SP-4822 True Colours
Produced by David Tickle
Released on August 1980
Find it at GEMM
SP-4822 cover
[high resolution photo]

S plit Enz blossomed into one of the smartest pop bands since The Beatles on True Colours, signalling an end to this New Zealand export’s commercial anonymity. The album leads with the quirky favorite “I Got You,” buoyed by a pioneering video (no surprise given the band’s artistic bent) and an awfully catchy hook. Despite not producing another hit, the album is chocked full of fine songwriting. Neil Finn contributes the Glass Onion-flavored “What’s The Matter With You” (a perennial favorite with fans) and the languid “Missing Person” (which references The Who in its chorus). Brother Tim adds a strong ballad, “I Hope I Never,” characteristically wistful pop songs like “Poor Boy,” “How Can I Resist Her” and “I Wouldn’t Dream of It,” the irresistible “Nobody Takes Me Seriously” and the frenzied “Shark Attack.” Rounding out the record, in lieu of filler, are two instrumentals: Rayner’s energized “Double Happy” and the group composition, “The Choral Sea.” With True Colours, Split Enz moves into the elite corps of “new” purveyors of pop that included Squeeze and XTC. What distinguishes the Enz from their peers is the choice of synthesizer over guitar as the lead instrument and a penchant for thoughtful pop or the occasional ballad. That and a genuine appreciation for their New Zealand roots make Split Enz a unique treat for pop fans, and True Colours an album that can hold its own with anything from the ‘80s. Of interest to collectors, the album cover was issued in several different color variations and featured laser-etched vinyl as a preventive to counterfeiting (although its visual appeal was likely a factor as well).

SP-4822 back cover SP-4822 picture sleeve
SP-4822 back cover SP-4822 picture sleeve


  1. I GOT YOU    (Neil Finn)    3:24
  2. SHARK ATTACK    (Tim Finn)    2:52
  3. WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH YOU    (Neil Finn)    3:02
  4. DOUBLE HAPPY    (Eddie Rayner)    3:15
  5. I WOULDN'T DREAM OF IT    (Tim Finn)    3:14
  6. I HOPE I NEVER    (Tim Finn)    4:26
  7. NOBODY TAKES ME SERIOUSLY    (Tim Finn)    3:24
  8. MISSING PERSON    (Neil Finn)    3:32
  9. POOR BOY    (Tim Finn)    3:19
  10. HOW CAN I RESIST HER    (Tim Finn)    3:26
  11. THE CHORAL SEA    (Split Enz)    4:29


NOEL CROMBIE -- percussion
NEIL FINN -- guitar, vocals
TIM FINN -- vocals
NIGEL GRIGGS -- bass guitar
EDDIE RAYNER -- keyboards
David Tickle -- engineer

return to SPLIT ENZ discography

AUSL 1980 Mushroom LP/CS L42001 laser-etched vinyl
AUSL 1980 Mushroom LP/CS L/C37167  
UK/NET August 1980 A&M LP/CS AMLH/CAM-64822 laser-etched vinyl, picture sleeve
US/CAN August 1980 A&M LP/CS SP-4822 laser-etched vinyl, picture sleeve
JPN   A&M LP AMP-28018  
NZ   Polydor LP ENZ1  
UK/GER   A&M LP/CD 393 235  
US 1988 A&M CD/CS CS-3235  
AUS'L September 6, 2004 Festival CD 337982 digital remaster


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