Two of the best-loved songwriters of the Antipodes are celebrating their brotherly partnership in a new deluxe vinyl package. Finn, the first album credited to the Finn Brothers, will debut on vinyl this summer as part of a double LP that also includes Neil and Tim Finn's extraordinary demos from 1989 - which birthed another classic album from the duo.
At the time Finn was released in 1995, Tim was enjoying some of the biggest success of his solo career with 1993's Before & After and the minor chart hit "Persuasion." Neil, meanwhile, was contemplating the end of Crowded House, the very band he started after dissolving Split Enz, which he'd joined alongside big brother Tim in the late '70s. (Both had recently enjoyed a reunion tour of the Enz, and would be named Officers of the Order of the British Empire in 1993, in recognition of their lives' work.)
The lo-fi sessions for Finn, almost entirely performed by the duo themselves with producer Tchad Blake, featured the best hallmarks of each accomplished Finn's songwriting and natural harmonic gifts - a looser, abstract sound not heard since the early Enz, but with the duo's pop melody gifts on display as well. It even spawned an unlikely Top 40 hit in the U.K., "Suffer Never."
Of course, the roots of Finn began some years before, when Neil approached Tim to put an album together while Crowded House struggled through a third album. (After their self-titled 1986 debut spun off worldwide hits in "Don't Dream It's Over" and "Something So Strong," follow-up Temple of Low Men (1988) failed to match the sales of its predecessor.) Neil and Tim's swooning, harmonic songs (featuring the percussion of Crowded House's late drummer Paul Hester in demo form) became such a boon that, after Capitol requested that the next Crowded House album be retooled, Neil asked Tim if they could repurpose some of their collaborations for 1991's beloved Woodface. (Tim agreed, in exchange for temporarily becoming a member of the group - a condition he later admitted was a joke.) When Finn was finally issued, its singles featured those original demos, which found their way onto Woodface, Crowded House's Together Alone (1993) and Before & After.
The Needle Mythology label, founded by writer and Finn authority Pete Paphides, will put both Finn and those 1989 demos (including the previously-unreleased "Four-Stepping in 3/4 Time") together in one luxe 2LP package. The sleeve will also include lyrics, new notes by Ed O'Brien of Radiohead, unseen images from the album sessions and even the "listening notes" that the Finns' parents sent them upon hearing the album. Miles Showell at Abbey Road cut the new album transfers, pressed onto 180-gram discs from The Vinyl Factory. (A CD version is allegedly forthcoming.)
The new pressing of Finn will be available July 29. A bundle with a signed print has sold out, but it remains available at Amazon; pre-order it and check out the track list below.
LP 1: Original album (released as Parlophone 72438 35632 2 7 (AUS/U.K.) / Discovery Records 77043 (U.S.), 1995)
- Only Talking Sense
- Eyes of the World
- Mood Swinging Man
- Last Day of June
- Suffer Never
- Angel's Heap
- Where is My Soul
- Bullets in My Hairdo
- Paradise (Wherever You Are)
- Kiss the Road of Rarotonga
LP 2: The Finn Demos (* previously unreleased)
- Catherine Wheels
- Prodigal Son
- Four-Stepping in 3/4 Time *
- There Goes God
- It's Only Natural
- Weather with You
- Strangeness and Charm
- Four Seasons in One Day
- In Love with It All
- How Will You Go
Tracks 1-2 and 6-9 released on "Suffer Never" U.K. CD singles - Parlophone CDR/S 6417, 1995
Tracks 4-5 and 10 released on "Angel's Heap" U.K. CD singles - Parlophone CDR/S 6421, 1995