Split Enz ‎– Corroboree / Waiata (1981)

Waiata (aka Corroboree) is the sixth album by Split Enz, released in March 1981 on Mushroom Records in Oceania and A&M in the Northern Hemisphere.

Waiata features the pre-released single “One Step Ahead” and three additional Neil Finn songs, including “Iris,” an eerie, atmospheric love song with plucked electric guitar (in an odd tuning); and “Ships,” an oblique acoustic strumalong with spacey, swirling keyboards.

Neil opens side two with “History Never Repeats,” an exuberant live-and-learn tale where he recounts heartbreak over stormy musical passages that bring him to a realization (“there’s a light shining in the dark, leading me on towards a change of heart”) before the upward-spiraling outro.

Waiata features five Tim Finn compositions, including the bookends of side one: the frenzied “Hard Act to Follow” and the nervy “Clumsy,” both played with frenetic abandon. His “I Don’t Wanna Dance” is an uptempo song about post-breakup trepidation in the meet market. It breaks from its jolly G major center to an intense sequence of sharps and flats as Tim sighs “not without my baby.”

Tim wrote two haunted numbers on side two: “Walking Through the Ruins,” where cathedral demolition becomes a metaphor for heartbreak amid spinning musical interplay; and “Ghost Girl,” a slow, ethereal number influenced by the emerging goth scene.

Eddie contributed two instrumentals: the bubbling whirlwind “Wail” and the slow, piano-laden “Albert of India,” which has a melody and arrangement similar to the chart-topping Vangelis theme to Chariots of Fire, a British period sports drama released a month after Waiata.

The album appeared as Waiata in New Zealand and Corroboree in Australia, respectively the Maori and Aborigine words for song. According to percussionist and art director Noel Crombie, the plan was to title the album after the native translation in each country, hence multiple titles, but this was not pursued by A&M, which used the New Zealand title.

Waiata generated two Oceanic hit singles: “One Step Ahead” (OZ #5, NZ #6) and “History Never Repeats” (OZ #4, NZ #5), respectively the 12th and 28th videos aired on US cable network MTV during its first day of broadcast on August 1, 1981.

B4. “Ghost Girl” (4:25) | Writer: Tim Finn


A1. “Hard Act to Follow” (3:17)
A2. “One Step Ahead” (2:52)
A3. “I Don’t Wanna Dance” (3:31)
A4. “Iris” (2:49)
A5. “Wail” (2:50)
A6. “Clumsy” (3:30)
B1. “History Never Repeats” (2:57)
B2. “Walking Through the Ruins” (4:07)
B3. “Ships” (3:00)
B4. “Ghost Girl” (4:25)
B5. “Albert of India” (4:04)

Tim Finn — vocals
Neil Finn — guitar, vocals
Eddie Rayner — keyboards
Noel Crombie — percussion
Malcolm Green — drums
Nigel Griggs — bass guitar

Dave Tickle — producer, engineer

Artist/Album Pages:

Dan Fogelberg ‎– The Innocent Age (1981)
The Innocent Age is the sixth solo album by American singer/songwriter Dan Fogelberg, released in 19...
John Entwistle ‎– Too Late the Hero (1981)
Too Late the Hero is the fifth solo album by Who bassist John Entwistle, released in 1981 on Atco. ...
Icehouse ‎– Icehouse (1981)
Icehouse is the re-released debut album by the renamed Australian band Icehouse, issued in 1981 on C...
Birdland ‎– History of Love and Belief (1981)
History of Love and Belief is the second of three albums by Yugoslavian-expat jazz-rock combo Birdla...
Paul Davis ‎– Cool Night (1981)
Cool Night is the seventh and final album by American singer/songwriter Paul Davis, released in 1981...
Dave Davies ‎– Glamour (1981)
Glamour is the second solo album by Kinks guitarist Dave Davies, released in 1981 on RCA. Tra...
Earwacks ‎– Distances (1981)
Distances is an album by American art-rock/jazz-rock combo Earwacks, self-released by the band in 19...
Deniece Williams ‎– My Melody (1981)
My Melody is the fourth album by American soul singer Deniece Williams, released in 1981 on ARC/CBS....
Spaces ‎– Border Station (1981)
Border Station is the singular album by American jazz-rock combo Spaces, self-released in 1981 on th...
Eri Ohno ‎– Good Question (1981)
Good Question is an album by Japanese jazz vocalist Eri Ohno, released in 1981 on Better Days. ...
Carole Bayer Sager ‎– Sometimes Late at Night (1981)
Sometimes Late at Night is the third album by American industry songwriter/balladeer Carole Bayer Sa...
Patrick Gauthier ‎– Bébé Godzilla (1981)
Bébé Godzilla is an album by ubiquitous French Zeuhl keyboardist Patrick Gauthier, released in 1981 ...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *