Brian Timothy Finn OBE (born 25 June 1952) is a New Zealand singer, songwriter, musician, and composer. He is best known as a founding member of Split Enz. Finn founded the band in 1972 with Phil Judd and served as lead singer and principal songwriter. Following Judd's departure in 1977, he was joined by brother Neil. Finn wrote or co-wrote some of the band's best-known songs, including "I See Red" and "Six Months in a Leaky Boat". While still a member of Split Enz, he began a solo career, scoring the two hits "Fraction Too Much Friction" and "Made My Day" in 1983; he left the band in early 1984, briefly returning for their farewell tour later that year.

Tim Finn
Finn playing at the Southbound Festival in 2012
Finn playing at the Southbound Festival in 2012
Background information
Birth nameBrian Timothy Finn
Born (1952-06-25) 25 June 1952 (age 71)
Te Awamutu, Waikato, New Zealand
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • piano
  • percussion
Years active1972–present
Member ofForenzics
Formerly of

He reunited with Neil and subsequently joined Crowded House for their third album Woodface, co-writing the majority of the songs on the album, including the hits "Four Seasons in One Day", "Weather with You" and "It's Only Natural". Leaving the band after the album's release, he reunited with Neil again later in the 1990s under the name Finn Brothers. Finn has participated in various collaborations with other artists, including former Split Enz members, and has also composed scores for films and musicals.

Along with his brother, Finn was appointed Officer of the Order of British Empire in 1993 for his services to music.

Early life and education edit

Brian Timothy Finn was born on 25 June 1952 in Te Awamutu, New Zealand,[1] weighing 10 pounds at birth, to parents Richard and Mary.[2][3] He has two sisters, and one younger brother, Neil Finn.[citation needed]

At the age of 13, he went to Sacred Heart College, Auckland, a Catholic boarding school, on a scholarship.[3]

Career edit

1972–1984: Split Enz edit

In 1971 Finn commenced a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Auckland. There he played in music practice room 129 (later the name of a Split Enz song) with friends and future Split Enz bandmembers Mike Chunn, Robert Gillies, Philip Judd and Noel Crombie. Music soon became more important to him than his studies. In 1972 he quit university. A few months later, Phil and Tim formed the group Split Ends, renamed Split Enz in 1975, shortly before they left New Zealand for Melbourne. Between 1975 and 1984, the group released nine studio albums. Split Enz played its last show on 4 December 1984 in Auckland.

1981–present: Solo work edit

Finn had his first success away from Split Enz in 1981 when his discarded demo "They Won't Let My Girlfriend Talk to Me" became a top 10 hit for Australian band Jimmy and the Boys.[4] In 1983, Finn recorded his debut solo album, Escapade, while still a member of Split Enz.[1] This met with major commercial success both in Australia and New Zealand, and yielded hit song "Fraction Too Much Friction",[1] which revealed a more rhythm-based sound than Split Enz had been known for. After contributing four songs to Split Enz album Conflicting Emotions, Finn left the band permanently in June 1984, to focus on a solo career.

In 1986 Finn released his second studio album, Big Canoe.[1] The album utilised a wide variety of instrumentation, including guitars, orchestral backings and traditional Indian instruments - most notably on single "No Thunder, No Fire, No Rain", which was inspired by the Bhopal chemical disaster. Though Big Canoe reached number three on the New Zealand charts, it failed to become the international breakthrough that Finn or record company Virgin had hoped.

In 1987, Finn composed music for the Australian comedy Les Patterson Saves the World, which yielded the Australian hit "You Saved the World". Finn had a small part in Australian film The Coca-Cola Kid alongside then-girlfriend Greta Scacchi, and a larger one in her Italian-shot romance La Donna della Luna (The Moon Woman).

Tim Finn in Split Enz costume.

In late 1988, Finn recording his eponymous third album, Tim Finn, for Capitol Records.[1] The album yielded strong reviews and the New Zealand hit "Parihaka", based on a Māori village known for its campaign of passive resistance to European occupiers. Finn also created the song "Cane Toad Blues" which played during the credits for the documentary film "Cane Toads: An Unnatural History."

In 2000, the album Together in Concert: Live was released, featuring Finn, and fellow New Zealand singer/songwriters Bic Runga, and Dave Dobbyn. Recorded in August and September 2000 in venues around New Zealand, the album saw the three performers each equitably showcased. Both the concerts and album feature all three performers providing vocal and instrumental backing on each other's songs. The album peaked at number 2 on the New Zealand chart.

In 2015, Finn composed further for theatre, with an opera Star Navigator commissioned by New Zealand Opera, Victorian Opera and West Australian Opera, and the musical Ladies in Black[5] to premiere in Brisbane by Queensland Theatre Company in November 2015.[6]

As England and New Zealand went into COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, Finn and Phil Manzanera began working collaboratively on an album under the name Tim Finn & Phil Manzanera, which is called Caught by the Heart. The album was released on 26 August 2021. The album is produced by the two of them, with Manzanera doing the lead instrumental and Finn doing the vocals.

1995–2005 : Finn Brothers edit

Tim and Neil as the Finn Brothers.
Tim Finn performing in Wellington.

In 1989, Finn began playing music with younger brother Neil, for an intended Finn brothers record. After working together on some songs, Neil later proposed incorporating the tracks onto the latest album of Crowded House, the group he had formed after Split Enz dissolved.[1] Tim co-wrote eight songs, including the hits "Weather with You" and "Four Seasons in One Day".[2]

In the 1993 Birthday Honours, both Tim and Neil were appointed Officers of the Order of British Empire, for their services to music.[7]

The Finn Brothers resumed their collaborative work and released Finn in 1995. A second and final album was released in 2004 titled, Everyone Is Here. A Mojo magazine review stated that it contained "some of the most haunting music to bear the Finn imprint".

2020–present: Forenzics edit

In 2020 Finn co-created Forenzics with former Split Enz keyboardist Eddie Rayner. Forenzics is an experimental project with the debut album Shades and Echoes (2022) as a transformation of the songs of Mental Notes. Alongside Finn and Rayner are former members from the album, Noel Crombie and Phil Judd - and also Phil Manzanera who was involved in the redevelopment of Mental Notes into Second Thoughts. Initial singles "Chances Are" and "Premiere Fois" were officially released in November 2021, however "Walking", "Strange Stars" and "Abandoned" were all released before on YouTube (from early 2020 until early 2021).

Personal life edit

Finn was briefly married to English dancer Liz Malam from 1981–1982.[8] He was in a relationship with actress Greta Scacchi from 1984–1989.[9] Since 1997 he has been married to television presenter Marie Azcona, formerly of MTV and TVNZ One's Music Week.[10][11] Finn and Azcona have two children, and have collaborated on several songs, some of which are featured on Steel City, the dance show that Finn wrote. Aside from co-writing two tracks with Azcona, Finn collaborated on another with former Split Enz member Mike Chunn. Finn's son Harper and daughter Elliot are musicians in their own right.[12][13][14]

Discography edit

Studio albums edit

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions and certifications
Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
  • Released: June 1983
  • Label: Mushroom (RML 53104)
  • Formats: LP, MC
1 8 10 161
Big Canoe
  • Released: April 1986
  • Label: Virgin (V-2369)
  • Formats: LP, MC, CD
3 31
Tim Finn
  • Released: April 1989
  • Label: Capitol (ST748735)
  • Formats: LP, MC, CD
8 47
Before & After
  • Released: July 1993
  • Label: Capitol (7949042)
  • Formats: MC, CD
3 34 72 29
Say It Is So
  • Released: 1999
  • Label: Periscope (5243782)
  • Formats: CD
Feeding the Gods
  • Released: June 2001
  • Label: Periscope, EMI Music (53512523)
  • Formats: CD
Imaginary Kingdom
  • Released: October 2006
  • Label: Capitol (09463754602 4)
  • Formats: CD
18 48
The Conversation
  • Released: November 2008
  • Label: Capitol (50999 265303 2 1)
  • Formats: CD, digital download
The View Is Worth the Climb
  • Released: August 2011
  • Label: ABC Music / UMA (2779444)
  • Formats: CD, digital download
Caught by the Heart
(with Phil Manzanera)
  • Released: 2021
  • Label: Expression (EXPCD41)
  • Formats: CD, DD

Live albums edit

List of compilation albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions Certification
Together in Concert: Live
(with Dave Dobbyn and Bic Runga)
  • Released: November 2000
  • Label: Epic (5011402000)
  • Formats: CD
  • RIANZ: 3× Platinum[19]

Soundtrack albums edit

List of soundtrack albums, with selected details
Title Album details
Steel City
  • Released: 1998
  • Label: Sony (491582.2)
  • Formats: CD

Spoken word albums edit

List of spoken word albums, with selected details
Title Album details
The Magnificent Nose
(with Anna Paquin)
  • Released: 1994
  • Label: BMG (74321237022)
  • Formats: CD

Compilation albums edit

List of compilation albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions
North, South, East, West...Anthology
  • Released: September 2009
  • Label: Capitol (509993095822 7)
  • Formats: CD, DD
15 79

Singles edit

List of singls, with selected peak chart positions
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
"Fraction Too Much Friction" 1983 2 8 Escapade
"Made My Day" 22
"Through the Years" 34 34
"Staring at the Embers"
"In a Minor Key" 1984
"Home for My Heart" 1985 87 Coca-Cola Kid (soundtrack)
"No Thunder, No Fire, No Rain" 1986 24 46 Big Canoe
"Spiritual Hunger"
"Carve You in Marble" 33 92
"You Saved the World" 1987 Les Patterson Saves the World
"With You I'm Alive"
"How'm I Gonna Sleep" 1989 2 27 77 Tim Finn
"Parihaka" (with Herbs) 6
"Crescendo" 120
"Not Even Close" 1990 124 91
"Long Hard Road" (with Phil Judd) The Big Steal (soundtrack)
"Islands" (with MC Fli T) 1992 Non-album single
"Persuasion" 1993 6 62 43 Before & After
"Hit the Ground Running" 14 115 50
"Many's the Time" 1994
"Runs in the Family" (with The Record Partnership) 9 Non-album single
"Steel City" 1998 Steel City Soundtrack
"Twinkle" 1999 Say It Is So
"What You've Done" 2001 48 194 Feeding the Gods
"Couldn't Be Done" 2006 105 Imaginary Kingdom
"Horizon" 2007
"Out of This World" 2008 The Conversation
"Caught by the Heart" 2021 Caught by the Heart

Charity singles edit

Year Song Peak chart positions Notes
1986 "Sailing Away" (as All of Us) 1 To help raise money and support for New Zealand's 1986–7 America's Cup campaign

Awards edit

RIANZ Awards edit

The New Zealand Music Awards are awarded annually by the RIANZ in New Zealand.

Year Award[22] Work With Result
1984 International Achievement solo Won
Split Enz Nominated
1989 Best Male Vocalist solo Won
Best Songwriter "Parihaka" solo Won
1992 Best Songwriter "It's Only Natural" with Neil Finn Nominated
1996 Album of the Year Finn Finn Brothers Nominated
Best Group Finn Brothers Nominated
International Achievement Finn Brothers Nominated
2001 Album of the Year Together in Concert: Live with Dave Dobbyn & Bic Runga Nominated
2005 Album of the Year Everyone Is Here Finn Brothers Nominated
Single of the Year "Won't Give In" Finn Brothers Nominated
International Achievement Award Everyone Is Here Finn Brothers Won
2007 Best Male Solo Artist Imaginary Kingdom solo Won

ARIA Awards edit

The ARIA Music Awards are awarded annually by the Australian Recording Industry Association.

Year Award Work With Result
1987 Best Male Artist Big Canoe solo Nominated
Highest Selling Album solo Nominated
1993 Song of the Year "Weather With You" with Neil Finn (for Crowded House) Nominated
1994 Best Male Artist Before and After solo Nominated
Song of the Year "Persuasion" solo Nominated
1996 Song of the Year "Suffer Never" with Neil Finn (for The Finn Brothers) Nominated

Countdown Australian Music Awards edit

Countdown was an Australian pop music TV series on national broadcaster ABC-TV from 1974 to 1987, it presented music awards from 1979 to 1987, initially in conjunction with magazine TV Week. The TV Week / Countdown Awards were a combination of popular-voted and peer-voted awards.[23]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1981 himself Best Australian Songwriter Nominated
1982 himself Best Australian Songwriter Won
1983 Escapade Best Australian Album Won
"Fraction too Much Friction" Best Australian Single Nominated
Best Video Won
himself Songwriter of the Year Won
Most Popular Male Performer Won
1984 himself Most Popular Male Performer Nominated
1985 himself Most Popular Male Performer Won

Helpmann Awards edit

The Helpmann Awards for live performance in Australia are awarded annually by Live Performance Australia.

Year Award Work With Result
2016 Best New Australian Work Ladies in Black Carolyn Burns and Tim Finn with Simon Phillips Won
Best Original Score solo Nominated

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d e f Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 861. ISBN 0-85112-939-0.
  2. ^ a b "Tim Finn - Interview". 4 March 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Split Enz - Haul Away Lyrics". Genius.
  4. ^ Ansell, Jeremy. "Enzology Part 8 - Time and Tide (1981-1982)". Radio New Zealand. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  5. ^ Christian, Dionne (10 December 2016). "Tim Finn's fashionable new musical". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  6. ^ Westgarth, Fiona (11 November 2014). "A Roaring Finn: Tim Finn returns to the theatre and back in time". Daily Review. Archived from the original on 21 July 2015. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  7. ^ "No. 53334". The London Gazette (3rd supplement). 12 June 1993. p. 38.
  8. ^ Chunn, Mike (1992). Stranger Than Fiction: The Life and Times of Split Enz. Wellington, NZ: GP Publications. ISBN 9781869560508.
  9. ^ Bourke, Chris (1997). Crowded House: Something So Strong. Sydney: Macmillan. ISBN 9780732908867.
  10. ^ Perrott, Alan (11 October 2006). "Tim Finn gathering his mental notes". NZ Herald.
  11. ^ "TV: Marie Azcona shows older set what's new in music - Lifestyle - NZ Herald News". 11 November 2000. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  12. ^ Ricardo Simich (28 June 2020). "Spy: Harper Finn keeping the family musical dynasty alive". NZ Herald.
  13. ^ Karl Puschmann (11 November 2020). "Why Everyone Is Dancing To The Sound Of Harper Finn's Beat". Viva/NZ Herald.
  14. ^ Sam Richards (6 May 2021). "Hear "Caught By The Heart", a new song by Tim Finn and Phil Manzanera". Uncut.
  15. ^ a b c d e New Zealand chart peaks:
  16. ^ a b c Australian chart peaks:
  17. ^ a b "Tim Finn Full Chart History". Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  18. ^ "Tim Finn Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 15 January 2023.
  19. ^ a b "Gold and platinum New Zealand albums to 2013". Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  20. ^ "RPM – Library and Archives Canada | RPM – Bibliothèque et Archives Canada". Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  21. ^ " > All of Us [NZ] in New Zealand Charts". Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  22. ^ "NZMAs". Archived from the original on 22 September 2012. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
  23. ^ "Countdown to the Awards" (Portable document format (PDF)). Countdown Magazine. Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). March 1987. Retrieved 16 December 2010.

External links edit