Thursday, November 22, 2012


YEAR:  1980
TRACK LISTING:  I Got You,  Shark Attack,  What's the Matter With You?,  Double Happy,  I Wouldn't Dream Of It,  I Hope I Never,  Nobody Takes Me Seriously,  Missing Person,  Poor Boy,  How Can I Resist Her?,  The Choral Sea
IMPRESSIONS:  The album that broke Split Enz in the USA.  A classic in every respect, this is the album that produced the first videos I'd ever seen of the band on MTV:  that is, the videos for "I Got You" and "I Hope I Never".  My love for Split Enz has probably been covered enough already in my previous posts here so I'll give you a break and not go over old territory.  Suffice it to say that the album cover of this album was released with many different colour combinations; the above "yellow and blue" model was what my original vinyl LP looked like whereas my cd has the red and green cover.  I prefer my original.  Also, the original vinyl features the spectacular "laser etching" of geometric patterns right on the grooves themselves; this effect truly was (and is) spectacular as it catches the light brilliantly.  I still have mine.  As good as this album is, the next album ("WAIATA" aka "CORROBOREE") would be better still and the following "TIME AND TIDE" is a masterpiece.
MY FAVOURITE TRACKS:  I Got You,  Shark Attack,  What's the Matter With You?,  I Hope I Never,  Nobody Takes Me Seriously,  Poor Boy,  The Choral Sea
FACT SHEET:  TRUE COLOURS is Split Enz's fifth album.  The band's line-up for this album was Tim Finn (lead vocals, acoustic guitar), Neil Finn (lead vocals, guitar), Noel Crombie (vocals, percussion), Malcolm Green (drums), nigel Griggs (bass guitar) and Eddie Rayner (keyboards).  The original album featured "Shark Attack" as track one and "I Got You" as track two but the success of the latter as a hit single prompted US label A&M to switch the order so that the popular hit would lead off the album.  Just to prove the old axiom that artists never can judge their own best stuff, the band thought "Missing Persons" was the stand-out track to be released as a single; thankfully, wiser heads prevailed.  The album cover was designed by band member Noel Crombie and was originally released in four colour combinations:  yellow and blue, red and green, purple and yellow and blue and orange; there have since been even further colour combinations in re-releases including lime-green and pink, hot purple and burnt orange, gold and platinum (denoting its sales success) and and yellow, blue and red.  A&M also chose this album as the first to ever feature "laser-etching" directly on the vinyl; geometric shapes were literally etched onto the grooves so that light hitting it would flash around the room.  This technique was not only a boon to DJs spinning the record but also a deterrent to the then-problem of vinyl pirating of counterfeit LPs.  Cyndi Lauper was a Split Enz fan and her 1986 hit single and album "True Colors" were named in tribute to the band.  In a boner of the same proportions as Rolling Stone magazine's crowning of 1979's "London Calling" by the Clash as the best album of the 1980s, New Zealand's Split Enz found their TRUE COLOURS declared #22 in the book "100 BEST AUSTRALIAN ALBUMS".  Apparently at the time 1 in every 4 households in New Zealand owned a copy of TRUE COLOURS.    


  1. This is still one of my top 20 favorite albums.

  2. Ah, a reader with obviously unimpeachable taste! I must admit that possibly every Split Enz album is a favourite for me with TIME AND TIDE leading the pack. After that one, I can't choose among them -- I love them all! Thanks very much for the comment!