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History Never Repeats
(A&M Records, 1981)
I bought Split Enz' fifth album, True Colours, when I was in high school, 'cause it had this awesome laser-etching thing going on. I'd long been aware of them, thanks to magazine adverts for their third album, Dizrythmia, but had no clue what they sounded like. Nonetheless, the laser thing was more than I could resist!
Luckily, unlike the Styx album Paradise Theatre, also laser-etched (poorly), True Colours didn't SUCK. I'm not a total Styx hater, mind you; their first five albums are all pretty great, imo. After those, there were a few more good songs but the crapola level just kept climbing, ever faster. "Babe" was the breaking point, though. Every single song on the album that featured it, Cornerstone, was either boring or, like "Babe," excruciatingly vomitrocious. There wasn't even a token James Young-penned hard rocker like "Midnight Ride."
But, I digress . . .
True Colours turned out to be a new wave/pop masterpiece (I've since bought it on CD twice, in fact). The follow-up, either Waiata or Corroboree, depending on where you bought it, had a few good songs but wasn't nearly as strong. I sold the album long ago but still have the singles of "One Step Ahead" and "History Never Repeats," the two best songs. Both had non-LP flip sides, and one of those is today's selection.
"Shark Attack" was one of their two most aggressive songs ("I See Red" was the other), and the live version, featured here and on the b-side of the UK single of "History Never Repeats," is slammin'. I especially love the little guitar nod to The Monkees' "Last Train to Clarksville" that was added here. Yep, I love The Monkees, too.
The b-side of the New Zealand version of the single was a studio original called "Holy Smoke," but I've never heard it and cannot comment as to its worthiness.