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Split Enz

Crossover Prog

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Split Enz The Beginnings of the Enz album cover
3.43 | 8 ratings | 4 reviews | 25% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 1979

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Split Ends
2. For You
3. 129
4. Home Sweet Home
5. Sweet Talking Spoon Song
6. No Bother to Me
7. Malmsbury Villa
8. Lovy Dovy
9. Spellbound

Total Time 29:34

Releases information

A compilation of Split Enz songs released before their first studio album

Thanks to cheesecakemouse for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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SPLIT ENZ The Beginnings of the Enz ratings distribution

(8 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(25%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(12%)
Good, but non-essential (62%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

SPLIT ENZ The Beginnings of the Enz reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by russellk
3 stars SPLIT ENZ are New Zealand's best, and certainly most original, musical export (sorry Kiri and Hayley), and a band whose 70s output will appeal to crossover prog/art rock lovers. Like many young New Zealanders at the time, Brian (later TIM) FINN and PHIL JUDD avidly absorbed the revolutionary new music coming from overseas, and melded these influences into a uniquely New Zealand amalgam of outrageous musical pastiches with understated lyrics, seasoned with the typical self-conscious, offbeat, bizarre Kiwi sense of humour.

This 28-minute compilation gathers the band's earliest recorded music, from their initial singles, in a package designed to appeal to SPIT ENZ completists. It's a little better than that, though, due to the inimitable vibrancy of the compositions, without ever being outstanding. This is bite-sized ENZ, as one would expect from the format they were extracted from.

The first I heard of the band was in 1973 as contestants in the television programme 'New Faces', in which luminaries of the NZ music scene judged up and coming bands. Frankly, I couldn't believe my ears. For the first time I heard Kiwi music that I could identify with - and the band came stone cold last in the grand final. Says something about us, I think. They played 'Sweet Talking Spoon Song', a vaudeville number, and '129' (later to become 'Matinee Idol (129)'), both wonderful tracks. These two tracks, along with the art-rock 'No Bother To Me' - my favourite from this album, despite the overdone rotating speaker effect - and an early version of 'Spellbound' (with JUDD on vocals) - the only real 'prog' track on the album - are well worth your time.

One of the more important aspects of the band isn't immediately apparent from the music itself, though the cover gives it away. Their stage performances were outrageously zany, over-the-top shows designed to hide behind, involving elaborate makeup, costumes and tomfoolery. Fabulous stuff. Another early strength of the band was the dual vocals of FINN and JUDD, their very different affectations giving songs variation and individual colouring. All in all, this is a useful retrospective, showcasing the formation and early struggles of what would become a splendid band.

Latest members reviews

3 stars A collection of early singles, mostly predating the recording of Mental Notes, I bought this expecting an insight into their early development as a band that was initially considered progressive. Given that it consists entirely of singles, it is somewhat limited and not really representative of thei ... (read more)

Report this review (#1415350) | Posted by sl75 | Friday, May 15, 2015 | Review Permanlink

3 stars (3.5 stars) Noting that this album only had four ratings on this site, I felt somewhat compelled to promote its' evidently little known virtues. Unlike some other compilations of early recordings, this one does not simply reflect the raw and tentative beginnings of a band that would evolve into a ma ... (read more)

Report this review (#699070) | Posted by filster8 | Thursday, March 29, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is certainly about Beginnings, Split Ends (as they originally spelt it) started of as progressive folk bands, you can hear their humble beginnings with flute and vioin on the track Split Ends (with which the band named itself after that song) this is before even Eddie Raynor and Noel Crom ... (read more)

Report this review (#122819) | Posted by Cheesecakemouse | Sunday, May 20, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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