The Brothers Finn - Split Enz/Crowded House/Etc.

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The Brothers Finn - Split Enz/Crowded House/Etc.

Post by stevejamsecono » Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:37 pm

Been going on a real deep dive into the Enz/CH catalogue this past week or so and it's really been the balm for the soul. Something about Neil Finn's voice is just incredibly reassuring to me, and I love his and Tim's respective songwriting quite a bit.

Any fans? Favorite albums/songs/moments/whatever?

One of my first musical memories is hearing bits of "Don't Dream It's Over" as part of one of those has-been 80s CD comps on a TV ad that had stuff like The Proclaimers and Tears for Fears on it. My sister and I used to sing that commercial note for note (a string of 10 seconds of the choruses of each song) in the car, probably drove my mom nuts.

Cut to a few years ago and I saw a picture of the Enz in a book called "The Encyclopedia of New Wave" with their Colonel Sanders ties and Neil rocking a Yamaha SG, which immediately caught my attention. I heard "I Got You" and "Missing Person" and was hooked. I've since enjoyed several of their albums and did the requisite dive into CH as well. Great great stuff.
And you find out life isn't like that
It's so hard to understand
Why the world is your oyster but your future's a clam

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Re: The Brothers Finn - Split Enz/Crowded House/Etc.

Post by seenoevil II » Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:26 pm

"Six Months in a Leaky Boat" is a few percent points of my soul. First exposed through Ted Leo's cover. Absolute banger.

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Re: The Brothers Finn - Split Enz/Crowded House/Etc.

Post by andy_tchp » Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:54 pm

stevejamsecono wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:37 pm
Any fans?
Yes. I feel the term is very often overused, but Neil Finn is a genius.

I have a lot of the Crowded House albums. Putting them on shuffle on the media centre often leads to a string of wonderful, wonderful songs in a row and 'oh yeah, THIS song is killer too!' moments.
"I don't know why we asked him to join the band 'cause the rest of us don't like country music all that much; we just like Graham Lee."
David McComb, 1987.

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Re: The Brothers Finn - Split Enz/Crowded House/Etc.

Post by countertext » Mon Jun 01, 2020 9:10 pm

I’m down. Crowded House was important to me.

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Re: The Brothers Finn - Split Enz/Crowded House/Etc.

Post by UlricvonCatalyst » Tue Jun 02, 2020 12:48 am

I've always been open to Beatles soundalikes. Let's face it, with no new Beatles songs forthcoming, something has to fill that void. That's why I love The Rutles and I Want You To Want Me and that lad out of Redd Kross doing his dead-on Lennon impression.

I remember my ears pricking up seeing an unplugged show on TV around 1993, especially when they did Four Seasons In One Day, which led me to buy a copy of Woodface. Haven't played it in a long time, but I got into the LP as a whole for a while. My pal fixated on Distant Sun as the most Beatlesy song in their catalogue; another good one, for sure.

Definitely, no maybe about it, the acceptable face of '90s Beatles fetishism.

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Re: The Brothers Finn - Split Enz/Crowded House/Etc.

Post by windmill » Tue Jun 02, 2020 12:56 am

The first album "Mental Notes" is well worth a listen.

"True Colours" is a classic album.

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Re: The Brothers Finn - Split Enz/Crowded House/Etc.

Post by timtam » Tue Jun 02, 2020 1:04 am

First concert I ever went to as a young teenager had 3 bands: lowest on the bill was a new act that had come across from New Zealand a week earlier, that no one had ever heard of, and who dressed in funny bright suits - that was Split Enz (with Tim Finn .. Neil would have still been in school). The headline act will only be known to locals - a huge band at the time called Skyhooks. The other support act was a band some people might have heard of ... AC/DC.

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Re: The Brothers Finn - Split Enz/Crowded House/Etc.

Post by andy_tchp » Tue Jun 02, 2020 1:26 am

UlricvonCatalyst wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 12:48 am
Definitely, no maybe about it, the acceptable face of '90s Beatles fetishism.
Weird. I don't like the Beatles, primarily due to the vocals, let alone get into any fetishism. Nor do I find CH to be a Beatles "soundalike", frankly that's a little unfair IMO.

(But maybe I should give them (Beatles) another chance if that's the case :) )

Neil's voice and songs are so much more listenable.
"I don't know why we asked him to join the band 'cause the rest of us don't like country music all that much; we just like Graham Lee."
David McComb, 1987.

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Re: The Brothers Finn - Split Enz/Crowded House/Etc.

Post by stevejamsecono » Tue Jun 02, 2020 4:47 am

seenoevil II wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:26 pm
"Six Months in a Leaky Boat" is a few percent points of my soul. First exposed through Ted Leo's cover. Absolute banger.
Wow. Did not know that this exists and I can only imagine it's great. Gonna check that out now.
andy_tchp wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:54 pm
stevejamsecono wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:37 pm
Any fans?
Yes. I feel the term is very often overused, but Neil Finn is a genius.

I have a lot of the Crowded House albums. Putting them on shuffle on the media centre often leads to a string of wonderful, wonderful songs in a row and 'oh yeah, THIS song is killer too!' moments.
This is fitting since I seem to recall you helped me get my original copy of "True Colours" :)

And yeah, I'm due to do a big bulk buy of the CH albums.
andy_tchp wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 1:26 am
UlricvonCatalyst wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 12:48 am
Definitely, no maybe about it, the acceptable face of '90s Beatles fetishism.
Weird. I don't like the Beatles, primarily due to the vocals, let alone get into any fetishism. Nor do I find CH to be a Beatles "soundalike", frankly that's a little unfair IMO.

(But maybe I should give them (Beatles) another chance if that's the case :) )

Neil's voice and songs are so much more listenable.
I get it in the sense of using it as an (admittedly tired but not inaccurate) shorthand for "poppy, accessible songwriting with strong vocals" and undoubtedly Neil is a big Beatles fan. I agree though, I feel like CH has its own sound.
And you find out life isn't like that
It's so hard to understand
Why the world is your oyster but your future's a clam

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Re: The Brothers Finn - Split Enz/Crowded House/Etc.

Post by Futuron » Tue Jun 02, 2020 7:14 am

Hmm, I never made any Crowded House/Beatles connection, and I listened to both quite a bit last century. I'll probably never be able to listen to either the same way again. >:(

Only Split Enz I've heard is what's been on radio throughout. Sadly, they were "babies in the bathwater" that I threw out of that "New Wave" era when the music took a real back seat to image. (Of course it still does in many cases (and did before so), but it seemed more heinous to me in the 80s with the women's clothing, makeup, hairstyles and pouty looks.) Too bad, they sounded decent.

Crowded House I do know (ie from experience) that I like (and Neil Finn solo stuff) but the only thing I have myself is Recurring Dream (the 'farewell' compilation from @96/97). I like the music and find his lyrics amusing:

So I talked to you for an hour in the bar of a small town hotel, and you asked me what I was thinking. I was thinking of a padded cell...
:D :D :D

She came out of the water into my horizon like a cumulo-nimbus coming in from the distance, burning and exploding like a slow volcano...
:ph34r:

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Re: The Brothers Finn - Split Enz/Crowded House/Etc.

Post by timtam » Tue Jun 02, 2020 7:39 am

I've never associated Split Enz with New Wave. Maybe in the US they did ... but then in the US they thought Men At Work was a New Wave band. This was Split Enz in 1975 ... way too early to be New Wave (Seymour Stein hadn't invented the term on the other side of the world yet)... and they had been like that for at least a year before then. I would say they were basically uncategorize-able - there was nothing else similar. Maybe Dada-esque. In the 1970's Australian beer barns (pubs) where they played, they could also have been described as "brave". ;)
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Re: The Brothers Finn - Split Enz/Crowded House/Etc.

Post by Futuron » Tue Jun 02, 2020 7:44 am

Kiwis always taking the piss - I mean that in a good way of course

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Re: The Brothers Finn - Split Enz/Crowded House/Etc.

Post by UlricvonCatalyst » Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:07 am

Sorry for derailing the thread, folks. To my ears the Fab Four resonance was as apparent as it is with ELO, but I seem to be in the minority here. Cue multiple annoyed disavowals of any similarity between ELO and The Beatles.... :D

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Re: The Brothers Finn - Split Enz/Crowded House/Etc.

Post by shadowplay » Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:18 am

UlricvonCatalyst wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:07 am
Sorry for derailing the thread, folks. To my ears the Fab Four resonance was as apparent as it is with ELO, but I seem to be in the minority here. Cue multiple annoyed disavowals of any similarity between ELO and The Beatles.... :D
I hear it, though I don't like the Beatles mainly due to detesting the singing. I prefer the singing in Crowded House, who I can't deny write a lovely vocal melody like on Four Seasons.

To me (as someone who doesn't tend to like a lot of tunesmithy music) they are in that sort of post 60's musical classicism furrow also ploughed by Prefab Sprout.

Bizarrely Neil Finn is currently in true Stars in Your Eyes style doing...Tonight Matthew I'm Lindsay Buckingham (but not so much of a dick).

D
Gott in Himmel!

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Re: The Brothers Finn - Split Enz/Crowded House/Etc.

Post by Telliot » Tue Jun 02, 2020 9:09 am

It's funny, the timing of this thread. I've been on a huge CH kick as of late. I don't know why, exactly, except that maybe their music is soothing to my soul at a time when my soul needs soothing.

As a kid, I was aware of Split Enz, and knew a few of their songs, but Crowded house arrived smack dab in my wheelhouse when I was just entering high school. While they weren't as edgy or 'new', I appreciated their classical approach to songwriting, and Neil Finn's voice was just superb (still is!). I was a budding songwriter at that age, and so I consumed everything I could from CH, and owe a lot of credit to them for the music I write to this day. Neil's sense of melody and harmony have always been superb, and his lyrics are surprisingly deep when you take a moment to read them. If you put a gun to my head [poor timing on that analogy, given current events here in the US], and told me to come up with my top 10 albums of all time, I'd be surprised if Woodface didn't end up on the list.

On the Beatles comparisons, I grew up huge fans of both bands and I never really heard any connection between the two, but then again the Beatles pretty much wrote the songbook (forgive the pun) when it comes to modern pop music, so I can't deny there could be some overlap.
shadowplay wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:18 am
UlricvonCatalyst wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:07 am
Sorry for derailing the thread, folks. To my ears the Fab Four resonance was as apparent as it is with ELO, but I seem to be in the minority here. Cue multiple annoyed disavowals of any similarity between ELO and The Beatles.... :D
I hear it, though I don't like the Beatles mainly due to detesting the singing. I prefer the singing in Crowded House, who I can't deny write a lovely vocal melody like on Four Seasons.

To me (as someone who doesn't tend to like a lot of tunesmithy music) they are in that sort of post 60's musical classicism furrow also ploughed by Prefab Sprout.

Bizarrely Neil Finn is currently in true Stars in Your Eyes style doing...Tonight Matthew I'm Lindsay Buckingham (but not so much of a dick).

D
I love Prefab Sprout, so I guess my affection for Crowded House fits the mold. Although I would say Prefab Sprout always seemed to explore the more abstract side of things.

And by all accounts, I've never heard a single bad thing about Neil Finn. He seems to be universally loved and appreciated.
The cool thing about fretless is you can hit a note...and then renegotiate.

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