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
    Feel free to start that kind of thing on this thread. Bear in mind there are hundreds of Finn songs we’ll be discussing. Both Finns have been pretty prolific and have had extraordinarily long careers.
     
  2. Jaffaman

    Jaffaman Forum Resident

    It's an audio documentary, so easier to absorb on the run than if it were visual.
     
  3. robcar

    robcar Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver, CO
    "Malmsbury Villa" is a fun song that, to me, captures the essence of the first period of the band. It's a bit of a mystery as to why it wasn't released at the time, instead being relegated to "outtake" status until it was included five years later on the compilation The Beginning of the Enz. I could see this fitting on Mental Notes quite easily. Love Tim's vocal on this one. I'll give this a 4.0.
     
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  4. Jaffaman

    Jaffaman Forum Resident

    Many of the band members have said the same thing about this song and "Lovey Dovey".
     
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  5. robcar

    robcar Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Hey, nice to know I'm in good company on this!!
     
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  6. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    Our votes for "Malmsbury Villa"

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

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    Today's song is "Lovey Dovey"





    Co-written by Judd and Finn at a time when Judd was out of the band, it was part of a batch of songs recorded for a TV special which never aired, according to Jaffaman, above.

    It would later turn up (in re-recorded form) on the Enz' second album Second Thoughts.
     
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  8. AFOS

    AFOS Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brisbane,Australia
    Okay thanks

    Q: What is your favourite Split Enz album?
     
  9. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    "Lovey Dovey" does all the things all the Split Enz have done; cramming lots of musical ideas into one song, vaudeville and Kink-style pop with hints of prog and glam.

    I think I prefer the slightly amateurish mix here to the slicker '76 version, the obvious hard edits suit the arty nature of the song better to me. The blaring horns are nice. Again the song just goes on and on through idea after idea until it finally culminates rather unexpectedly. These guys definitely were definitely full of musical ideas.

    Lyrically, I know it's supposed to be a spoof of love songs, like most of these early songs; but there's also this hint of madness to it. The idea of this man whose life is falling apart since his love has left him -- living in a desert wasteland, letting rats crawl all over him, unable to sleep, his house falling over, bereft of chicken eggs... Phil Judd went places with his words few songwriters did.

    I think that the early Enz was at their peak for these four songs at the end of Beginning of the Enz. They had really found their sound and integrated all the parts into one comic whole.

    I'll give it a 4/5.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
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  10. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    Time and Tide for me. Frenzy (the remixed version) is a close second.
     
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  11. robcar

    robcar Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver, CO
    I have to go with True Colours, mainly because it was the first one I heard being all the way over in California. Time & Tide is a very very close second, however.
     
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  12. robcar

    robcar Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver, CO
    "Lovey Dovey" is another one that seems to typify the esprit de corps of the early Enz. I don't like it as much as "Malmsbury Villa", but it has a madcap energy to it that is utterly infectious. I actually hear a bit of Madness in this, probably due to the horns (and Madness wasn't even around in 1974, when this was recorded). I'll have to listen to the redone 1976 version of this song again when we get there to decide which version I prefer, but it's hard to top this original recording. I'll give this a 3.5.
     
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  13. AFOS

    AFOS Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brisbane,Australia
    I'd go with Time & Tide as well. "Dirty Creature" & "Six Months In A Leaky Boat" would be in my top 5 Enz singles.
     
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  14. planetexpress

    planetexpress Hypnotist Collector

    Location:
    Chicago
    The lyrics and instrumentation of "Lovey Dovey" are really effective in getting the feeling of going insane over the rejection of a past love.
    The only quibble I have is the juxtaposition of the sadness of the lyrics and the happiness of the music is a little jarring in this original version. I feel like the one on Second Thoughts is slightly toned down while still frenetic and a more effective parody of "silly love songs". 3.2
     
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  15. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    Votes for Lovey Dovey:
    1-0
    2-0
    3-1
    4-2
    5-0
     
  16. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    Today's song is "Spellbound"



    "Spellbound" is another Judd/Finn concoction though Tim sings lead on this song. The song would be re-recorded with Phil on lead for 1975's Mental Notes. This version was recorded with the previous songs in batch for a TVshowed that never aired, at a time when Phil was out of the band.
     
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  17. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    For me "Spellbound" is an easy 5/5. I just love this song and think it was a major major piece of work from the early Enz. I really dig the long intro: the keyboard is hypnotic and the crashing of the drums and bass together is sublime. There is a real live energy to this recording that few Split Enz really were able to achieve. There's also something lovely and almost loungey about the melody and the guitar work by Wally Wilkinson gives the whole thing a sort of edge.

    I much prefer this to the Judd-sung version, which lacks the snap, crackle and pop of this one, and Tim is just by far the better singer, I'm afraid.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2019
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  18. robcar

    robcar Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver, CO
    I also prefer this earlier 1974 recording of "Spellbound" to the one that would be included on the band's debut album. It's a really good song, inspired (as were some of the other songs on Mental Notes) by the works of English author Mervyn Peake. There's a lovely flow that moves through the song, almost calling to mind water in a stream or brook. Giving this a 4.0.
     
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  19. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    I did not know about the Mervyn Peake connection.

    Apparently the Finn brothers’ track “Alone” from Neil Finn’s “
    Out of Silence is also peake-inspired.
     
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  20. GillyT

    GillyT Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wellies, N.Z
    My sister saw them back then. Must quiz her about it...
     
  21. SJP

    SJP Forum Resident

    Location:
    Anaheim
    Spellbound is terrific, has a funkiness to it which wouldn't sound out of place on Bowie's Young Americans to my ears.

    5/5
     
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  22. robcar

    robcar Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver, CO
    I didn't make that connection, but he co-wrote that song with the Finns! I really love that album, but it'll be a looooooong time before we discuss it here!
     
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  23. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    It is funky. Yet manages not to sound too out of place.
     
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  24. SJP

    SJP Forum Resident

    Location:
    Anaheim
    Not out of place at all. The bass line propels the song not unlike what 801 did with TNK.
     
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  25. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Location:
    Vsetin
    Our votes for Spellbound:

    1-0
    2-0
    3-0
    4-1
    5-2
     

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