Monday, October 12, 2009

Neil Finn's First "7 Worlds Collide" Project in 2001

Neil Finn is the legendary singer/songwriter who has made a lot of great music with Split Enz, fronting Crowded House, and on his own excellent solo albums. This past winter, he again brought together a large group of musicians, including members of Radiohead and Wilco, to play a series of shows in his native New Zealand. This time, the group took the band name of 7 Worlds Collide and recorded a double album of new songs, Sun Came Out. There will be a post on this blog next week about this album, (I have to listen to it first!) but in the meantime, you can order it here.

Before that, I thought it would be a good idea to look back at Neil Finn's first "7 Worlds Collide" project in 2001. Neil put together a great group of musicians, including:

Tim Finn, his brother and collaborator in Split Enz, Crowded House, and Finn Brothers
Johnny Marr, guitarist and songwriter for The Smiths
Eddie Vedder, lead singer of Pearl Jam
Lisa Germano, a solo artist & former violinist for John Mellencamp
Ed Obrien, guitarist in Radiohead
Phil Selway, drummer in Radiohead
Sebastian Steinberg, bassist in Soul Coughing

The musicians rehearsed for a few weeks before playing a week's worth of shows in New Zealand. The final concert in Aukland was recorded for the DVD and CD release Neil Finn and Friends - 7 Worlds Collide: Live at St. James.

In this first video, Neil explains the process of putting everything together before the band opens the final show with the Crowded House classic "Fall at Your Feet."

Along with Neil's own songs, the band played music from each other's careers. One of the highlights was Neil singing lead on the Smiths' song "There is a Light That Never Goes Out." This video is followed by the mp3 from the live album.

Neil Finn & Friends - There is a Light That Never Goes Out (Smiths cover)

Eddie Vedder was an important part of the shows, usually taking lead on some of his favorite Split Enz tunes. The first two videos here are followed by mp3s.

Neil Finn & Friends (w/ Eddie Vedder) - Take a Walk (Split Enz cover)

Neil Finn ft Eddie Vedder - Stuff and nonsense

Mauro|MySpace Videos

Neil Finn & Friends (w/ Eddie Vedder) - Stuff & Nonsense (Split Enz cover)

The coolest part of the DVD was when when Eddie joined Neil's son Liam's band Betchadupa (where Liam played drums) midset to cover a few Split Enz songs. What makes this especially cool in retrospect is that since then, Liam had made a great solo album, I'll Be Lightning, and has been the opening act on many of Eddie's solo shows these past few years. Here's their first time working together:

Liam's uncle Tim joined in on this wild performance of "I See Red."

The project also showcases Neil's phenomenal second solo album, One All. Here they perform one of the most beautiful songs you'll ever hear, "Last to Know."

Last To Know - Neil Finn

Neil Finn|MySpace Music Videos

Another great moment in the concert film came when everyone got together near the end for "Weather With You," another classic song from Crowded House.

To check out an older post about Neil and Tim Finn's first band Split Enz, (w/ some covers by Pearl Jam), go here.

Thanks for checking this out. Look for a post on the new 7 World Collide project next week.

Buy the CD and DVD Neil Finn & Friends - 7 Worlds Collide: Live at St. James on


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