A Crowded House full of Beatles

I’ve been a Crowded House fan for a long time and more recently an even bigger Neil Finn fan. This won’t be news to anyone who either a) knows me or b) has been curious enough to glance across the other sections of my site.

I have my good friend, Oliver to thank for that, he discovered them during his ‘must listen to everything remotely related to Roxy Music’ phase (which has frankly never ended). The link was that Crowded House’s precursor, Split Enz supported Roxy on tour in their native New Zealand in 1976. Roxy guitarist Phil Manzenara was apparently so impressed he later went on to produce one of their albums with Neil Finn making a guest appearance on his 1978 album K-skope.

‘But Donovan, your title mentions the Beatles , not Roxy Music’ – let me get there (after all a little back story never hurt anyone, just ask Phineas and Ferb fans).

So anyway, last year I had the wonderful pleasure of being able to watch some of Neil Finn’s live streaming as he went through the process of rehearsing and recording his latest Album ‘Out of Silence’.

Having seen him twice in concert this was an absolute delight and and a real insight behind the scenes of the musical facades that he carefully crafts.

One of my favourite tracks from the album, ‘Second Nature’, had a section in it that seems incredibly familiar. It was only 2 bars or so repeated a few times during the song; under the lyrics “he’s on a Vespa” and more prominently without lyrics at 3:00 and 3:10. 

In usual mutating earworm fashion I just couldn’t shake it.

Second Nature – Neil Finn

It’s not the first time I had heard Beatlesque overtones in Neil Finn’s songs. The one that sprang to mind most easily was ‘Not the Girl You Think You Are’ which appeared as one of the 3 bonus tracks written for the 1996 Crowded House Greatest Hits ‘Recurring Dream’. Of course in doing some fact-checking it turns out that in that instance Neil was actually trying to write a song that sound like the Beatles (call yourself a fan, Donovan!).
The Beatles’ influence on Neil’s songwriting has frequently been a topic for discussion on Crowded House Fan forums across the years too.

Fortunately after a frustrating hour or so my brain finally caught up and found the musical link; it was the middle section from ‘When I’m Sixty Four’ over the lyrics ‘you’ll be older too’ at 00:44s.

So that’s the Midweek Mutating Earworm completed. Do you feel suitably enlightened? entertained? Comments, as always welcome below 🙂

More musical links of varying tenuousity same time next week and Throwback Thursday tomorrow.


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