rock > new wave / adult alternative


Brian Timothy Finn


June 25, 1952


Te Awamutu, New Zealand


Key Tracks:

  • Time for a Change (1975) *
  • Late Last Night (1975) *
  • Another Great Divide (1977) *
  • I See Red (1978) *
  • I Hope I Never (1980) *
  • Hard Act to Follow (1981) *
  • Dirty Creature (1982) *
  • Six Months in a Leaky Boat (1982) *
  • Next Exit (1983) *
  • A Fraction Too Much Friction (1983)
  • Carve You in Marble (1986)
  • How’m I Gonna Sleep (1989)
  • Chocolate Cake (1991) **
  • Hit the Ground Running (1993)
  • Persuasion (1993)
  • What You’ve Done (1995) ***
  • Death of a Popular Song (2000)
  • Songline (2001)
  • Edible Flowers [with Neil Finn] (2002)
  • Couldn’t Be Done (2006)

* Split Enz
** Crowded House
*** ALT


Tim Finn


“Singer/songwriter keyboardist/guitarist Tim Finn was born in Te Awamutu, New Zealand.” BW His “father, Richard, was a farmer's accountant and his mother, Mary, a Catholic daughter of an Irish farmhand. Tim has three siblings: Carolyn, Judy and Neil.” SW

“As a child, Tim…took piano lessons from a Catholic nun and concocted and produced school plays. At his parents' parties, he [sang] with his younger brother Neil. When Tim was 13 years old he went on a scholarship to Sacred Heart College, a Catholic boarding school. He devoted his spare time to rugby and music.” SW

Split Enz, 1971-1982:

“Following his time there, in 1971 Tim went on to study philosophy and politics for a Bachelor of Arts degree at the Auckland University. He spent a lot of time in the music room, Room 129, where he jammed with his friends Mike Chunn, Robert Gillies, Philip Judd and Noel Crombie,” SW all later members of Split Enz. “Music soon became more important to Tim than his studies and in mid-1972 he quit...the University…[and] formed…Split Enz,” SW “‘70s art-rock turned new wave band Split Enz.” BW

Finn’s musical tastes were “influenced by not only British Invasion acts like the Beatles, the Move, and the Kinks, but also his Catholic upbringing and the communal sing-alongs of the native Maori people.” BW Tim would lead the band “to moderate international success” BW through the rest of the decade and into the early ‘80s.

“In January 1981 he married English dancing girl Liz Malam, but the marriage collapsed in October 1981 and he went through a period of a nervous breakdown.” SW

Solo, 1983-1989:

“In 1983…Tim…released his debut solo album, Escapade, which was a huge commercial success in Australia and New Zealand…[He left] Split Enz for a solo career in June 1984. In early 1985 Tim moved to London.” SW

His “more ambitious second album, Big Canoe (1985)…went virtually ignored (it was unreleased in the U.S. until the success of his brother's band, Crowded House, stirred up enough interest by 1988). Finn returned in 1989 with a self-titled album for Capitol Records. Despite good reviews, this too failed to make much impact.” BW

Crowded House, 1989-1991:

“In late 1989 he was back living in Melbourne for the first time in five years. He got together with his younger brother and former Split Enz bandmate Neil Finn to write songs for a Finn Brothers record. Instead, Tim became a member of Crowded House, the group Neil formed after Split Enz…and appears on the group's third album Woodface. However, during a European tour in late 1991, they realised it wasn't working out and parted ways by mutual agreement and Tim continued with his solo career.” SW

Solo & ALT, 1993-1995:

He “released his fourth solo album, Before and After in 1993. Two years later, he joined “Liam O'Mainlai of Hothouse Flowers and Irish songwriter Andy White, under the moniker ALT” SW and released one album.

With and Without His Brother, 1995-2009:

In 1995, Tim and Neil finally released the long-awaited Finn Brothers album. They would work together again nearly a decade later on the 2004 release Everyone Is Here. In between the two projects, Tim released various solo projects. “In 1999, Finn completed work on his fifth solo album, Say It Is So, which was released early the following year” (Bultman/ Woodstra).

Together in Concert: Live, a live album documenting his highly successful tour of New Zealand with Bic Runga and Dave Dobbyn, was issued early 2001. Fall the same year, Finn released another full-length, Feeding the Gods.” BW

“In 2006, following a brief Split Enz reuinion, he returned with a solo album, Imaginary Kingdom.” BW Another solo album, The Conversation, followed in 2008.

Biography Sources:

Youtube Playlist (Split Enz)

Youtube Playlist (solo)

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Last updated June 26, 2011.