Split Enz is New Zealand’s most iconic band of all time — in my view — because they successfully took their Kiwi flavour to the world at a time when that was pretty much unheard of. While their sound could be tagged as “80’s pop” they have a distinctive take on the era which translates very well to today.
The band released nine studio albums and the playlist below takes a single song from each of the last eight which, to me, showcases their best sound. The first album, Mental Notes, is very much part of the band’s formative years but does not offer up much of the sound that infused their future hits.
I struggled to pick just one track from some of these albums, as when Enz hit their stride they had some real jewels amongst the rank and file tracks. There are several standouts in this list, for me. Matinee Idyll (129) was a very early composition that yet fits the band’s signature style, I Got You heralded the arrival of Neil Finn as a songwriter, and I Walk Away likewise heralded the end of the Enz and the sound that would follow Neil to his new band, Crowded House. But there are a couple of quirky tracks in here, too. Who could forget the ending of I See Red which, believe it or not, started life as a slow, quiet number, nor the rather unfortunate timing of Six Months In a Leaky Boat.