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Split Enz

Crossover Prog

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Split Enz Time and Tide album cover
3.73 | 28 ratings | 7 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1982

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Dirty Creature (4:03)
2. Giant Heartbeat (3:57)
3. Hello Sandy Allen (3:51)
4. Never Ceases to Amaze Me (3:04)
5. Lost for Words (3:01)
6. Small World (3:36)
7. Take a Walk (3:35)
8. Pioneer (1:31)
9. Six Months in a Leaky Boat (4:21)
10. Haul Away (2:27)
11. Log Cabin Fever (4:35)
12. Make Sense of It (3:34)

Total Time 41:35

Line-up / Musicians

- Tim Finn / vocals, piano
- Neil Finn / vocals, guitar
- Noel Crombie / drum, percussion
- Nigel Griggs / bass
- Eddie Raynor / keyboards, percussion

Releases information

Produced by Hugh Padgham and Split Enz

Thanks to cheesecakemouse for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy SPLIT ENZ Time and Tide Music

SPLIT ENZ Time and Tide ratings distribution

(28 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (32%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

SPLIT ENZ Time and Tide reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by debrewguy
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Aaahhh, the voyage that is a life .... If you've an open mind to the poppier side of prog, this album is a masterpiece. While I usually find song-by-song reviews a bit much, this is an album that calls for that process, so let's board the ship & explore, shall we. Dirty Creature - Don't let the 80s oblique pop dance sound fool you, this song has a serious way in opening the album. Tim Finn sets us off on the voyage with a nightmare put to music. Though the verses may remind you of some cringing 80s instrumentation, the chorus (I don't want to sail , I don't want to sail tonight) sounds like a more mainstream melody from Peter Gabriel 3rd album. Keep an ear open to Rayner's keyboard work, which is filled with prog sounds. An eerie way to set you off asea. Giant Heartbeat - Again the song starts with a typical 80s sound. But once more, the "poppish" bedrock is built upon with counterpoint melodies provided keyboard & bass. Neil Finn's lyrics makes this an Enz' version of Floyd's Time. "Sun up sun down fade to a lookalike, Hearts & souls move together in time". "Is anybody listening, a giant's heartbeat is fading". Again, Rayner's keyboard work is mesmerizing. But always backed by solid ensemble playing ! Hello Sandy Allen - This one harks back to their True Colours & Waiata new wave sound. A sunny melody to the verse, with some sombreness showing through on the chorus. I still can't figure out for sure if they're pitying the world's tallest woman or themselves by comparison. In summary - poppy, but enough changes to prog it up. Again, a close listen to the ensemble playing reveals much resides below the surface. Never Ceases to Amaze Me - New wavish melody, with guitar & keyboard sounds we all associate for the early 80s. Sunny song, then the chorus come along and once more the senior Finn injects the melancholy - " Happiness is a broken heart away, but you get caught up because it's worth the risk. Never ceases to amaze me". Lost for Words - A more choppy darker song structure than usual for the Enz, somewhat recalling their early work with Judd. Simply put, the singer is lost & looking for ? The group playing comes through & holds much pleasure for those that put in the effort to discern the textures on display. Peter Gabriel would have killed to be able to have come up with something this off-kilter but hummable. Small World - Slow & seemingly simple song. But it is a perfect backing for a sad song about ? Is he singing about the demis of the environment or is it more related to peoples' relation to each other - person to person or nation to nation ? Dreamy atmospheric playing by the group really completes the sense of quiet but not quite despair that permeates this one. Side one ends. Take a Walk - Probably one of my favourite Neil Finn & Split Enz tunes. Ready for the travels, time is now. Again, for a "pop" group the band keeps it interesting with changes between the verse & chorus. Here we see Split Enz' happy verse, melancholy chorus pattern that works so well in establishing or maybe murkying up the mood - is this a sunny song or is it more threatening in nature - " remember what a friend of mine said - You gotta be kind." Pioneer - Musical intro to a 3 song suite that comprises the heart of the album. Recalling at once sunny days & rainy skies, then we go on to ... Six months in a Leaky Boat - Youth & its attendant hopes & brashness. If big hits were determined by the intelligence of the lyrics, this hit single for the Enz would rank among the best. Young & daring the world to prepare for one's combats. Simple song structure, and I must say, until I saw Tim Finn solo, I could not grasp that it consisted of a few simple chords on an acoustic. Rayner again adds his keyboard delights, not as ego soloist, but as ensemble partner. We're taken away asea once more, full of hope, & dreaming of happiness ... then comes the more honest reality .... Haul Away - Tim tells us of the tides that have brought him here. Probably the most prog of songs on the album, we're taken through a short summary of Tim's life, birth through boarding school, time to travel through odyssey begun, nervous breakdown to help from friends, all we can do we do & get through. A bit of a celtic jig redone in a more modern manner. How's Tim feeling ... Log Cabin Fever - Things turn dark, times are bleak, lost at sea or in a sea of humanity ? 80s Genesis should have been so lucky as to write such a prog pop mini symphony ! Mid song, the band breaks out rocking for the end chorus - Log Cabin Fever , It's a Remote Possibility. A play on words for meaning, again lend your ears for the feast of sounds put together. Are things getting better .... Make Sense of It - Driving world beat tuneage. Breakdown chorus - are things so dark, but then are you really the only one ? "You realize you're not the only one, who's trying to make some sense of it". Never mind INXS, what you need is a friend - to help you make sense of it. Whew, I did as Sean Trane suggested & listened to the album as I wrote. Went through a little of my life's journey as I went along. Aaaahhhh, the voyage that is one's life.
Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars I'm afraid that I won't share the optimism of my two fellow reviewers who rated this album with the masterpiece status.

It all starts poorly with the funky "Dirty Creature", but this might only be a one of a kind, who knows! Still, the opening number is supposed to be the most catchy and one of the best of an album, so I was prepared for the worse.

I won't say that this work is bad, but in all honesty, I can't find many interesting tunes on "Time & Tide". Melodies are average, music is simplistic, gone are the superb arrangements of their seventies output.

They are replaced with the synthetic sounds of the early eighties, but not even the fun new wave ones. Just a collection of easy listening tracks with no real flavour nor identity for the majority.

I can't really tell to whom this album could please. Definitely not the progheads, neither their early fan database I guess. So?

Crafted (at best) pop tunes like "Hello Sandy Allen" and "Six Months In A Leaky Boat " aren't many; but "Never Ceases To Amaze Me" is a pleasant trip back in their earlier catalogue and their so funny style (very much influenced by "10CC"). It is probably not a great song, but it brings you back to the craziness of "Mental Notes" (their debut album).

While listening to "Lost For Words", some similarities with "XTC" can be heard as well. This is for the positive side but the reggae-oriented "Small World" is unfortunately there to remind us that their most creative period is behind. The nadir of this album being reached during "Take A Walk" and the folkish Haul Away.

There is even an attempt to symphonic prog with the short instrumental "Pioneer". I have to admit that it is quite successful, but unexpected of course.

Even if Make Sense Of It is a quite correct closing number, the whole of this album sounds too average to deserve more than two stars.

Review by russellk
3 stars Along with 'True Colours', this is the highlight of SPLIT ENZ's 1980s new wave pop output. With this album, as much as their 1980 effort, the band produce something gorgeous that music lovers brave enough to discard genre labels ought to enjoy.

The album isn't quite a concept album, but it does employ a nautical theme. It opens with a bang, the up-front and funky 'Dirty Creature', a genuinely great pop track with substantial, harrowing lyrics. 'The river of dread runs deep/full of unspeakable things/the creature don't mess around/I don't wanna mess with him'. 'Lost for Words' is the nearest the band come to DEVO, and is followed by the encouragingly strong if enigmatic 'Giant Heartbeat.' We've moved away from the boy/girl preoccupation of the ENZ's 1981 misstep album 'Waiata', and by invoking a wider lyrical palette, they've re-energised their music. The undoubted highlight is the central song suite 'Pioneer/Six Months/Haul Away'. EDDIE RAYNER produces another strong instrumental, this one a prelude to the pop single 'Six Months in a Leaky Boat', boasting erudite lyrics - supposedly about New Zealand - coupled with a splendid melody and a definite nautical shading. A delicate outro leads to the sea shanty 'Haul Away', a diary entry of a song that manages to make sense of the previous songs: the listener suddenly realises the entire album is autobiographical. TIM FINN wants out, and he wants out bad. The dark, progressive 'Log Cabin Fever' only serves to confirm this.

The other tracks don't quite live up to this standard, but are pleasant at worst. Not quite four stars, and the last SPLIT ENZ album worth listening to - at least in part because TIM gets out.

Review by Moogtron III
4 stars Okay, to be quite clear: this is not a progressive rock album in the sense that we know it. Crossover prog? No, that's a good tag for the debut twin albums Mental Notes and Second Thoughts. After these albums, Split Enz began to specialize in writing pop / rock songs with a lot of originality. The Finn brothers were becoming better and better songsmiths, and like a real Lennon and McCartney, they kept each other in balance, and Time And Tide is their finest hour together as songwriters.

Not only for the Finn brothers: keyboardist Eddie Rayner, more than once responsible for a great instrumental track on the album, penned down a magnificent dreamy all keyboard fantasy called Pioneer for the album.

Also a specialty of the Enz: an original rhythm section. Split Enz was a band which aimed to be original, and they kept on doing that for the rest of their career. Like Neil Finn once said: Split Enz wanted to be good at doing songs in an original way, Crowded House (Neils next band) wanted to be good in doing songs in a traditional way.

Why is Time And Tide the best post-progressive Split Enz album?

1. Strong compositions, for one thing. It looks as if Tim and Neil Finn are challenging each other in writing good songs. Not all the songs are brilliant, but they're all good.

2. Also, there's coherence. Their next album, Conflicting Emotions, with the well known hit single Message To My Girl, shows a band in disintegration. Tim Finn will leave the band after that album. There was a fraction too much friction in the band, as is the title of one of his solo hits. But Time And Time shows the band at its best.

3. Imaginative lyrics. Neil sings about a very tall woman and the embarrassment and admiration that he experiences (Hello Sandy Allen), Tim wonders why this world is like an ants' nest, full of non stop activity (Never Ceazes To Amaze Me), and Tim also offers a song which would score very high as it comes to originality: he tells of his life in a song, giving details like the date of his birth, how much he weighed when he was born, etc., all to the background of an English folk song (Haul Away).

4. Variety. For instance: Eddie's dreamy Pioneer is followed by Tim's jubilant Six Months In A Leaky Boat (for a while a very controversial song in English politics: it was during the Falkland War, and some even assumed that Tim was ridiculing the English fleet!), and Tim's folky Haul Away is followed by Neil's dark and brooding Log Cabin Fever.

Not a prog record in the strict sense of the word, but an original sounding, melodious album, which would appeal at least a significant minority of prog fans. And the compositions are top notch. I enjoyed the album a lot, and listened to it many times.

Review by slipperman
4 stars 4.5 stars!

Anyone with an art-rock obsession eventually finds out that Split Enz are far from your typical wimpy new wave band. My own journey through this interesting world (ie. Roxy Music, 10cc, Be Bop Deluxe, City Boy, Crack The Sky, Sparks, etc.) led me to Split Enz's 1975 album, 'Mental Notes,' because it was apparently a much proggier Split Enz than the one I remember watching as a wee lad on MTV (the "I Got You" video). Compelled by the debut's eccentricity and wide stylistic span, I went further. This journey, now 7 albums deep, has culminated with 1982's 'Time and Tide.'

As someone who thinks Genesis' 'Abacab' is a near-masterpiece, I guess I was able and ready to absorb 'Time and Tide,' and any other post-prog Split Enz material for that matter. And this album, the band's seventh, is likely one of the greatest art-pop albums of all time.

Immediately striking is the earthiness of the recording. Produced by Hugh Padgham (see 'Abacab' and 'Invisible Touch'!), and not knowing much about the band's '80s material other than "I Got You," I expected something else, something more purposely-synthetic. Something wave. Either I don't know anything about new wave, or I like new wave now, because this album has a lush, layered feel, despite some of the simplicity of the writing and the economy of the performances.

The album opens with the dippiest pop/new-wave verse ever in "Dirty Creature"...and that is really about is dippy as it gets, as the song turns foreboding in the chorus, and that thread of pop-dread continues into "Giant Heartbeat." Then the album becomes a bit looser and more playful. The middle section, particularly "Small World" and "Take A Walk", move in a similar realm as '80s-era Genesis and '80s-era Peter Gabriel (parts of "Small World" are uncannily similar to both those artists' '80s output). Then just as the album came in with a couple songs on the more brooding side, it ends with a great depth of variety, beginning with instrumental "Pioneer," which is a lush keyboard-only symphony written and performed by keyboardist Eddie Rayner. That segues into a series of songs that go from bright and upbeat sing-along stuff ("Six Months in a Leaky Boat") to folky ("Haul Away") to haunting (Neil Finn's "Log Cabin Fever" masterpiece).

The album ends on a great note with "Make Sense Of It," which, much like earlier album track "Never Ceases To Amaze Me," feels like pop on the surface but is weaved through with enough agile, clever melodic elements to lend it more depth than the inanity of most pop.

Split Enz embrace pop, but transcend it completely with great albums like 'Time and Tide.' Fans of progressive rock, art rock, and just plain weird music will appreciate Split Enz's smart approach to pop music. This album isn't the place to begin if you're new to the Enz, but once through the eccentricity of earlier offerings like 'Mental Notes,' 'Second Thoughts' and 'Dizrythmia,' your palate will be sufficiently warmed up for the rapid transformation into pop which began on the 'Frenzy' album. 'Time and Tide' is the clear peak of the band's many achievements; the fact that it doesn't sound the least bit dated proves itself as an album of universal worth, adaptable to a huge variety of listening tastes.

Latest members reviews

4 stars H from Marillion expresses it when he says Neil Finn (Splitz Enz and Crowded House) wrote some corkers, a couple of them featuring on this album. Big brother Tim is no slouch either with the pen, contributing one of his best known songs, Six Months In A Leaky Boat, which was famously banned by the B ... (read more)

Report this review (#2353995) | Posted by iluvmarillion | Friday, April 24, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars After reading the posts in the forum my opinion changed about this album, I thought it was great Enz consider it their finest moment. In terms of pure proggyness Mental Notes is arguably their best, but in terms of Prog related pop Time & Tide is king This album completes a trilogy of their secon ... (read more)

Report this review (#122655) | Posted by Cheesecakemouse | Thursday, May 17, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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