5 Feb 2005

Enzology Part 6 - True Colours (1979-1980)

From Enzology, 3:05 pm on 5 February 2005

The band base themselves in Australia again and nearly break up due to bad debts. A successful tour re-balances the books, as does the huge radio hit 'I Got You' and album True Colours.

The Enz simultaneously hit the charts in the UK and US and begin recording the follow-up album, Waiata.

Songs in this episode include 'I Got You', 'Poor Boy', 'Hard Act To Follow', 'History Never Repeats' plus rare demos of 'I Hope I Never', 'Shark Attack' and other rarities.

Album Trivia: True Colours

  • On the back cover of the LP, a credit says "No thanks to Wayne." At parties and record company dos, “Is Wayne coming?” was code for “Let’s get this person out of here, he’s a dickhead.”
  • Split Enz were the first Australasian band to release a full-length home video cassette. Split Enz Live In Concert was videotaped in January 1980. The rare Enz song 'Outer Mongolia' was performed but wasn’t included on the video. The Beta and VHS videos are next to impossible to find nowadays.
  • For the A&M release of True Colours, geometric patterns were finely etched onto the surface of the vinyl. These shapes would be projected around the room when a light was shone on the spinning record. Laser-etching was initially developed to stop counterfeiting.
  • The U.S. edition of the LP swapped the first two tracks around. 'I Got You was the hit of the day, so the record company insisted that it begin the album.
  • 'Missing Person' was originally considered by the band to be top-of-the-A-list single material. 'I Got You' was on the B list. Nigel: “We never had a clue ‘til we finished the record.”
  • 'I Hope I Never' was remixed for its Australian single release and featured more prominent percussion.
  • 'Poor Boy', 'Nobody Takes Me Seriously' and 'What’s the Matter With You?' were released as singles in the Northern hemisphere, but not in Australia and New Zealand.
  • Eddie Rayner’s synth melody at the ending of 'I Wouldn’t Dream Of It' was borrowed from the early Split Enz instrumental called 'The Instrumental'.

Neil Finn on True Colours:

“We went through a period where we shunned it ‘cause it was so successful. We were sick of playing it. But it’s a fantastic record. Lean and tight, energetic and up. Good songwriting and I love the sound of it now. I don’t know if anyone else feels the same way about True Colours. There’s a tendency for bands to turn on the record that makes you successful and regard it as a curse, but now I think it was a blessing in every respect.”