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Tim Finn playing the Southbound Festival (2012)
|Birth name||Brian Timothy Finn|
|Born||25 June 1952|
Te Awamutu, New Zealand
|Genres||Pop, new wave, alternative rock, art rock|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, actor, film scorer|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, piano, drums|
|Labels||Mushroom Records, WEA, Capitol Records, Columbia Records/Sony, EMI Records, Virgin Records, Discovery Records, CRS Records, Periscope Records|
|Associated acts||Split Enz, Finn Brothers, Crowded House, ALT, Pearl Jam, Phil Manzanera, Roxy Music, Neil Finn|
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Brian Finn was born in Te Awamutu, New Zealand, weighing 10 pounds at birth, to parents Richard and Mary. At the age of 13, he went to Sacred Heart College, Auckland, a Catholic boarding school, on a scholarship. In 1971 he started a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Auckland. There he jammed in music practice room 129 (later the name of a Split Enz song) with friends and future Split Enz bandmembers Mike Chunn, Robert Gillies, Philip Judd and Noel Crombie. Music soon became more important to him than his studies. In 1972 he quit university. A few months later, Phil and Tim formed the group Split Ends, renamed Split Enz in 1975, shortly before they left New Zealand for Melbourne. Their music moved towards a more mainstream sound in later years, with an eclecticism that incorporated influences from art rock, vaudeville, swing, punk, glam rock, rock and pop. Between 1972 and 1977, Tim and Judd alternated as frontman for the band. When Judd left the band, Tim Finn's younger brother Neil Finn took his place.
Finn had his first success away from Split Enz in 1981 when his discarded demo "They Won't Let My Girlfriend Talk to Me" became a top 10 hit for Australian band Jimmy and the Boys. In 1983 Finn recorded his debut solo album, Escapade, while still a member of Split Enz. This met with major commercial success both in Australia and New Zealand, and yielded hit song "Fraction Too Much Friction", which revealed a more rhythm-based sound than Split Enz had been known for. After contributing four songs to Split Enz album Conflicting Emotions, Finn left the band permanently in June 1984, to focus on a solo career. The following year he moved to London. 1986 saw the release of his second solo album Big Canoe. The album utilised a wide variety of instrumentation, including guitars, orchestral backings and traditional Indian instruments - most notably on single "No Thunder, No Fire, No Rain", which was inspired by the Bhopal chemical disaster. Though Big Canoe reached number three on the New Zealand charts, it failed to become the international breakthrough that Finn or record company Virgin had hoped.
In 1978 Tim sang lead vocals on Phil Manzanera's 1978 album K-Scope, an album that perfectly suited his vocal strengths. Phil had produced Split Enz's second album, Second Thoughts, a reworking of the original Mental Notes LP.
During this time, Finn's focus also turned to soundtrack music, and he landed a few acting roles on-screen. Finn has composed for a number of Australian films and TV productions, including 1981 teen tale Puberty Blues and comedy Les Patterson Saves the World, which yielded Australian hit "You Saved the World". Finn had a small part in Australian film The Coca-Cola Kid alongside then-girlfriend Greta Scacchi, and a larger one in her Italian-shot romance La Donna della Luna (The Moon Woman).
Crowded House, Finn and later solo work
In late 1989, Finn was back living in Melbourne, recording his eponymous third album, Tim Finn, for Capitol Records. The album would yield strong reviews and New Zealand hit "Parihaka", based on a Maori village known for its campaign of passive resistance to European occupiers. In early 1990, he began playing music with younger brother Neil, for an intended Finn brothers record. After working together on some songs, Neil later proposed incorporating the tracks onto the latest album of Crowded House, the group he had formed after Split Enz dissolved. Tim performed with the band to promote the band's album Woodface, and co-wrote eight songs, including the hits "Weather with You" and "Four Seasons in One Day". But some time during the tour which followed the album's American release, all concerned realised that the combination was not a good fit. Finn returned to pursue his solo career.
Both Tim and Neil were appointed Officers of the Order of British Empire, for services to music, in the 1993 Queen's Birthday Honours. The brothers Finn collaborated on another album in 1995, playing most of the instruments themselves. Finn was released as the first Finn Brothers release. In support of this album, the brothers toured Europe, Australia and the USA. Also in 1995, Finn formed the band ALT, with Irish musicians Andy White and Liam Ó Maonlaí (from band Hothouse Flowers). ALT's name was formed from the initial letters of their names. They released the album Altitude and toured Europe and Australasia.
5 June 2000 was proclaimed "Tim Finn Day" by the Mayor of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in the USA during Finn's tour of the United States that year.
In 2000 the album Together in Concert: Live was released, featuring Finn, and fellow New Zealand singer/songwriters Bic Runga, and Dave Dobbyn. Recorded in August and September 2000 in venues around New Zealand, the album saw the three performers each equitably showcased. Both the concerts and album feature all three performers providing vocal and instrumental backing on each other's songs. The album spent 16 weeks in the New Zealand charts, and was finally released in the UK in May 2007.
In 2004, the Finn brothers released their second album, Everyone Is Here. The album was originally intended to be produced by Tony Visconti but the release has most production credits going to long-time Finn producer Mitchell Froom. A Mojo magazine review stated that it contained "some of the most haunting music to bear the Finn imprint".
Finn has continued to release solo albums, as well as a song to the soundtrack of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe entitled "Winter Light", which later appeared on Finn's Imaginary Kingdom album. He appeared as the offbeat father of the main character in 2010 black comedy Predicament. Finn also guested on Peter Gabriel's song "Whole Thing" from the 2008 collaborative album Big Blue Ball.
Recently, Finn has been composing further for theatre, with an opera Star Navigator commissioned by New Zealand Opera, Victorian Opera and West Australian Opera, and the musical Ladies in Black to premiere in Brisbane by Queensland Theatre Company in November 2015.
Personal life and Steel City
Finn was in a relationship with actress Greta Scacchi from 1983 to 1989. He is currently married to television presenter Marie Azcona, formerly of MTV and TVNZ One's Music Week. Finn and Azcona have two children, and have collaborated on several songs, some of which are featured on Steel City, the dance show that Finn wrote. Aside from co-writing two tracks with Azcona, Finn collaborated on another with former Split Enz member Mike Chunn.
|Year||Song||Peak chart positions||Album|
|1983||"Fraction Too Much Friction"||2||8||–||Escapade|
|"Made My Day"||–||22||–|
|"Staring at the Embers"||10||34||–|
|1984||"Through the Years"||36||–||34|
|"In a Minor Key"||–||–||–|
|1985||"Home for My Heart"||–||87||–||The Coca-Cola Kid Soundtrack|
|1986||"No Thunder, No Fire, No Rain"||24||46||–||Big Canoe|
|"Carve You in Marble"||33||–||–|
|"Sailing Away" (with All of Us)||1||–||–||Ensemble charity song|
|1987||"You Saved the World"||–||–||–||Les Patterson Saves the World|
|"With You I'm Alive"||–||–||–|
|1989||"How'm I Gonna Sleep"||1||27||77||Tim Finn|
|"Not Even Close"||16||124||91|
|6||–||–||New version of a track originally from Tim Finn|
|1990||"Long Hard Road"
(with Phil Judd)
(with MC Fli T)
|1993||"Persuasion"||1||62||–||Before & After|
|"Hit the Ground Running"||14||115||–|
|1994||"Many's the Time"||24||235||–|
|"Runs in the Family"||9||–||–|
|1998||"Steel City"||–||–||–||Steel City Soundtrack|
|1999||"Twinkle"||–||–||–||Say It Is So|
|2001||"What You've Done"||48||194||–||Feeding the Gods|
|2006||"Couldn't Be Done"||–||105||–||Imaginary Kingdom|
|2008||"Out of This World"||–||–||–||The Conversation|
|1989||Best Male Vocalist||solo||Won|
|1992||Best Songwriter||"It's Only Natural"||with Neil Finn||Nominated|
|1996||Album of the Year||Finn||Finn Brothers||Nominated|
|Best Group||Finn Brothers||Nominated|
|International Achievement||Finn Brothers||Nominated|
|2001||Album of the Year||Together in Concert: Live||with Dave Dobbyn & Bic Runga||Nominated|
|2005||Album of the Year||Everyone Is Here||Finn Brothers||Nominated|
|Single of the Year||"Won't Give In"||Finn Brothers||Nominated|
|International Achievement Award||Everyone Is Here||Finn Brothers||Won|
|2007||Best Male Solo Artist||Imaginary Kingdom||solo||Won|
|1987||Best Male Artist||Big Canoe||solo||Nominated|
|Highest Selling Album||solo||Nominated|
|1993||Song of the Year||"Weather With You"||with Neil Finn (for Crowded House)||Nominated|
|1994||Best Male Artist||Before and After||solo||Nominated|
|Song of the Year||"Persuasion"||solo||Nominated|
|1996||Song of the Year||"Suffer Never"||with Neil Finn (for The Finn Brothers)||Nominated|
The Helpmann Awards for live performance in Australia are awarded annually by Live Performance Australia.
|2016||Best New Australian Work||Ladies in Black||Carolyn Burns and Tim Finn with Simon Phillips||Won|
|Best Original Score||solo||Nominated|
- "Tim Finn - Interview". 4 March 2015.
- "Split Enz - Haul Away Lyrics". Genius.
- Ansell, Jeremy. "Enzology Part 8 - Time and Tide (1981-1982)". Radio New Zealand. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
- "No. 53334". The London Gazette (3rd supplement). 12 June 1993. p. 38.
- Christian, Dionne (10 December 2016). "Tim Finn's fashionable new musical". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
- Westgarth, Fiona (11 November 2014). "A Roaring Finn: Tim Finn returns to the theatre and back in time". Daily Review. Archived from the original on 21 July 2015. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
-  Archived 27 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- "TV: Marie Azcona shows older set what's new in music - Lifestyle - NZ Herald News". Nzherald.co.nz. 11 November 2000. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
- New Zealand chart peaks:
- solo: "charts.nz > Tim Finn in New Zealand Charts". Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
- with All of Us: "charts.nz > All of Us [NZ] in New Zealand Charts". Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
- with Crowded House: "charts.nz > Crowded House in New Zealand Charts". Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
- Australian chart peaks:
- Top 100 (Kent Music Report) peaks to 19 June 1988: Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (Illustrated ed.). St. Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 112. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. N.B. The Kent Report chart was licensed by ARIA between mid-1983 and 19 June 1988.
- Top 50 (ARIA) peaks from 26 June 1988: "australian-charts.com > Tim Finn in Australian Charts". Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
- Top 100 (ARIA) peaks from January 1990 to December 2010: Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
- All ARIA-era singles chart peaks to 21 November 2017: "Response from ARIA re: Tim Finn ARIA singles chart history, received 21 November 2017". Imgur.com. Retrieved 28 November 2017. N.B. The High Point number in the NAT column represents the single's peak on the national chart.
- "RPM – Library and Archives Canada | RPM – Bibliothèque et Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
- "NZMAs". nzmusicawards.co.nz. Archived from the original on 22 September 2012. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
- Chunn, Mike (1992). Stranger Than Fiction: The Life and Times of Split Enz. Wellington, N.Z.: GP Publications. ISBN 1-86956-050-7. OCLC 31240332.
- Chunn, Mike (2013). Stranger Than Fiction: The Life and Times of Split Enz (revised, ebook edition). Cambridge, N.Z.: Hurricane Press. ISBN 978-0-9922556-3-3.
- Bourke, Chris (1997). Something So Strong. South Melbourne: Macmillan. ISBN 0-7329-0886-8. OCLC 38406050.
- Doole, Kerry; Chris Twomey (1996). Crowded House: Private Universe. London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-4816-X. OCLC 35527434.
- Dix, John (2005). Stranded in Paradise: New Zealand Rock and Roll, 1955 to the Modern Era. Auckland, N.Z.: Penguin Group. ISBN 0-14-301953-8. OCLC 63692850.
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