Woodface Deluxe Reissue discussion

harrytrousers posted:

There is a bunch of footage from periscope studio and the whole band is there. Mark Hart puts some keyboard on "sound of truth" then they play it back. Neil Finn explains that his lyrics are just nonsense so the song isn't finished but it sounds great. There is also a scene where Nick Seymour talks about a song he wrote with some instrumental thing playing in the background.

Is this on YouTube? 

I can see (or, rather, hear) why Fields are Full of Your Kind was nixed. It's like a hybrid of a handful of other CH songs:

the line "and there is sadness in your stare" is very similar to "they were a lifetime together" from She Goes On,

the title line sounds remarkably similar to the line "feather your nest" from Left Hand,

the guitar figure played under and after the line "I will remember" (at 1:00) is taken from the intro to I Feel Possessed,

the ending uses the same chord sequence as the "best of both worlds" line from Mansion in the Slums.

Clearly Neil was lacking inspiration when he put this one together

Paul H posted:

I can see (or, rather, hear) why Fields are Full of Your Kind was nixed. It's like a hybrid of a handful of other CH songs:

the line "and there is sadness in your stare" is very similar to "they were a lifetime together" from She Goes On,

the title line sounds remarkably similar to the line "feather your nest" from Left Hand,

the guitar figure played under and after the line "I will remember" (at 1:00) is taken from the intro to I Feel Possessed,

the ending uses the same chord sequence as the "best of both worlds" line from Mansion in the Slums.

Clearly Neil was lacking inspiration when he put this one together

Alternatively, you could say he was seeing inspiration everywhere.

I'd argue that "Fields" is greater than the sum of its parts. To my ears it's stronger than most (if not all) of the songs you mentioned. If the song we have now is what was submitted as part of the rejected 1990 album, I find it a little shocking it was passed over as a b-side in favor of both "Anyone Can Tell" and "Dr. Livingstone" (Woodface's only 2 new b-sides of its 5 singles) and then passed over again for Afterglow unlike "Left Hand" and "Sacred Cow." Of course, when you have an embarrassment of riches like the Neil Finn catalog, these things are basically inevitable. Ultimately, I'm ecstatic we have it now.

I'm afraid I'll have to disagree with you there. I find Fields to be bland CH-by-numbers. Dr Livingstone, on the other hand, is one of my favourite songs. I just adore it; proof (if any was needed) of how great this band are that they can throw away a song/performance of such quality. I don't think I've ever played Dr Livingstone quietly

Fields sounds like a lot of songs from '89-'90 that got canned, with the shouted/bluesy chorus a la Left Hand, Anyone Can Tell, Sacred Cow, Legs Are Gone. I can kind of see why the record company rejected the first attempt at a third album, it wouldn't have had much variation. It must have just been the direction Neil felt like taking, because he had great songs like I May be Late and Be My Guest hidden up his sleeve. (The home demo of Be My Guest is way better than the Aus-rock supergroup version from '95 btw )

Edit to add: Dr Livingstone is great! Even though it fits the above mould, it has that dark, moody feel that makes it something special.

I'm listening to Fields on repeat now. I like it, but the references Paul gives are obvious. Paul, I'm curious to know if you would feel differently if you could hear it in a vacuum; i.e. if you didn't know Left Hand or She Goes On. Difficult now, but if it could stand on its on, what do you think?

Make no mistake, I love "Dr. Livingstone" as well. I just think "Fields" is an even better song. I have a certain fondness for all CH songs (well, the cover of "She's Not There" is the exception that proves the rule). "CH-by-numbers" is 100% a compliment in my book. 

Steve Shealy posted:

I'm listening to Fields on repeat now. I like it, but the references Paul gives are obvious. Paul, I'm curious to know if you would feel differently if you could hear it in a vacuum; i.e. if you didn't know Left Hand or She Goes On. Difficult now, but if it could stand on its on, what do you think?

Very good question. I think my honest answer would be that I'd still be underwhelmed by it. I've been enjoying listening to the demos and alternate versions of songs that feature ideas in different places. For example, I love Creek Song/Left Hand and Same Language As Me, so I'm not at all averse to stuff appearing in the "wrong place". I also don't mind Neil quoting himself occasionally. As Lavar78 notes: CH-by-numbers is a 100% compliment. An album of these guys going through the motions will still better 90% of the other music around.

In the end, Fields just doesn't float my boat the way many CH songs do. I don't dislike it, I just find it "meh" as they say. Which actually makes it a bit of a rarity. Normally, I either really like CH material (99% of it!) or I really don't. There are only a handful of tracks I'm ambivalent about, and this is one of them.

What surprises me most - hence my original post - is that we actually find the band repeating themselves musically. Ignoring the instances where elements of songs were canibalised for use elsewhere, I can't think of another instance where CH quotes itself musically, which is why I made the point that I can understand why it was nixed - not because it wasn't good enough - but because it seemed to imply that CH were running out of ideas.

Fields of Your Kind Is Ok , but I can understand why the record company wanted more work on the album.

I'm astonished that the verse from Left Hand and the chorus from Fall at your feet was once part of the same song !!!

Glad they changed that !

I also think Left Hand from the recurring dream live disc is far superior to the studio cut on Afterglow. It totally sounds like a going through the motions exercise, whereas the live version just seems to have more of a spark about it.

Yes, Woodface might well have made an excellent "White Album". But at that point in their career - with no sign of gaining any traction in Europe and Temple having stiffed in the one overseas market they'd had some real success in - the States - there was NO chance Capitol were going to run for that.

As it is, I think it's two songs too long (I'd lose Fame Is, Tall Trees and All I Ask and add Dr Livingstone.)

I LOVE 'All I Ask' one of my favorites.

Back in the day I listened to Woodface more than I'd ever listened to any album. I knew every song, every lyric, pretty much every second of sound on the album; and to me it was (and still is) perfection. I wouldn't change anything. That would be like trying to change history (and we all know how that worked out for Marty McFly in BTF2).

IMO 'Tall Trees' and 'Fame Is' are the weak points in the album, still they are stronger than weak points in most albums.

For me the weakest point of any Crowded House album is 'Even If'... a song that still makes me wonder 'what the hell were they thinking?'.

BRANDO BRANDT posted:

I LOVE 'All I Ask' one of my favorites.

Back in the day I listened to Woodface more than I'd ever listened to any album. I knew every song, every lyric, pretty much every second of sound on the album; and to me it was (and still is) perfection. I wouldn't change anything. That would be like trying to change history (and we all know how that worked out for Marty McFly in BTF2).

IMO 'Tall Trees' and 'Fame Is' are the weak points in the album, still they are stronger than weak points in most albums.

For me the weakest point of any Crowded House album is 'Even If'... a song that still makes me wonder 'what the hell were they thinking?'.

Well, we are on pretty unsolid ground there, according to our tastes here. I was once thinking that on Finn album we have even 3 really (sorry for expression) ugly songs - Kiss the road of Rarotonga, Nihwai and Buletts in my Hairdo. To me songs without any beauty, and sense. Rough but not in the way of Black and White Boy, or Inside Out or Tall Tree. They just shouldnt see the light of the day, by me. But, the other day, I look into thread about Kiss the road.., and aparently most of the voters like it! What, where, why, what...? But, there is... To me, Even if could have been out of Intriguer, cause there been much much better songs from that era which stayed out. But, far from Neils worst.. just name some - Thats what I call love, Kill Eye, Fame is, Hole in the ice, Strangest Friends, All Gods Children ofcourse etc... Not to mention at least 5-6 songs from Pajama Club and what I am affraid most (trying not to be negative), will be much more of that on some new father-son collaboration. But, who knows? Hope and praying I am wrong...

I guess someone has to stick up for Fame Is, so I'll just mention that it's one of my favorites from Woodface. I can't believe that someone decided that Even If was a better ballad than Eyes Grow Heavy! If you swapped those two and maybe put Turn it Round on instead of Inside Out then Intriguer would be one of the best albums ever.

In my opinion, that is. Good to see that just about every song has someone who loves it (even Rarotonga apparently... )

 

Taste is such a funny thing. "Whispers and Moans" is definitely my favorite Woodface track. "Fame Is" is one of my favorites as well. "All God's Children"? Can't get enough of that one, it's utterly perfect to my ears. "Hole in the Ice" is one of Neil's best solo tracks.

I think you've nailed the issue with Woodface there (it's not a couple of songs too long, whatever Neil says!) It's like someone thought that putting just about all the slower, ballad-type songs at the end of the album was a good idea. They're all great songs, but without uptempo songs to separate them they make the album drag out a bit.

And when I say issue, it's only a very minor one - I still consider Woodface one of the best albums in Neil's career

Hawk57 posted:

I think you've nailed the issue with Woodface there (it's not a couple of songs too long, whatever Neil says!) It's like someone thought that putting just about all the slower, ballad-type songs at the end of the album was a good idea. They're all great songs, but without uptempo songs to separate them they make the album drag out a bit.

And when I say issue, it's only a very minor one - I still consider Woodface one of the best albums in Neil's career

Exactly 

I haven't seen much discussion of I May Be Late. I think its lovely. Wonder why it was discarded?

Also, Burnt Out Tree-is this a Neil or Paul song? On the live version, Neil says they're bringing Paul down front for it. And why is it so short-both versions about a minute and a half. Is that all it ever was? 

Really like Creek Song. Could anyone PM me a version of one that doesn't include Left Hand?

 

stuartjb posted:
Hawk57 posted:

I think you've nailed the issue with Woodface there (it's not a couple of songs too long, whatever Neil says!) It's like someone thought that putting just about all the slower, ballad-type songs at the end of the album was a good idea. They're all great songs, but without uptempo songs to separate them they make the album drag out a bit.

And when I say issue, it's only a very minor one - I still consider Woodface one of the best albums in Neil's career

Exactly 

Definitely one of the best in Neils career!

Nothing Wrong With You posted:

I think Anyone Can Tell is a great track and should've made the album.  I dropped it into the album on tape back in the day so for me, it's always been a part of Woodface.

Yep, I've never understood how that song missed the album. It's my second-favourite Crowdies track, behind Recurring Dream.

An entire third of my top fifteen tracks are from Afterglow, so apparently my favourites were just cursed.

Steve Shealy posted:

 

Really like Creek Song. Could anyone PM me a version of one that doesn't include Left Hand?

 

Likewise. I have a Mullanes live version of Creek Song but the audio quality isn't great (and it's Paul singing). I actually like both songs but together it's a bit jarring.

Steve Shealy posted:

I haven't seen much discussion of I May Be Late. I think its lovely. Wonder why it was discarded?

Also, Burnt Out Tree-is this a Neil or Paul song? On the live version, Neil says they're bringing Paul down front for it. And why is it so short-both versions about a minute and a half. Is that all it ever was? 

Really like Creek Song. Could anyone PM me a version of one that doesn't include Left Hand?

 

I'd be happy to chime in on I May Be Late. I think it's a highlight of the reissues. That chorus is fabulously catchy. It's a shame that CH never went back to it for another go. It seems odd that they had so many goes at creating somewhere for the Left Hand chorus to live but abandoned several other equally, if not more promising, ideas. I guess things just move on sometimes.

Regardless, I think it's a cracking song.

Paul H posted:
Steve Shealy posted:

I haven't seen much discussion of I May Be Late. I think its lovely. Wonder why it was discarded?

Also, Burnt Out Tree-is this a Neil or Paul song? On the live version, Neil says they're bringing Paul down front for it. And why is it so short-both versions about a minute and a half. Is that all it ever was? 

Really like Creek Song. Could anyone PM me a version of one that doesn't include Left Hand?

 

I'd be happy to chime in on I May Be Late. I think it's a highlight of the reissues. That chorus is fabulously catchy. It's a shame that CH never went back to it for another go. It seems odd that they had so many goes at creating somewhere for the Left Hand chorus to live but abandoned several other equally, if not more promising, ideas. I guess things just move on sometimes.

Regardless, I think it's a cracking song.

There really are several albums worth of quality songs that they could go back to. Lots on these reissues, and still many (Walk Tall, Franks Dark Past, etc.) that were left off again.

I'd love to have more info about many of these tracks. Were they improvisations or fully formed songs? Take Frank's Dark Past: beyond "what on earth was that all about?", I'm interested to know if it was a fully formed song was it ever rehearsed or demoed? Likewise for Walk Tall and Tail of a Comet. Apart from appearing to be pretty fully formed, the band seem to know them. The same can be said for Same Language as Me and Burnt Out Tree (a track Peter Green can't have known too much about because it was left untitled on the fan club CD from which it was taken (unless, of course, PG wanted it to be a surprise).

Paul H posted:

I'd love to have more info about many of these tracks. Were they improvisations or fully formed songs? Take Frank's Dark Past: beyond "what on earth was that all about?", I'm interested to know if it was a fully formed song was it ever rehearsed or demoed? Likewise for Walk Tall and Tail of a Comet. Apart from appearing to be pretty fully formed, the band seem to know them. The same can be said for Same Language as Me and Burnt Out Tree (a track Peter Green can't have known too much about because it was left untitled on the fan club CD from which it was taken (unless, of course, PG wanted it to be a surprise).

I second this. I've asked what the heck Frank is about and got no answer, any Aussies want to clue us in? Some of them seem to at least be rehearsed, although in Walk Tall, and Pieces of Change, Neil calls out chords to the rest of the band. I wonder if perhaps they are "road test" songs that got dropped, like so many from Intriguer.

Burnt Out Tree does have both a live and a studio demo, on the debut and Temple bonus discs.

I think I do recall Jeremy saying he didn't find any studio recording of Frank, sadly.

Paul H posted:

Re: Burnt Out Tree. Yes, there's a demo. But presumably the band must have actually rehearsed it rather than just heard it.

I don't have my copy with me; was this a Neil home demo or a studio demo? I think at least some of the studio demos are the full band. Do you know if this is a Neil song, or Paul? Wondering why he calls Paul down front for the live version.

Hawk57 posted:

I think you've nailed the issue with Woodface there (it's not a couple of songs too long, whatever Neil says!) It's like someone thought that putting just about all the slower, ballad-type songs at the end of the album was a good idea. They're all great songs, but without uptempo songs to separate them they make the album drag out a bit.

I agree. That's why I dare you to try out this running order the next time you slip in the Woodface CD:

2,6,3,9,7,8,1,5,11,4,12,10,13,14

This is from "The Art of the Sequence" thread, listing harmonically compatible songs next to each other. As I had noted back then, even "Chocky Cake" does not sound out of place now.

Dorthonion posted:
Hawk57 posted:

I think you've nailed the issue with Woodface there (it's not a couple of songs too long, whatever Neil says!) It's like someone thought that putting just about all the slower, ballad-type songs at the end of the album was a good idea. They're all great songs, but without uptempo songs to separate them they make the album drag out a bit.

I agree. That's why I dare you to try out this running order the next time you slip in the Woodface CD:

2,6,3,9,7,8,1,5,11,4,12,10,13,14

This is from "The Art of the Sequence" thread, listing harmonically compatible songs next to each other. As I had noted back then, even "Chocky Cake" does not sound out of place now.

I agree wholeheartedly that "It's Only Natural" would be a great opener, I love moving "Whispers and Moans" closer to the front (but it would be great anywhere), and I can dig "Chocolate Cake" as the side 1 closer. My problem with this sequence is that it makes the end of side 2 even slower by shoehorning "All I Ask" after "Italian Plastic." I also have a hard time breaking up "Tall Trees" and "Weather With You." Those songs together make each other better.

I just put together my own attempt. I'll listen today and see if it needs tweaking.

  1. It's Only Natural
  2. Four Seasons in One Day
  3. Fall at Your Feet
  4. Whispers and Moans
  5. Tall Trees
  6. Weather With You
  7. She Goes On
  8. There Goes God
  9. Italian Plastic
  10. Chocolate Cake
  11. As Sure As I Am
  12. Fame Is
  13. All I Ask
  14. How Will You Go

I originally had "All I Ask" as side 1's closer, but I think "She Goes On" works better there. It'd be tough to lose the 1-2 punch that ends the original album, though. Either way, I definitely think "Fame Is" is the jolt of energy that needs to be moved further back in the play order.

Edit: Glancing at it again, I may flip "Fame Is" and "All I Ask."

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