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April 9, 2017

I GOT YOU

SPLIT ENZ

PRODUCED BY DAVID TICKLE/WRITTEN BY NEIL FINN

A&M/AUGUST 1980

UK CHART: 12

 

The ugly spelling of Ends as Enz (Slade would be proud), their garishly colourful clothes with their combination of Devo's posing and the Flying Burrito Brothers nudie suits - there's a lot of gimmick's involved with Split Enz. It all felt like they were trying to hard - the musical equivalent of waiters at a TGI Friday's. Then I heard this, still a radio fixture all these later, and Split Enz's sole UK top-40 single. 

 

It's everything the Split Enz image isn't. Moody, claustrophobic verses that then open up to that infectious, memorable chorus. The lyrics set out the story of a man worried about his girlfriend's good looks causing him angst about the longevity of their relationship. Split Enz dominant songwriter was Tim Finn, but it was his younger brother Neil who penned I Got You, after they had thrown each other potential song titles during a writing session. Neil Finn would of course go on to form Crowded House, hitting his song-writing peak with the timeless ballad Don't Dream It's Over.

 

Crowded House were a huge commercial success of the late-80's/early-90's, but it all began here. The mix of wonky new wave keyboards (the awful keyboard solo is the low point in I Got You) and Beatles-esque chorus (Neil Finn has spoken about how he and Tim obsessively poured over the Let It Be LP when it reached New Zealand when they were growing up) set Finn on his way, with Crowded House the glossier version of the seeds of his Enz songs like I Got You and Missing Person. Missing Person was performed live on The Old Grey Whistle Test to great effect:

 

 

 

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