I just thought I'd see if there is anyone out there that likes the Dixie Chicks version (original?) over the Crowded House one.
I heard the DC one first and have yet to make my mind up which one I like better. I may have to wait for the official studio version.
Original Post
Both are haunting and wonderful. With songwriting that good, even Rage Against the Machine would sound great covering it. The meaning of the song hits close to home for me, so I really love both the DC and CH versions I have heard. Makes the hair on my arms stand up...
I don't think we can really make a comparison until we've heard CH's studio version. That said, I like the Dixie Chicks' version, but I prefer the way the live CH versions I've heard (original webcast, Coachella webcast) build from a quiet, simple opening to the band at full roar.
Yep - I'm waiting for the studio release, but I really do like the DC version a lot.

I saw them on a 'storytellers' show recently, and while they talked about other writers of their songs, when they talked about Silent House, they didn't even mention Neil. Just talked about the subject matter, and if I didn't know better I'd have thought they had written it by themselves!


Dave in Atlanta
"...they didn't even mention Neil. Just talked about the subject matter, and if I didn't know better I'd have thought they had written it by themselves!"

That was surprisingly ungracious of them. It's not like dropping his name is a liability.
Well, I for one do not like the DC version. The intro to the first chorus is drawn out an extra couple of bars too long and some of the changes in words to the CH version make me cringe... I do like it better than most DC songs though Razzer

"all the flickering lights"
So far I think the webcast version is my favourite version I've heard... but I'm in the minority in that the song general isn't doing that much for me. I get bored with it quite quickly.

I hadn't heard the Dixie Chicks version though, but a search came up with a stream of the full song.
oh boy, I have to say I'm torn on this one. I don't really know anything about DC or any of their music but I took a moment to listen to the link Alx left (thanks!) and there are parts of the DC version I actually like. I'm generally not a country music fan but the lead singer here has an amazing voice and parts of the harmonies are good too. Fancying myself as an ok singer, I find the DC version easier to sing along to Razzer However I prefer the mood and feel of the CH version and the way in which it builds to its crescendo.

slightly OT but does anyone know how much of a collaboration this was? Which parts did Neil write and which parts DC? Did one do music and the other do lyrics? I'm just curious. I'm surprised DC wouldn't acknowledge a collaboration, that's a bit rude.
"slightly OT but does anyone know how much of a collaboration this was? Which parts did Neil write and which parts DC? Did one do music and the other do lyrics? I'm just curious. I'm surprised DC wouldn't acknowledge a collaboration, that's a bit rude"

I am wondering that too, what bit was or wasn't Neil's. As for which version, I have heard 3 versions, the DC's. CH's and a Neil solo version at Stowe school, there is also a clip of this on You Tube somewhere, but frankly, that beats botht he other versions, Neil's voice on this solo version is haunting and takes the entire song to a new level. For my money, this is how the song should have sounded and I for one am disapointed that the CH version is not like it, but more towards the DC version...

It would have been interesting to know how Neil intended it to sound on the "solo" cd...
quote:
Originally posted by Battylad...:
I have heard 3 versions, the DC's. CH's and a Neil solo version at Stowe school, there is also a clip of this on You Tube somewhere, but frankly, that beats botht he other versions, Neil's voice on this solo version is haunting and takes the entire song to a new level. For my money, this is how the song should have sounded and I for one am disapointed that the CH version is not like it, but more towards the DC version...

It would have been interesting to know how Neil intended it to sound on the "solo" cd...



I've heard that version too Battylad, and I really liked it. That was my first introduction to Silent House. I found it very haunting and IMO Elly May did a great job with backing vocals.

In fact all we've heard so far are live versions so maybe the album version will be a little different to what we've heard so far.
quote:
Originally posted by liz:

slightly OT but does anyone know how much of a collaboration this was? Which parts did Neil write and which parts DC? Did one do music and the other do lyrics?


Without knowing the truth, my guess is that Neil wrote the chorus at least. To me it is a Neil chorus not a Dixie's one. Hard to explain but the chorus has a great turn of phrase that Neil is more than capable of turning out.

Because the song is about one of the girl's father (or grandfather?) I would assume they wrote the verse.

All assumption of course but would be keen to know the exact breakdown myself.
quote:
Originally posted by Stuart McPhee:
quote:
Originally posted by liz:

slightly OT but does anyone know how much of a collaboration this was? Which parts did Neil write and which parts DC? Did one do music and the other do lyrics?


Without knowing the truth, my guess is that Neil wrote the chorus at least. To me it is a Neil chorus not a Dixie's one. Hard to explain but the chorus has a great turn of phrase that Neil is more than capable of turning out.

Because the song is about one of the girl's father (or grandfather?) I would assume they wrote the verse.

All assumption of course but would be keen to know the exact breakdown myself.


hey thanks Stuart, I'd made some intelligent guesses about the subject matter but didn't realise it was *that* personal. Makes it even more haunting.
As someone who has the album (and who knows several other Dixie Chicks songs), I would find it hard to believe Neil didn't cowrite the lyrics to Silent House. I feel the song is lyrically set apart from other songs on the album. Better actually Wink
Howdy all -

Just listened again to the DC version on my way to work, and yep, I still love it. It helps probably that I'm a fan of theirs, but I truly enjoy listening to it. Can't wait for the studio CH version, as I've enjoyed the various CH/solo versions I've heard as well, and I think it's intersting that I like both. That's not always the case with situations like this.

As far as the story behind the lyrics, it's apparently about Natalie's (I think) grandmother having alzheimers. That may be why they didn't mention Neil, as it's very personal to her. There's probably a thread about this from last summer somewhere in the forum.

Still, I would've liked some reference!

Dave in Atlanta
I'd forgotten about the Stowe version, which is stripped down and really lovely. The best thing about it is Elly-May's harmony. The harmony sits pretty awkwardly in a male range, even a high male range, and Mark's haromonies in the webcast are the worst thing about that version (sorry, Mark!). They did better at Coachella. But Neil's voice blends so wonderfully with a female voice of a certain type--see Turn and Run, or What I Get Paid For--and the Stowe version of Silent House is another example. I actually wonder if the Neil solo album version of Silent House was going to have a female harmony, and if that's been reworked now that TOE is a Crowded House album.
I really like the DC version. Hard to compare the two yet as I haven't heard CH's studio version. I did notice a couple of chord differences in the bit before the chorus, in the CH version there's an augmented chord that isn't in the DC version.

quote:
Is she trying to sing in that DC version!


That seems unnecessarily harsh. Fair enough if it's not your cup of tea (I don't mind them but I'm not a fan) but she hits the notes and is in tune, there's nothing wrong with her voice technically.
When I learned that Neil had co-written a song on the Dixie Chix record, I bought the album. And the moment I heard the chorus, I instantly thought: That's a Neil Finn chorus, a Neil Finn chord progression. The Chix version is fine, but like a lot of that album, it's a bit over-produced for my taste. The CH version from the webcast sounded like it would be at home on a Neil Young album. My favorite, though, is the Stowe school version. Beautiful vocal, lovely playing, and the female harmony is just great. I'm sorry that there (probably) won't be a female voice on the studio version.
When I heard the Dixie Chicks do it, I could hear in my head how Crowded House would play it, the chord progressions sounded so CH - and suprisingly, the arrangement that CH did sounds exactly like the one in my head did!

So I prefer the CH arrangement.
quote:
Beautiful vocal, lovely playing, and the female harmony is just great. I'm sorry that there (probably) won't be a female voice on the studio version.


I guess it's possible that Beth Rowley (or Sharon Finn, or someone we don't know about) might have done the harmony part on the album version...John Walsh mentioned that Beth did some work on "Transit Lounge," so maybe while she was in the studio she contributed to some other songs too.

So far I totally prefer the Crowded House version. The picked guitar during the intro and verses is gorgeous, some of my favorite Neil playing ever. I'm confident their version will be much more nuanced and crafted than the Rick Rubin-ized Dixie Chicks version.
quote:
Originally posted by Camus:
I really like the DC version. Hard to compare the two yet as I haven't heard CH's studio version. I did notice a couple of chord differences in the bit before the chorus, in the CH version there's an augmented chord that isn't in the DC version.

quote:
Is she trying to sing in that DC version!


That seems unnecessarily harsh. Fair enough if it's not your cup of tea (I don't mind them but I'm not a fan) but she hits the notes and is in tune, there's nothing wrong with her voice technically.


It wasn't meant to be harsh!

Didn't say it wasn't my cup of tea...I don't mind them either.

I just couldn't hear her voice properly because on the version I had, the music volume seemed to be too loud, and it drowned out the vocals Frowner

Has anyone got a link so I can try and listen to it properly?

Tia
I like the DC version well enough -- I particularly like their harmonies -- but it just seems overproduced and unsubtle to me. I prefer the way the CH version builds (although for my money the Coachella version builds up to being too yell-y). Also, Neil's voice has a sort of lived-in warmth that adds a lot of nuance and emotion. The Chicks just lack that.

The Stowe version is my favorite. So wistful and lovely.
the dixie chicks version is nice , the stowe one is also good ,but the best version i have heard is the crowdies webcast - and for me mark does agreat job.thats what the band is all about for me - the combination of these guys voices and instruments.i like to hear them do as much of the singing and instrumentation as possible,otherwise the essence of the band gets diluted.
They were playing the DC version in Sanity today, and well for me IMHO there's nothing there (in the vocals)sorry.

BTW I told them I will be expecting to hear The Crowdies version when TOE come out, one of the assistants just looked at me like 'huh' before the girly behind her piped up and said "Oh yes, I will be giving the whole album a spin in store" Big Grin
Think its one of those songs whereby every version is incredibly different so comparison is kind of hard, as the Dixie Chicks is a sing-along and the Neil/CH versions are more atmospheric and dramatic if you ask me, and the crescendo is just amazing. I actually quite like the Dixie Chicks version, although that’s probably because it was the only version of it around for so long, so it feels very familiar.

But personally, for me, that song will always be about Neil solo with Elly-May backing vocals. It is interesting to speculate what it would have been like as a Neil solo song. From memory when Neil sang it (with Elly-May) in Bath in October (so I guess in solo/CH overlap) it was like the Stowe version but rougher and I feel a bit edgier somehow, but can’t quite put my finger on it, and my memory is not exactly reliable. I don’t think Mark does a bad job with the backing vocals, but I do prefer Elly-May’s - can’t wait for the CH studio version, though, may well change my mind.
I agree with the Neil-y chorus speculation too.
I've only heard "Silent House" twice, first from the CH webcast and secondly the Chicks' album version.

Truthfully, I just don't care for the song no matter who is doing it. I'd read so much hype about how touching the song is, and while Alzheimer's disease is something that has a lot of emotional weight to it, the song doesn't move me.
quote:
Originally posted by aikakone:
I've only heard "Silent House" twice, first from the CH webcast and secondly the Chicks' album version.

Truthfully, I just don't care for the song no matter who is doing it. I'd read so much hype about how touching the song is, and while Alzheimer's disease is something that has a lot of emotional weight to it, the song doesn't move me.


I thought it was just me!! I find it doesn't do much for me either. You know I do like it, but it's just not grabbing me the way it seems to be with most people here - I feel like I'm missing out! Wink

I like the idea of the image of a silent house when someone has gone, but it doesn't really move me...

But, I do prefer the Crowded House webcast version to the others I've heard... Smiler
Does anyone know if the Dixie Chicks released Silent House as a single? I don't follow the country music charts.

I would love to see it as a CH single, but maybe it would look like a cover version if it was only recently released by Dixie Chicks.

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