It is now almost seven years since Tim Finn's latest studio album. He would appear then to have made good on his statements around the time that he might not make another album, but focus instead on music for the theatre. If we have indeed seen the last (let's hope not) album from Tim...then so be it. He would have left us a truly remarkable body of work, one which we can continue to enjoy and discover new depth to.
But...should we, as fans, be concerned about the apparent neglect of some aspects of his existing catalogue? And whether there is any interest on Tim's part or any plans for archival-type releases? As a decade has now passed since the "Rarities Vol. 1" disc, the answer is increasingly looking like probably not. If this is the case, then, in my view, it would be a tragic missed opportunity. Tim Finn has remained for decades among my top two or three favourite artists, and I'm sure that I'm not alone. Is it too much to hope that someone would take the initiative to bring more of his work to the light of day?
Here are some matters that come to mind...
1. Is there a case for remastering the early albums?
2. What about several releases in the 'eighties which to this day remain only on vinyl.
3. There are 100 album tracks, but, by my count, at least an equal number of other song titles (originals and covers) for which a recording (official releases, radio/TV, bootleg, audience recordings etc) is available to collectors. And that's not counting the multiple variant versions of the above or Tim's contributions to Crowded House, Finn Brothers and ALT. And who knows how much unheard material has been left in the vaults? So, is anybody curating all this? Is there an archive as such? Is there a desire and a plan to lift some of this from obscurity?
4. Finally, we know that Tim has produced music for several stage productions in recent years. Is there not some way that this could also be made available to collectors? From what I heard of "White Cloud" for example, this material is equally worthy of being heard as all that has gone before it.
Let's hope my pessimism is misplaced. Let's hope there will be future Tim Finn releases of some kind. I know the record business is complicated, and I don't pretend to understand the commercial realities. But from an artistic perspective and a fan perspective, Tim's work deserves to be better preserved and made more accessible.
Could we please have A Fraction More Action?