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. planetexpress

    planetexpress Hypnotist Collector

    Location:
    Chicago
    Sweet Talking Spoon Song may be fairly simple lyrically but it does tell a story and the instrumentation is varied enough to be interesting. However, repeated listening doesn't add anything for me. It's not a bad song but also not very memorable. I'll rate it a 2.75
     
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  2. Paul H

    Paul H Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    Really??? I need to have a listen now :)
     
  3. Paul H

    Paul H Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    And there it is, at roughly 1'40", just at the end of the line "Ambition has lost me friends and time". We hear a really brief snippet of Split Ends... Can't believe I never heard it before... Nice catch, Jeremy.
     
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  4. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    Interesting. Maybe because Time and Tide was the last album I got by the Enz -- it was impossible for me to find for YEARS; I think I caught that right away.
     
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  5. van1

    van1 Forum Resident

    Begining of the enz has a relaxed sunday morning feel for me. I do hear Jethro Tull on the ‘folky’ vibe. I think the Enz even saw Jethro Tull when they toured NZ, cant recall if it was mentioned in Enzology or Mike Chunn’s book (or both)

    Mellotron aside, i also wonder how big an influence king crimson percussionist Jamie Muir was on Noel Crombie. In partucular, playing percussion with ‘found’ objects, looking and acting very strange; the “larks tongue 40th cd dvd set has mr muir wearing a fur coat and throwing leaves around the stage...

    Would love an enz biopic, shame peter jackson is away on his little Beatles project
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2019
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  6. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    Well, its good that the Beatles story is finally being told.
     
  7. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    Votes for "Sweet Talking Spoon Song."

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

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    Today's song is "No Bother To Me."


    Another Judd/Finn original, this song was released as an A-side in 1975.

    "No Bother To Me" was the first song released with new keyboardist Eddie Rayner. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe it may have been the first single with drummer Paul "Emlyn" Crowther.
     
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  9. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    "No Bother to Me" marks an entirely new Enz. This new line up's music sounds more of it's time. The odd quirkiness is still there and the songwriting is still obviously the work of the same team, but the drums and keyboards sound more confident and a little bit of the nervousness of the earlier singles seems have been channelled. Wally Wilkinson too seems well inegrated into the sound, and not so out-of-place. Previously I felt all the elements in the singles weren't fully integrated: there is this sense that they are all doing their own things and sort of showing off quite independent of the others. Here I feel that this is the sound of a unique band rather than a unique bunch of musicians. They were really growing into their sound. Probably the fact that Wilkinson, Rayner and Crowther had all been in another band called "The Orb" prior to joining the Enz was something that facilitated that.

    While I still wouldn't really categorize this as prog rock, it definitely is some kind of middle ground between their early singles and Mental Notes.

    I like the smoother sound of the new single very much -- to me it sounds like the pre-Neil Finns in a way that the other songs didn't; however, I don't think I like the song as much as I liked a couple of earlier songs. It just doesn't do as much for me as, say, "129" or "Home Sweet Home". I give it a solid 3.9.
     
  10. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    I should also add that on YouTube there is a live (or semi-live) performance of the song. It is clear that not only had their sound shifted a bit with the new line up but they had also come up with the distinctive look that many people remember them for. And they developed their odd comic performing personae. Really it is weird to watch forty five years later, but I imagine it was quite entertaining live.

     
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  11. robcar

    robcar Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver, CO
    I really like "No Bother To Me", recorded in 1974 but not released for nearly a year in early 1975 as the band's third non-LP single A-side. For the first time, the single credited the band as "Split Enz", rather than "Split Ends". The version of the track that was later included on the 1979 compilation The Beginning of the Enz was remixed; here is the original single mix, which I prefer (the drums sound more natural and less "boxy" than on the remix).



    This is a great song that captures the manic energy of the band in the studio. Not sure if that is some sort of slide guitar? It almost sounds sort of like a pedal steel, but not quite. My favorite of the early single sides, I'll give this a 4.2.
     
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  12. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    Yeah, the single has a bit more spring and pop.
     
  13. Blackbear

    Blackbear Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Wilmington DE
    This is one of my favorite Split Enz songs. They did a good job with the remix except for one thing - removing Wally Wilkinson's solo. For this you need the original single. I never owned the single (wish I did) but found the original version on the LP, "New Zealands (sic) Top 12 Groups" on TMA Records, issued in 1976 - I still have this record, which as well as Split Enz features Dragon, Quincy Conserve, Headband, Space Waltz, Beech, Rocking Horse, Inbetweens, Father Time, Waves, Link and Ragnarok! A wonderful time capsule of NZ's burgeoning rock scene.
     
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  14. planetexpress

    planetexpress Hypnotist Collector

    Location:
    Chicago
    I think I actually like the remix of "No Bother to Me" better, the piano and vocals are more prominent even though the original end guitar solo is missing. There's no deep meaning that I can discern from the lyrics but again the instrumentation makes for a compelling listen. The theatrics of the "live" countdown video are great; you can tell they've been honing their craft and are trying HARD to get noticed. It's quirky and fun and even a little catchy... 4.1
     
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  15. robcar

    robcar Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Somewhat off topic, I saw Neil Finn tonight with some other band. He looked in good form and had good energy and fine voice.
     
  16. AFOS

    AFOS Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brisbane,Australia
    Neil is now working with Fleetwood Mac- as strange as that may sound it's true!

    And just a suggestion so feel free to ignore it! Might be a good idea to include a discussion topic with each new song. Examples - Favourite album , single , etc etc
     
  17. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    “Some other band.”
     
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  18. robcar

    robcar Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver, CO
    :D
     
  19. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    Today's song is "Malmsbury Villa."



    "Malmsbury Villa" was written by Phil Judd. I can't seem to find any info on it as being on a single -- I suppose that it was not released other than as an album track on The Beginning of the Enz in 1979.
     
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  20. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    "Malmsbury Villa" has always been one of my favorite tracks on The Beginning of the Enz." I think I just like the lyrics, which are mainly just whimsical word play. All the elements that we've seen in other Enz songs are present here; lots of moving bits, horn arrangements, fantastic keyboards. I'd say "hmm, this should have been a single˜"but on the other hand I doubt it would have done any better than the others, commercially. Certainly it seems less commercial than "No Bother To Me" and has more of the nervous energy I associate with their earlier songs. I like how they ended these early songs, they always had kind of an original and surprising ending to their songs.

    Malmsbury Villa, was of course a place where Judd and Finn lived and wrote many of their first songs, and the lyrics seem to reflect that. It's interesting that this song was written by Judd alone. Tim still sings it, but I guess that Phil's melody was deemed strong enough that Finn's input wasn't necessary.

    4.5/5
     
  21. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    Our ratings for "No bother For Me".

    1-0
    2-0
    3-0
    4-3
    5-0
     
  22. Jaffaman

    Jaffaman Forum Resident

    "Malmsbury Villa" was one of four new songs recorded by Split Enz in 1974 at Stebbing Studios for a TV special, "Six of the Best": “Spellbound", "No Bother To Me", "Malmsbury Villa" and "Lovey Dovey”. The programme never aired. I'm not sure it was ever actually made.

    Phil Judd was temporarily out of the band at this time but was still writing songs for the Enz. Neil Finn, at the age of fifteen, would hang out at Malmsbury Villa at witness the birth of these songs, which had contributions from all the band. Violinist Miles Golding came up with the classic opening riff for "Stranger Than Fiction" and inspired the middle dissonant part of "Under The Wheel."

    Mike Chunn recalls Tim Finn performing "Malmsbury Villa" and "No Bother To Me" while wearing a mask with a mic in it.
     
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  23. planetexpress

    planetexpress Hypnotist Collector

    Location:
    Chicago
    Found a live version of "Malmsbury Villa" online from Palmerston North (Nov. 7th, 1975). The sound quality is rough but apparently it may be from the earliest known Split Enz live concert recording so it's pretty special.



    The song itself is fine, the varied instrumentation great as usual. I can picture them in their clown makeup playing this live which shouldn't be discounted due to the nature of the lyrics (clowns / circus / standing on head etc). I love how theatrical some of these early songs sound...

    I'll give this one a 4.3
     
  24. Jaffaman

    Jaffaman Forum Resident

  25. planetexpress

    planetexpress Hypnotist Collector

    Location:
    Chicago
    I need to break down and watch Enzology when I get a chance. Thanks!
     
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