Split Enz hit no.1

14 March 1980

Split Enz publicity shot (Warner Music)

The Kiwi group’s first New Zealand no. 1 hit, from their album True colours, also topped the charts in Australia and Canada. It reached no. 12 in Britain and no. 53 in the United States.

‘I got you’ was written and sung by Neil Finn and featured a chorus reminiscent of the Beatles. After years struggling to achieve commercial success, True colours launched Split Enz onto the international stage.

Originally called Split Ends, the Auckland art-rock band burst onto the music scene in the early 1970s. They generally avoided the pub scene, instead performing in theatres and halls. Initially known more for their idiosyncratic, theatrical style, they achieved wider popularity thanks to a string of radio-friendly songs written by brothers Tim and Neil Finn. Between them, the Finns created a substantial catalogue of songs that resonated for decades: ‘I got you’, ‘I hope I never’, ‘I see red’, ‘History never repeats’, ‘Six months in a leaky boat’, ‘Message to my girl’ and many others. Split Enz disbanded in 1984.

See video for ‘I got you’(NZ On Screen):