Woodface is the third studio album by New Zealand-Australian band Crowded House. The album was produced by Mitchell Froom and Neil Finn and was released by Capitol Records in July 1991.[1][2] It features five singles: "Chocolate Cake", "Fall at Your Feet", "It's Only Natural", "Weather with You", and "Four Seasons in One Day".[13] Woodface was a major hit in Australia[14] and New Zealand[15] as well as giving the band their first top ten hit album in the UK.[16] It was listed at No. 3 in the book 100 Best Australian Albums in October 2010.[17] It was voted number 80 in the third edition of Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums (2000).[18]

Woodface
Studio album by
Released1 July 1991 (1991-07-01) (UK)[1]
8 July 1991 (1991-07-08) (Australia)[2]
Recorded1989–1991
Studio
  • A&M (Los Angeles)
  • Periscope (Melbourne)
  • Ocean Way (Hollywood)
  • Platinum (Melbourne)
Genre
Length48:11
LabelCapitol
Producer
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: August 1991
  3. "It's Only Natural"
    Released: December 1991
  4. "Weather with You"
    Released: February 1992
  5. "Four Seasons in One Day"
    Released: June 1992
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic[3]
Chicago Tribune[4]
Classic Rock8/10[5]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[6]
Los Angeles Times[7]
NME6/10[8]
Q[9]
Rolling Stone[10]
Select3/5[11]
Uncut7/10[12]

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.[19]

The album was titled Woodface and was released in July 1991. The cover was designed by Nick Seymour and Tommy Steele. 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.[19] 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, and member of the Rutles, is credited on three of the Finn Brothers songs, "All I Ask", "There Goes God" and "Weather With You". The addition of Tim Finn and the inclusion of songs originally written for the Finn Brothers project gave the album a more upbeat and optimistic sound compared to its darkly personal predecessor, "represent[ing] the joy of reunion and the freedom of a collaborative effort", as Chris Woodstra of Allmusic remarked.[20]

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.[21] The group described their work in the 2007 documentary Great Australian Albums.[22]

Track listing edit

All tracks are 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"

Several songs initially recorded by Tim and Neil were temporarily considered for Woodface, but not used. "Catherine Wheels" would later be recorded for their next album, Together Alone (1993).

  • "Catherine Wheels"
  • "In Love With It All"
  • "Strangeness and Charm"
  • "Prodigal Son"
  • "Cemetery in the Rain"

2016 reissue edit

Includes the original album for the first disc.

All tracks are 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*"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, lead vocal on "Italian Plastic"
  • Nick Seymour – bass guitar, backing vocals

Additional musicians

Production

  • Neil Finn – producer
  • Mitchell Froom – producer
  • Tchad Blake – engineer
  • Paul Kosky – engineer (Periscope Studios)
  • Rob Jaczko – second engineer (A&M Studios)
  • Andrew Horne – second engineer (Periscope Studios)
  • Max Garcia – second engineer (A&M Studios / Record Plant)
  • 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

Certifications edit

Certifications and sales for Woodface
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[38] Platinum 70,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[39] Gold 50,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[40] Gold 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[41] 2× Platinum 600,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

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)". 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. ^ Staunton, Terry (25 October 2016). "Crowded House – 30th Anniversary Reissues album review". Classic Rock. Retrieved 21 January 2023.
  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. ^ Fyfe, Andy (13 July 1991). "Crowded House: Woodface". NME. p. 30.
  9. ^ Du Noyer, Paul (July 1991). "Crowded House: Woodface". Q. No. 58. Archived from the original on 15 December 2000. Retrieved 21 January 2023.
  10. ^ McKenna, Kristine (11–25 July 1991). "Crowded House: Woodface". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 8 May 2006. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  11. ^ Kirsch, Michele (August 1991). "Crowded House: Woodface". Select. No. 14. p. 57.
  12. ^ Pinnock, Tom (December 2016). "Crowded House". Uncut. No. 235. p. 52.
  13. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book Ltd. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  14. ^ "Crowded House Discography" australian-charts.com
  15. ^ "Crowded House Discography" charts.org.nz
  16. ^ "Crowded House" Chart Stats
  17. ^ O'Donnell, John; Creswell, Toby; Mathieson, Craig (October 2010). 100 Best Australian Albums. Prahran, Vic: Hardie Grant Books. ISBN 978-1-74066-955-9.
  18. ^ Colin Larkin, ed. (2006). All Time Top 1000 Albums (3rd ed.). Virgin Books. p. 68. ISBN 0-7535-0493-6.
  19. ^ a b Bourke, 1997
  20. ^ "Woodface - Crowded House | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic".
  21. ^ "Crowded House Discography" amws.com.au - 12 January 1994
  22. ^ "Great Australian Albums series 1 (2007) – The Screen Guide". Screen Australia. Retrieved 11 November 2022.
  23. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Crowded House – Woodface". Hung Medien. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  24. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 1599". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 24 May 2022.
  25. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Crowded House – Woodface" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  26. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Crowded House – Woodface" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  27. ^ "Charts.nz – Crowded House – Woodface". Hung Medien. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  28. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Crowded House – Woodface". Hung Medien. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  29. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Crowded House – Woodface". Hung Medien. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  30. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Crowded House – Woodface". Hung Medien. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  31. ^ "Crowded House | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 24 May 2022.
  32. ^ "Crowded House Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 24 May 2022.
  33. ^ "ARIA Top 100 Albums for 1991". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  34. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 1702". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 24 May 2022.
  35. ^ "Top Selling Albums of 1991". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  36. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Album 1992". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  37. ^ "Top Selling Albums of 1992". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  38. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1991 Albums" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association.
  39. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Crowded House – Temple of Low Men". Music Canada.
  40. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Crowded House – Woodface" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved 16 July 2022. Enter Woodface in the "Artiest of titel" box. Select 1992 in the drop-down menu saying "Alle jaargangen".
  41. ^ "British album certifications – Crowded House – Woodface". British Phonographic Industry.

External links edit