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SPLIT ENZ

Crossover Prog • New Zealand


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Split Enz biography
Perhaps better known to most as a successful New Zealand, (and NZ's most successful band and hugely popular in NZ and Australia) new wave act from the early 1980s. SPLIT ENZ did in fact start life as a prog band formed in 1972 originally spelt SPLIT ENDS (the spelling changed to Enz when the band left New Zealand), by friends at Auckland University Phil Judd (Guitar, vocals) and Brian (Tim) Finn (Vocals, piano, guitar), who had an inspired period of song writing together. Their early sound was a mixture of vaudeville and influences of the Beatles, Genesis, Yes, Roxy Music, Jethro Tull and Gentle Giant. Tim's singing style was influenced a little by Brian Ferry while Phil Judd by Roger Chapman of Family.

The line-up of the band was pretty fluid throughout the bands career sacking and employing many people, but two members that would play a key roll in Split Enz, Keyboard whizz Anthony (Eddie) Raynor who would flesh out the bands sound and percussionist/costume designer/stage designer Noel (Geoffrey) Crombie, would add wacky percussion and create the costumes and stage shows that made the band an incredibly unique theatrical juggernaut. >
SPLIT ENZ eventually caught the eye of Roxy Music member Phil Manzanera, the band moved to the UK in 1976 and Manzanera their second album, Second Thoughts.
The UK proved to be a difficult time for the band, Punk music became popular which made it a hostile environment for ENZ to be in, they did not have an agent to book them concerts and promote them, therefore their album did not sell well. After a disastrous US tour, and increasingly erratic behaviour on stage Phil Judd, the bands main songwriter left the group.

Tim's younger brother Neil (guitar, vocals), joined the band in 1977 to replace Phil, the band had a fresh start in inspiration, but due to not having a big enough impact in the UK Chrysalis dropped them. The band became more accessible form 1978 onwards and by 1980 were a successful new wave band reclaiming UK as well as Europe, and topping the Canadian and Australian charts thanks to Neil's ability to write catchy pop songs while Tim's more reflective melancholy pieces. Although the band was now more new wave in style, until 1983 they had still retained some of their zany spirit partially due to Eddie's keyboards. Popularity waned for the band in 1983 partially due to Tim pursuing his solo career. By 1984, Tim had left the band to pursue his own solo career, the band cut one more album; ...
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History Never Repeats: The Best of Split EnzHistory Never Repeats: The Best of Split Enz
Remastered
A&M 1990
Audio CD$3.19
$0.01 (used)
True ColoursTrue Colours
A&M Super Budget 1990
Audio CD$15.76
$2.65 (used)
True ColoursTrue Colours
Import
Universal UK 2003
Audio CD$5.44
$3.99 (used)
Second ThoughtsSecond Thoughts
Import · Remastered
Mushroom Records 2007
Audio CD$11.96
$8.72 (used)
Time & TideTime & Tide
Import · Remastered
Mushroom Records 2007
Audio CD$11.97
$7.99 (used)
Spellbound: Very Best of Split EnzSpellbound: Very Best of Split Enz
Import · Remastered
Mushroom Records 2006
Audio CD$41.59 (used)
Rootin Tootin Luton TapesRootin Tootin Luton Tapes
Import
Imports 2011
Audio CD$49.99 (used)
True ColoursTrue Colours
Extra tracks · Import · Remastered
Mushroom Records 2007
Audio CD$11.44
$8.99 (used)
CorroboreeCorroboree
Extra tracks · Import · Remastered
Mushroom Records 2007
Audio CD$13.63
$9.99 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Crowded House - Recurring Dream The Best of - Neil Finn, Split Enz US $2.83 Buy It Now 1h 14m
SPLIT ENZ True Colours 1980 1st US press Etched vinyl SEALED! Tim US $19.95 [0 bids]
1h 15m
VINYL LP Split Enz - True Colours A&M US $10.99 Buy It Now 1h 24m
CD - Split Enz - History Never Repeats - Best Of/Greatest Hits - Neil Finn US $3.50 Buy It Now 3h 26m
Crowded House Nails In My Feet 7" UK 1st Pr Vinyl Don't Dream Its Over Split Enz US $15.95 Buy It Now 3h 40m
Split Enz - Anniversary CD US $22.86 Buy It Now 6h 34m
New Wave Hits Of The 80's Vol. 2 Just Can't Get Enough CD Joy Division Split Enz US $19.75 Buy It Now 6h 57m
The Makers CD album Eddie Rayner ex Split Enz US $9.39 Buy It Now 7h 21m
SPLIT ENZ I GOT YOU ORIGINAL UK 7" 45rpm SINGLE VERY GOOD US $4.43 Buy It Now 11h 9m
Phil Judd The Swinger Ep US LP ex Split Enz US $14.99 Buy It Now 13h 21m
TIM FINN Steel City rare cd single Crowded House Split Enz VG US $8.00 Buy It Now 14h 21m
TIM FINN Big Canoe Virgin 1986 cd Split Enz Crowded House VG US $6.00 Buy It Now 14h 23m
TIM FINN Hit the Ground Running 2 cd set live bsides Crowded House Split Enz US $9.00 Buy It Now 14h 25m
TIM FINN Persuasion 2 cd set acoustic & live bsides Crowded House Split Enz rare US $9.00 Buy It Now 14h 28m
SPLIT ENZ - My Mistake - 12" Single PS US $14.04 Buy It Now 16h 21m
Split Enz, True Colours Audio CD US $9.29 Buy It Now 17h 59m
SPLIT ENZ USA DJ 7" 45 , ONE STEP AHEAD laser etched promo on A&M, 1981 US $6.00 Buy It Now 18h 54m
SPLIT ENZ - SIX MONTHS IN A LEAKY BOAT US $7.07 Buy It Now 19h 12m
Split Enz - True Colours Colors LP (I Got You, Lazer Laser Etched Vinyl) VG/VG US $3.90 Buy It Now 19h 49m
SPLIT ENZ "Frenzy" Near Mint LP in open shrink wrap with Hype Sticker US $13.54 Buy It Now 20h 3m
THE SPLIT ENZ COLLECTION RARE AUSSIE DOUBLE CASSETTE TAPE! NEIL FINN TIM FINN US $20.77 Buy It Now 21h 17m
SPLIT ENZ VINYL tue colours LP LASER ETCHED Record ExEx SHIPS US FREE promo US $29.99 [0 bids]
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22h 37m
Split Enz Mental Notes US $443.66 Buy It Now 22h 47m
SPLIT ENZ: Waiata LP A&M RECORDS SP4848 US 1982 LILAC / GREY Cover NM US $8.99 Buy It Now 23h 2m
SPLIT ENZ: True Colours LP A&M RECORDS SP4822 US 1980 Inner Sleeve NM US $8.99 Buy It Now 23h 2m
SPLIT ENZ - DIZRYTHMIA - CHRYSALIS CHR-1145 - ORIGINAL CANADIAN PRESSING US $14.99 [0 bids]
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SPLIT ENZ.SPELLBOUND. LTD EDIT NZ BLACK US $25.00 [0 bids]
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CROWDED HOUSE.NAILS IN MY FEET,AUTOGRAPHED,tim & neil finn split enz CD SINGLE US $24.99 [0 bids]
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EDDIE RAYNER-split enz/crowded house.HORSE NZ CD US $24.99 [0 bids]
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Split Enz- "WAIATA" LP....VG, 1981 A&M 4848 issue US $6.99 Buy It Now 1 day
PHIL JUDD - DREAM'N' AWAY 7" single - OZ 80's Split Enz Swingers Al Kooper 1983 US $18.83 Buy It Now 1 day
Split Enz Enz of A Era Very Best vinyl LP 1982 Mushroom Records US $22.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Nature's Best 3: More of New Zealand's Top Songs (2 CD Split Enz Sharon O'Neill) US $9.44 [0 bids]
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Nature's Best 2: More of New Zealand's Top Songs (2 CD Split Enz Sharon O'Neill) US $9.44 [1 bids]
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New Zealand's Top 30 Songs of All Time (2 CD Split Enz Dragon Swingers Chills) US $9.44 [0 bids]
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SPLIT ENZ Bold As Brass PIC COVER 1977 Holland RARE! Finn Brothers Crowded House US $169.99 Buy It Now 1 day
TIM FINN NOT EVEN CLOSE ULTRA RARE AUSSIE CASSINGLE! CROWDED HOUSE SPLIT ENZ US $11.33 Buy It Now 1 day
Split Enz - True Colours CD SPECTRUM US $14.99 Buy It Now 1 day
SPLIT ENZ - TIME AND TIDE [REMASTER] - NEW CD US $17.05 Buy It Now 1 day
SPLIT ENZ Conflicting Emotions LP US $14.16 Buy It Now 1 day
SPLIT ENZ Corroboree LP US $9.44 Buy It Now 1 day
SPLIT ENZ The Beginning Of The Enz LP US $18.88 Buy It Now 1 day
SPLIT ENZ Time And Tide LP US $11.33 Buy It Now 1 day
SPLIT ENZ True Colours LP Blue Orange Cover US $11.33 Buy It Now 1 day
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SPLIT ENZ Waiata LP New Zeland US $14.16 Buy It Now 1 day
NEIL FINN Split Enz Crowded House 8 track Us Dj Sampler US $29.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Split Enz Time & Ride Australia cd US $16.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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Split Enz "Time and Tide" LP US $4.95 Buy It Now 1 day
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Split Enz- Dizrythmia... - free UK postage US $21.47 Buy It Now 1 day
SPLIT ENZ - I Got You - Deleted 1979 UK A&M Records 2-track 7" vinyl single US $11.91 Buy It Now 1 day
NEW WAVE/ Split Enz - History Never Repeats (The Best Of Split Enz) (LP) US $7.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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ALTERNATIVE/ Split Enz - Six Months In A Leaky Boat (WL Promo) US $7.99 Buy It Now 1 day
20TH CENTURY MASTERS:MILLENNIUM COLLE BY SPLIT ENZ (CD) US $15.81 Buy It Now 1 day
Neil Finn, Split Enz...Crowded House..; 8 track PR-Only CD US $5.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Split Enz "Waiata" LP US $4.95 Buy It Now 1 day
Second Thoughts by Split Enz (CD, 1992 Mushroom Records) New Wave - Sealed NEW US $13.59 Buy It Now 1 day
SPLIT ENZ Waiata Orig 1981 Vinyl LP NM Tim & Neil Finn US $6.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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Split Enz The Living Enz 2x LP 1985 Australia EX !! US $4.67 [1 bids]
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True Colours by Split Enz (CD, Jul-2002, Universal/Spectrum) US $9.89 Buy It Now 1 day
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CROWDED HOUSE Neil Finn of Split Enz LP 1986 USA PRESSING US $12.99 Buy It Now 2 days

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SPLIT ENZ shows & tickets


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SPLIT ENZ discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

SPLIT ENZ top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.06 | 36 ratings
Mental Notes
1975
2.87 | 14 ratings
Second Thoughts (AKA Mental Notes)
1976
3.33 | 16 ratings
Dizrythmia
1977
2.74 | 14 ratings
Frenzy
1979
2.99 | 21 ratings
True Colours
1980
3.08 | 13 ratings
Corroboree/ Waiata
1981
3.73 | 14 ratings
Time and Tide
1982
1.79 | 11 ratings
Conflicting Emotions
1983
1.32 | 12 ratings
See Ya 'Round
1984
2.75 | 4 ratings
Rootin' Tootin' Luton Sessions
2007

SPLIT ENZ Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

1.38 | 4 ratings
The Living Enz
1985
4.00 | 2 ratings
ExtravagENZa
2005
2.00 | 1 ratings
Live in America
2007

SPLIT ENZ Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.35 | 3 ratings
Split Enz
2006

SPLIT ENZ Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.70 | 6 ratings
The Beginnings of the Enz
1979
2.57 | 4 ratings
History Never Repeats: The Best of Split Enz (International version)
1987
2.67 | 2 ratings
History Never Repeats: The Best of Split Enz (Australian version)
1987
3.17 | 5 ratings
The Best of Split Enz
1994
4.00 | 2 ratings
Spellbound
1997

SPLIT ENZ Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

SPLIT ENZ Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Frenzy by SPLIT ENZ album cover Studio Album, 1979
2.74 | 14 ratings

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Frenzy
Split Enz Crossover Prog

Review by Chicapah
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I've been on a sort of "catch up" binge as of late, trying to sample at least one album by some of the groups and artists considered to be progressive (in one way or another) that I didn't get around to hearing in my younger days. Gotta say it's been a hit-or-miss endeavor. In most cases they didn't sound exactly like I thought they would and it wasn't always a wholly satisfactory experience, either. The ones that I've found to be most worthwhile were the ones who hailed from off-the- beaten-path areas of the planet where they were less likely to be tempted to simply pantomime what was trendy in the American or European markets at the time. I think that's what made Bjork's eclectic brand of music intriguing to my ears and I'm pretty sure that's what made this record by the New Zealand homeboys in Split Enz a pleasant though somewhat inconsistent listen. Another factor that I'm very aware of is that often the musical entities labeled as crossover or prog-related are here because they went through a phase in their career that qualified them as such but it doesn't mean that they stayed in a progressive mode. So when I pick a disc at random (as is my wont to do) I realize that it may or may not be representative of their more adventurous work that landed them a spot in Progland. Can't help it, though, it's the way I do my investigative business. In the case of these southern hemisphere inhabitants, their 1979 release, "Frenzy," got the luck of the draw.

They opened with "I See Red," a raucous song with a decidedly New Wave flavor bolstered by the obligatory thin Farfisa organ that bops and dances through the track. While I was hoping for something a little more profound I have to admit that Eddie Rayner's too-brief piano solo was exhilarating. The tune wasn't a big turn off but it did suffer from being very dated. But, fortunately, they valued variety in their craftsmanship so the next cut, "Give it a Whirl," was a totally different marsupial. Its spacious depth of field captured my interest from the get go and the fact that it sounded like something The Move (one of my favorite proto-prog outfits) would've concocted was a huge plus. On the bouncy "Master Plan" I did note that their unorthodox approach to pop music was refreshing in that it wasn't overly formulaic aka Alan Parsons Project or downright silly like a lot of 10cc's stuff. They had a frolicsome aura all their own. The bass-heavy "Famous People" followed and all I can remark about it is that it was unremarkable. "Hermit McDermitt" was an odd duck of a number. Like a lot of groups that enjoyed some success in the 70s, these guys gave the impression here that they were unsure of what direction they should be going in as the decade was coming to a close. However, I admired their spunky attitude that allowed them to freely employ a Jews Harp and a rocking polka beat without shame. The title of the next tune, "Stuff and Nonsense," had me ready for some weird shenanigans but it's one of the finest cuts on the album. Delicate acoustic piano, Tim Finn's heartfelt vocals and a tactful string score accentuated by tympani and billowing cymbals established and maintained a graceful motif that's reminiscent of the early Bee Gees material. By saying that I don't mean to give the impression that it's a rip-off piece at all and besides, it's a compliment. The Brothers Gibb were quite proggy in the beginning. It's a beautiful love song that I found highly emotional and worthy of revisiting often.

"Marooned" took me somewhere else entirely. While the overall production of this album is noticeably unpolished I was repeatedly entertained by the originality contained in their compositions. They were just far enough away from the mainstream to be designated as cool. Speaking of unusual, "Frenzy" followed and it's a strange little ditty that came off like it was going to be an instrumental at first but then they ended up adding spoken word segments and a vocal chorus to it. "The Roughest Toughest Game in the World" possessed a light Supertramp (what an influence that band was!) vibe that granted it a gleaming ray of sheen but, alas, the number never located and locked into its mojo. "She Got Body She Got Soul" had a swinging shuffle groove that provided a welcome change of pace moment but its nostalgic 60s doo wop hue got old real quick. With "Betty" I found it difficult to find anything concrete to grab onto and savor. I respected their non-commercial mien but sometimes their arrangements wandered all over the place so much they never were able to settle into a solid groove. "Abu Dhabi" was a genuine treat. Drummer Malcom Green and percussionist Noel Cromble generated a rollicking rumble underneath this accordion- driven rocker that was irresistible. It was a fun ride through some imaginative streams of mayhem and I liked it mainly due to it being as incomparable to anything else as I've come across in many years. They ended with "Mind over Matter" in which Neil Finn's heavy guitar laid down a metallic foundation below Tim's convoluted melody line while full 3-part harmonies filled up the background.

The group was a major hit with their countrymen and in nearby Australia but their quirkiness never really caught on in the states and they remained basically a fringe act until they disbanded in the mid-80s. It's a pity I didn't discover them back in their heyday because I think I would've been strongly attracted to their offbeat style and their "anything goes" approach to recording. "Frenzy" isn't a great record but it does serve to remind us that rock & roll will forever be impossible to restrict to a particular way of thinking or design and this disc's uniqueness makes it stand out from the average bull in the herd. I'm sure that the members of Split Enz got a lot of advice from the record company suits about how they could become more accessible and, therefore, profitable if they'd be more conservative-minded but they chose to be none other than who and what they were. For that stubborn rebellious streak "Frenzy" earned a few more points. 3.1 stars.

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 True Colours by SPLIT ENZ album cover Studio Album, 1980
2.99 | 21 ratings

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True Colours
Split Enz Crossover Prog

Review by obiter
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Can't remember if I first heard a track from this on OGWT but whatever it was this was an eclectic pop album. With the successful single "I got you" mixed in there. Poor Boy is the stand out track. Memories of early teens are hard to banish.

For me as a progster Splti Enz oddly revolves around Noel Crombie rather than the Finns (a which we know reached its peak with Crowded House (Bring the weather with you etc).

There is still with a little Crombie oddness about the style and art of the band. But it remains a pop album (a little new wave~with a prescient modern romantic visual style). One that I really like because of growing up with it, but I can't see a place for it in a prog collection.

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 The Beginnings of the Enz by SPLIT ENZ album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1979
3.70 | 6 ratings

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The Beginnings of the Enz
Split Enz Crossover Prog

Review by filster8

4 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 major act (at least in Australia/New Zealand and Canada), but, as suggested by the previous reviewers, a strong collection of original, heartfelt, musically rich and diverse songs, that are definitely worth listening to in their own right. Not only is this album essential to appreciate a crucial period in Split Enz' career and its evolution, but it holds its weight against much of the band's later output.

Like most of Split Enz's music, the songs on this album are difficult to categorize, and though one can certainly discern the link between these songs and their early albums, the sound is really quite unique. In general terms, it could be described as offbeat progressive folk-rock, with strong vaudevillian or music hall influences. However, while prog-rock tendencies are evident and the compositions are enriched by an impressive ensemble of instruments, including the violin, flute, saxophone, mandolin, keyboard and tambourine, this is still a few steps removed from the more art-rock oriented material of their first albums (Mental Notes, Second Thoughts or even Dyzrhithmia, which would be released a few years later). Despite the presence at times of many instruments, the songs are essentially less complex and more acoustically-based. Of course Split Enz's quirky sense of humour, weirdness and zaniness are as present as ever in the music as well as the lyrics. However, to a greater extent than would be the case later, the songs are rooted in local folklore, tradition and humour (though I have never been to New Zealand, I assume this to be the case and this is confirmed by the previous two kiwi reviewers). This lends these recordings a more earthy and unpretentious quality than is usually present in Split Enz's later material. Indeed, I find the music to be at times touchingly innocent in its earnestness and enthusiasm. This is exemplified by two of the best tracks, '129' and 'Lovey Dovey', which were re-recorded for the album Second Thoughts, an outstanding, more prog-rock oriented album, but which slightly over-does these two tracks, losing the more spontaneous feel of the originals. On Beginning of the Enz, '129' is lighter and moves faster, while "Lovey Duvey' sounds more direct, enabling the listener to better appreciate its catchy chorus. Like several other tracks on this album, these songs have sections with enticing vaudevillian/music hall arrangements, which are comically danceable. My favourite, 'No Bother to Me' alternates between a gloomy piano melody with melancholic vocals and lyrics, and an almost euphoric vaudevillian cabaret atmosphere. Some other tracks, however, in particular the ones from their first single, 'Split Ends' and 'For You', are more folk-based, dominated by acoustic guitar and the flute, though still rather strange and moving. Meanwhile, 'Spellbound' (re-recorded for 'Mental Notes") is a well-constructed piece of progressive folk with a darker atmosphere.

Ultimately, there is certainly something self-contradictory and even slightly schizophrenic in this music: progressive, eclectic, and innovative and slightly progressive on the one hand, while folk-based and traditional on the other. And in fact, this contradictory/schizophrenic character perhaps characterizes Split Enz's entire musical career; their frenetic changes in melodies and rhythms (most evident in their earlier work); their eventual conversion from avant-garde and eccentric forms of pop-rock to catchy new wave pop, not to mention the different musical styles explored along the way. Be that as it may, The Beginning of the Enz is certainly an album to be appreciated by more than just die-hard Split Enz fans in my view.... Of course, this is obviously just the opinion of one of those die-hards.

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 Corroboree/ Waiata by SPLIT ENZ album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.08 | 13 ratings

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Corroboree/ Waiata
Split Enz Crossover Prog

Review by filster8

3 stars Waiata (Corroboree in Australia) is usually seen as an acceptable, yet somewhat less original, safe follow-up to Split Enz's breakthrough album, True Colours, released a year earlier. Indeed, this is perhaps Split Enz's only lateral move, essentially maintaining the sharp, new wave-like sound of True Colours, albeit in a slightly darker vein; although considering that the band had practically changed its style on each of their previous 5 albums, one can hardly blame them for capitalizing on the style that finally brought them some of the attention they very much deserved. And to its defence, Waiata has some very fine moments, making it an enjoyable album in its own right. Best of all, the lead track, 'Hard Act to Follow', is an endearing piece of unrelenting, rhythmic melody, penned by Tim Finn, which should have been a major new wave hit. While the song received some AOR air play in parts of the US and Canada (notably, it was one of Split Enz's most played songs on our main local rock station in Montreal in the early 1980s), for some mysterious reason, it was nearly ignored in the band's Australasian home turf. However, the more mainstream, yet still strong Neil Finn compositions, 'One Step Ahead' and 'History Never Repeats', did become big hit singles down-under (the former also a moderate hit in Canada, and the latter on the US mainstream rock chart). The album also contains one of Split Enz's most dignified instrumental compositions, 'Albert of India', and continues with some of True Colours' playful use of synthesizers and humours lyrics, notably with the quirky and enticing 'Clumsy'. Other songs that deserve and received some attention include 'Iris' and 'I Don't Want to Dance', though beyond these (and others aforementioned), the material may be a little thin, or at least less interesting, to most audiences. Waiata went platinum in Australasia and gold in Canada, and there are enough strong tracks on the album to consider it a good effort even if it generally does not break any new grounds (and Hard Act to Follow still stands as one my favourite under-appreciated Split Enz tunes).

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 True Colours by SPLIT ENZ album cover Studio Album, 1980
2.99 | 21 ratings

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True Colours
Split Enz Crossover Prog

Review by filster8

4 stars (3.5 stars) Split Enz's international breakthrough album, True Colours, stands as one of the highlights of the new wave era, with the band virtually shedding its more eccentric musical ambitions in favour of a vivid and polished, slightly left-of-centre, pop sound that makes heavy use of synthesizers and rhythmic percussion. No other songs on the album achieve the brilliance of the first track, 'I Got You' (also Split Enz's biggest hit single), but there are enough otherwise strong tracks to make True Colours consistently enjoyable, interesting and original. While it is difficult to identify definite traces of Split Enz's progressive rock past in this "power pop" reincarnation of the band, there is still something idiosyncratic and offbeat in the music which, together with the explorative use of synthesizers (particularly on two instrumental tracks, 'The Choral Sea' and 'Double Happy'), provides hints of an unconventional, more artistic side of the band. Meanwhile, Split Enz's penchant for humour and quirkiness, evident since the beginning of their recordings, continues to animate their style and song-writing, albeit in a more catchy, pop-oriented fashion, as best evidenced in the delightful 'Shark Attack', 'What's the Matter with you' and 'Nobody Takes me Seriously'. The only song other than 'I Got You' to make it as a hit single from the album (at least in Australasia) is the love ballad, 'I Hope I Never', which features an impressive vocal performance by Tim Finn, though it may have been perceived as somewhat too sentimental and 'uncool' to Split Enz's newly-found new wave audience. However, several other tracks had hit single potential and received significant radio airplay, in particular the moody, melodic and inspired 'Poor Boy', a favourite among Enz fans, and one with a slightly progressive musical arrangement. With hardly a weak track on the album and it's strong pop-orientation, True Colours was Split Enz's most commercially successful album (though not quite their best in my view), reaching multi-platinum status in Australia and New Zealand, platinum status in Canada, and scraping the top 40 in the US (the highest Split Enz ever charted in that country).

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 Frenzy by SPLIT ENZ album cover Studio Album, 1979
2.74 | 14 ratings

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Frenzy
Split Enz Crossover Prog

Review by filster8

3 stars Recorded at a time when Split Enz was transitioning from an eccentric, uncommercial, progressive pop-rock outfit to a more mainstream (though still somewhat eccentric) and polished new wave act, Frenzy displays a rawer, more modest side of a band apparently in search of a new cohesive identity. Gone are the more experimental and ambitious arrangements, the vaudevillian theatrics, and (as can be seen by the album's cover) the zany costumes and make-up, to give way to a less innovative, yet more spontaneous and still creative output, which at times borders on brilliancy. (Here, I must clarify that I am referring to the 1981 North American/UK remixed version of Frenzy (or later Australian remix), which I understand is considered better than the original 1979 Australian/New Zealand version, as many of the tracks were substituted by their superior, original recordings from the so-called 'Rootin' Tootin' Luton Tapes', and were complemented by two particularly fine tracks not present on the original album, 'Semi-Detached' and 'Carried Away'). Frenzy offers an eclectic mix of frenetic punkish pop songs and well-crafted pop-rock compositions, sometimes incorporating harder electric guitar riffs than previously and greater use of synthesizers (perhaps due to the elimination of Rob Gillies' brass section), as well as a few rather wacky compositions, and even some slightly experimental material reminiscent of Split Enz's prog-rock past. Most significant within this rather odd assortment is the highly energized 'I See Red', an Australian top 20 hit which foreshadowed Split Enz's new wave pop sound and commercial success (achieved with their next album True Colours), though its quirky edges may have prevented it from becoming an international hit. However, there are other strong tracks. Notably, 'Semi-detached' incorporates prog-rock influences in a powerfully delivered, evocative reflection on modern society's atomization. While most songs are still written and sung by Tim Finn, 'Give it a Whirl' and 'Carried Away' reveal younger brother Neil Finn to be a talented song-writer, singer, as well as a zesty guitar player. 'Hermit McDermitt' and 'Mind over Matter' continue with the quirky punkish pop of 'I See Red', though somewhat less successfully, while at the other extreme, 'Betty' is a pleasant pop-rock ballad and 'Stuff and Nonsense' is a truly, beautiful, piano-based love song. Unfortunately, Frenzy also has its share of weaker tracks, so that the album does seem rather uneven, in addition to lacking a clear musical identity. Nevertheless, in view of the strong material that is there, and the diversity of this material, I still consider Frenzy to be a good album overall, and an important one to appreciate the evolution of one of the most original bands of the era.

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 Second Thoughts (AKA Mental Notes) by SPLIT ENZ album cover Studio Album, 1976
2.87 | 14 ratings

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Second Thoughts (AKA Mental Notes)
Split Enz Crossover Prog

Review by filster8

5 stars (4.5 stars) Second Thoughts (released as Mental Notes in the UK, Canada and US) is a unique collection of highly inspired, idiosyncratic, and painstakingly-crafted songs from Split Enz's so-called progressive rock period, evidently destined to be forever under-appreciated. As half of the tracks are in fact reworked versions of Split Enz's first album, the Australasian 'Mental Notes', this second release is often compared to the first, and opinions are divided on which versions of the songs are superior. The original Mental Notes is undoubtedly a creative high point for the band, and with its more extensive use of electric guitar, mellotron and symphonic arrangements, it is arguably more representative of the progressive rock tradition; on the other hand, Second Thoughts, which replaces some of the guitar and mellotron parts by brass instruments and the violin, has superior production values (it was produced by Roxy Music's Phil Manzanera), and greater integration of vaudevillian, jazz and pop elements (already hinting at the Split Enz's future directions). Considering Second Thoughts' more vibrant and defined sound, and the fact that it also includes the gems, 'Late Last Night' and 'The Woman Who Loves You', it is in my view (and others strongly disagree) the better of the two albums. Be that as it may, it is certain that the album's unusual mix of musical styles, abrupt changes in rhythms and melody, and eccentric theatrics will always be unfathomable to many listeners, including prog fans. Yet, the sheer originality and diversity of the material is really quite exceptional (assuming Second Thoughts is considered in its own right and not compared to Mental Notes) and for this, the album deserves true praise and recognition. Indeed, from the complex, musical structure of the mysterious 7-minute 'Stranger Than Fiction', to the commanding opening and eclectic musical arrangements of 'Walking Down a Road', to the infectious melody and keenly romantic lyrics of 'Late Last Night', passing by the darker piano-based composition and brooding lyrics of 'Time for a Change', changing two thirds of the way into a powerful electric guitar-led instrumental, the upbeat folk/vaudevillian/pop of the bright 'Matinee Idyll' and amusing 'Lovey Duvey', the strange humour, piano and spoon solos of 'The Woman Who Loves You', which further incorporates music hall/vaudeville influences, not to mention the gentle folk-rock and neo-classicism of 'Titus', and touching despair of 'Sweet Dreams', each track has a uniquely endearing quality to it. Once discovered, the album as a whole offers a layered landscape of original musical arrangements, intriguing sounds, evocative melodies, and passionately sung and composed lyrics.

Released towards the end of 1976 around the eve of the punk explosion in the UK, not fitting within any musical genre of any time, it is not surprising that Split Enz's Second Thoughts was largely ignored, though it helped to initiate, albeit in a minor way, the first cult following of the band outside of Australia and New Zealand. With the subsequent departure of co-leader Phil Judd, Split Enz gradually moved towards a more pop-oriented, yet still idiosyncratic direction, but it would still take some years before the band would head in a more commercial direction. Split Enz's later work is of course more well known and impressive as well (though still generally under-appreciated), but they never quite recaptured the bold originality of this earlier period...except perhaps in a very different way in 1982's excellent Time and Tide.

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 See Ya 'Round by SPLIT ENZ album cover Studio Album, 1984
1.32 | 12 ratings

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See Ya 'Round
Split Enz Crossover Prog

Review by mgallard

2 stars For starters, I was quite surprised to find Split Enz in Progarchives, but I must admit their early efforts can squeeze their way into the wide and diffuse limits established for "prog" on this website.

Secondly, I was intrigued by the low rating the album has garnered, so I have just listened to it and checking the rating system, I must agree this is NOT a record that is necessary in a prog rock collection, that's why I also give it 2 stars.

Ah, but alas, the record is quite good, but not from a prog point of view. It's a good proto- Crowded House album, the initial songs are catchy, "I Walk Away" is actually also included in Crowded House's debut album. "One mouth is fed" also sounds like some other song in the debut, and so on.

I am a big fan of CH, so I can say I've really enjoyed Split Enz's "See Ya 'Round", some good songs with great melodies, obviously not as strong as the CH debut, but very good in general. "The Lost Cat" is quite eccentric/quirky, a bit like like the older Split Enz; beyond that track on to the end the songs aren't that good, very weak songs "Adz", "This is massive" and "Ninnie Knees Up", though "Kia Kaha" is acceptable and better than the 3 former songs. So 8 out of 11 songs, that's not too bad :-).

Neil Finn is currently, in my opinion (and many agree), one of best composers alive, this record starts him off as the leader of a group and is interesting as the starting point for his solo/CH career, but has little, or no reason, to be included in Progarchives.

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 Dizrythmia by SPLIT ENZ album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.33 | 16 ratings

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Dizrythmia
Split Enz Crossover Prog

Review by Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 History Never Repeats: The Best of Split Enz (International version) by SPLIT ENZ album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1987
2.57 | 4 ratings

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History Never Repeats: The Best of Split Enz (International version)
Split Enz Crossover Prog

Review by zravkapt
Special Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

2 stars Split Enz were originally a New Zealand band influenced by Gabriel-era Genesis. Their first two or three albums are supposed to be their proggiest. I haven't heard any of their albums, but I did own this compilation once. No prog here, that's for sure. Includes the groups biggest international hit "I Got You". Great song but it's a little overplayed nowadays. "Six Months In A Leaky Boat" is another great single. "One Step Ahead" is my favourite song I've heard from Split Enz. A fantastic single from an era where there was many mediocre singles. The only other song that I liked was "Poor Boy". The rest of the songs didn't do much for me, unfortunately.

I don't know how much I would like one of their studio albums, either one of the proggy early ones or later poppy ones. All I really know about this group is that one or more members ended up forming the Australian group Crowded House. That band was more successful internationally. Anyway, some great singles here. Good New Wave-y pop/rock music from the early 1980s. Worth getting if you are into that sort of thing. I have no idea if this is still in print or if there are better compilations out there. You're probably better off getting those three singles from iTunes or whatever. Or wait till they get played on the radio and tape them. Whatever makes you happy. For this compilation I'll give 2 stars.

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