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The Sun Came Out: The Making of the Album 7 Worlds Collide DVD

posted Apr 25, 2012, 11:27 AM by Vu Nguyen
This was sent in for review:


The Sun Came Out: The Making of the Album 7 Worlds Collide

Actors: Neil Finn, Eddie Vedder, Lisa Germano, Phil Selway, Johnny Marr
Directors: Simon Mark-Brown
Format: Color, DVD, NTSC
Language: English
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Number of discs: 1
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Cinema Libre Studio
DVD Release Date: April 10, 2012
Run Time: 84 minutes
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7 Worlds Collide: The Sun Came Out
Neil Finn is possibly most famous from being the frontsman for the 80s/90s band, Crowded House - named after a shared rental house with five other ....
If you own (or read about) 7 Worlds Collide: The Sun Came Out, you might be interested in picking up this documentary about the making of "7 Worlds Collide", entitled The Sun Came Out: The Making of the Album 7 Worlds Collide. The DVD just came out last week via Cinema Libre Studios.

Just to give you a little back story, the original 7 Worlds Collide started as a charity, billed as "Neil Finn and Friends" in 2001 as a series of five live shows at St James Theatre in New Zealand. Finn envisioned the event as forming a band, and then immediately breaking up the band (before anything can go wrong). Then about seven years later, Finn got the bug again and started up a sequel to "7 Worlds Collide" called "The Sun Came Out".

In additional to the original guests (Johnny Marr, Ed O'Brien, Eddie Vedder, Tim Finn, Liam Finn, Elroy Finn, Phil Selway, Lisa Germano), they added seven more: Jeff Tweedy, Glenn Kotche, John Stirratt and Pat Sansone of Wilco, Sebastian Steinberg, KT Tunstall, Don McGlashan and Bic Runga. So it was: 20 musicians to write and record an album in 20 days.

The documentary does a good job in telling the story of the recording of "The Sun Came Out". It played out pretty much in chronological order, starting off with mastermind Neil Finn and producer Jim Scott. There seems to be some sort of miscommunication: some artists thought they had to already have a song ready, some artists thought it would be ideal, some people didn't even know they had to write a song. Even though the film tried to make us feel like it was chaos, I didn't get that impression. The impression I got was that it was all very laid back. No one was in trouble and everyone was having a good time, in this massive house/studio by the beach.

I felt that Neil Finn didn't have enough screen time, since I reckon he was the man with the plan. Instead the documentary spends a lot of time focusing on the various musicians. Lots of Radiohead's Ed & Phil and Johnny Marr (The Smiths) and lots of Wilco. In fact, there were one or two comments about how they thought it was such a clash of quintessentially British and American sounds. Everyone got their spot on the documentary, although some people spoke more than others (camera shy?).

There were a few issues I had with the documentary, in particular keeping track of who's who. With a cast of "20 musicians", I would love it if the documentary had names below the artist from time to time. I understand that when the credit started, that the artists names were written on postage stamps - but most people aren't going to remember that throughout the whole 90 minutes.

I'll give you an example, there was a scene where drummer Phil Selway was talking about this other drummer. They showed footage of John Stirratt from Wilco, but for the life of me, I didn't know who that was. And the scene went on and on about what a great drummer Stirratt was, and it would have been really helpful if they had his name in captions. Another example is whenever they showed Johnny Marr's daughter (I am assuming it is his daughter since she's wearing The Cribs t-shirt) but they never credited who that was on backing vocals with KT Tunstall. I suppose when all is said and done, the names aren't important to tell the story.

If you love 7 Worlds Collide: The Sun Came Out album, then this documentary must be seen. This is an intimate look at the creative process of writing songs… and that the musicians are just like you and me. They have families … they goof around (there is a funny cucumber complaint by Marr). Plus, as a special bonus, there is a full "Seven Worlds Collide Live at the St. James" (complete with bonus interviews) included on the DVD.

Neil Finn