I See Red (Split Enz song)

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"I See Red"
I See Red.jpg
Single by Split Enz
from the album Frenzy
  • "Hermit McDermitt"
  • "Message Boy"
ReleasedDecember 1978
Format7" vinyl
RecordedStarling Studios, England, 1978
GenreNew wave, punk rock, hard rock
LabelMushroom Records
Songwriter(s)Tim Finn
Producer(s)David Tickle
Split Enz singles chronology
"Bold as Brass"
"I See Red"
"Give It A Whirl"
Alternative cover
Cover to the 1989 re-release.
Cover to the 1989 re-release.

"I See Red" is a 1978 song by New Zealand art rock group Split Enz from their studio album Frenzy. "I See Red" was the second Split Enz song to achieve a top 20 chart position, peaking at #15 in Australia and #43 in the band's native New Zealand.[1]


Tim Finn said, "That's a one-off thing we did at Startling Studios which is Ringo Starr's studio - it used to be John Lennon's place. The engineer out there got to know us and liked us and gave us some free time when the studio wasn't being used."[2]

Music video[edit]

The music video for "I See Red" begins with Tim Finn angrily ripping his hair out as he can see a woman out a window walking along (as the first line of the lyrics indicates "When my baby's walking down the street/I see red, I see red, I see red"). Finn then resumes his regular position with the band and sings the rest of the song with them. The band, including Finn, are all wearing grey suits with black markings on them with white shirts and red ties. The studio is low lit with a white or red spotlight on different members of the band, though occasionally lighting up a backdrop completely, though still predominantly keeping to white and red light. At the very end of the song, musically, the song silences very suddenly instead of fading out or being ended at the end of a bar, due to the tape running out during recording. In the music video at this moment, the band members disappear from the performance area leaving the space only with instruments in place.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Tim Finn.

7" vinyl[edit]

Side A
  1. "I See Red" - 3:15
Side B
  1. "Hermit McDermitt" - 3:42
  2. "Message Boy" - 3:51

Coloured 7" vinyl reissue[edit]

Reissued in 1989 to coincide with the release of greatest hits album History Never Repeats - The Best Of Split Enz. Released with new artwork to match History Never Repeats. Live version recorded at Festival Hall, Melbourne, November 1984.

  1. "I See Red" - 3:15
  2. "I See Red" (live) - 4:15

Cover Versions[edit]

In 2012, the New Zealand Army Band covered the song as part of their performance for the Arrowtown 150th anniversary celebrations.[3]


  1. ^ I See Red by Split Enz : Reviews and Ratings. Retrieved 20 July 2007.
  2. ^ Milne, Bruce (March 1979). "Split Enz Blood n Guts Romantics". Roadrunner. Parkside, SA: 12–13.
  3. ^ "New Zealand Army band 'See Red' with Split Enz classic". The New Zealand Herald. 26 October 2012. Retrieved 21 July 2012.

External links[edit]