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Split Enz, 13 June 2006, Rod Laver Arena
|Origin||Auckland, New Zealand|
|Genres||New wave, art rock, progressive rock, pop rock|
(Reunions: 1986, 1989–1990, 1992–1993, 1996, 1999–2000, 2002, 2005, 2006–2007, 2008–2009)
|Labels||Mushroom, Chrysalis, A&M|
|Associated acts||Crowded House, The Swingers, Schnell Fenster, The Makers, Citizen Band, Pajama Club|
|Past members||Tim Finn
The band started life in 1971 at Auckland University, where Tim met up with (old friend) Mike Chunn, Robert Gillies, Philip Judd and Noel Crombie. From 1972 the band became a full-time occupation for the friends, and they called the band Split Ends. The spelling was later changed to Split Enz when they went on their first trip to Australia, to signify their New Zealand roots.
The musical style is best described as new wave - eclectic and wildly original, incorporating influences from art rock, vaudeville, swing, punk, rock and pop. Their costumes and hair were like nothing else, wild and colourful.
Between 1972 and 1977 Tim shared leader duties with Phil; when the latter left the band for good, younger brother Neil Finn joined at 17 years of age, and he went on to write most of the major hits the band had. Their biggest international hit was the single "I Got You".
After Tim decided to leave the band to pursue a solo career in 1983, it became clear that the other major songwriter, Neil, did not think the band could go on without him. The band finally broke up in November 1984. Whatever tension there might have been between the band and Tim was resolved, and they went on their final tour together, Enz with a Bang.
Band member timeline (1972–1984)
- Feb–Mar 1973: "Orientation '73" (NZ universities – as support to Itambu)
- Apr 1973: NZ (as support to John Mayall's Bluesbreakers)
- Feb 1975: "Orientation '75" (NZ universities)
- Jun–Jul 1975: "Black & White" (NZ)
- Jul 1975: Aus (as support to Lou Reed)
- Feb–Mar 1976: "Enz Of The Earth" (NZ/Aus)
- Sep–Oct 1976: "Jackpot" (UK) (as support to Jack The Lad)
- Nov–Dec 1976: UK
- Dec 1976 – Jan 1977: "Courtin' The Act" (Aus/NZ)
- Feb–Mar 1977: US
- Apr–May 1977: UK
- Sep–Oct 1977: "Dizrythmia" (NZ/Aus)
- Dec 1977: The Netherlands
- 1978: UK
- Feb–Mar 1979: Aus
- Apr 1979: "Whirl Wind" (NZ leg)
- May 1979: "Give It A Whirl" (NZ)
- Jul–Sep 1979: "Whirl Wind" (Aus leg)
- Dec 1979: "Enz Of The '70s" (Aus)
- 1980: "Trooping The Colours" (NZ)
- Mar–Apr 1980: "Sporting True Colours" (Aus – with The Sports)
- May 1980: "Enz In The West" (Aus)
- Jun 1980: Aus
- Sep 1980: UK
- Oct–Nov 1980: US/Canada
- Nov–Dec 1980: UK/Europe
- Mar 1981: "Outback" (Aus)
- Apr–Aug 1981: "Waiata" (NZ/Aus/world)
- 1982: "Time And Tide" (NZ/Aus/USA/Canada)
- 1983: "Conflicting Emotions" (NZ)
- Feb–Mar 1984: "Kia Kaha" (Aus)
- Sep–Dec 1984: "Enz With A Bang" (Aus/NZ)
- 1993: "20th Anniversary Tour" (NZ)
- 2006: Aus reunion tour
- 2008: NZ reunion tour
After Split Enz
- Phil Judd released a solo album Private Lives, and formed The Swingers with Buster Stiggs and Bones Hillman.
- Phil Judd, Noel Crombie and Nigel Griggs got back together in a new band, called Schnell Fenster, who released two albums. The albums were moderately successful.
- Eddie Rayner joined Schnell Fenster, but soon after decided to form his own band called The Makers. They released two albums. His ENZSO project saw some of the members sing the old Split Enz songs in an orchestral setting with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and two albums were released with live recordings. He has released two solo albums; an instrumental solo album Horse, and another album Play it Straight.
- Neil (later joined by his brother Tim) went on to form Crowded House, which was also very successful worldwide. After the demise of Crowded House, he started a solo career.
- Tim Finn has a successful solo career, and was in Crowded House for their third album.
- Neil and Tim have also released two albums together as the Finn Brothers.
- Geoff and Mike Chunn returned to New Zealand and formed Citizen Band
- 1986: Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior benefit concert, Mt. Smart Stadium, Auckland, 5 April, including Herbs, Neil Young, Jackson Browne and Graham Nash.
- 1986: A special show at Middle Park Hotel in May 1986 to showcase Neil's new band Crowded House and Split Enz.
- 1989: Crowded House and Schnell Fenster toured together in 1989 bringing with it an assortment of former Split Enz alumni. Members of the Enz would get together on stage for a bit of a reunion during the tour. Phil Judd, though he was lead singer of Schnell Fenster chose not to take part in the reunion parts of the show. Conversely, Tim Finn, a member of neither group (he would later join Crowded House briefly as a full-time member), did occasionally join them.
- 1989/90: A short tour of Australia towards the end of 1989, ending with a special New Year's Eve show at the Darling Harbour Exhibition Centre, which included Crowded House, and Hunters and Collectors as support. One additional appearance was added for the Newcastle earthquake Relief concert held on 18 February 1990, which also had Crowded House, Midnight Oil, Diesel, The Angels, Ian Moss, and Spy vs Spy on the bill.
- 1992: One-off promotional show for Air NZ and NZ Tourism Commission in Australia.
- 1992: One-off show to mark the band's 20th anniversary, to announce the 20th Anniversary Tour, and to launch Mike Chunn's Stranger Than Fiction book, Wynyard Tavern, Auckland, 10 December.
- 1993: The band reformed briefly in March (while Crowded House were recording their fourth album Together Alone) for the 20th Anniversary Tour of New Zealand.
- 1996: Neil and Tim Finn both featured prominently in Eddie Rayner's Enzso (Split Enz and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra) project and tour, making it arguably a semi-reunion.
- 1999: The core band members, Tim Finn, Neil Finn, Noel Crombie, Eddie Rayner, and Nigel Griggs regrouped in Auckland during 1999 and recorded a number of demos. There were ideas for an album, one which did not come to fruition.
- 1999: The band played two Enz of the Millennium shows in Auckland, New Zealand to see in the year 2000, 30 and 31 December.
- 2002: One-off private reunion for Neil and Sharon Finn's 20th wedding anniversary, 13 February.
- 2002: One-off reunion at Neil Finn's Roundhead Studios for webcast.
- 2002: Special TV appearance on Holmes show to mark the band's 30th anniversary, Kohimarama Yacht Club, Auckland, 10 December.
- 2005: In mid-2005, the band announced they would reform again for a tour of Australia in 2006 starting in June, with New Zealand dates forthcoming. The line-up for this tour was: Tim Finn, Neil Finn, Nigel Griggs, Eddie Rayner, Noel Crombie, Malcolm Green
- 2007: On 8 November, the band announced on New Zealand's TV3 program Campbell Live, that they were indeed reforming and going on a New Zealand tour, starting in Christchurch, March 2008. The line-up for this tour was: Tim Finn, Neil Finn, Nigel Griggs, Eddie Rayner, Noel Crombie with Michael Barker on drums.
- 2009: One-off live reunion on 14 March in Melbourne, Australia for the Sound Relief charity concert raising funds for the Red Cross Victorian Bushfire Appeal. The line-up of the band for this event was identical to that of their 2008 New Zealand tour.
- Mental Notes (1975)
- Second Thoughts (1976)
- Dizrythmia (1977)
- Frenzy (1979)
- True Colours (1980)
- Waiata / Corroboree (1981)
- Time and Tide (1982)
- Conflicting Emotions (1983)
- See Ya 'Round (1984)
- Crowded House (Neil Finn, Paul Hester, Eddie Rayner, Tim Finn)
- Finn Brothers (Neil Finn, Tim Finn)
- The Swingers (Phil Judd)
- Schnell Fenster (Phil Judd, Noel Crombie, Nigel Griggs)
- The Makers (Eddie Rayner)
- Citizen Band (Geoff Chunn, Mike Chunn)
- Tarmac Adam (Paul Hester)
- Chunn, Mike, Stranger Than Fiction: The Life and Times of Split Enz, GP Publications, 1992. ISBN 1-86956-050-7
- Chunn, Mike, Stranger Than Fiction: The Life and Times of Split Enz, (revised,ebook edition), Hurricane Press, 2013. ISBN 978-0-9922556-3-3
- Dix, John, Stranded in Paradise: New Zealand Rock and Roll, 1955 to the Modern Era, Penguin Books, 2005, ISBN 0-14-301953-8
- Green, Peter, "Letters To My Frenz (A Split Enz Book)". Rocket Pocket Books, 2006, ISBN 0-9579712-3-0
- Goulding,Mark, Green,Peter, "Wings Off Flies", (25 years of rock photography). Rocket Pocket Books, 2002, ISBN 0-9579712-2-2
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Split Enz.|
- Biography on the band
- Something so Finn
- Stranger than Fiction – Scans of the book written by Mike Chunn
- Starstruck at the Internet Movie Database
- Kia Kaha – Japanese site with an excellent discography and English links
- Enzology – Radio documentary