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Finn, Tim - 1983 Escapade

ARTIST: Tim Finn
ALBUM: Escapade
LABEL: Mushroom (Australia)
YEAR: 1983
CD REISSUE: Reissue List


LINEUP: Tim Finn - vocals * Mark Moffatt - guitar * Chris Haig - bass * Ricky Fataar - drums * Sam McNally - synthesizers

TRACK LISTING: 01 Fraction Too Much Friction * 02 Made My Day * 03 Not For Nothing * 04 In A Minor Key * 05 Grand Adventure * 06 Staring At The Embers * 07 Wait And See * 08 I Only Want To Know * 09 Growing Pains * 10 Through The Years

WEBLINKS: Official Website | Wikipedia Page

As the career of Split Enz progressed into the 80's, their music became undeniably more melodic and commercial than the sometimes bizarre theatrics of the 70's. The considerable amount of hits the band had in the 1980-82 period vaulted the band to new heights in New Zealand and Australia, while making waves in the U.S. also. But the workload appeared to take its toll on founding member Tim Finn, who took a break from Enz to record his debut solo album. The result was a polished melodic affair, with heavy AOR shades so common at the time. It was a surprise breakout for the elder Finn and an indication of where Split Enz themselves were heading before their 1984 demise.

The Songs
For anyone who was living in Australasia in 1983, trying to escape the lead single 'Fraction Too Much Friction' was impossible. It goes without saying it's a classic, the chorus catchier than any song has a right to be, but also a pleasant reminder of the good old days. 'Made My Day' takes the leap into AOR territory, although it could also be labeled power pop. The uplifting hook is the highlight, made for radio indeed. Synthesizers dominate the strains of 'Not For Nothing' and give the track an added edge, aided by some excitement in the melody lines. 'In a Minor Key' is close to Split Enz in sound, but has more of a West Coast tinge to it, very atmospheric vocals and keyboard lines included. The U.S. version of the album replaces 'Grand Adventure' with 'Below The Belt' for some reason, a common record industry move in those days. Both are great tracks, but the latter is West Coast AOR once again, with blaring saxophone adding to the effect. This is true undercover lover stuff from Finn.

The upbeat 'Staring At The Embers' is another useful track, again in the melodic rock vein and mostly eschewing the New Wave musings of Split Enz, which admittedly were fading. 'Wait and See' sounds like the product of a session in L.A. with all the greats of the time, even if it was recorded in Australia. It seems like Finn was taking a cue from the likes of fellow Kiwi's Jon Stevens and Sharon O'Neill in the AOR stakes. The keyboard effects of 'I Only Want To Know' are slightly annoying and Finn sounds like Jimmy Barnes vocally here. 'Growing Pains' is somewhat strange stylistically, with Finn providing over accentuated Kiwi vocals, giving the song a novelty element. At the same time however the track has a smattering of exciting AOR melody lines in the bridge, almost hinting at Rick Springfield. Sadly there just isn't enough of it.

In Summary
The album was a massive hit and Finn ultimately decided to return to Split Enz for their 'Conflicting Emotions' album in 1983. That was the end of the road for Tim however and he left the band afterwards, although never quite recapturing the vitality and success of 'Escapade' as a solo artist. This album is highly recommended however and I'm surprised it took me so long to listen to it. I think for better or worse I'd always based Tim Finn on 'Fraction Too Much Friction' and I'm happy to say I was wrong.

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#1 | gdazegod on April 15 2018 23:42:12
Some of the songs on this were good, but I was never a fan of 'Fraction Too Much Friction'.
#2 | jefflynnefan on April 16 2018 01:09:44
As you guys know, I'm a huge Split Enz -Tim Finn fan, so seeing this get reviewed at Glorydaze "made my day". It took me awhile to fully appreciate this album as it was a grower for me back then. But nowadays it's a classic and one of my go to cds. C&W singer Vince Gill plays on "Not For Nothing". I'm glad the USA got the song "Below The Belt" as it is one of the best , IMO. Never issued on cd in the USA that I know of but some rare promo only 45s were issued. The Holland cd version has "Below The Belt". I always thought "Fraction Too Much Friction" was a pretty good play on words. Too bad the videos were low budget as I think that hurt him here in the States. His girlfriend at the time was a famous French or Italian actress named Greta.... something.. I can't think ... anyways she was in a few of his videos. If you like the Finns , by all means get this one.
#3 | TheMurf on April 16 2018 19:33:08
When Faith Hill's "This Kiss" came out - all I could think of was Tim Finn's "Fraction Too Much Fiction". Anybody else feel the same way?

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