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Mental Notes is one incredible album; it’s intricately insane intensity bowls me over every time I listen to it! With Tim Finn and Phil Judd’s art school background, this ain't the poppy Split Enz we all know and love, but a twisty, melodic sprawl through uncharted territory; remarkable stuff in conservative mid ‘70’s New Zealand.

Every song here is a joyous wonder to listen to, from the opening melodic notes of “Walking Down A Road”, we wind our way through Phil’s epically gorgeous, “Under The Wheel”, a song full of sparkling twelve string acoustics, floating mellotron, sonic bass, liquid electric guitar runs and Phil’s unique, slightly deranged vocal.

Later on, “Amy” throws in a bit of everything, jaunty country swing, funky drumming, dirty twanging guitar, chirping cicadas and Tim’s operatic vocal, while “So Long For Now” gets down with some chunky, funky clavinet and a screaming guitar solo! Phil’s demons are back on the expansive carnival ride that is “Stranger Than Fiction”, which segues casually into “Time For A Change”, the first of many great Tim ballads.
The buoyant, energized rocker “Maybe” and billowy, baroque “Titus” are perfect precursors to lead us into the mesmeric finale of “Spellbound”; a dreamy, groovy, Hitchcock meets Dali delight, awash in siren swoon mellotrons, percussive guitar flurries and another epic vocal excursion! Split Enz would make many more great pop songs and albums, but I believe Mental Notes is their true masterpiece.

Original 1975 NZ pressing on White Cloud/PYE
Catalogue number: WCL-101 (the only LP released on this NZ only label)
Grading (cover/vinyl): VG+ / VG+ (side 1) / VG- (side 2)
Names on labels. Side 2 is a bit noisy.

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Shipping options

  • Tracked North Island$8.80
  • Tracked South Island$9.90
  • Standard post South Island$8.90
  • Tracked to North Island RD address$12.70
  • Tracked to South Island RD address$13.80
  • Additional purchases, up to ten LPs$0.00
  • Seller allows pick-ups
  • Seller location: New Plymouth, Taranaki, NZ

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    Cash, NZ bank deposit