Monday, January 26, 2015

It's hard to stay one step ahead of you (Split Enz) #356-358

Split Enz One Step Ahead/ In The Wars (Polydor, POLY 100, 1980)
Split Enz History Never Repeats/ Holy Smoke (Polydor, POLY 110, 1980)
Split Enz I Don't Wanna Dance/ Shark Attack; What's the Matter With You (Polydor, POLY 113, 1981)

These singles trace Neil's increasing ability to stay one step ahead of brother Tim - both One Step Ahead and History Never Repeats are landmark songs in the Enz's catalogue and therefore in New Zealand music. 

Although neither single could break into the top spot on NZ charts they both sold well at the time, assisted by some cheap but clever MTV friendly videos.

One and History are both light years away from the Phil Judd years (although, with The Swingers, Phil would also move right away from his experimental SE years). Instead these are more mainstream pop songs.

Tim tries a bit too hard to be current with I Don't Wanna Dance and comes up short.

Hidden gems: Tim's In The Wars is spirited - a nice chorus, but wasn't considered strong enough for parent album Waiata

Neil's Holy Smoke is lively but also wasn't good enough to appear on Waiata.

Shark Attack and What's The Matter... are live versions. I saw the band live a number of times and their live excitement has never been communicated well onto live vinyl.

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