Split Enz ‎– Time and Tide (1982)

Time and Tide is the seventh album by kiwi art-rock band Split Enz, released in 1982 on A&M Records. The pre-released single “Dirty Creature” and its b-side “Make Sense of It” bookend the album, which features three solo compositions each from Neil Finn (“Hello Sandy Allen,” “Take a Walk,” “Log Cabin Fever”) and Tim Finn (“Never Ceases to Amaze Me,” “Small World,” “Haul Away”). This is the first of two Enz albums where Crombie holds the drum slot.

Griggs notched further co-writes on Neil’s “Giant Heartbeat,” a foreboding number with staccato, chorused guitar and a tip-toe chorus; and “Lost for Words,” a Finn–Finn spinner in 9/8 with jerky Tim-sung verses, a swirling harmonized chorus, and an arching piano bridge.

In “Hello Sandy Allen,” Neil recalls his handshake with the giantess and how the band’s pre-telecast jitters (“We’re all staring at the mirror, tryin’ to put our faces on”) were contrasted by her peace of mind (“Appearance never held you back”). Her pull-quote appears as a twice-occurring refrain. The song sports a circular guitar riff in D, inter-cut with tense bars in B.

Time and Tide has recurring themes of isolation (“Log Cabin Fever”) and trepidation, most pointedly on the eerie “Small World,” which touches on Cold War paranoia.

Rayner’s sole instrumental contribution, “Pioneer,” is a swelling classical interlude that segues into “Six Months In a Leaky Boat,” a group-credited composition with lyrics by Tim, who drew inspiration from Tyranny of Distance, a 1966 book by Australian historian Geoffrey Blainey about the nation’s geographical remoteness from the UK and USA and its impact on the local culture.

“Six Months In a Leaky Boat” starts as a folksy strumalong where Tim recalls his boyhood fascination with seafaring. He quotes the title of Blainey’s book in the second verse and sings from the perspective of an English pioneer in New Zealand. The song’s title refers to the time it took for 18th century English settlers to make that halfway-around-the-world voyage. Midway, the track breaks to a panpipe–accordion folk dance.

With its harmonized chorus line and two-clap hook, “Six Months In a Leaky Boat” was issued as the album’s second single, which reached No. 2 in Australia and No. 7 in New Zealand and Canada. In the video, Tim plays a sea captain with a crew of four. After the folk break, they reach their destination where Tim, spyglass in hand, becomes the first Englishman to make contact with Maoris.

In “Never Ceases to Amaze Me,” Tim shakes his demons with a trip to a neighborhood park, where he encounters wildlife (“Insect singing up in the tree… Hippopotamus in the mud”) and wild antics (“Up on the high trapeze, the artist flies”). They issued this as the album’s third single, possibly to court the funk audience that took a newfound liking to Split Enz with “Dirty Creature.” In the video, Tim plays a zookeeper who wanders the cages during off-hours while the band beam in and out in spacemen uniforms. His bouffanted love interest is played by Griggs’ then-girlfriend.

Tim sings from personal experience in “Haul Away,” a folksy recount of his journey from boyhood to the present day, where a Celtic flute melody overlays native percussion until both are swept in windy phasing.

A1. “Dirty Creature” (4:00)
A2. “Giant Heartbeat” (3:52)
A3. “Hello Sandy Allen” (3:46)
A4. “Never Ceases to Amaze Me” (3:03)
A5. “Lost for Words” (2:56)
A6. “Small World” (3:33)
B1. “Take a Walk” (3:33)
B2. “Pioneer” (1:33)
B3. “Six Months in a Leaky Boat” (4:20)
B4. “Haul Away” (2:26)
B5. “Log Cabin Fever” (4:34)
B6. “Make Sense of It” (3:30)

Tim Finn – vocals, piano
Neil Finn – vocals, guitar
Noel Crombie – drums, percussion
Nigel Griggs – bass
Eddie Rayner – percussion, keyboards

Produced by Hugh Padgham and Split Enz

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