Woodface is the third studio album by the band Crowded House. The album was produced by Mitchell Froom and 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".Woodface was a major hit in Australia and New Zealand as well as giving the band their first top ten hit album in the UK. It was listed at No. 3 in the book, 100 Best Australian Albums, in October 2010.
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 band mate 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.
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. 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 left the band. 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.
Neil Finn - guitar, vocals, keyboards,
Tim Finn - piano, guitar, vocals,
Paul Hester - drums, vocals, keyboards, percussion,
Nick Seymour - bass guitar, vocals,
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,
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, Tommy Steele - art direction,
Nick Seymour - cover painting,
Dennis Keeley - photography,
Stephen Walker - design,
Timothy Eames - letter construction,
Brenda Bentley - costumes,
All songs written by Neil Finn and Tim Finn, except where indicated.
"Chocolate Cake" - 4:02,
"It's Only Natural" - 3:32,
"Fall at Your Feet" (N. Finn) - 3:18,
"Tall Trees" - 2:19,
"Weather with You" - 3:44,
"Whispers and Moans" (N. Finn) - 3:39,
"Four Seasons in One Day" - 2:50,
"There Goes God" - 3:50,
"Fame Is" (N. Finn) - 2:23,
"All I Ask" - 3:55,
"As Sure as I Am" (N. Finn) - 2:53,
"Italian Plastic" (Paul Hester) - 3:39,
"She Goes On" (N. Finn) - 3:15,
"How Will You Go" - 3:07 / "I'm Still Here" (Hester) - 1:07,
"I'm Still Here" follows "How Will You Go" in track 14 as a hidden track at 3:37 after 30 seconds silence.
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" remains unreleased and "My Legs Are Gone" features on the fanclub only disc "I Like It Rare".
"Anyone Can Tell",
"I Love You Dawn",
"My Telly's Gone Bung",
"Fields Are Full of Your Kind",
"My Legs Are Gone",
Preceded by, Adrenalize by Def Leppard
New Zealand Albums Chart Number-one album,
26 April - 17 May 1992 (4 weeks)
Succeeded by, Blood Sugar Sex Magik by Red Hot Chili Peppers
Sales of Woodface indicated that Crowded House remained hugely popular in Australasia. Their continued diminishing success in the US was countered by increased sales in Europe where the album reached several national charts, including a top 10 hit in the UK. The album was certified platinum in Australia (x2), New Zealand (x4), Canada and the UK.
Australian Albums Chart
Canadian Albums Chart
New Zealand Albums Chart
German Albums Chart
Norwegian Albums Chart
Swedish Albums Chart
Swiss Albums Chart
UK Albums Chart
US Billboard 200
"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. Although the second single, "Fall at Your Feet", entered the lower reaches of the Hot 100 and "It's Only Natural" peaked at #5 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, 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, Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands, where all five singles from the album charted.
"Fall at Your Feet"
"Weather with You"
"Four Seasons in One Day"
"It's Only Natural"
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:
^ Du Noyer, Paul "Woodface review" Q magazine - July 1991,
^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970-1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book Ltd. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. ,
^ "Crowded House Discography" australian-charts.com,
^ "Crowded House Discography" charts.org.nz,
^ "Crowded House" Chart Stats,
^ O'Donnell, John; Creswell, Toby; Mathieson, Craig (October 2010). 100 Best Australian Albums. Prahran, Vic: Hardie Grant Books. ISBN 978-1-74066-955-9. ,
^ Bourke, 1997,
^ McFarlane, 1999,
^ "Crowded House Discography" amws.com.au - 12 January 1994,
^ "Crowded House > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums" Allmusic,
^ "Woodface (1991)" crowdedhouse.com,
^ "Certified Awards Search" British Phonographic Industry (Note: Enter "Crowded House" into the "Search" box and ensure that the "Search by" box says "Artist"),
^ "RPM Top Albums/CDs - Volume 54, No. 11, August 17 1991" Library and Archives Canada,
^ "Chartverfolgung / Crowded House / Longplay" musicline.de,
^ "Discography Crowded House" norwegiancharts.com,
^ "Discography Crowded House" swedishcharts.com,
^ "Crowded House - Woodface (Album)" hitparade.ch,
^ "Crowded House > Chart History > Alternative Songs" Billboard,
^ "Crowded House > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles" Allmusic,
^ "Discografie Crowded House" dutchcharts.nl,
^ "Chartverfolgung / Crowded House / Single" musicline.de,
^ "Crowded House - Weather With You (Song)" hitparade.ch,
^ "Discographie Crowded House" lescharts.com,
^ "RPM Top Singles - Volume 54, No. 6, July 13 1991" Library and Archives Canada,
^ "RPM Top Singles - Volume 54, No. 23, November 09 1991" Library and Archives Canada,
^ "RPM Top Singles - Volume 55, No. 17, April 25 1992" Library and Archives Canada,
^ "RPM Top Singles - Volume 56, No. 15, October 10 1992" Library and Archives Canada,
^ "RPM Top Singles - Volume 55, No. 6, February 01 1992" Library and Archives Canada