Thursday, April 26, 2012

time and tide

Split Enz reached their high water mark with this tense and passionate pop reflection of their homeland, success, and different personal crises of the band. ‘Time and Tide’ was composed in the wake of a triumphant tour while the members of the band were feeling the pressure. Tim Finn had a nervous breakdown: “I was going through a lot of stuff; I had broken up after a long relationship and I was feeling the mixture of guilt and terror and sadness and whatever that you go through . It was a hard time and Neil was there for me.” Neil Finn remembers: “I suddenly found myself in an unfamiliar position of needing to be there for Tim. And offer support at a time when he was quite fragile where up til them it had been the older brother younger brother relationship where he has really kind of nurtured me, I suppose.” Tim says: “It was really good for us as brothers we hadn’t done any cliff climbing since we were kids. We were climbing up cliffs and just sort of hanging out together. He saw that side of me, that vulnerable side, I suppose. It probably shocked him a bit cause I’d been a bit of a hero figure for so long. No one wants to be a hero figure particularly; but it’s so disappointing when you’re shown that feet of clay. But it also brought us really close.“ Eddie Rayner was also going through a crisis after an experience with a local witch: “It was such an intense time for me…this thing hit me; it was almost physical.  It was like my whole psyche at that time was being invaded by some evil maleficent sort of force…as instantly as it came it was gone about twelve hours later. I went through months and months, in fact years, of trying to find out what it was; because it kept recurring.   It could occur at any time, even on stage...Even thinking about it now, I get a little uneasy; but you learn to control these things."

The band decided to work with a new producer Hugh Padgham who flew to Australia to record with them. The sessions were loose and unrehearsed, with the band trying to capture their live sound in the studio. The result is some, jerky pop, funky folk, and conceptual sea shanties. ‘Time and Tide’ became the band’s third number one album in their native New Zealand as well as in Australia; and won the band numerous awards. It hit fifty-eight in the US and seventy-one in the UK.


‘Dirty Creature’ was co-written by Neil Finn, Tim Finn & Nigel Griggs. It was about Tim’s nervous breakdown. The single reached number three in New Zealand and number six in Australia.

“Dirty creature knows my type, found it in a magazine
He's seen the look of fear before splattered all over the screen
The animal magnet thug draws me out of myself
I need a dragon-slayer who can save me from myself
I don't wanna sail, I don't wanna sail
I don't wanna set sail for the middle of nowhere tonight
Dirty creature's got me at a disadvantage from the inside

I don't wanna sail upon the waters of invention tonight”

‘Giant Heartbeat‘ was composed by Neil Finn & Griggs. 
 “Sun up sun down fade to a lookalike
Hearts and souls move together in time
If anybody’s listening the giant heartbeat is fading”

 Neil wrote ‘Hello Sandy Allen’ about the tallest woman in the world at the time. In New Zealand, it was the third single released from the album; but did not chart.

In Australia, Tim‘s ‘Never Ceases to Amaze Me’ was the third single. It made it to number fifty. This video is so embarrassing for the band that they left it off their video collection.

Neil’s ‘Take a Walk’ starts off side two.

Rayner’s instrumental ‘Pioneer’ segues into ‘Six Months in a Leaky Boat’ which went to number seven in New Zealand and number two in Australia. In the UK, the song was initially popular; but was banned because officials thought it was making reference to the Falklands conflict going on at the time.

“When I was a young boy
I wanted to sail around the world
That's the life for me, living on the sea
Spirit of a sailor, circumnavigates the globe
The lust of a pioneer, will acknowledge no frontier
I remember you by, thunderclap in the sky
Lightning flash, tempers flare,
'round the horn if you dare
I just spent six months in a leaky boat
Lucky just to keep afloat”


‘Time and Tide’ 

full album:

"Dirty Creature" (Neil Finn, Tim Finn & Nigel Griggs) – 4:02
"Giant Heartbeat" (N. Finn & Griggs) – 3:57
"Hello Sandy Allen" (N. Finn) – 3:51
"Never Ceases to Amaze Me" (T. Finn) – 3:06
"Lost for Words" (N. Finn, T. Finn & Griggs) – 3:02
"Small World" (T. Finn) – 3:37
"Take a Walk" (N. Finn) – 3:37
"Pioneer" (Eddie Rayner) – 1:32
"Six Months in a Leaky Boat" (T. Finn & Split Enz) – 4:21
"Haul Away" (T. Finn) – 2:27
"Log Cabin Fever" (N. Finn) – 4:36
"Make Sense of It" (Noel Crombie, T. Finn, N. Finn, Griggs & Rayner) – 3:40

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