now i have completed the Split Enz, Crowded House, Neil,Tim and Liam Finn beginner's guides to all releases as at July 2011, i feel that due to the sheer volume of material available that i need to summerise the careers of each band and individuals in a few short paragraphs...
the Enz have always been one of the Southern Hemisphere's best kept secrets,their music encompasses prog-rock,music hall/vaudevillian,pop,new wave,new wave/punk, ballads, folk,country...you name it they did it, i guess their catalogue can roughly be divide up into three sections:
1: pre 1978...prior to Neil Finn.
2: 1978-1982...with Neil and Tim finn
3: 1982-end....without Tim finn
anyone intersted in the "prog.rock" sound of the Enz then they should examine all albums prior to 1978.
i recommend their debut "mental notes" s the best of that genre
for their more traditional/well known sound i recommend "frenzy" and "true colours"
for their "post-Tim Finn" years i recommend "conflicting emotions"
probably the most commercially friendly of all their incarnations and the most world-wide known of all their careers and i recommend their first four albums and/or their "best of" set that followed those releases :
in release order: 'crowded house' 'temple of low men' 'woodface' 'together alone' and the greatest hits package 'reccuring dream'
dont expect the same commercialism of the Crowded house days as you will be dissapointed, Neil Finn solo is more mellow and atmospheric, and quite a bit of it borders folky type material.
he has only released two solo albums to date but also two albums under the name "7 Worlds Collide",both of which are worthy contenders, however, of the four i have got to recommend "one nil" and "the sun came out"
Tim has really been the underachiever of the family in many respects, never quite living up to the greatness of his tracks with Split enz, although all is solo albums are reasonable affairs, there seems to always be a couple of fillers on each album that spoil the whole thing. he songs are deep meaningful, dark and brooding by nature, but he does occasionally pull a great catchy tune out of the bag for which is always welcome.
for tim Finn i recommend his debut album "escapade", "imaginary kingdom" and his "anthology" collection which encompasses his best tracks from throughout his whole career.
as songwriters, Neil and Tim Finn have always achieved their greatest works when working alongside eachother,whether it be bouncing ideas off eachother or using their brotherly competitiveness to spur eachother on. when singing together their harmonising is up there with the best in the history of modern music.
these guys are absolutely brilliant together and i really wish they work together a bit more than they do/have. thus i have no hesitation in recomending both of their Finn Brother's
collaborations whatsoever as both are worthy of a place in every serious music collectors collections.
Liam is the eldest son of Neil Finn and has, over the space of four albums, two with Betchadupa and two solo albums proved himself to be a great musician in his own right.
he writes, he sings, he most most instruments...just like his dad and uncle and deserves any accolades that comes his way, most of his material is folky by nature but he does know how to rock out at times.
i recommend his latest offering "fomo" as one you should take the time to investigate fully
and to watch out for him in the future as he has a bright future ahead of him.
as a last comment there have been two "tribute" albums to the careers of the Finn Brothers released, one by female artists called "she will have her way" and one by male artists called "he will have his way"...the albums contains cover versions by Australian/NZ artists of their favourite Finn songs...i do not own these but they are available.
there are also another two tribute albums available recorded with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra under the name of "enzso" in which all the songs are re-imagined using classical instruments and guest vocals by some of Australia's and NZ's best singers....including Neil and tim Finn, of these i have the first album which is very good, but do not own the second release.
after the first album was released Enzso toured here and NZ with the various artists including Neil and tim Finn which was very good to see live.
all in all i hope you enjoyed the Split Enz, Crowded house, Neil, Tim and Liam
"beginners guide to..." and hope you now realise there is much more to the genuis of these antipodean's than just their Crowded House material.
like the Paul Weller and Neil Young i enjoyed doing this little project as i like
challenges and these things are quite daunting to do when doing the first album in each case...but the satisfaction of of looking over it at the completion is
worth the wait.
i have a couple of ideas running through my head for others to do in the near future but i am going on a sojurn fairly shortly and i refuse to start one if i cant get on and complete it.