Stranger than Fiction, Larger Than Life: the Finn Brothers song-by-song discussion thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Lance LaSalle, Jan 21, 2019.

  1. Jaffaman

    Jaffaman Forum Resident

    “For You” was definitely not remixed. There’s only the one mix out there, although for Enzology ep 1, I demixed from the stereo to isolate instruments.

    There are two audience recordings of the song, recorded in Auckland in 1973 and 1974.
     
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  2. Squealy

    Squealy Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Vancouver
    I have a hard time recognizing either of these voices as Tim Finn. He's singing the higher part?
     
  3. robcar

    robcar Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Thanks for setting me straight on that! Also, this is a good time to point anybody who is unaware of it to the amazing multi-part Radio New Zealand Enzology documentary covering the entirety of Split Enz career up to their initial disbanding in 1984. I listened to it last year; it is a remarkable piece of work.
     
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  4. AFOS

    AFOS Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brisbane,Australia
    The dynamic between Tim and Neil reminds me of Lennon and McCartney
     
  5. OptimisticGoat

    OptimisticGoat Everybody's escapegoat....

    I really know not a lot about early Split Enz so will be following this thread closely. I had a best of in my collection but recently picked up a CD of Mental Notes (Au version first issued 1976). The one thing I took out of it when I played it was the similarity with early Genesis - so count me in on that comparison.
     
  6. Jaffaman

    Jaffaman Forum Resident

    It’s funny about the Genesis comparison. I hear it too, but Tim and Phil weren’t into Genesis. They liked The Beatles, The Kinks, Jethro Tull, Led Zeppelin...

    However, Eddie has played Genesis covers in an earlier band, and that Mellotron will always remind me of Genesis, King Crimson and so on.
     
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  7. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    I think Tim Finn's music for a long time has a kind of self-consciously arty, detached air that is just naturally kind of Gabriel-like. I think the fact that he's gone into theatre really makes sense.

    Having said that, I think his later albums are more personal and emotional.


    Yes, his voice went through a lot of changes. It was really, really pure and high in the early days.
     
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  8. bob_32_116

    bob_32_116 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Perth Australia
    Some of the synth parts on certain songs remind me of Genesis, eg "One Step Ahead", but for the most part I think they are not all that similar.

    Some who had heard the song "I Got You" before I had was trying to describe the band to me, and he said the sounded like "a cross between David Bowie and The Police." I can see what he meant.
     
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  9. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    You know, we had more response and quicker for "For You"Ratings for "For You." than I expected. I think I'm going to press on and post these every other day -- when it comes time to Mental Notes I'll start posting every day.

    Your ratings for "For You."

    1-0
    2-1
    3-1
    4-1
    5-2
     
  10. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    Today's song is "Split Ends".



    "Split Ends"
    was released as the B-side to the single "For You" in April 1973 and written by Tim Finn and Phillip Judd.
     
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  11. Jaffaman

    Jaffaman Forum Resident

    The original single has the same mix as the album, but contains the engineer or producer saying “Recording” at the beginning.

    The song was played live 1972-74 and revived for the 1993 tour of NZ.
     
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  12. bob_32_116

    bob_32_116 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Perth Australia
    "Split Ends" is kind of similar to "For You" but for some reason I slightly prefer it. I give this one a pass.

    3/5.
     
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  13. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    "Split Ends" is similar. It has the same players, mostly, (minus a couple) and the flute and violin dominate instrumentally. I think when I first heard it I might have liked it more than "For You" but "For You" ultimately has more going on. Not that "Split Ends" doesn't have a lot going on in its 1.50 seconds or so, it does.

    I think both songs have this undercurrrent of madness going in, and it's more prevalent in "Split Ends"-- which seems like comic whimsy until near the end. It's all fun and games until the cannibalism begins.

    Unlike "For You" or some of the other songs from this era, this does not remind me of early Genesis or really anything ever other than Split Ends. It's a really fresh sound for me. Someone else mentioned Jethro Tull, and I'm not particularly familiar with their music other than "Aqualung", so for me this period of Split Enz sounds very fresh and unique, rooted in the sixties, but less of its time than, say, the later prog albums.

    I think there are strains of this period of their music that run through all their music, even Neil's, but it's in a way that I can't quite define or put my finger on. Whatever it is I like it in all its fey, twee glory.

    3.78574625/5
     
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  14. AFOS

    AFOS Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brisbane,Australia
    Comic whimsy combined with dark undertones sounds very Beatles - something like Maxwell's Silver Hammer
     
  15. bob_32_116

    bob_32_116 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Perth Australia
    People mention Genesis a lot in describing early Split Enz. I don't really hear it, except maybe in one or two songs. I would be more inclined to draw comparisons with the Canterbury prog bands, especially people like Henry Cow who seemed to delight in madness for the sake of it.
     
  16. bob_32_116

    bob_32_116 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Perth Australia
    Oh come on, it's better than that! "Maxwell" outstays its welcome by about three minutes - and I'm not even sure the song is that long.
     
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  17. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    Much better than “Maxwell.” I’d be interested in hearing more of these Canterbury bands you mention, Bob. Besides Henry Cow, any recommendations? Because I love this early period of the Enz.
     
  18. bob_32_116

    bob_32_116 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Perth Australia
    Someone else might be more qualified to discuss the Canterbury sound, as I'm not a big fan of it and hence no expert. Bands mentioned in this connection include Gentle Giant, Hatfield & the North, National Health, Caravan and perhaps Camel. The only reason I know anything at all about the Canterbury scene is that it gets mentioned a lot on progressive rock sites.
     
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  19. AFOS

    AFOS Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brisbane,Australia
    I like Maxwell's Silver Hammer but it's not everyone's cup of tea. I especially like the Moog touches.
     
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  20. planetexpress

    planetexpress Hypnotist Collector

    Location:
    Chicago
    This one feels a little unfinished especially at only 1:47. Great bookend lyrics though ("Writing letters to my frenz telling them all about Split Ends..."). I didn't catch the cannibalism reference till you mentioned it which makes the end (dinner?!?) bell a nice touch. Still feels like a b-side though... I'll rate it 2.5 / 5.
     
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  21. robcar

    robcar Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver, CO
    This one is nice in a kooky sort of way. The flute dancing all over the track is the most notable feature to me.

    I’ll give it a 2.9.
     
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  22. Jaffaman

    Jaffaman Forum Resident

    Split Enz opened for Gentle Giant in Southhampton, May 1976. Nigel Griggs joined on bass a year later... and is from Hatfield.
     
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  23. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    Today's song is "129".


    "129"is another tune written by Tim Finn and Phillip Judd. It was the B-side of their second single, "Home Sweet Home." Split Enz would re-record this song, toning down some of the sound effects, on their 1976 sophomore album "Second Thoughts."

    I believe that the song was named after a communal room that Tim Finn used to hang out with other students while at university. Some of those students included members of the nascent Split Enz and I think that the band may have cut its teeth rehearsing in that room.

    I wonder if the room is still there?

    ON this single, violinist Miles Golding and flautist Mike Howard had departed the band and Wally Wilkinson had joined on lead guitar along with bassist Mike Chunn's younger brother Geoff Chunn on bass. Rob Gillies played the saxophone and trumpet. Tim Finn plays the piano and Phil plays mandolin.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2019
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  24. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    The line up change made for a very different sound from the first single. Rather than being pastoral, the energy is starting to take on a nervous, frenetic quality that would come to define Split Enz's early output. LIke so many songs of this era, the melody seems formless and wide-ranging, but a few listens sorts it out and it's a quite nice, if odd, slice of art pop.

    Being an old theatre geek, I can't help but respond to the lyric, which reminds me of my youth on the stage. That feeling of excitement and nervousness, of being part of something bigger than you.

    Some of the effects and spoken word elements are mixed a little loud (they would be toned down on the rerecording.) but that's part of the indie charm of this record, I think. Overall I find that this song starts and ends in unexpected ways and I really think it's quite original.

    I have a feeling I'll be rating it higher than others, but, as I've said, I really love this extremely early version of the Enz and part of me wishes they had stayed this way. 5/5
     
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  25. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    Your ratings for "Split Ends"

    1 0
    2 0
    3 3
    4 1
    5 0
     

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