Neil Finn

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Neil Finn in Hamburg, June 1996

Neil Mullane Finn (b. May 27, 1958) is a singer and songwriter and one of New Zealand's foremost musicians.

Born in Te Awamutu, New Zealand, he finished school in 1977. Although he had only played in amateur bands, soon after leaving school he was invited to London to join Split Enz, the band formed by his elder brother, Tim Finn. By 1981, Neil was sharing lead-singer's duties in Split Enz; he wrote their first international hit, I Got You and contributed significantly to all their later albums, briefly assuming leadership of the band after Tim left in 1983.

When Split Enz broke up in 1984, he formed a new band called The Mullanes (Mullane was his mother's maiden name) with Split Enz drummer Paul Hester, guitarist Craig Hooper of The Reels and bassist Nick Seymour, younger brother of Hunters & Collectors leader Mark Seymour.

Hooper left just before they recorded their first album, at which time the band was renamed Crowded House, after the rented accommodation they shared while recording in Los Angeles. They went on to enormous success worldwide, with two major hits: Don't Dream It's Over (U.S. #2, 1987) and Weather With You (U.K. #7, 1992). After releasing four albums, Crowded House, Temple of Low Men, Woodface, and Together Alone, the group broke up in 1996 during the promotion effort for their Best-Of album Recurring Dream, and Neil Finn went solo.

As of 2004, Finn has produced two solo albums, Try Whistling This (1998) and One Nil (2001) (the US release in 2002 with a slightly different track list, and some remixing, was called One All), as well as two duo albums with his brother Tim.

An accomplished songsmith, he is particularly admired for his live performances, often in small venues. In recent years he has persuaded leading musicians such as Johnny Marr, Sheryl Crow and Wendy & Lisa to perform with him on tour or for one-off concerts.

One of his greatest contributions to the popular music scene has been the "Band of Strangers" phenomenon, in which he invites local musicians to join him in a band for one night, after a single day's rehearsal. In April 2001, he played five nights this way in Auckland with Tim, Johnny Marr, Eddie Vedder, Lisa Germano and members of Radiohead and Soul Coughing to packed houses. The event was recorded as a CD/DVD titled 7 Worlds Collide.

He has released two albums with his brother Tim as the Finn Brothers, Finn (1995) and Everyone Is Here (2004).

Neil and his wife Sharon live in the Auckland suburb Parnell. They own and run a pub in Auckland, called Tabac. The couple have two sons, Liam (*1983) and Elroy (*1989). Liam, a guitarist and drummer, has performed on tour with his father (in 1998) and now heads a band of his own, "Betchadupa". Elroy, a guitarist, has also performed on tour with his father and uncle (in 2004).


Singles are in italics.

  • 1998 Try Whistling This, (Last One Standing, Souvenir, King Tide, Try Whistling This, She Will Have Her Way, Sinner, Twisty Bass, Loose Tongue, Truth, Astro, Dream Date, Faster Than Light, Addicted).
  • 2001 One Nil, (The Climber, Rest of the Day Off, Hole in the Ice, Wherever You Are, Last to Know, Don't Ask Why, Secret God, Turn and Run, Elastic Heart, Anytime, Driving Me Mad, Into the Sunset).
  • 2001 7 Worlds Collide - Live at the St. James, (Anytime, Take a Walk, The Climber, Loose Tongue, Down on the Corner, There Is a Light That Never Goes Out, Paper Doll, Turn and Run, Angels Heap, Edible Flowers, Stuff and Nonsense, I See Red, She Will Have Her Way, Parting Ways, Weather With You, Paradise (Wherever You Are), Don't Dream It's Over).
  • 2002 One All (U.S. version of One Nil), (The Climber, Driving Me Mad, Hole in the Ice, Last to Know, Wherever You Are, Secret God, Lullaby Requiem, Human Kindness, Turn and Run, Anytime, Rest of the Day Off, Into the Sunset).
  • 2002 Rain (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), (You Don't Know, Summer Intro, Summer of Love, Mum in Bed, Orange and Blue, Red Room, Cry Wolf, The Affair, Black Sally, Boat Dawn, Boat Joyride, Kids Floating, Batman, Shower, Phantom Love, Drive Home, Lucid Dream).nl:Neil Finn

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