Woodface

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Woodface
Crowded House-Woodface (album cover).jpg
Studio album by
Released1 July 1991 (1991-07-01) (UK)[1]
8 July 1991 (1991-07-08) (Australia)[2]
Recorded1989–1991
StudioA&M Studios, Los Angeles
Periscope Studio, Melbourne
Ocean Way Studios, Los Angeles
Platinum Studios, Melbourne
GenreRock, pop rock, alternative rock
Length48:11
LabelCapitol
ProducerMitchell Froom, Neil Finn
Crowded House chronology
Temple of Low Men
(1988)
Woodface
(1991)
Together Alone
(1993)
Singles from Woodface
  1. "Chocolate Cake"
    Released: June 1991
  2. "Fall at Your Feet"
    Released: September 1991
  3. "Weather with You"
    Released: February 1992
  4. "Four Seasons in One Day"
    Released: June 1992
  5. "It's Only Natural"
    Released: September 1992
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[3]
Chicago Tribune3.5/4 stars[4]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music4/5 stars[5]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[6]
Los Angeles Times2.5/5 stars[7]
Q4/5 stars[8]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[9]
The Village Voice(choice cut)[10]

Woodface is the third studio album by New Zealand/Australian recording artists Crowded House. The album was produced by Mitchell Froom and released by Capitol in July 1991.[1][2] It features five singles "Chocolate Cake", "Fall at Your Feet", "Weather with You", "Four Seasons in One Day", and "It's Only Natural".[11] Woodface was a major hit in Australia[12] and New Zealand[13] as well as giving the band their first top ten hit album in the UK.[14] It was listed at No. 3 in the book 100 Best Australian Albums in October 2010.[15]

Background[edit]

During a break from Crowded House following the Canadian leg of the tour in support of their second album, Temple of Low Men, band-leader Neil Finn began recording songs with his older brother and former Split Enz bandmate Tim Finn. These songs were originally intended for a Finn Brothers album. Once these sessions were complete, Neil teamed back up with Nick Seymour and Paul Hester to write and record Crowded House's third album. Capitol Records rejected most of the new Crowded House songs, so Neil asked Tim if the band could use some of the new Finn Brothers songs. Tim agreed, on condition that he would join the band, although he has since indicated he meant this as a joke. Whatever the truth of that claim, the group that returned to the studio included Tim as a full band member.[16]

The album was titled Woodface and was released in July 1991. It was co-produced by Mitchell Froom and Neil Finn, and mixed by Bob Clearmountain. Eight tracks were co-written by Neil and Tim Finn and mainly feature the brothers harmonising on lead vocals, although Neil takes the lead on "Four Seasons In One Day" and Tim sings "All I Ask", which later featured in AIDS awareness commercials in Australia.[16] Five other tracks were solo compositions by Neil Finn and the remaining two were written by Paul Hester, including "I'm Still Here", a hidden track. Former Beach Boys drummer Ricky Fataar is credited on three of the Finn Brothers songs, "All I Ask", "There Goes God" and "Weather With You".

During the UK leg of the Woodface tour, Tim and the band parted company. Multi-instrumentalist Mark Hart, who had played some keyboards on Woodface, was recruited to replace Tim for the remaining dates. The final date of this tour at The Town & Country Club in London was recorded and given a limited release in Australia, while individual tracks were used as B-sides for the album's singles in other countries.[17]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Neil Finn and Tim Finn, except where noted.

No.TitleLength
1."Chocolate Cake"4:02
2."It's Only Natural"3:32
3."Fall at Your Feet" (Neil Finn)3:18
4."Tall Trees"2:19
5."Weather with You"3:44
6."Whispers and Moans" (Neil Finn)3:39
7."Four Seasons in One Day"2:50
8."There Goes God"3:50
9."Fame Is" (Neil Finn)2:23
10."All I Ask"3:55
11."As Sure as I Am" (Neil Finn)2:53
12."Italian Plastic" (Paul Hester)3:39
13."She Goes On" (Neil Finn)3:15
14."How Will You Go (includes a hidden excerpt of "I'm Still Here" (Hester, Finn, Seymour)"4:14

"I'm Still Here" follows "How Will You Go" in track 14 as a hidden track at 3:37 after 30 seconds silence. The version released as a hidden track in 1991 is an excerpt containing the first minute of the full track, which appears on the 2016 deluxe edition of the album.

The following songs were recorded by Crowded House for Woodface before Tim Finn became involved but were not included on the album. Seven appeared on the 1999 rarities collection Afterglow; "Fields Are Full of Your Kind" and "My Legs Are Gone" appeared on the bonus disc to the deluxe edition. "My Legs are Gone" had previously been released on I Like it Rare, a rarities compilation available through Frenz of the Enz, the official Crowded House fan club. "Fields are Full of Your Kind" remained unreleased until the deluxe edition of Woodface.

  • "Anyone Can Tell"
  • "Left Hand"
  • "Dr. Livingstone"
  • "Sacred Cow"
  • "I Love You Dawn"
  • "My Telly's Gone Bung"
  • "Time Immemorial"
  • "Fields Are Full of Your Kind"
  • "My Legs Are Gone"

2016 reissue[edit]

Includes the original album for the first disc.

All tracks written by Neil Finn, except where noted.

Disc 2 (Unreleased and rare material)
No.TitleLength
1."Burnt Out Tree (Home Demo)"1:36
2."I May Be Late (Home Demo)"3:06
3."She Goes On (Home Demo)*"3:13
4."As Sure As I Am (Home Demo)*"2:37
5."My Legs Are Gone (Studio Demo)*"4:33
6."You Got Me Going (Home Demo)"3:23
7."Italian Plastic (Home Demo)*" (Paul Hester)2:54
8."Be My Guest (Home Demo)"2:03
9."Weather With You (Home Demo)*" (Neil Finn, Tim Finn)3:08
10."Chocolate Cake (Home Demo)*" (Neil Finn, Tim Finn)3:50
11."How Will You Go (Home Demo)*" (Neil Finn, Tim Finn)2:46
12."It's Only Natural (Home Demo)*" (Neil Finn, Tim Finn)3:21
13."Four Seasons In One Day (Home Demo)*" (Neil Finn, Tim Finn)2:42
14."There Goes God (Home Demo)*" (Neil Finn, Tim Finn)2:43
15."Catherine Wheel (Home Demo)*" (Neil Finn, Tim Finn)3:00
16."All I Ask (Home Demo)*" (Neil Finn, Tim Finn)2:43
17."Fields Are Full Of Your Kind"3:29
18."Creek Song / Left Hand" (Hester, Finn)3:04
19."Fall At Your Feet (Rehearsal Early Version)"3:22
20."The Burglar's Song (Medley) - Around The UK In 7 Minutes (Live) * #" (Neil Finn, Liam Finn, Eddie Rayner, Tim Finn, Paul Hester)7:21
21."I'm Still Here (Full Version)" (Hester, Finn, Nick Seymour)2:19

Notes

  • * Previously released
  • # features excerpts from "The Burglar's Song" (Neil Finn, Liam Finn), "Don't Dream It's Over" (Neil Finn), "When You Come" (Neil Finn), "Hole In The River" (Neil Finn, Eddie Rayner), "Money's No Object" (Tim Finn), "It's Only Natural" (Neil Finn, Tim Finn) and "Still Emotional" (Paul Hester).

Personnel[edit]

Crowded House

  • Neil Finn – guitar, vocals, keyboards
  • Tim Finn – piano, guitar, vocals
  • Paul Hester – drums, vocals, keyboards, percussion
  • Nick Seymour – bass guitar, vocals

Additional musicians

  • Ricky Fataar – drums, percussion tracks 5, 8 and 10
  • Chris Wilson – harmonica tracks 1, 4 and 8
  • Peter Bucknell – violin "There Goes God"
  • Vince Parsonage – viola "There Goes God"
  • Alex Acuna – additional percussion
  • Geoffrey Hales – additional percussion
  • Jack Mack – brass
  • David Hidalgo – accordion "As Sure as I Am"
  • Jorge Callendrelli – conductor, string arranger "All I Ask"
  • Sharon Finn – backing vocals "All I Ask"
  • Mitchell Froom – keyboards
  • Mark Hart – additional keyboards
  • Stuart Ellison – additional keyboards

Production

  • Mitchell Froom, Neil Finn – producers
  • Tchad Blake – engineer
  • Paul Kosky – engineer (Periscope Studios)
  • Rob Jaczko – second engineer (A&M Studios)
  • Max Garcia – second engineer (Periscope Studios)
  • Bob Clearmountain – mixing (A&M Studios / Record Plant)
  • Bob Ludwig – mastering (Masterdisk)
  • Nick Seymour – art direction, cover painting
  • Tommy Steele – art direction
  • Dennis Keeley – photography
  • Stephen Walker – design
  • Timothy Eames – letter construction
  • Brenda Bentley – costumes

Charts[edit]

Album[edit]

Sales of Woodface indicated that Crowded House remained hugely popular in Australasia.[12][13] Their continued diminishing success in the US[18] was countered by increased sales in Europe where the album reached several national charts, including a top 10 hit in the UK.[14] The album was certified platinum in Australia,[19] New Zealand (x4), Canada[20] and the UK.[21]

Chart Position
Australian Albums Chart[12] 2
Canadian Albums Chart[22] 20
New Zealand Albums Chart[13] 1
German Albums Chart[23] 26
Norwegian Albums Chart[24] 13
Swedish Albums Chart[25] 24
Swiss Albums Chart[26] 12
UK Albums Chart[14] 6
US Billboard 200[18] 83

Singles[edit]

The first single, "Chocolate Cake", was a humorous comment on American excess, which perhaps unsurprisingly failed to make the US Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart. It did, however, peak at #2 on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart.[27] Although the second single, "Fall at Your Feet", entered the lower reaches of the Hot 100[28] and "It's Only Natural" peaked at #5 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart,[27] the poor performance of the singles from Woodface in the US reflected the band's declining popularity there. Outside the US, the singles from Woodface were more successful, especially in Canada, the UK,[14] Australia,[12] New Zealand[13] and the Netherlands,[29] where all five singles from the album charted.

Single AUS
[12]
NZ
[13]
UK
[14]
CAN US
[28]
GER
[30]
NED
[29]
SWE
[25]
SWI
[31]
FRA
[32]
"Chocolate Cake"[33] 20 7 69 9 27
"Fall at Your Feet"[34] 31 24 17 27 75 41 30
"Weather with You"[35] 27 9 7 34 23 10 37 8
"Four Seasons in One Day"[36] 47 33 26 68 50
"It's Only Natural"[37] 15 31 24 55 59 55

Further reading[edit]

  • Bourke, Chris (1997). Crowded House: Something So Strong. South Melbourne, Victoria: Macmillan. ISBN 0-7329-0886-8.
  • McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Entry for Crowded House". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, New South Wales: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b "BPI > Certified Awards > Search results for 'Woodface' (from bpi.co.uk)". Imgur.com (original source published by British Phonographic Industry). Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  2. ^ a b "New Release Summary – Product Available from: 8/07/91 (from The ARIA Report Issue 76)". Imgur.com (original document published by ARIA). Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  3. ^ Woodstra, Chris. "Woodface – Crowded House". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  4. ^ Kot, Greg (4 July 1991). "Crowded House: Woodface (Capitol)". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  5. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-85712-595-8.
  6. ^ Gardner, Elysa (12 July 1991). "Woodface". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  7. ^ Cromelin, Richard (7 July 1991). "The House Needs a Deeper Setting". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  8. ^ Du Noyer, Paul (July 1991). "Crowded House: Woodface". Q (58).
  9. ^ McKenna, Kristine (11 July 1991). "Crowded House: Woodface". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 8 May 2006. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  10. ^ Christgau, Robert (1 October 1991). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
  11. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book Ltd. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  12. ^ a b c d e "Crowded House Discography" australian-charts.com
  13. ^ a b c d e "Crowded House Discography" charts.org.nz
  14. ^ a b c d e "Crowded House" Chart Stats
  15. ^ O'Donnell, John; Creswell, Toby; Mathieson, Craig (October 2010). 100 Best Australian Albums. Prahran, Vic: Hardie Grant Books. ISBN 978-1-74066-955-9.
  16. ^ a b Bourke, 1997
  17. ^ "Crowded House Discography" amws.com.au - 12 January 1994
  18. ^ a b "Crowded House > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums" Allmusic
  19. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  20. ^ "Woodface (1991)" crowdedhouse.com
  21. ^ "Certified Awards Search" Archived 24 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine. British Phonographic Industry (Note: Enter "Crowded House" into the "Search" box and ensure that the "Search by" box says "Artist")
  22. ^ "RPM Top Albums/CDs – Volume 54, No. 11, August 17 1991" Library and Archives Canada
  23. ^ "Chartverfolgung / Crowded House / Longplay" musicline.de
  24. ^ "Discography Crowded House" norwegiancharts.com
  25. ^ a b "Discography Crowded House" swedishcharts.com
  26. ^ "Crowded House – Woodface (Album)" hitparade.ch
  27. ^ a b "Crowded House > Chart History > Alternative Songs" Billboard
  28. ^ a b "Crowded House > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles" Allmusic
  29. ^ a b "Discografie Crowded House" dutchcharts.nl
  30. ^ "Chartverfolgung / Crowded House / Single" musicline.de
  31. ^ "Crowded House – Weather With You (Song)" hitparade.ch
  32. ^ "Discographie Crowded House" lescharts.com
  33. ^ "RPM Top Singles – Volume 54, No. 6, July 13 1991" Library and Archives Canada
  34. ^ "RPM Top Singles – Volume 54, No. 23, November 09 1991" Library and Archives Canada
  35. ^ "RPM Top Singles – Volume 55, No. 17, April 25 1992" Library and Archives Canada
  36. ^ "RPM Top Singles – Volume 56, No. 15, October 10 1992" Library and Archives Canada
  37. ^ "RPM Top Singles – Volume 55, No. 6, February 01 1992" Library and Archives Canada

External links[edit]