CD 3289 The Best of Split Enz: History Never Repeats
previously released material
Released on 1987
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
CD 3289 cover
[high resolution scan]

I ’m addressing imagined slights today, so allow me a little historical revision of my own. The first time round, I served up a didactic, dull review of this disc. A band like Split Enz deserves something more colorful, so here goes. At their best, their music is a burst of tutti frutti in your mind. Listen to “What’s The Matter With You” or “One Step Ahead” and you’ll hear what I mean. But that’s only one facet of the band, we’ll call it the neo-finish, and complementing it is the wistful side, the tin-finish. Put them together, and you have an act that mopers and poppers could easily follow. While XTC and Squeeze could write catchier pop songs, neither of them really smoldered when they scaled things back, not the way Split Enz did. Perhaps it’s because, for all of their loopy energy, Split Enz were always a downbeat band, levelling off the infectious hooks with sober observations. What results isn’t happy music so much as manic music, tracks wound so tight they make you wince. The didactic side of my brain is telling me that I haven’t contained the compilation in this; I digress. History Never Repeats came in two flavors: Aussie and Us. The home team got more of the oldies, the away team got more of the hits. I know that’s not playing fair, but “I See Red” isn’t likely to make Americans nostalgic for the old stuff. What we got was the cream of Enz, True Colours to Time And Tide with a token at each tail. “Message To My Girl” is a lovely token, “The Devil You Know” would have been a nice gesture too. The wonderful thing is, even with all the exposure to their three best albums, History Never Repeats doesn’t overexpose any of them. So if you start your journey here (and I really think you should), plenty of surprises still await you: “Giant Heartbeat,” “Iris,” “Nobody Takes Me Seriously.” Zare zat better? Enzfinitely.

CD 3289 picture sleeve
CD 3289 picture sleeve


    US track listing:
  1. I GOT YOU    (Neil Finn)    3:29
  2. HARD ACT TO FOLLOW    (Tim Finn)    3:18
  3. SIX MONTHS IN A LEAKY BOAT    (Tim Finn/Split Enz)    4:26
  4. WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH YOU    (Neil Finn)    3:06
  5. ONE STEP AHEAD    (Neil Finn)    2:52
  6. I SEE RED    (Tim Finn)    3:14
  7. MESSAGE TO MY GIRL    (Neil Finn)    3:59
  8. HISTORY NEVER REPEATS    (Neil Finn)    2:58
  9. I HOPE I NEVER    (Tim Finn)    4:32
  10. DIRTY CREATURE    (Tim Finn/Nigel Griggs/Neil Finn)    4:02
  11. POOR BOY    (Tim Finn)    3:26


return to SPLIT ENZ discography

AUS'L 1987 Mushroom CD D30222 diff. cover & track order
US July 1987 A&M LP/CD/CS SP/CD/CS-3289 picture sleeve


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