I Got You (Split Enz song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"I Got You"
Single by Split Enz
from the album True Colours
B-side"Double Happy"
Released21 January 1980
RecordedNovember 1979[1]
StudioArmstrong Studios, Melbourne
GenreNew wave[2]
LabelMushroom Records, Melbourne
Songwriter(s)Neil Finn
Producer(s)David Tickle
Split Enz singles chronology
"I Got You"
"I Hope I Never"
Audio sample

"I Got You" is a song by New Zealand rock band Split Enz. It was released as a single on 21 January 1980 by Mushroom Records in Australia and New Zealand, and August 1980 by A&M internationally, as the first single from their breakthrough album True Colours. Written by co-lead singer Neil Finn, who did not initially believe it to be a hit, it became the band's most commercially successful song, topping the charts in Australasia (spending eight weeks at number-one in Australia) and placing in the top 20 of the British and Canadian charts. By July 1980, it had become the biggest selling single in Australian history.[3]

The song was rated #11 on the Australasian Performing Right Association's Top 100 New Zealand Songs Of All Time list.[4]


"I Got You" originated from a series of songwriting sessions with his brother and co-frontman Tim, in which one brother would name a title and the other would write a song around it;[5] Tim suggested the title "I Got You" to Neil.[6] Speaking to the New Zealand Herald in 2001, Neil recalled: "I think Tim came up with the title. We were sitting around in Rose Bay, Sydney, writing and I remember thinking the chorus was kind of weak. But when we rehearsed it, it felt really good straight away."[5] Initially, neither Neil, nor Michael Gudinski of Mushroom Records, believed the song would become a hit, Gudinski believing none of the tracks on True Colours had hit potential.[5] The guitar riff at the start was played by Neil. He later remarked, "That was the only [riff] I knew how to play at the time... That was me learning how to play electric guitar."[7]


The song received critical acclaim in contemporary music magazines. Reviewed in Roadrunner at the time of release, it was said the song "positively drips with appeal that only philistines could fail to appreciate," and asked readers to buy a copy as "it deserves to be a hit."[8] Amanda Nicholls of Record Mirror, who also urged readers to buy the single, commented: "Good production with immaculate build-up and control throughout".[9] Billboard noted the song's "record tenure" on the Australian charts and said American audiences would pick up on the song's "off-color, theme song appeal".[10] Cashbox compared the song's "edgey [sic] vocals" to The Cars, and said it was "due for stateside recognition".[11]

Music video[edit]

The music video was designed and directed by percussionist Noel Crombie, who directed most of the band's previous videos.[6] It features Neil Finn standing in a room singing the song with the other band members performing in a framed picture on the wall behind him. The picture animates when he sings the chorus but goes still when he sings the verses. At the end of the video he is seen in the picture with the band.[12][13][failed verification]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "I Got You" – 3:24
  2. "Double Happy" – 3:15



Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1980) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[14] 1
Canada (RPM)[15] 13
Ireland (IRMA)[16] 19
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[17] 1
UK[18] 12
US Billboard Hot 100[19] 53
US Cash Box Top 100[20] 50

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1980) Rank
Australia (Kent Music Report) [21][22] 1
New Zealand[23] 8
US (Joel Whitburn's Pop Annual)[24] 299

Cover versions[edit]

"I Got You" has been recorded by Vitamin C and The Connells.[25] Fleetwood Mac also played the song on their 2018-19 tour, An Evening with Fleetwood Mac, where Neil Finn replaced longtime member Lindsey Buckingham. In addition to "I Got You," Finn also performed Crowded House song "Don't Dream It's Over," with Stevie Nicks providing harmonies.

New Zealand band Shihad also released their version in 2020.[26]


  1. ^ Billboard (30 January 1982). "Global Productions". Billboard. New York City: Billboard-Hollywood Reporter Media Group.
  2. ^ Cateforis, Theo (2011). Are We Not New Wave? : Modern Pop at the Turn of the 1980s (PDF). University of Michigan Press. p. 163. ISBN 978-0-472-03470-3.
  3. ^ "Points West" (PDF). Cash Box. 19 July 1980. p. 14. Retrieved 3 December 2021 – via World Radio History.
  4. ^ "APRA Top 100 New Zealand Songs Of All Time". www.sergent.com.au. Retrieved 5 July 2022.
  5. ^ a b c Reid, Graham (23 March 2001). "History ever repeats with Neil Finn". NZ Herald. Retrieved 5 July 2022.
  6. ^ a b "Album Tales: Split Enz, 'True Colours' (1980)". STACK | JB Hi-Fi. 10 June 2021. Retrieved 5 July 2022.
  7. ^ Creswell, Toby (2006). "1001 Songs: The Great Songs of All Time and the Artists, Stories and Secrets Behind Them". New York: Thunder's Mouth Press. p. 316.
  8. ^ Robertson, Donald (1980). "45's". Roadrunner. Parkside, SA: 22.
  9. ^ Nicholls, Amanda (26 July 1980). "Singles: Down The Trail" (PDF). Record Mirror. p. 11. Retrieved 6 July 2022.
  10. ^ "Top Single Picks: Pop" (PDF). Billboard. p. 67.
  11. ^ "Singles: Feature Picks" (PDF). Cashbox. 9 August 1980. p. 18. Retrieved 6 July 2022.
  12. ^ "Points West" (PDF). Cash Box. 19 July 1980. p. 14. Retrieved 3 December 2021 – via World Radio History.
  13. ^ "Australian Music Awards". Ron Jeff. Retrieved 16 December 2010.
  14. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. p. 288. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. NOTE: Used for Australian Singles and Albums charting from 1970 until ARIA created their own charts in mid-1988.
  15. ^ "RPM Canadian Charts". Archived from the original on 23 October 2012. Retrieved 13 July 2011.
  16. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – I Got You". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  17. ^ "Split Enz – I Got You". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 15 November 2020.
  18. ^ "The Official Charts Company". Official Charts. Retrieved 13 July 2011.
  19. ^ "Split Enz - Chart history". Billboard. 4 October 1980.
  20. ^ (4 October 1980) Cash Box Top 100 Singles
  21. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. Australian Chart Book, St Ives, N.S.W. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  22. ^ "National Top 100 Singles for 1980". Kent Music Report. 5 January 1981. Retrieved 17 January 2022 – via Imgur.
  23. ^ Official Top 40 Singles
  24. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1999). Pop Annual. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. ISBN 0-89820-142-X.
  25. ^ Tannis Root Presents: Freedom of Choice on Amazon.com
  26. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "I Got You – Shihad (Split Enz Cover) [Lyric Video]". YouTube.