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Split Enz

Crossover Prog

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Split Enz Dizrythmia album cover
3.38 | 22 ratings | 5 reviews | 9% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1977

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Bold as Brass
2. My Mistake
3. Parrot Fashion Love
4. Sugar and Spice
5. Without a Doubt
6. Crosswords
7. Charlie
8. Nice to Know
9. Jamboree


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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

Tim Finn - Vocals
Eddie Raynor - Keyboards
Rob Gillies - Trumpet, Saxophone
Neil Finn - Guitar
Nigel Griggs - Bass
Malcom Green - Drums
Noel Crombie - Percussion

Releases information

Produced by Geoff Emerick and Split Enz
Recorded Air Studios, London

1992 CD issue has typo Crossroads

2006 CD Remaster, Remastered by Eddie Raynor and Adrien Stuckey
Bonus Track:
Another Great Divide
Phil Judd- Guitar
Tim Finn- Vocals
Mike Chunn - Bass
Eddie Raynor - Keyboards
Rob Gillie - Trumpet, Saxophone
Malcom Green - Drums
Noel Crombie - Percussion

Thanks to cheesecakemouse for the addition
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Mushroom 1998
Audio CD$78.98 (used)

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SPLIT ENZ Dizrythmia ratings distribution

(22 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(9%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(45%)
Good, but non-essential (41%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

SPLIT ENZ Dizrythmia reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

By the time they went into recording their third album, SE had underwent some line-up changes with Judd departing. There were more stool-swappings, but it was clear that SE's move to the UK was not an easy one (unlike for instance AC/DC who had family there, to make the transition easier) and their survival was forcing the group to morph into something that had to succeed quickly in order to put food on the table. So drummer Noel Crombie started their weird glam-looks that made them appear between The Sparks, The Tubes, Talking Heads and NY Dolls. Musically the group developed a pop rock with prog overtones that would be between The Sparks, Queen and the whole thing pushed by Roxyman Manzanera, even if he didn't produced this album.

The drive towards commercial success drove the group to forget their prog roots a little more with each new release, but you still get some large glimpses at it with their third album. The main difference is that compared to the debut album, the brass/wind instruments are adding a more pop touch as opposed to Judd's guitar. Indeed Finn's younger brother was still probably a little too inexperienced to fill Judd's shoes and most likely a good deal of space was given to

Most likely the first two songs of the album should ring a bell to those paying attention to that clever pop-rock that was never really as simple as it sounded: Bold And Brass and My Mistake received (and still do) the odd radio airplay, due to their entertaining pop song format, where the music is impeccably played, but not really riveting, either. Parrot Fashion Love is clearly one of those pastiche songs that abounded in 10 CC, Queen and The Sparks' oeuvre, and again is deceptively simple: the arrangements are anything but simple, the group being a septet, they could "complicate" things as will and often, they are not afraid of doing so. The same thing can be said for Without a Doubt, which still takes its time to have an intro (this will be the last album where they will do, it as the following album Frenzy will have 13 tracks that go straight to the point), slowly crescendos into an almost AOR ballad then declining to a stop (this is not often done as the solo spot is almost ambient) only to pick up again to its previous pace. Easily the album's best track, and a glimpse of what they did on their debut Mental Notes.

Crossroads (or Crosswords) is an incredibly zany piece that can only lead you into insanity as the group makes sure that your are probably lead to the asylum and not be able to find your way back. This track is a bit too short, IMHO, and it would've been great had they kept on for two more minutes provided they kept digging into their madness. In its first part, Charlie cannot really match up to such an impressive predecessor, and sounds a bit like a mid-tempo filler (but well-made), even if the lyrics subject are anything but bland. The middle section is again quite impressive, rather unusual and leading to the return of the opening motif but done much better. Nice To Know is a slow pop rock that has an impressive bass line, and great brass works, but fails to build on what had been done before on the flipside of the vinyl. Starting out on a Tony Banks-like piano intro, Jamboree than another transitional second passage, before jumping in a weird pop groove where SE definitely lets loose their strangeitude (reminiscent of Hackett's madness of his early solo albums) and it's hard not to like if you're a proghead.

While the prog content on this album might appear a little low, it is a relatively deceptive impression as there are plenty of moments that are full-blown prog, but you'll have to dig them out. Definitely worth your checking out, I'll round up the rationg to its upper unit, until more progheads start rating this album once they've discovered it.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars I won't argue a lot about the "progressiveness" of this album (nor from the band either).

Exit the unmanageable Judd and welcome to little brother Tim (Finn). This album is not far from the extravaganza of their debut but the sax & trumpet made this one less interesting to my ears. But this is due to my little attraction for these instruments.

The arrangements are still extremely well crafted, melodies catchy and music so inventive (but less than on "Mental Notes" since it has been done before). The decadent style is very present again and the album opens with a triptych of jewels.

Of course, Roxy is there; as "10CC" and to some extent "Sparks" as well (probably due to the high pitched vocals which reminds Russel mael). But this is far from being a problem IMO. Even "Sugar & Spice" which starts as a soul/funk combo, degenerates into some sorts of disjointed rock opera (OK, for less than four minutes).

The main reference is still "10CC" ("Without A Doubt"), even if "Crosswords" has a definite new wave flavour (remember, the album is released in 77) and Roxy (Ferry) is back with "Charlie". After an average "Nice To Know", the closing track offers an hesitant start. But very quickly Jamboree turns out to be another of their delirious moments. About five or six different themes, almost unrelated. Some sax jam, and a wild finale "Oh Jamboree, Oh Jamboree"!!!

"Dizrythmia" is a respectable album. Originality is still present. Maybe that a little craziness is gone (but not always) and the comparison with the bands mentioned above too obvious.

Three stars for this good album.

Review by russellk
3 stars 'Dizrhythmia' is a title chosen to reflect the organised chaos of the SPLIT ENZ sound. It invites you to imagine something spinning out of control, and piques the progger's interest even before the record is played. So it has a great deal to live up to. Sadly, it doesn't quite manage it. PHIL JUDD is gone - for those who want to know what he did, get hold of the zany retro single, 'Counting the Beat' - and this band rapidly becomes TIM FINN's. His younger brother NEIL joins the band - more of that in the 1980s. For now, we have an intriguing pastiche of styles to listen to.

We get vaudeville, we get blues, we get prog rock: the style is irrelevant, really, as it's all just a stage for the band's quirkiness. Witness the two opening singles: made for radio - the second of them is still played here in New Zealand on occasion - but far too weird to have appealed to the record buying public. Even when they're trying to go straight, these boys can't help themselves. Others hear 10CC in their music, I hear SUPERTRAMP. Just listen to the wonderfully quirky reggae pop song 'My Mistake', the most memorable track on the album: it could have been issued by the Tramp. 'Parrot Fashion Love' is ENZed-up blues, and 'Sugar and Spice' is just crazy funk. The proggiest moments are 'Without a Doubt' and the simply crazy 'Jamboree', the latter an album's worth of ideas compressed into six zany minutes. 'Crosswords' is actually quite frighteningly insane, part agonised plea, part knees-up, and far too short.

And that's SPLIT ENZ's problem, really: they never learned how to capitalise on their ideas. At their best in the 70s they were interestingly different, but a superior band could have made something outstanding from this undercooked melange. Their choices were simple: either extend the material, so the motifs and ideas had room to breathe, or reduce the number of ideas. That they chose the latter course and become a successful new-wave band is a matter of history, but it's a second-best choice for a prog audience.

Review by Tom Ozric
4 stars By the time New Zealand's SPLIT ENZ recorded their debut album in 1975, they were a full- blown Sympho-Prog band tackling complex, left-of-field compositons with many eccentric twists and turns. This release from 1977, entitled Dizrythmia, would see a strong part of their character disappear with many members leaving, the largest portion of this character being taken with guitarist/vocalist Phil Judd. This then left a position for someone capable of taking on the role of a guitarist who could sing. Enter NEIL FINN, younger brother of founding member Tim, whose humble beginnings here would blossom into super success with his post-Enz band CROWDED HOUSE (great songs and neat performances, though not Prog). Dizrythmia offers a most harmonious blend of Pop and Prog ideas, most often with short and catchy, quirky tunes containing clever, off-the-cuff arrangements and tight musicianship. Listening through to the 9 tracks on the album, none of which could be considered as 'filler', each display an artistic zeal, bizarre mix, and some indefinable moments. One listen to the 6- and-a-half minute 'Jamboree' could well seal the deal for many Proggers. The tracks 'Charlie' and 'Without A Doubt' are also appealing pieces. This album just scrapes in for the fourth star, quite an interesting listen.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Another good album by Enz. Phil Judd left so Tim comes to the fore, and he delivers, he has assistance from Eddie and Rob, but now Enz will be a Tim led affair until 1983. On guitars is his shy younger brother Neil, still a youth. You can hear their is more of a focuss on hooks and the music is ... (read more)

Report this review (#122630) | Posted by Cheesecakemouse | Thursday, May 17, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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