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. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    Your ratings for "129"

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

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    Correction: Wikipedia says that "Home Sweet Home" was actually the B-side to the next single, "No Bother to Me", not the A-side to "129" as I wrote. Much of my review compared "Home Sweet Home" to "129" , assuming they were flip sides which they were not. But it doesn't change what I think about either song.
     
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  3. robcar

    robcar Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver, CO
    "Home Sweet Home" took some time for me to warm up to. As was noted, this was actually the b-side to the band's third non-album single "No Bother To Me". My notes say that it was recorded in 1973 but the single did not come out until early in 1975, probably due to label difficulties I am guessing. I've grown to like this song, although the spoken interlude never fails to surprise me when it comes up. I agree that I prefer the remix that was later issued on The Beginning of the Enz to the original 45 b-side mix. I'll give this one a 3.2.
     
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  4. planetexpress

    planetexpress Hypnotist Collector

    Location:
    Chicago
    "Home Sweet Home" is a grower that's for sure. A bit too repetitive at the end for my tastes; the lyrics claim the song ends with "Home home on the range" but unless I'm as deaf as Martin I'm not hearing it. (I don't have easy access to the Beginning of the Enz version but have to assume they switched up the ending with that bagpipe solo...) 2.82828
     
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  5. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    Yes, “Home on the Range" is definitely part of the album version, along with a banjo. It comes right before the bagpipes!
    But not on this single version.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2019
  6. Blackbear

    Blackbear Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Wilmington DE
    There wasn't much early Split Enz played on the radio back then - at least not in Wellington. All the singles so far mentioned went out of print quickly - they weren't re-pressed so if you missed it first time, tough luck!
     
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  7. robcar

    robcar Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Makes sense. Was NZ radio largely publicly funded and regulated (a la the BBC) at that time, or were there commercial stations that might have had a less restricted playlist also operating?
     
  8. Blackbear

    Blackbear Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Wilmington DE
    Radio New Zealand was government funded like the BBC, as far as I know. Around 1973 some private stations were licensed, including Radio Windy in Wellington. If anything, their playlist was more commercial (guess it had to be). I listened mainly to 2ZM, the state radio. It was a lot more relaxed than today - I remember them playing an entire side of a Jimi Hendrix LP without interruption! Sunday afternoons was Top of the Pops with Brian Matthew, when we could hear music that wasn't being played at all - like Cockney Rebel's "Mr Soft".
     
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  9. Jaffaman

    Jaffaman Forum Resident

    At that time, it was mostly the BBC-modelled NZBC throughout the country, with just a few private stations. Radio Hauraki sponsored shows which Split Enz played at in 1974, and the Auckland University station, Radio Bosom (later bFM) would have played their records during the band’s early university tours.
     
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  10. AFOS

    AFOS Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brisbane,Australia
    Just came across this on you tube - didn't know that Tim & Phil reunited in 1990! Always thought there was no love lost between them

     
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  11. Jaffaman

    Jaffaman Forum Resident

    They nearly collaborated on an album in 2006.
     
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  12. Was this before all the stalkery stuff with Judd came out? I kind of got the impression he's radioactive now...
     
  13. Jaffaman

    Jaffaman Forum Resident

    It was over before that.
     
  14. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    Your votes for "Home Sweet Home":

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

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    The next song is "Sweet Talking Spoon Song" which was the A-side to their second single, recorded and released in 1973. Like most of the songs from this era it was co-written by Phil Judd and Tim Finn. The B-side was the already-discussed "129."

     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2019
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  16. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    Sweet Talking Spoon Song

    I, like others on this thread, much prefer the B-side "129" to this song.

    But I do think that there's more of a chorus and it's a bit catchier at first listen. Like "129" they have moved beyond the gentle psych-folk of the first single: the mandolin really dominates this song in a way it doesn't on "129" and the drums are really present, especially in the chorus.

    There is, as is typical, a lot going on in this song. I like the little interludes between verses and choruses, and the extended coda to fade out is just great.

    There's a slight 1920s/1930's vibe to this song and I think a few others in their early canon as well.

    You can almost picture this being sung on stage by a tap-dancing vaudevillian. Or by Tiny Tim or something. It is a truly odd pop song from 1973; maybe the oddest one yet.

    Having said all this, I can't rate this as highly as the others. There's just something a little grating about it: mainly Phil Judd's voice; furthermore and the various pieces of the composition, while brilliant in their own right, don't gel that well to me.

    Still I don't dislike it; but it just doesn't quite charm me as much as the other songs we've discussed so far: I'll give it a 3.6.
     
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  17. Jaffaman

    Jaffaman Forum Resident

    I find it odd that Tim and Phil chose to write a song about a calendar girl after another band in the same New Faces NZBC TV talent show had won their heat with the song "Miss September".
     
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  18. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    Could it have been meant as a comment on the New Faces song (which I'm not familiar with?) Is it some sort of irony, I wonder?
     
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  19. It's so magnificently dumb and corny that I just had to use it in a High School art project decades ago - it really comes alive with narrative visuals, though it's entirely possible my interpretation was wrong.
    Sentimental 5, though it's probably a score based heavily on that sentiment. :)
     
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  20. Blackbear

    Blackbear Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Wilmington DE
    Like a lot of early Split Enz, the cod "Englishness" was slightly off-putting and hearing it now makes me cringe a little. Maybe they thought it would get them noticed in Britain? On the other hand, musically there is a lot going on here - it's light-hearted with all the mandolins and occasional horn and some typical Phil Judd changes. Hard not to love by the time you get to the end of the song.
     
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  21. Jaffaman

    Jaffaman Forum Resident

    Bring a young country, New Zealand was still very tied to Mother England then. Most of us grew up aware of that music hall style. We even had, regrettably, The Black and White Minstral Show on TV.
     
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  22. robcar

    robcar Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver, CO
    “Sweet Talkin’ Spoon Song” is too far out of my musical sweet spot for me to truly enjoy. It’s very Music Hall, and calls to mind some of The Kinks early 70s material. That said, I’m glad they didn’t pursue this particular style at great length. This gets a 2.4 from me.
     
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  23. Jaffaman

    Jaffaman Forum Resident

    The Kinks - there we go. A huge influence on the early Enz.
     
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  24. Paul H

    Paul H Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    I must confess that very little of the pre-Neil Enz material floats my boat. Of the material on Beginning only Splits Ends (the song) is of any interest to me. Lyrically, its part 1 to Haul Away's part 2.
     
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  25. Jaffaman

    Jaffaman Forum Resident

    A snippet of the record even crops up in the middle of “Haul Away”. I think it was a number of years before I realised what I was hearing.
     
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