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Ok....so Woodface was the only album that really featured Tim as a collaberative member.

As we all know, Woodface was a huge success. History tells us that neil submitted the album to the record company and had it returned being told to write better songs...or more singles, whatever!

in comes the Finn brothers songs.

Do you guys think woodface would've sucked and sold crappily without Tims imput....how much of the success is due to Tim?
Original Post
Much as I adore Neil's music and (if I'm honest) don't think much of Tim's work (with a few exceptions), it can't be denied that

a) CH's (and therefore by connection, Neil's) most famous song was mostly Tim's, and

b) CH's most succesful CD was mostly co-composed with Tim.

I think it just shows that they work very well together, rather than that Neil needs Tim to get commercial success. Clearly that didn't happen with the Finn CD. Its simply that the with-Tim Woodface was the right record at the right time and that the without-Tim Woodface wasn't (at least according to the record company).

I've pondered on this before: how does Neil feel when he trots out WWY at each gig or each radio broadcast because its his most successful song (at least in some places) when its mainly his brother's?

In fact, how did Paul and Nick feel when WWY went huge in Europe, given that it was a Finn record that neither of them played on? The most successful CH song ISN'T a CH song. Its a Finn song on a CH record. I think there's a telling moment on one of the recent fan club CD's where Neil had asked Ricky Fataar on stage to guest on drums for WWY (as he'd played on the record) and Paul told them both to p**s off. Nick backed him up afterwards by asking "Why would you invite him on stage, Neil, without telling anyone?"

More to the point perhaps is, how does Tim feel when Neil (via CH) gets the credit for a bunch of songs that Tim has a major claim to? The decision to include the first batch of Finn songs on a CH album has cost Tim dear in terms of recognition.
Although I'm a huge Neil and a not so huge Tim-fan, I do agree with you.
Without Tim, Woodface would have been a good, but average CH-album.
With Tim the album is more diverse and up-tempo.Tim give the album a fresh and uplifting sound.
I always liked Split Enz and CH, but only became a huge fan since I heard WWY for the first time on the radio. I couldn't believe my ears!

quote:
The decision to include the first batch of Finn songs on a CH album has cost Tim dear in terms of recognition
I don't think that giving the Finn song to Woodface has cost Tim dear in recognition at all.
Most CH fans now like Tim because of Woodface. The collaberation between the Finn brothers on Woodface was good for both the band and Tim, I think.

I prefer Neil's songwriting because its mood captures my soul, Tim's doesn't. Then again Neil writes the same kind of song each time again (but who am I, to complain when I love all those songs).
Razzer I prefer the Finn brothers songs above Neil or CH, because Tim adds what Neil is lacking and because I prefer both voices together above only Neil's.
Can't wait for FinnII, wich will be a lot different than Woodface but hopefully as interesting! Big Grin
quote:
Originally posted by picasso fake:
[qb]I prefer Neil's songwriting because its mood captures my soul, Tim's doesn't. Then again Neil writes the same kind of song each time again (but who am I, to complain when I love all those songs).
Razzer I prefer the Finn brothers songs above Neil or CH, because Tim adds what Neil is lacking and because I prefer both voices together above only Neil's.
Can't wait for FinnII, wich will be a lot different than Woodface but hopefully as interesting! Big Grin [/qb]
I pretty much agree with what you say here, P.F. I can't really describe the effect that Neil's songs have on me, other than to say that they reach somewhere deep down inside me and wrap themselves around my heart in a way that I haven't experienced with any other songwriter. But having said that, that can be an intense feeling that can get overwhelming in large doses.

I don't really feel that Tim adds what Neil is "lacking," but rather he adds a different dimension to the music, that breaks up that intensity for me, which can be a good thing. While "Woodface" is not my favorite CH album (that would be "Together Alone"), it has a different, lighter mood that is sometimes refreshing.

And, like you, I also really love the sound of Tim and Neil singing together, although I think their singing collaborations are most successful on the Finn Brothers album. And if I had to single out one recording where the two of them singing together really blows my mind, it would have to be "Angel's Heap" from "7 Worlds Collide."
I agree that Tim made the record a commercial success - and not solely through his songwriting. Anyone I speak to about Crowded House always talks about Woodface being the record the brothers made after making up after falling out over Split Enz...and then they fell out again after Woodface etc...not very accurate, but the relationship between the brothers has always interested the public/critics and that has to reflect on sales.

Also, Nick and Paul didn't play AT ALL on WWY? I find that a bit odd considering Paul plays on the demo...why not the real thing? And who played bass? No one else is mentioned on the album...
Speaking as an American, CH's most successful song is DDIO (and rightly so, I'd say). Also, I'm another huge Neil fan who can take or leave a lot of Tim's material. Anyway, I think most fans can agree that the merits of CH can't be measured by sales or popularity. From my POV, the strongest songs on Woodface (with the notable exceptions of HWYG and There Goes God) are the songs Tim didn't co-write (W&M, FAYF, Fame Is, As Sure As I Am, She Goes On). Of course, I fully recognize that I'm not the average listener, because the two songs I love the least (WWY and It's Only Natural) were pretty popular in some places. Still, I think I might like Woodface more if (gasp!) Tim weren't on it. Well, that's going too far, but you get my point.
quote:
I don't really feel that Tim adds what Neil is "lacking," but rather he adds a different dimension to the music, that breaks up that intensity for me, which can be a good thing.
Your description is the right one, it's exactly what I ment. Forget the "lacking". Neils songs are perfect within themselves.

quote:
While "Woodface" is not my favorite CH album (that would be "Together Alone"), it has a different, lighter mood that is sometimes refreshing.
I too like TA is even better than Woodface, mainly because of its atmosphere. I also think that Crowded House wasn't ready to make an album like TA when they started on WF.
Therefore it was good that Tim came along on that moment, it give CH a great album and a breakthrough in Europe. It's true CH ows a lot to Tim.

quote:
I also really love the sound of Tim and Neil singing together, although I think their singing collaborations are most successful on the Finn Brothers album
Did you notice the difference? On Woodface Tim sings high, and Neil low. On Finn it's just the opposite. Probably because of Tim's voice, wich is a lot lower these days. So on FinnII it will also be Tim low and Neil high, I quess. I like both way's, although the Woodface performance sounds more livelyr.
quote:
Nick and Paul didn't play AT ALL on WWY? I find that a bit odd considering Paul plays on the demo...why not the real thing? And who played bass? No one else is mentioned on the album...
Paul left the band during the recording of WWY, All I ask and There goes god. Because both he and Nick had their doubts about Tim joining the band.
Later on Paul decided to be back in the band.
All I know about Nick is, he had left the band during the first Woodface sessions, from wich none of the songs made the album (Legs are gone, Dr livistone etc). For as far as I know Nick plays bass on all Woodface songs.
.....Im a huge Tim fan. So obviously, I think he made woodface. no question. And if you hear some of the songs left off the album like 'left hand', you'll realise that it's a good thing Tim came along.

It's a funny point about Neil singing high and Tim low on the Finn album. But I think Timbo will be singing high again on the new Finn2 thing. Tim's singing better these days than he has for years. I think Tim will surprise some people when the new album gets released. Finn1 was practically a neil dominated affair. I think Finn2 will be a bit different>!

Tims the man!

Donovan.
Good topic. I voted for Tim making a major contribution to Woodface but...

On my non-musically trained instinct ears WWY, ION, CC - the singles/songs represented most popularly on WF, Neil Finn takes lead vocals and sounds more like NF singing it all by himself. I've often wondered about this. On closer listening Tim does make a substantial singing input on those songs plus other ones on WF like the obvious classic Tim penned solo All I Ask (Which when I heard on the OZ Planet Ark advertisement I thought it was one of those golden olden 60's favourites/classic songs. Later when I heard it on WF I thought Tim covered it, when in fact it's his song - a testimony to how good the song is).
and others like Tall Tress, How Will You Go.

In fact when I first listened to Woodface this was the first album that I purchased of CH. I knew them before through DDIO & SSS but never really bought their records. My image of CH was Neil Finn. Even in the video clips of WF I still get attracted to NF. So when I knew nothing about the band I always associated WF with NF - which was my first proper CD introduction experience of the band.

On hindsight I agree Tim made a major contribution to WF both song writing, shaping/refining the sound (all important factors)but NOT image PR wise which was all Neil and a bit of Paul H.
My point?

IMHO people will always associate non-discrimanately WF with NF. Even when I hear WWY on radio outside in public I think of NF doing it all. That's just my gut reaction. I'm sure I would be speaking for the majority of Frenz Finn fans. Remember Neil was the leader of the band. Tim had his Split Enz. Neil has his CH.
Of course Tim was a major contributer to Woodface... & the commercial singles released off it (chocolate cake, weather with you, it's only natural) prove that. Woodface (my least favourite record overall with Finn 1) probably wouldn't have been as successfull if Tim wasn't in it, but how the f*** do we know who wrote those 3 pop songs? Until I know that, then it's hard for me to discuss this seriously.

I mean: Would those 3 songs have been on the record if Tim wasn't involved? How much songwriting (apart from all i ask) did Tim really do? I think if someone can clear up who wrote how will you go, weather with you, chocolate cake, tall trees and it's only natural... then I think people would be able to disuss this better.

I started a topic about that a while ago... to little interest, so Take II Smiler
Woodface, and consequently much of Crowded House's UK and global success would not have happened if it had not have been for Tim's input, as a writer, player, collaborator, singer and as a foil for Neil.

Tim's Split Enz were a moderately sucessful NZ band until the introduction of Neil, who brought with him his fine songwriting, enthusiasm, boyish looks and good humour...this generated a few hit singles helped launch the band in the US and UK.

So it's always been plain to me: each of them is partially responsible (in varying degrees) for the success of the other.
Sorry to put this right after your post ValerieH, but...

I hate Weather With You. It is the worst Crowded house song ever. I want to claw off my ears when I hear it. It's taken me years to come to terms with the fact that I hate it, but I've finally made my peace with it. It's the only Crowded House song I've ever had such a violent reaction to, but it makes me feel good to know that Neil is not perfect.

And Woodface is my least favourite Crowded House album. I do like most of the other songs, a few I really like, but all in all the album doesn't do much for me. I probably haven't listened to it in years. Together Alone is my favourite, and I really feel about Woodface (especially after Together Alone came out) that the band just really needed to do something, and Woodface is what they did. It's good for just throwing an album out, but to me, it really feels just thrown out for the sake of having an album out.

Coming from an American perspective as well, without a doubt, Don't Dream It's Over puts Weather With You to shame, and most Americans who only have a peripheral idea of who Neil Finn or Crowded House are Woodface is utterly unknown. I think in the states, Split Enz work (especially, I Got You) is better known then Woodface. If you walk up to someone on the street and say Neil Finn or Crowded House, they're most likely to know Don't Dream It's Over (& Something So Strong) and I Got You.

As far as Tim's contribution. I don't know. I do know that I like the Finn Brothers album WAY more then Woodface.
Go Kill Eye! It doesn't look like you'll be on Valerie's Christmas card list this year! Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin

Honesty is best. Good post. I half-agree with you there. I've said many times before that I REALLY don't like that song, but the real reason for that is because it's WAY too catchy & annoying & looks like it belongs in the frickin' charts! There's no denying that Tim Finn did write a classic song, but when you've heard it that many times through your music-deprived childhood on commercial radio, you're going to end up hating it. Enough said. I think the bridge to the song is probably the least annoying right now... & it sounds like Neil may have written that bit.
As I have said before on the forum Woodface was the first proper CH album I bought. I LOVED IT. Next I bought Together Alone. I remember the day I bought very vividly in detail like what shop, the person who served me, the phone call I made and etc the sitiuation I first played the CD in. IT WAS AWFULL!!! Later I learnt to appreciate TA and it is a GREAT album. But first impressions were truly bad. Maybe your emotional pshycological state, mood etc and external circumstances INFLUENCE how much you first like listening to an album ... ...

Enter the eponymous Finn Brothers album. I was in a my angst ridden stressed moody days of high school. Enter a music shop and me with no money. For 1 week after school I listened to Finn and was BlOWN away by it - it was the BEST - everything clicked and connected. No first listenes get used to - just pure utter LOVE.

So Kill Eye I don't understand how you can love Finn and hate Woodface???

Weather With You is a song I might pick, 70/30 toss of a coin over DDIO. It's more hippy and catchy and up beat. On the other hand DDIO's production now sounds dated. WWY is more timeless. But don't get me wrong, DDIO is an incredibly emotional song. On the 7 Worlds Collide CD I remember special moments being moved by it.
...Makes note to scratch KillEye off my 2003 card list...((JUST kidding!!LOL))

This is what I love about this place...that we can all be in disagreement, and still feel free to voice those differences!

WWY started getting airplay during a rather difficult period in my life, and the song struck a note with me. I even made a tape of it with the song done 7 or 8 times. That was because I broke my cassette tape by rewinding it so much! It seems like I never like the first song (or last song)...it's always in the middle, where I have to hunt for it. This was in the long ago days before the search function on a car stereo.

Happy Christmas to you all!

Cheers,

Valerie
quote:
I hate Weather With You. It is the worst Crowded house song ever. I want to claw off my ears when I hear it. It's taken me years to come to terms with the fact that I hate it, but I've finally made my peace with it. It's the only Crowded House song I've ever had such a violent reaction to, but it makes me feel good to know that Neil is not perfect.
Try to get hold of a copy of the Dutch-only 1991 CD single 'Weather With You: The Remix' which contains a version of the song which might put it in a new light for you.
WWY is one of my favorites, always has been since I first heard it. I even bought a CD single with 3 remixes on it. But I didn't know until now it was a Tim song.
Woodface is my least favorite album, too. It just doesn't seem cohesive to me. I guess because it had the Finn brothers songs sort of thrown in with some CH songs, and the two are like oil and water to me........however, I can't wait for the Finn 2!!!
So the conclusion is pretty obvious. We are all Finn fans but to different extents and we all have different ideas about which songs are great masterpieces and which get on our nerves.

I don't try to analyse Tims contribution too much but it no doubt had it's influence upon it's eventual release.

The fact is that they are both outstanding in their own rights and together and that success cannot be solely judged upon record sales in this music environment of disposable pop.
quote:
Woodface is my least favorite album, too. It just doesn't seem cohesive to me.
Why does cohesion have to be a mark of a quality album? Look at The Beatles' 'White Album' - probably the biggest rag-bag of different musical styles, half-finished ideas, as well as pure classics that you're ever likely to hear. It has absolutely no theme. A very uncoherent album, but it works. Even George Martin didn't want to put it out as a double album but was talked round.

I actually like Woodface because the mixture of styles had never been so obvious on a CH album before. It runs from acidic (Chocolate Cake) through heartfelt (Fall At Your Feet, She Goes On). From the singalong feel-good factor (Weather With You) to the sugary (All I Ask), and the uptempo 'Fame Is'. Listen to the way Tall Trees stops dead in it's tracks and Weather With you glides in. Lots of styles touched on - Tim definitely added some spice to the mix and brought the best out of the band. Perhaps having Tim in the group forced Neil to come up with his best vocals for a while too. Plus the moods really change across the album, unlike previous CH albums which just seem (to me, at least) to be just a 'collection of songs'.

To quote Paul Hester, from a 1992 TV interview, talking about Tim's effect on the group - "The old bastard...we sort of owe it to him in a way because he gave us back what it was about the band that WE liked".

If there had been no Tim, Woodface may not ever have seen the light of day, and I doubt if they would have ever gone on to do Together Alone.

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