Of course all this IMHO, ok?

I have recently heard this version, and while it's easy to say "oh the unreleased version is SO MUCH BETTER" or the like, I feel comfortable in saying that this unreleased version is SO MUCH BETTER.

It flows better from song to song, for 1. The vocals are more upfront, for 2. A couple songs do improve with the re-recording -- particularly "Won't Give In" sounds great here, but the song itself is undercooked. A few more weeks in the EZ Bake Oven definitely helped out, but the sound of the original version is more to my liking.

Overall, the unreleased version sounds like a MONSTER of a record, not a nice little melancholy-but-hopeful one that we ended up with.

Note: Since the Visconti version I have is at a low bitrate, I ripped the official disk at a low bitrate to compare. I figured that was the fairest way to proceed.
The Visconti material benefits from having more air than the released version simply because it is pre-mastered.

If it had been released it would have been just as compressed etc.

As for the performances, with a few noteable exceptions the arrangements are very poor and the playing just seems lacklustre.

It genuinely does sound like a well made demo.
So, after listening it more than 10 times, some songs close to 50 times till now, conclusions are:

1. Its good that most of this songs in this state (I am not sure if this is final versions of it) didnt see light of the day. Why? Because, these songs as whole album would make almost unprofessional piece. Some songs sounds so bad, that is really curious how someone with such reputation as Visconti can do such lousy job. For example "Wont give in" sounds terrible in Visconti hands while Froom made masterpiece of it. Further, "Homesick", " All the colours", "Life between us" sound like they coming from some european festival in 1980-s, reminds me on some croatian artists popular those times. Terrible really. Further, some songs sounds pretty same as Frooms version, maybe little worst; "Edible flowers", "Gentle hum", while "Dissambodied voices" on EIH is actually produced by Visconti, but Froom add drums and again made masterpiece of it. How, in the name of God, Visconti didnt remember to put drums in that song? "Part of me..." is also somehow better in Frooms hands, but this song isnt something special to me in either versions- only average good song.

2. But, some songs as individuals sounds better in Viscontis hands than Frooms; first "Anything can happen" which sounds to me pretty average, just good song on EIH. But, Visconti version is fool of life, tricky, natural with excellent part of it when brothers sing something like: "... nothing good in...forget about history, give it to the mistery"- lovely part which didnt make to EIH. What a pitty! After that comes "Luckiest man alive" which also sounds forced, too polish and unnatural on EIH, and so lovely and natural in Visconti hands with beautifull whistling in the end which, again, didnt make to EIH. "Nothing wrong with you" is example of two different but both excellent versions; Viscontis version is again more natural, unpolish, but lovely again with some beautifull singing part which didnt make on EIH.

3. And there are some songs which; sounds better than every song on EIH in both versions; "The land torments a sea", to me best song of Finn Brothers ever, Visconti had an excellent clue, but Froom made a pure masterpiece of it. And then didnt put it on album! Great!
Some songs sounds better than half of songs on EIH and in Viscontis hands are quite alright, lovely "Sunset swim", and "All the way down".

All in all, like I said; individually there are some good Visconti versions but only as individual songs, as album it wouldnt be good. Mitchell Froom really improve most of it and made at least proffesional album of it, but like many times in life when you have something too or less, from underproducing thing he made overproducing thing, so we have good, solid album EIH, but with lack of excitment because of safe, polish producing, with one horrible song "All Gods children" which somehow took position of beautifull "The land torrments a sea".

Turns out that it was one of the best Neils moves to reproducing record with M. Froom, and one of the worst to put aside "The land torments a sea".
quote:
Originally posted by Mariola:
Because, these songs as whole album would make almost unprofessional piece. Some songs sounds so bad, that is really curious how someone with such reputation as Visconti can do such lousy job.


That was my first thought as well: I couldn't believe Visconti of all people could have come up with something so poor. Won't Give In sounds limp, insipid. Frankly, amateurish. I feel awful being so harsh on both him and the Finns. But really, I was shocked.

There are other examples too but I needn't go into them.

As I got to know the album better the arrangements and performances began to shine a little more but my first reaction was so violent I shudder to think what the more casual buyer or reviewer might have made of it.
quote:
Originally posted by Paul H:
quote:
Originally posted by Mariola:
Because, these songs as whole album would make almost unprofessional piece. Some songs sounds so bad, that is really curious how someone with such reputation as Visconti can do such lousy job.


That was my first thought as well: I couldn't believe Visconti of all people could have come up with something so poor. Won't Give In sounds limp, insipid. Frankly, amateurish. I feel awful being so harsh on both him and the Finns. But really, I was shocked.

There are other examples too but I needn't go into them.

As I got to know the album better the arrangements and performances began to shine a little more but my first reaction was so violent I shudder to think what the more casual buyer or reviewer might have made of it.


Yes, maybe we have unfinished versions of these songs, but if these ones as album got in hands of some critic, he would cut it into pieces. With cause!

With Frooms producing we have at least proffessional album (with few really improved songs by Froom personally) which passed well (70 out of 100 on metacritic.com). To me, one of the rightous grades ever made. Excacly what I would give it.

PS. Maybe I would give it 70 and few more, but only in winter time. Cool
Bearing in mind, my difficulties appreciating EIH as it is, I'm not sure it would help hearing a version that could have been. Confused

Out of curiosity and not knowing the back story, can someone fill me in on how there came to be two versions and how this discarded Visconti version came to light?
Hi KB,

Just going to quote Painaporo on another thread :

quote:
There are many extensive threads about what has come to be known as "the Visconti Sessions". Here's one:

http://frenzforum.com/eve/foru...171/m/1331078691/p/1


The bottom line is that the guys weren't happy with the results of the sessions they recorded with Tony Visconti in upstate New York. They played the record to Mitchell Froom and he made some suggestions. In the beginning they were just going to redo a couple songs but basically ended up re-recording the entire album.



The Visconti version got leaked to the internet sometime late 2005/early 2006
Have to say "Luckiest Man Alive" is superior on the Visconti version. The rest though, as has been stated, sounds like amateur night next to Froom's work. All you can say in Visconti's defense is he had first crack at them---certainly Mitchell benefited from hearing a first draft. But "Luckiest" is worth seeking out.
I prefer Edible Flowers and at least one of the others of the Visconti sessions but if his version of 'Gentle Hum' was released, I think they'd be facing a lawsuit from Sting. All up, however, I just don't 'dig' it enough to understand all the vitriol and 'Froom is saviour' type talk.
Well, I was able to get a hold of a high quality Visconti version (much better than the thin, tinny one I've had for years) and now can put together my personal version of this wonderful album!

1. Tell Me C'mon (Visconti)
2. Won't Give In (Froom)
3. Nothing Wrong With You (Froom)
4. Anything Can Happen (Froom)
5. Luckiest Man Alive (Froom)
6. Homesick (Froom)
7. Way Back Down (Visconti)
8. A Life Between Us (Froom)
9. All God's Children (Froom)
10.Edible Flowers (Froom)
11.All The Colours (Froom)
12.Part of Me, Part of You (Froom)
13.Everyday Alright (Visconti)
14.Sunset Swim (Visconti)

As you can tell the Froom version still looms large, but there are certain (ethereal?) charms the Visconti one has. Way Back Down and Sunset Swim are colossally good and I like that Froom kept some of the Visconti string arrangements.
quote:
1. Tell Me C'mon (Visconti)
2. Won't Give In (Froom)
3. Nothing Wrong With You (Froom)
4. Anything Can Happen (Froom)
5. Luckiest Man Alive (Froom)
6. Homesick (Froom)
7. Way Back Down (Visconti)
8. A Life Between Us (Froom)
9. All God's Children (Froom)
10.Edible Flowers (Froom)
11.All The Colours (Froom)
12.Part of Me, Part of You (Froom)
13.Everyday Alright (Visconti)
14.Sunset Swim (Visconti)


I actually prefer the Visconti version of Edible Flowers, it is a much better recording IMHO. Also, Everyday Alright should follow Homesick. (Couldn't edit my post)
I have heard this new higher quality version of the Visconti album and I agree that it is very interesting but it hasn't changed my original opinion that the Finns were 100% correct in their decision to trash this album and re-record it with Mitchell Froom.

This new high quality version makes it more clear than ever that Tony Vinsconti had no idea how to produce a Finn record and also that the Finn Brothers had no idea how to make good music with their chosen rhythm section: Bones Hillman (bass) and Ross Burge (drums). In particular, Ross Burge's drumming is horribly dull and boring and at times even painful to listen to. I wish someone would have taken Ross Burge out to the barn and put him out of his misery. I am not surprised that Froom recommended re-recording the whole album because the Visconti sessions were pretty unsalvageable.

1. Anything Can Happen - What Visconti and Burge missed is that this song is all about the rhythm and percussion. I'll admit that this is the strongest of the Visconti tracks and that the additional bridge section is nice, but they missed the boat on the percussion. And what is that cheesy crunchy percussion sound? It is so bad!

2. Edible Flowers - There's an unstoppable beauty to this song that not even bad production and uninspired drumming could screw up. It's the second best recording from the V-sessions, but the piano arrangement is plodding and Froom's rearrangement is just one subtle example of his genius (compared to Tony Visconit anyway).

3. Part of Me, Part of You - There was a great song in here somewhere and I suspect the Finn's knew this and it's one of the reasons they sought out Froom's advice. God, that crunchy percussion thing is there again and the drumming continues to be dead and limp. Why didn't Visconti realize that some of these songs needed to be driven by piano instead of just electric guitar? He missed this on both POMPOY and Homesick.

4. Luckiest Man Alive - This one's not bad, I can see why they released it as a b-side to the Froom album. The lyric "I was going door to door, but I had nothing left to sell" was pretty bad, I'm glad Tim changed it.

5. Way Back Down

6. Nothing Wrong With You - This one gets some points for being so dramatically different from the released version. The middle section with Maori singing is lovely. The string arrangement here is great and I'm glad they kept it. The chorus is so much more laid back, it takes a while to get used to, but I could dig it. You know, I like what Froom did better and Burge's drumming is still totally lame, but this is nice.

7. The Land Torments the Sea

8. A Life Between Us - I think others have already covered this song pretty well. The lyrics suck, the performance sucks, the drumming sucks. Froom really turned this turd into a diamond. And of course Neil and Tim should trade off on the verses! How could Visconti have missed that? He must have been asleep at the switch!

9. Disembodied Voices - This is the same recording released on the Froom version. Probably because it's the only song Ross Burge couldn't ruin because it doesn't have any drums. Froom must have added a drum track later and it works better with drums. Nevertheless, it's nice having this drummless version.

10. Won't Give In - To think that Froom turned this dud of a track into the lead single is truly an act of pure genius. The V-version is some sort of back country bumpkin rendition - must have been that upstate New York vibe rubbing off on them?

11. Gentle Hum - Wow, Ross Burge was obviously in way over his head with this one. The verses have an unusual rhythm and it seems his big idea was to just play it like it was 4/4 anyway. As with a couple of other songs, I like the bridge that was left out in the final version. I can understand why it was cut, but it's nice to hear.

12. All the Colours - This is another one of those upstate New York country bumpkin tracks. How Froom transformed this into a perfect Beatlesque pop song is nothing short of a miracle.

13. Homesick - This has got to be one of the most extreme makeovers. this song is an absolute mess here. Boring drumming, too many verses, sappy string arrangement, no energy. I don't know what to make of this. It's like it doesn't know what type of song it's trying to be. Mitchell Froom earned whatever he got paid by transforming this song alone. Chamberlain's manic drumming on the Froom version fills me with joy, this puts me to sleep.

In conclusion, if this album had been released it would have been a catastrophe. It would have been the most mediocre work Neil had ever produced. it's missing all the trademarks of Finn music. It's not fun, it's not quirky, it's not full of great musicianship. It's just four guys in the woods recording songs and none of them know how to play drums. Visconti obviously put his hours into writing string arrangements and that was money well spent (except for "Homesick"). I don't know what he was doing the rest of the time but he wasn't producing the well crafted pop songs we know and love.

Now I know the first Finn album was a low-fi affair that worked really well. The problem with the V-sessions is that they're not trying to be low-fi nor highly polished, they're just middle of the road and that's partly why it doesn't work.


Ross Burge, angry and confused that someone left these useless wooden dowels on his drum kit.
With you all the way, Painaporo. Mitchell Froom turned a heaping pile of poo into one of my favorite albums and for that I am forever in his debt. As much as I adore "Tell Me C'mon" (truly the diamond in this roughest of Neil Finn rough), something tells me Froom would've found a way to make it even better.
I agree entirely with Painaporo's sentiments here, although I do quite enjoy the original version of Homesick. Also, Anything Can Happen is perfectly fine.

All in all, I'm glad to have heard this but I'm also extremely pleased it wasn't issued.
Just for info Tim Finn has posted a couple of the Visconti versions on his myspace page:

http://www.myspace.com/timfinn...songs?filter=popular

Tracks to look for are:

All the colours
Luckiest man alive

and apart from that

Land and sea is recently posted too.

I'm still not sure what I think of what I've heard, I'd really love to love EIH but something about the record as a whole just doesn't work for me.

I'm not sure that hearing the Visconti versions would help what do other frenz think?
That's sad Kittybear, looking back at EIH I'm struck by how wonderful it is. I don't think I fully appreciated it at the time, but it's full of so many great upbeat songs and those wonderful Finn Brother harmonies. It really does feel like Woodface II. This would not have been the case had the songs not been redone with Froom.

The songs are also impeccably well crafted and full of those little ear worms that Crowded House records are so famous for. Like the little descending piano line after "The voices in your head" lyric on NWWY or Tim's manic yelling at the very end of Homesick. I love all the big sweeping choruses too.

If I were going to fault the album for anything I guess it would be the overemphasis on family and brotherly love. I think it's mostly handled really well, but if you're not in the mood for it then it can also be a bit of a turn off. On a good day, however, I'd say EIH is better than some Crowded House albums (like the first two).
I'll always have a soft spot for the EIH era. The album, the tour, meeting lots of Frenz, gaining a stronger appreciation for Tim... I loved everything about it. Of the CH records, I definitely think it's better than Woodface and the debut, but only TA is truly in a different league. "Anything Can Happen" and "All God's Children" are true gems of Neil's vast catalog, "A Life Between Us" moves me as much now as it did then, and it still amazes me that phenomenal songs like "The Land Torments the Sea" and "Tell Me C'mon" were relegated to b-sides. While EIH isn't my favorite Finn album, it's the one that makes me the happiest.
So, Visconti version theme is "popular again"...

I will mostly repeat what I said few months ago, and its in way of Painaporo review, without involve again in reviewing each song; conclusion is that altough some songs from Visconti sounds ok, like Luckiest man alive, or Land and sea, or Sunset swim, this sessions as a whole piece means zero. Thanks God that this recordings didnt saw the day of light, because it would be almost unprofessional act; production solutions are mostly so cheap and old that most of this songs sounds like they are from 80-s, Homesick and All the colours sounds like some 80-s songs from Eurovosion (cheap and poor music contest in europe which became more and more pathetic every year).

It is really suprising that someone that famous as Visconti could make such lousy work. One of the most intelligent moves of each Finn in their history was that they went to Froom who managed to create professional and solid record. No, to me its not excellent record, cause there are too many avarage songs, which dont smell or no stinks; Anything can happen, Luckiest man, Homesick, Part of me, Gentle hum, with one really ugly song, maybe worst from Neil ever; Gods children. Wont give in from Viscontis trash became diamond and masterpiece in Frooms hands, Dissambodied voices luckily got drums, A life beetwen us also became diamond after "80-s european festival version" of Visconti. And, one of the biggest mistakes, letting off The land and sea is something I will never understand. As I wont understand same thing with "The Intriguer". Or "Reccuring dream". Artist freedom, I guess. Roll Eyes
I guess its always going to have a different effect on different people, and I can only speak personally about my own preferences. Personally, I cant even listen to the Froom version of EIH. It is not and never will be woodface pt2. I find it clinical, safe, sickly sweet, lacking in emotion and a little same old same old. This is mirrored in the drabber than drab album cover and photography. I only really began to like the songs after I heard them live. To this day it is the least played of all my finn related CDs (big canoe gets more deck time than EIH!)

The Visconti EIH album in its more finished form is different to all other Finn products. It takes chances and is more daring and sonically much more varied and interesting.I dont think it would have been a disaster if released, I just dont think it would have been the instant "home run" that a Froom production delivers. There is a distinct emotion and feel to the album that is much more rewarding than the Froom version of EIH on repeated listens. With the Froom sheen gone (and those god awful keyboard arrangements) you get a more personal, intimate album.



The new "leaked" version has differnt intruments and voices than the previous leaked version. I wonder where it came from?
I find the new leaked version to be identical to the previous leaked version, just higher quality. I don't hear any different instruments, but I've since deleted my low quality version, so I can't go back and compare again now.

At any rate, I don't think I'm going to be able to keep listening to the Visconti versions. The wife's been asking me why I keep playing the horrible versions instead of the good versions. It must be nice to be able to hear the Visconti sessions as sonically varied and daring, all I hear is stiff performances and terrible drumming.
quote:
Originally posted by jonjameshall:
I guess its always going to have a different effect on different people, and I can only speak personally about my own preferences. Personally, I cant even listen to the Froom version of EIH. It is not and never will be woodface pt2. I find it clinical, safe, sickly sweet, lacking in emotion and a little same old same old. This is mirrored in the drabber than drab album cover and photography. I only really began to like the songs after I heard them live. To this day it is the least played of all my finn related CDs (big canoe gets more deck time than EIH!)

The Visconti EIH album in its more finished form is different to all other Finn products. It takes chances and is more daring and sonically much more varied and interesting.I dont think it would have been a disaster if released, I just dont think it would have been the instant "home run" that a Froom production delivers. There is a distinct emotion and feel to the album that is much more rewarding than the Froom version of EIH on repeated listens. With the Froom sheen gone (and those god awful keyboard arrangements) you get a more personal, intimate album.



The new "leaked" version has differnt intruments and voices than the previous leaked version. I wonder where it came from?


I didnt hear any new version except few songs on Tims myspace, if that are new versions. If that are really new versions, Painaporo is complitely right; nothing new in it, except maybe clearer sound.

Ok, when we come to tastes for Neils songs, I know we come from many sides, and I am glad for that. But, for the second time I am suprised over my head (first was knowing that someone actually likes song "All Gods children). How someone could like Viscontis versions before Frooms? I mean, its secongrade work, I honestly think that its shamefull work for someone so famous as Visconti. Most of the songs sound like they are from 1980s, not from 2007. Production solutions are, again, cheap and really dull, old, without any inspiration or proffessionality in it. Drumming is boring and "just done" not "lived through".
Ok, I can agree that we cant talk about EIH as Woodface nr. 2. (EIH is my second least favorit Neils record) but it is proffessional work. Ok, I accept its a safe production without many surprises and adventure (this was one of the main reasons why I wasnt overhalm with EIH), but when I heard Visconti versions, I started to thanks God for Mitchell Froom. What Froom made from first versions of Wont give in, Homesick, Life betwen us and All the colours, is amazing, just amazing. Those songs was like from some euro festival during 80s in Viscontis hands. Again, and most important, I dont think that Viscontis EIH belongs to something we can call "A" music.
quote:
Originally posted by Mariola:
I dont think that Viscontis EIH belongs to something we can call "A" music.


Only Mitchell Froom could task a ballad about someones death (all the colours) and turn it into a beatlesesque sing a long!

Some people see beauty in more flawed work, I like to see the makers hand in the brushstrokes, and thus find the more polished work... boring!
quote:
Originally posted by jonjameshall:
quote:
Originally posted by Mariola:
I dont think that Viscontis EIH belongs to something we can call "A" music.


Only Mitchell Froom could task a ballad about someones death (all the colours) and turn it into a beatlesesque sing a long!


Isn't "Edible Flowers" a song about death? Is Froom's handling of that song not sufficiently dirge-like for you? I don't think all songs dealing with death have to be in mourning. I think the lyrics of "All the Colours" suggest a less sombre tone and I think Froom reflected that well with his arrangement.

For the record, I have no problem with someone liking the Visconti version more. I've been on this forum long enough to know that for every song the Finns make there's someone here who will stand up and defend it. That's what I like about this place.

It seems Visconti just hit record and let the Finns do what they do and for that reason alone the V-sessions are a worthy contribution to the Finn cannon. For me it's like listening to the Woodface demos. They're a far cry from Woodface, but they're still a great listen. And now that I think of it, I'm sure there's someone on this forum who would stand up and say the Woodface demos were better than the album. That wouldn't be you JonJamesHall, would it?
quote:
Originally posted by Paināporo:
I'm sure there's someone on this forum who would stand up and say the Woodface demos were better than the album.


Not sure I'd say BETTER but certainly I'd say "as enjoyable"... Prodigal Son and In Love With It All are worth the admission fee (along with Tim's Andrew Lloyd Webber quip!).
quote:
Originally posted by TheBoxer:
Can someone message me or tell me where I can download a copy of this? I'm having trouble finding it. Thanks.


I'd be very interested to hear the same information. I wasn't even aware that the recordings were available.
This thread made me listen again to the Visconti sessions. I have to say, I really do prefer the undercooked, rough and ready feel going on here. For me, EIH (Froom) was just too polished, to the point of being lifeless. And the mastering! Goodness me!

(Although I too really enjoyed that 'era' in terms of live perfomances).

Sure, the Visconti sessions are messy, but I like that - sketches rather than fine art.

(And yes, I'm fully aware I'm in the minority here Smiler)
Hey, my life is better for having heard the Visconti sessions. It's just like having the Woodface demos. You're not going to love them the same way you love Woodface, but they are darn fun to listen to from time to time.

I agree with Mariola, that the Froom version clearly demostrates what Froom brought to Crowded House on their first three albums - how indespesible he likely was to crafting their sound and their songs. I guess the Woodface demos show the same thing. Only, Woodface was full of great songs even without Froom. Everyone Is Here, however, would only have been a midiocre album without his input.
I must admit EIH as a Froom produced album is my difficult Finn album, I've never found it easy to listen to. But hearing the Visconti versions has helped.

I think Visconti's versions of Nothing wrong with you, Homesick and All the colours are a lot better than the Froom versions. Although I still don't think these songs are classic Finn material.

I also enjoyed Visconti's take on Luckiest man alive and other songs such as Edible Flowers and Gentle Hum sound just a good as Visconti versions to my ear.

The great mystery to me is why the Finn's left out or turned into b-sides such great songs like Sunset swim and the Land torments the sea. If I had been compiling the album I would have taken out A life between us and All the Colours and replaced them with these two magnificent b-sides.

My over all impression of the sessions is that they are unfinished and there's no evidence that what's out there on the web is the finished product as Visconti intended. Maybe if he had been able to do more work on them, then Won't give in wouldn't have ended up sounding so wrong?

Looks like I'm joining Welsh Dan in the minority "Visconti is here" appreciation society Smiler.
quote:
Originally posted by Kittybear:

The great mystery to me is why the Finn's left out or turned into b-sides such great songs like Sunset swim and the Land torment the sea.


- I think all the extra tracks from the EIH sessions have great moments to them, although the only track on the CD that I don't care much for is Homesick (in either version!). Certainly Sunset Swim is I think one of the strongest songs from that set.

Add Reply

Likes (0)
Post
    All times London, UK.

    ©1998-Eternity, Frenz.com. All post content is the copyrighted work of the person who wrote it. Please don't copy, reproduce, or publish anything you see written here without the author's permission.
×
×
×
×
×