Split Enz – Conflicting Emotions

Split Enz - Conflicting EmotionsTim Finn’s final album as a member of Split Enz in the studio is a bit uneven. Such Enz classics as Neil’s “Strait Old Line” and the well-known “Message To My Girl” – both revived on the later ENZSO album – came from this album, but there are very electronic and almost disco-esque tunes such as “Bullet Brain And Cactus Head” that I usually skip over. The underlying problem I have with Conflicting Emotions is the predominance of sequencers, drum machines and other synthetic elements – sure, the 3 out of 4band had used them before, but not to this degree. To balance this, however, there are two lovely songs that are worth finding, both of which are primarily piano-and-vocal pieces: Neil’s typically cryptic “The Devil You Know” and Tim’s melancholy farewell “Bon Voyage” – appropriately enough, the last song on the album and Tim Finn’s last hurrah as a member of Split Enz.

Order this CD

  1. Strait Old Line (4:01)
  2. Bullet Brain & Cactus Head (3:59)
  3. Message to My Girl (4:04)
  4. Working Up An Appetite (4:07)
  5. Our Day (4:58)
  6. No Mischief (4:14)
  7. The Devil You Know (3:36)
  8. I Wake Up Every Night (4:46)
  9. Conflicting Emotions (4:30)
  10. Bon Voyage (4:04)

Released by: Mushroom
Release date: 1984
Total running time: 42:19

Split Enz – Time & Tide

Split Enz - Time & TideWhen I first heard “Giant Heartbeat”, “Hello Sandy Allen” and “Take A Walk” in 1990, I knew right then and there that this album was destined to be on my DNP album list. Where Second Thoughts was the greatest accomplishment of the Enz’ original lineup, Time & Tide was an amazing musical accomplishment for the ’80s Enz. Tim and Neil Finn were perhaps at their best balance with one another, and the considerably darker tone of some of the songs here were indicative that perhaps Split Enz was finally growing beyond the whimsy that had characterized them in the past. What a welcome evolution. Among the highlights here are Neil’s guitar work finally achieving the first hints of the intricacy to come later in his Crowded House material, some wonderfully unusual instrumentation, and Noel Crombie 4 out of 4handling both the drums and other percussion duties with tremendous impact. Tim Finn has since commented that Time & Tide was the favorite album of the band members as well – is it any wonder? A must-hear! Also, a rare accolade for the album cover. Track down the LP and look at the back cover – one of the most innovative “band line-ups” you’ve ever seen awaits you.

Order this CD

  1. Dirty Creature (4:02)
  2. Giant Heartbeat (3:57)
  3. Hello, Sandy Allen (3:50)
  4. Never Ceases To Amaze Me (3:04)
  5. Lost For Words (3:00)
  6. Small World (3:35)
  7. Take A Walk (3:35)
  8. Pioneer (1:31)
  9. Six Months in a Leaky Boat (4:20)
  10. Haul Away (2:26)
  11. Log Cabin Fever (4:35)
  12. Make Sense Of It (3:34)

Released by: Mushroom
Release date: 1982
Total running time: 41:29

Split Enz – Corroborree (a.k.a. Waiata)

Split Enz - Corroborree This album contains the first song I ever heard by Split Enz, “History Never Repeats”, as well as quite a few other gems. Where True Colours tended to fall into a single stylistic rut replete with organ solos and choppy guitar work, Corroborree is much more diverse and much smoother, and Neil Finn continues to assert his growing musical talent with each outing, his contributions now at least equaling those of older brother Tim. Neil’s standout tunes include “Iris”, “One Step Ahead”, “Ships” and the single “History Never Repeats” (which was actually my first exposure to the Enz). Tim, however, also 3 out of 4turned in the wonderfully silly “I Don’t Wanna Dance” (gratingly but humorously sung just perfectly out of key!), “Ghost Girl” and “Walking Through the Ruins”. Tim’s songs stick to the past Split Enz formula of musical comedy, and in that way, his material is perhaps closer to the original intention of Split Enz than Neil’s. Overall, a good album.

Order this CD

  1. Hard Act To Follow (3:17)
  2. One Step Ahead (2:52)
  3. I Don’t Wanna Dance (3:34)
  4. Iris (2:50)
  5. Wail (2:49)
  6. Clumsy (3:29)
  7. History Never Repeats (3:00)
  8. Walking Through the Ruins (4:15)
  9. Ships (3:01)
  10. Ghost Girl (4:26)
  11. Albert of India (4:03)

Released by: Mushroom
Release date: 1981
Total running time: 37:36

Split Enz – True Colours

Split Enz - True ColoursThis is the album which brought Split Enz their greatest hit in America, and as such seems to be the point of origin for many fans’ interest in the band, thus it becomes a default classic. But honestly, even in the 80s the band came up with better material than this. The Neil Finn hit “I Got You” and its very similar cousin “What’s The Matter With You” are memorable, as well as Tim’s classics “I Hope I Never” and “Poor Boy”, both of which were given orchestral treatment on the later ENZSO album. My 2 out of 4personal favorite is the extremely silly “Nobody Takes Me Seriously”, an infrequently-remembered Tim tune. But much of the rest of the album, including a couple of bland instrumentals, is rather forgettable.

  1. I Got You (3:24)
  2. Shark Attack (2:52)
  3. What’s The Matter With You (3:02)
  4. Double Happy (3:15)
  5. Order this CD I Wouldn’t Dream Of It (3:14)
  6. I Hope I Never (4:26)
  7. Nobody Takes Me Seriously (3:24)
  8. Missing Person (3:32)
  9. Poor Boy (3:19)
  10. How Can I Resist Her (3:26)
  11. The Choral Sea (4:29)

Released by: A&M
Release date: 1980
Total running time: 38:23