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Split Enz - 1980 True Colors

ARTIST: Split Enz
ALBUM: True Colors
LABEL: Mushroom Australia
SERIAL: L37167
YEAR: 1980
CD REISSUE: 2006, Mushroom, 5101136362


LINEUP: Tim Finn - vocals, acoustic guitar * Neil Finn - vocals, guitar * Noel Crombie - vocals, percussion * Malcolm Green - drums * Nigel Griggs - bass * Eddie Rayner - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 I Got You * 02 Shark Attack * 03 What's The Matter With You * 04 Double Happy * 05 I Wouldn't Dream Of It * 06 I Hope I Never * 07 Nobody Takes Me Seriously * 08 Missing Person * 09 Poor Boy * 10 How Can I Resist Her * 11 The Choral Sea * 12 Things * 13 Two Of A Kind


Years after the fact, Split Enz remains a New Zealand institution in the land of the Long White Cloud. You didn't have to go too far around the Kiwi nation in 1980 to see and hear Split Enz all over the airwaves and TV channels of the day. In fact, many of the tracks on this album became so well known, that it nearly represents a Greatest Hits collection in its own right! 'True Colours' became Split Enz's most successful and commercial offering, going to #1 on the charts in both New Zealand and Australia, and achieving a modicum of success in the U.S, Canada and the UK too.

The Songs
The band were an art-pop sensation in their earlier days. Music, imagery, costumes, stage and props unique just to them, Split Enz were in their own little carnival like bubble. With 'True Colours' they had songs tailor made for radio, as their worldwide hit 'I Got You' demonstrated in no uncertain terms. Other well known tunes include the frantic 'Shark Attack' (one of my favourite Enz tunez!), the quirky 'What's The Matter With You', the dreamy ballad 'I Hope I Never' and the regimented pop of 'Nobody Takes Me Seriously Anyway'. All excellent tracks when looking back. The band also had plans for tracks such as 'Missing Person' and 'Poor Boy', the latter including that haunting lyrical intro 'my love is alien', which could've been taken from a David Bowie LP. Really, this album is full of hits, well remembered and well loved.

In Summary
I do recall playing this LP, because of the laser etching embedded on the vinyl platter. We played it at parties and the LP became like a disco mirror ball when light was shone on it, reflecting all sorts of kaleidoscopic imagery around the room. Very cool! Split Enz released several more albums, up until 1984's finale 'See Ya Round'. Neil Finn would escape over to Australia and form Crowded House, which became huge stars in the late 80's with their 1988 hit 'Don't Dream It's Over'. Still, there is much to enjoy with the Split Enz discography, but if you were ever to start on a back-catalogue collection, this is the album where you would start. [word count 369]

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#1 | Eric on January 19 2016 22:36:58
Funny, a very good album, but not one of my Enz favorites and I'm not sure why? 'I Got You' is brilliant though.
#2 | dangerzone on January 20 2016 01:32:51
I think their albums were largely hit and miss affairs, but as George says growing up with this band indelibly stamped all their classics in my brain like few others ever have. Just listening to this transports me back to 1981 in no uncertain terms.
#3 | jefflynnefan on January 20 2016 04:56:23
This is one of the big records of my life. I've been listening to it year after year, after year since 1980. It was amazing back then and it still holds true for me now. I'm glad to see it here! Each one of their albums have been my favorite by them at one time or another. And to me, that's the mark of a great band. I'm a huge, huge Tim and Neil fan! I recommend any Split Enz fan to get the live cd called 'Live In America'.

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