Digitally remastered and expanded two CD edition of this classic album from the Australian band led by former Split Enz member Neil Finn. This edition sees the original 14 track album expanded to 35 tracks. The 36 page booklet boasts lyrics, rare photos, newly commissioned liner notes from journalist Dino Scatena and new interviews with Neil Finn and Nick Seymour. Woodface is the third studio album by Crowded House. Produced by Mitchell Froom, it was released by Capitol in July 1991. It features five singles "Chocolate Cake," "Fall at Your Feet," "Weather with You," "Four Seasons in One Day," and "It's Only Natural".
Tim Finn joining made this album almost made this a combo of Crowded House AND Split Enz. The material originally started as a Tim and Neil Finn duo album but morphed into a Crowded House album. Many of the songs were co-written by Neil and Tim with both doing vocals and their incomparable harmonies.
The reissue has a second disc of demos and b-sides many of them unreleased or available only on CD singles released at the time.
There's more bottom end but there is some compression that has been applied which leads me to conclude that, despite claims to the contrary, the first disc has been remastered or at least tweaked. The dynamic range isn't quite as good as the original release and the EMI 100 Anniversary two disc edition with bonus tracks but it still sounds pretty good if not ideal. There is, however, a drop out on "Tall Trees" which occurred during the digital transfer of the album. I wouldn't hold out hope that Universal is going to the cost of re transferring AND manufacturing discs.
What are the contents of the second disc?
Burnt Out Tree (home demo)
I May Be Late (home demo)
She Goes On (home demo)
As Sure As I Am (home demo)
My Legs Are Gone (studio)
You Got Me Going (home demo)
Italian Plastic (home demo)
Be My Guest (home demo)
Weather With You (home demo) *
Chocolate Cake (home demo) *
How Will You Go (home demo) *
It’s Only Natural (home demo) *
Four Seasons In One Day (home demo) *
There Goes God (home demo) *
Catherine Wheel (home demo) *
All I Ask (home demo)
Fields Are Full Of Your Kind
Creek Song/Left Hand
Fall At Your Feet (early version rehearsal)
The Burglar’s Song (Medley) – Around The UK In 7 Minutes (Live)
I’m Still Here (full version)
A classic album that features a terrific performances and some of the most melodic material that Neil (and Tim) wrote, "Woodface" never got its due in the U.S. but maybe with it's second coming with a disc of previously unreleased/rare material, it will.
The packaging is top notch even if the discs are housed in a (very firm) cardboard digipak. We also get a large format booklet that features lyrics, comments from Neil and Nick as well as terrific photos. All of this is housed in a hard shell container the size of a DVD Amray case. It's too bad that Neil and his co-producer felt the need to compress this. There are ways to improve depth, soundstage, bottom end and make things sound less than than throwing on some compression. Despite the compression because of the contents it's still five stars. I would recommended undoing some of the damage yourself if the compression/loudness bothers you.