Tuesday, July 26, 2011


YEAR: 1982

LABEL: Mushroom

TRACK LISTING: Dirty Creature, Giant Heartbeat, Hello Sandy Allen, Never Ceases To Amaze Me, Lost For Words, Small World, Take A Walk, Pioneer, Six Months In A Leaky Boat, Haul Away, Log Cabin Fever, Make Sense of It

IMPRESSIONS: This is surely my favourite Split Enz album and one of my favourite albums full stop. While not a concept album, there is a cohesiveness throughout which makes the songs work together and I think the song sequencing is damn near perfect. (Evidence of this is the fact that, in 2006 when several Enz albums were remastered some were re-sequenced with songs in a different order -- not TIME AND TIDE however). There is a heavy nautical tone to the album (the album title provided by Noel Crombie, the "big black lake" in "Dirty Creature", the obvious sea shanty-like character of "Pioneer", "Six Months in a Leaky Boat" and "Haul Away") but the majority of songs do not have anything really to do with the sea. Songs featuring lyrics about "the back of beyond", "deep within the forest", "out my back door" and an isolated winter cabin abound. Perhaps one can say it's the most heavily New Zealand-influenced of all their albums in some way I can't quite put my finger on. The album also focuses on mental difficulties arising from Tim Finn's recent nervous breakdown as well as an incident involving Eddie Rayner's "panic attack"which found him running from a restaurant and cowering in his motel room corner for 12 hours in stark terror. Despite all this sometimes troubling imagery (see "Log Cabin Fever" for the most stark and disturbing), the album ends on an up note with the hopeful "Make Sense of It" demonstrating how its possible to come out of the dark eventually into some form of mental calm. Incidentally, TIME AND TIDE was awarded the honorary retroactive Penguin Award for Album of the Year.

MY FAVOURITE TRACKS: Dirty Creature, Giant Heartbeat, Never Ceases To Amaze Me, Small World, Take A Walk, Pioneer/Six Months in a Leaky Boat, Haul Away, Log Cabin Fever, Make Sense of It

FACT SHEET: TIME AND TIDE is Split Enz's 7th album recorded in Sydney, Australia and produced by Hugh Padham and Split Enz. "Dirty Creature" was the first single released followed by "Six Months in a Leaky Boat" and "Hello Sandy Allen". A song called "Fire Drill" was recorded for the album but left off and became a b-side; the band usually opened with the song in concerts at the time. "Dirty Creature" refers to a nervous breakdown Tim Finn had at the time. "Six Months in a Leaky Boat" was becoming a big hit in England until it was banned from airplay by the BBC for being "inappropriate" during the Falklands War. "Hello Sandy Allen" is written for the world's tallest woman whom Neil Finn had met in New York on a chat show. "Haul Away", despite its "sea shanty" tone is actually an autobiographical lyric about Tim Finn which references his birth, his parents and his recent nervous breakdown. Split Enz consider the making of TIME AND TIDE to be one of the happiest times for the band and they, like many others, consider it to be their finest album. The band was Tim Finn (vocals, piano), Neil Finn (vocals, guitar), Noel Crombie (drums), Nigel Griggs (bass) and Eddie Rayner (keyboards).

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