Stranger than Fiction, Larger Than Life: the Finn Brothers song-by-song discussion thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Lance LaSalle, Jan 21, 2019.

  1. Michael Rofkar

    Michael Rofkar Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Dang, for supposed hard-core fans you guys are harsh critics. I've never heard "Fields are full of your Kind" before today, but I quite like it, particularly the descending chords in the chorus. 3.5/5
     
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  2. Ryan Lux

    Ryan Lux Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, ON, CA
    If anything I’d say this crew is a ways away from harsh. Plenty of 5/5’s....
     
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  3. Paul H

    Paul H Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    I found a moment to give Fields a listen today. To be honest, it was more enjoyable than I remembered it to be. On the basis that far worse offerings will attract a 2 from me in the future, I'm going to upgrade my score to a 3/5.

    I was going to hide my comments about which songs it reminds me of in a spoiler lest it destroys anyone's appreciation of the song, but I notice that many have beaten me to it :)

    It intrigues me to see some references that I hear (I Feel Possessed and She Goes On) and some I don't (In My Command). Also, I get a whiff of Hole in the River at the start too.

    The point here being that this was Neil quite literally quoting himself in order to pull a song together. I'm quite surprised he even let this get as far as the recording stage for that sole reason.
     
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  4. iarla

    iarla Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Somerville, MA
    Fields Are Full Of Your Kind was/is the standout track from the deluxe editions for me. That it sounds like it could have fit on either Temple of Low Men or Richard Thompson's Amnesia (the horns in the middle section remind me a little of the intro to "I Still Dream") is a plus not a drawback. It doesn't sound to me like Neil Finn running out of ideas - there are parts of it that are a bit Neil Finn + Mitchell Froom late 80's by numbers - but what numbers! The horns are lovely, there's a bit air in the arrangement/mix in places, and the Wurlitzer on the intro is fab.
     
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  5. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle TEFL Lord Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    Our votes for "Fields Are Full Of Your Kind"

    1-0
    2-1
    3-6
    4-3
    5-0
    Average: 3
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
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  6. Otis82

    Otis82 Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Not much to add after today’s comments. A great lyrical idea that deserves a better arrangement.

    3 / 5
     
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  7. Otis82

    Otis82 Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Not counting my score (1x2)+(5x3)+(4x4):10 = 2+15+16:10 = 33 : 10 = 3,3
     
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  8. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle TEFL Lord Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    Today's song is "Cane Toad Blues" a Tim Finn oddity from 1988 which I missed a few months ago. I assume that Tim Finn wrote it. Producer is unknown.

    "Cane Toads Blues" was written for the documentary, Cane Toads: An Unnatural History - Wikipedia

    Cane toads are comin'
    Cane toads are comin'
    Main roads are hummin' with the cane toad blues
    Cane toads are comin'
    Cane toads are comin'
    Main roads are hummin' with the cane toad blues

    Cane toads
    Where you gonna leave me alone?
    Headin'south
    Like a case of foot-and-mouth
    Cane toads
    You're supposed to set us free!
    Yeah, Yeah, yeah!

    Cane toads are comin'
    Cane toads are comin'
    Main roads are hummin' with the cane toad blues
    Cane toads are comin'
    Cane toads are comin'
    Main roads are hummin' with the cane toad blues

    Cane toads
    Cane toads....
    You're supposed to set us free

    Cane toads are comin'
    Cane toads are comin'
    Main roads are hummin' with the cane toad blues
    Cane toads are comin'
    Cane toads are comin'
    Main roads are hummin' with the cane toad blues
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
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  9. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle TEFL Lord Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    Decimals. It's 2+ 2.5+(5x3)+(3x3.5)=30.
    But while you were writing this, I redid the count, including your vote (since we cross-posted) and now it is accurate. Previously I overcounted 4s.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
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  10. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle TEFL Lord Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    "Cane Toad Blues" is an amusingly tossed-off trifle that reminds me a bit of some of Bob Dylan's early seventies acoustic blues, particularly on Self Portrait. Or maybe Wild Life by Wings.

    Not the deepest song I've ever heard by a long shot, but likeable and amusing enough due to the sheer cheek it takes to write the rhyme "Cane toads heading south/like a case of foot-and-mouth."

    Eh, 3/5.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
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  11. robcar

    robcar Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Was "Cane Toad Blues" ever released anywhere or did it just appear in the documentary?

    It's nothing special, but it's catchy enough.

    3.2/5
     
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  12. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle TEFL Lord Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    I think just in the documentary.
     
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  13. It does what it's intended to do. I am keenly aware that the subject of the piece is Cane Toads. It's inoffensive but I'd never go looking for it.

    3/5
     
  14. audiomac

    audiomac Forum Resident

    Cane Toad Blues. Never heard of it until now. Happy to never hear it again.

    1.5/5
     
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  15. jcr64

    jcr64 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Indiana
    The comparison to songs from Wings' Wild Life is apt--you get the feeling that Tim took about 10 minutes to compose it. It's a toss-off, a trifle. For all that, it's a reasonably well executed one (better than most of the stuff on Wild Life). I can't imagine actually seeking out the song, but it's a reasonably pleasant way to pass a couple of minutes.

    3/5
     
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  16. StefanWq

    StefanWq Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vallentuna, Sweden
    A humourous documentary about cane toads, just what the world was eagerly waiting for back in 1988. Or something. I think this song is quite catchy and Tim sings it very well. It sounds like he had fun recording it and also like he improvised the lyrics. A nice lightweight song.

    3/5
     
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  17. therunner

    therunner Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    "Cane Toad Blues" is typical of stuff that musicians can write in a few minutes and which satisfies the TV market - like ad jingles - so it's a bit unfair to judge it against proper songs intended for release on an artist's album.

    But then again it's no worse than some Hessie songs appearing on albums.

    2/5
     
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  18. Michael Rofkar

    Michael Rofkar Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA
    "Cane Toad Blues": 2/5
     
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  19. BeSteVenn

    BeSteVenn formerly mrpleasant, now Steven

    Location:
    Kaskeland
    I took a quick look into cane toads. They are native to Central and South America, and they are an invasive species most places they live, including Australia and Oceania. They drive down biodiversity and cause severe environmental imbalance.

    Despite Tim's spirited singing, I can't find much to enjoy about Cane Toad Blues given the subject of the song and the documentary.

    1.1/5 for the excellent vocal performance.
     
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  20. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle TEFL Lord Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    Our votes for "Cane Toad Blues"
    1-1
    2-3
    3-5
    4-0
    5-0
    Average: 2.4222
     
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  21. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle TEFL Lord Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    Today we'll talk about Live at the Town and Country Club, London, November 9th, 1991.

    Live at the Town and Country Club
    was recorded not long after Tim had left the band and other than the core four members features Paul "Arlo" Guthrie on some songs.

    It was released as a promo album (on 2 CDs) to radio stations and so on in 1992 in the UK only; however many of the songs from it made their way to singles over the next few years; and there was an endless array of promo EPs and promo CDs in various territories that included songs from this concert, including a South African EP and and a bonus CD packaged with Together Alone in 1994 in the US. IN addition there are bootlegs of the album on top of the limited promo release.

    The tracklisting was:

    1. Tall Trees (Neil Finn-Tim Finn)
    2. World Where You Live (N. Finn)
    3. There Goes God (N. Finn-T. Finn)
    4. Fall At Your Feet (N. Finn)
    5. It's Only Natural (N.Finn-T.Finn)
    6. Hole In The River (N. Finn-E.Rayner)
    7. Into Temptation (N. Finn)
    8. Weather With You (N. Finn)

    1. Italian Plastic (Paul Hester)
    2. Sister Madly (N. Finn)
    3. Whispers And Moans (N. Finn)
    4. Mean To Me (N. Finn)
    5. Chocolate Cake (N. Finn-T.Finn)
    6. When You Come (N. Finn)
    7. Kill Eye (N. Finn)
    8. Fame Is (N. Finn)
    9. Better Be Home Soon (N. Finn)
    10. Love You 'Til The Day I Die (N. Finn)
    11. Don't Dream It's Over (N. Finn)
    While that was the first live album released from 1991, later the Frenz of the Enz fan club released more:

    Here's a list of live albums released by the fan club that were recorded by Crowded House in 1991:
    1. Detroit Rock City -- recorded in Detroit, Michigan, September 20th 1991. --with Tim Finn
    2. Taxi- Montreal -- recorded in Montreal, Quebec, September 25th, 1991. --with tim Finn
    3. Bent in Gent, recorded in Gent, Belgium, October 18th. --with Tim Finn
    4. Buffalo '91, recorded in Buffalo New York, November 24th.
    5. Nick's Birthday Party, recorded in Memphis Tennessee on December 9th.
    6. In the Raw, recorded in Houston, Texas on December 12th.
    There are numerous bootlegs from 1991 performances as well.
     
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  22. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle TEFL Lord Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    AS for Town and Country Club, I think that it was a real revelation when I first heard it, and it was actually one of the earliest -- if not the earliest -- live recording I ever heard.

    A few of the songs I'd heard before on bootleg: "HOle IN the River", "Love You Til the Day I Die", "Sister Madly""Weather With You"and "Italian Plastic", if memory serves. (20 years ago I had a crappy-sounding CD-R bootleg that just collated B-sides from 1992-1994.)

    I felt it was an excellent show and proof that Crowded House was one of the greatest live bands on the planet.

    I still think that "Hole in the River", "Love You Til the Day I Die", "World Where You Live,", "When You Come", "Sister Madly""Whispers and Moans" --- basically all the non-Finn Brothers songs especially are excellent. Some of them are definitive for me. "Italian Plastic" is pretty good too.

    And I quite like the rest of the songs -- but most of the Finn brothers songs really suffer from lack of Tim as Paul struggles with his parts. And hearing a loud Neil with a tiny Paul vocal on top doesn't do the songs any favors. I've heard a few other concerts where Paul really nails Tim's parts; but this is not one of them.

    This album also has a very rare performance of "Fame Is" on it; as well off-the-cuff (and not really finished) covers of "Dizzy", "Smoke On the Water", and "She Said She Said".

    Since then I've heard many other concerts from the era and I have to say that this one ends up sounding like a good gig, but not necessarily a great one, despite a few excellent moments -- they had done and would do far better. Or maybe I'm just sick of it! I'll rate it,a 4/5. Because an average Crowded House gig in this era is still amazing.

    As for the fan club releases, I've only heard Detroit Rock City and Nick's Birthday Party. Both of them are excellent.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
  23. Djmover

    Djmover Forum Resident

    Town and Country was one of the 1st bootlegs I got , I was disappointed to find that Tim was not on it though .
    I think Lance is totally correct with his opinion re the Finn Bros songs as this gig finds the band in transition to the non Tim period .
    They wouldn’t really iron out all the harmonies till Feb/March 92 as that was when Paul and Neil really gelled and you can tell because How Will you Go became a staple of the set .

    re It’s only Natural on Town and Country Mark handles the harmonies and it is a bit hit and miss but like I said the band were in transition .

    town and Country 3.5/5
    Not my preferred gig .
     
  24. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle TEFL Lord Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    It seems that most of this live album is on YouTube. Below is track 1.

     
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  25. Paul H

    Paul H Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    I remember buying the T&CC promo at a record fair. It had a minor scratch on one of the discs and I had to audition it there to confirm it played okay. Lance is right, it was a good but not spectacular show. There remains some confusion as to which night the performance(s) come from. The version of Fall at Your Feet that appears on the UK CD single is different to that which appears on the promo. It isn't helped by the chat that precedes It's Only Natural in real time being bolted onto the performance of FaYF. The version on the single is, perhaps, my favourite live take of this song.

    Speaking of the fan club CDs, I remember finding a huge collection of odd-looking live CDs at a record fair in the mid 1990s and being baffled as to what they were. They had song titles I didn't recognise, very quirky titles and odd artwork, yet they contains thanks to EMI. They looked for all the world like bootlegs and I passed them by (as much because there were too many to choose from as anything). They turned out to be fan club CDs but at the time I didn't know the fan club released live shows.
     
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