few months after coming back to the 'States and decompressing at my mom's house in small-town Illinois, I headed to Washington, DC -- one of the few places where my Russian-speaking skills would be needed, after the fall of the Soviet Union. One day, I'm wandering the aisles of the local Tower Records store, not even sure where to start, and this song comes on the in-house music system. Within seconds, I'm standing stock still, listening, listening, realizing that this was Crowded House, and I was totally captivated. The lyrics were... a little strange... (and now, hearing the origin of fever dreaming Liam, that makes sense) and the music was swirling around me. I was hooked.

I remember running up to the front desk and saying, "Is this Crowded House? Is it? Is it?" I left with "Together Alone" and "Woodface" -- which I'd missed altogether during my time in Mother Russia.

So, I owe Pineapple Head a debt of gratitude. Smiler

One of my favorites.

Merujo
http://merujo.blogspot.com

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