One Step Ahead

New Zealand’s Split Enz released their breakout (and fifth) album True Colours in January 1980, though they released the first single from it, “I Got You,” in December 1979; it’s their best-known and most successful single.

As I mentioned in my post on Crowded House’s “Distant Sun,” I’ve been listening to several back-episodes of former Crowded House founder and Split Enz co-frontman Neil Finn’s Fangradio. He is broadcasting and archiving daily audio programs of him and, most days, his sons Elroy and Liam playing Split Enz, Crowded House and other artists’ songs from home in los Angeles, either Neil’s home studio, or Liam’s, which they call Iso 2.  

Listening to these, in turn, made me think of True Colours, which received a lot of hype for the laser-cut pressing of the vinyl LP that was released by A&M Records. It is still a pretty impressive piece of art to look at forty years later. Though I liked the song, “I Got You,” the majority of the album didn’t spark as much excitement for me as the vinyl itself.

Photo of a long-play vinyl record with laser-etching catching the light, producing different colours.
The Split Enz record, True Colours, featuring laser-etched vinyl.

Today’s song is one of my favourites by Split Enz and comes from their next record, Waiata (1981). To me, that record still has a lot of the frenetic sound that much of True Colours features, but I find “One Step Ahead” a much more enjoyable listen. Split Enz released the song as a single in December 1980.

Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.

Here’s the 1980 promotional video for the song (not from an official channel):

And here’s a more recent, live performance by Neil Finn accompanied by a string section in Australia, in 2015, from Finn’s YouTube channel:

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