A year or so ago, Radio New Zealand produced an exhaustive 10 part audio documentary on the seminal Kiwi band Split Enz. Unfortunately, due to licensing issues, it was not available outside of the Antipodes. Until now.
The first installation of Enzology is now available. New episodes will be posted every Saturday.
Haven’t heard the Enz? Allow me to introduce you.
Split Enz were huge almost everywhere but America. They had a couple of minor hits here in the 80s, I Got You and One Step Ahead. After they broke up, songwriter/guitarist/singer Neil Finn and drummer Paul Hester (RIP :() were the nucleus of Crowded House, who again had some hits in America, but were the largest living things elsewhere at one time.
Split Enz’ earlier albums had a distinct prog flair, mixed with a strong English music hall influence. They were not dissimilar to Gabriel-era Genesis, though more Harold The Barrel and less Watcher Of The Skies (though not by much).
Their later albums, while retaining their essential quirkiness, partook of the 80s new wave sound and yielded many hits worldwide.
Intrigued? For the early years, I recommend Second Thoughts. It’s kind of tricky, though: this was a half-rerecording of their debut, Mental Notes, and was released under that title outside of the Antipodes. Long story short: whatever the title, if the first track is Late Last Night, that’s the one you want.
Later years: surely Time And Tide, which is in my opinion one of the great albums of the 80s.
For an overview, skip the Greatest Hits records and get the live album The Living Enz. They were great live!