Split Enz were one of the most successful New Zealand musical acts of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Formed in 1972 and featuring Phil Judd and Tim Finn and later Neil Finn, the band would go on to achieve chart success in New Zealand, Australia and Canada ‒ most notably with their 1980 single “I Got You” – and built a cult following elsewhere. Their musical style was eclectic, incorporating influences from art rock, vaudeville, swing, punk, rock, new wave, and pop. Split Enz established a reputation for a distinctive visual style, thanks partly to their colourful, offbeat costumes and hairstyles.
The group’s career falls into two phases. They began as an acoustic folk band in the early 1970s and by the time they recorded their first album they had changed to electric instruments and took on aprogressive rock sound. From 1977 onwards, with the departure of songwriter/guitarist Phil Judd and the arrival of Neil Finn, Split Enz’ sound began to move from progressive rock towards new wave and pop. The early 1980s proved the group’s most commercially successful period, with a string of popular albums. The videos for some of the songs from this period were among the first played on MTV. Since the band’s breakup in 1984, the group has reunited several times, and its members have gone on to create varied musical groups with one another, including Neil Finn’s band Crowded House, Schnell Fenster, Citizen Band and the Finn Brothers.