Monday, May 02, 2011

Blog post #1980: Sometimes quality does win out

Growing up in New Zealand, it felt like only the most middle of the road schlock had any hope of success. Quirky, left field and the unexpected could be underground favourites but never expect to break through. Kiwi back Split Enz suffered that fate for most of the 1970s, but suddenly got attention worldwide thanks to this track, I Got You.

I guess that probably looks a bit quaint from this distance. The obsessive stalker lyrics and quirky music was not obvious hit single material at the time. But I Got You got to number 1 in NZ, Australia and Canada. Even more notably, it got No. 12 in the UK.

From the other side of the world, that seemed like a massive achievement at the time. There was greater success to come for I Got You songwriter Neil Finn in Crowded House, but he was only 22 when this song was a hit around the world. It showed New Zealand's tyranny of distance was no real barrier to hard work and talent.

No comments: