Neil Finn is one of the great, under-appreciated singer/songwriters of the last 30 years. A New Zealand native, Neil came of age and then into the musical forefront through the one-of-a-kind New Wave band Split Enz, founded and fronted by his older brother Tim. He penned and sang the band's biggest #1 hit (in Canada, Australia and New Zealand), 1980's "I Got You." He went on to form Crowded House (1985-1996), fashioning it into an internationally renowned band (re-formed in 2006) and a frequent visitor to critic's 'best of' lists, with hits including "Don't Dream It's Over," "Something So Strong," "Weather With You," and "Distant Sun." And Neil has recorded solo albums in 1998 and 2002 and two albums, in 1995 and 2004, with his brother under the moniker The Finn Brothers.
It has been eight years since Neil's first 7 Worlds Collide project which gathered a stellar group of musicians (including Eddie Vedder, Johnny Marr, and members of Radiohead) to play a series of live shows in Auckland, New Zealand. All proceeds from the resulting live album and DVD went to Medecins Sans Frontieres. Around Christmas 2008, Neil assembled an even larger group of musicians -- with international development organization Oxfam chosen as the beneficiary this time -- to collaborate and record a studio album of original songs. All of the songs were written and recorded over the course of three short weeks. Pretty amazing.
To be released on September 29, 2009 in the United States, the two-disc 7 Worlds Collide: The Sun Came Out features: the Finn clan (Neil, Tim, sons Liam (solo artist) and Elroy (drummer for The Tricks), and wife Sharon); Johnny Marr (The Smiths, Modest Mouse): Ed O'Brien and Phil Selway (of Radiohead): Jeff Tweedy, Glenn Kotche, Pat Sansone and John Stirratt (of Wilco); KT Tunstall; Lisa Germano; Don McGlashan; Glenn Richards (of Augie March); Bic Runga; Sebastian Steinberg (of Soul Coughing), Johnny's son Nile Marr (AKA Kid 4077), and Jeff's son Spencer Tweedy.
There are some real gems on here and fans of good music and any of the artists represented should check this out. The album features tracks such as "True Blue" co-written by Johnny Marr and Jeff Tweedy, "Hazel Black" co-written by KT Tunstall and Neil Finn, and "The Ties That Bind Us" written (and sung) by Radiohead drummer Phil Selway.
Order through amazon.com here and support Oxfam. Music samples are available now on the album's web site and you can check out some of the limited live performances from January 2009 on YouTube.
When your seven worlds collide
Whenever I am by your side
And dust from a distant sun
Will shower over everyone
--Distant Sun," Crowded House, Together Alone (1993)
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