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I clearly prefer the CH version, not because of any pseudo-allegiance to Neil, but beacuse the TOE version was well-produced, and performed. It does convey a beautifully haunted atmosphere.
I personally think it's the highlight of the album by a fairly distant margin. It's what "Spirit of the Stairs" could have been...
To me this is truly an amazing CH song. While it's partially written by the DC, I will always wonder exactly which parts were written by Neil but it seems that will remain a frustrating mystery.

This song is my definite favourite of the new ones I've heard so far. While I guess on one level I'm slightly intrigued to hear the DC version, I think that if I did hear it, it would somehow tarnish the song itself. As a result, I've chosen to remain blissfully unaware of the original version. Happy listening to those of you brave enough to compare the two! Smiler
Haven't heard the ToE version yet, so only got the webcast and Stowe School versions to compare with the DCs, but much prefer Neil/CH versions - much more affecting and builds slowly to a great finish. Only the chorus stands out in the DC's version and the atmosphere that Neil achieves in the rest of the song is lost under the banjos and country production. Agree with other posters that you can tell the chorus is Neil's - it soars and tugs at the heart strings like only his music can.

Can't wait to hear the album version.
I just got through listening to the studio version of Crowded House's SILENT HOUSE. I'm a huge Dixie Chicks fan, but I think I actually like the new Crowded House one better. Of course, I may be partial because I fell in love with Neil's version solo at Largo in LA on Dec. 6, 2006 and then when I saw Crowded House at the Glass House in Pomona on April 27, 2007, I was BLOWN AWAY by the live version of silent house. Musically it was so tight. It was maybe the best moment of the concert. The lyrics really hit me that night too. Can't wait to hear it again at the Troubadour next week!
Just heard the Dixie Chicks version. I think it's fantastic, as is Crowded Houses' version. Apart from minor change in the lyrics, both are as good as each other. It's a brilliant song no matter who sings it and I've quite a bit of time for Dixie Chicks anyway!

CH's version is perhaps more haunting but the DC version has a groove that propels the song along quite nicely. Either/or, "Silent House" is a highlight on either album - or any album that it would grace
As far as vocals go, this would come down to who you're more the fan of, I think. I like the Dixie Chicks and heard this song before Neil's version and I thought it was a great song. In the Dixie Chicks musical style that's put them at the top of country music in the US, it's one of their best, IMO.
But as a Neil Finn fan, I prefer his version because I'm more a fan of his music and his style of singing and peforming a song.
Originally posted by Piglet:
I always thought this was a Neil penned CH song

Well, it's a Neil co-penned CH song. Close enough.

And I also thought that CH didn't do covers...

Since when? "She's Not There," "Throw Your Arms Around Me," "Rocky Raccoon," "Pale Blue Eyes," not to mention "I Walk Away" and all the other Enz songs they did live.
Hey I know this a forum dedicated to fans of all things Finn but to just dismiss Dixie Chicks' version without hearing it is ridiculous.

I hope it has nothing to do with the fact that Dixie Chicks are associated with country music. What a crazy prejudice - especially when contemporary country is giving us some of the best singers in the music world. In some cases it is getting hard to tell what is the difference between modern country and rock.

So before dismissing the DC version, may I suggest you hear it - otherwise your opinion counts for none. Big Grin
I just stumbled upon this thread, but if what the last post says is true, I would suggest that people hear the other version with an open mind before deciding what they think. Smiler

I actually prefer the DC version by a lot. I like the harmonies, the texture, production, and the mood more than the CH version. The instrumentation of the "country" version match what's going on in the song, in my opinion.
I want to like the Dixie Chicks (especially for taking on W), but I just can't get used to the voices on their version and the high country violin. Yet I still like it because it's such a powerful song.

Hands down I like all of the versions I've heard CH sing better.

But long live the Dixie Chicks for taking on the politics of country music in the USA.
I'd have to say that the DC version is better and it's not all that close. to me, the CH version of SH is the biggest disappointment on the record. Not that I don't like it, it's just that it could have been a great CH track.

It's a great song. I'm not a DC fan, but I thought their version was pretty strong. the best part of the DC version, though, was that I could *hear* CH doing it. Then I saw CH do it live and they played the hell out of it - I thought it was the best of the batch of the TOE tracks. I was thinking it could have been a great single. But when I first heard the CH version, it left me cold. Neils vocal just strikes me as all but lifeless. The distorted guitar effect doesn't add much to an arrangement that I find droning rather than dynamic.

At any rate, it's still a great song and I look forward to procuring a great live version sometime...
Oooops, I had posted my opinion about this topic yesterday in another thread and I duplicated this topic without knowing that there had been a very long discussion about this long time ago... sorry, new girl in town!... hehehe, thanks Tiawamutu to help me to find this topic.

Now, my opinion: I think DC version is ok but I prefer CH version. Neil's voice is amazing, sweet and the sound of the music is so emotional... great song. You can definely appreciate it better in live. I've seen the live versions in youtube and it grows more in you because you can feel the nostalgia that Neil gives in the music and the singing.
Confused But I still don't know why the Dixie Chicks don't mention Neil when they introduce the song in their live presentations... not polite at all.
For me, the song rises to a new dimension live.

It starts off slowly, begins to build gradually, hits a very powerful peak
(particularly spearheaded by Matt's drumming), then seemingly suddenly returns to the level it took on near the beginning of the song.

Performed live, it's my favorite of the songs from the new album.

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