Sunday, November 11, 2012

Neil Finn 3: 7 Worlds Collide

To promote the all-but-U.S. release of his second solo album, Neil Finn played a weeklong residency at a theater in Auckland, New Zealand with a band that included two members of Radiohead and other special guests, sometimes trading each other’s songs. The highlights were compiled on 7 Worlds Collide. (The DVD version added even more selections, and provides key visual clues to what’s going on.)
A few of the One Nil tracks make the program, while “Loose Tongue” from his first solo album is nicely translated to the stage. Johnny Marr emerges from years of session work to sing his own “Down On The Corner”, and Neil returns the favor by ably tackling The Smiths’ “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out”. Multi-instrumentalist Lisa Germano takes a rare spotlight on the transfixing “Paper Doll” before harmonizing nicely on “Turn And Run”. It wouldn’t be a show without Tim Finn, and the two perform not only a few from their one collaboration album to date, but preview “Edible Flowers” from the next one. Eddie Vedder reveals himself to be a huge Split Enz fan, taking lead vocals on “Take A Walk”, “Stuff And Nonsense”, and “I See Red”, the latter yelled over a band fronted by Neil’s son Liam (more on him later). The band also backs him on “Parting Ways” from the most recent Pearl Jam album. For Crowded House fans, “Weather With You” and “Don’t Dream It’s Over” close the set.
7 Worlds Collide isn’t the last time Neil would collaborate with surprisingly likeminded musicians, but it is an unexpected surprise. One suspects it may have helped pave the way for the emergence of One All in the U.S. the following year.

Neil Finn & Friends 7 Worlds Collide (2001)—

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