*The Dave Clark 5
Can anyone else think of any other artists?
Very recently, I discovered Family. Family's influence on Split Enz cannot be overstated, whether they themselves would even admit the extent of it. Their seven albums from 1968 to 1973 sound like they could have been the seven lost Split Enz albums before Mental Notes.
When I heard the singing on their first album, Music in a Doll's House, it sounded almost exactly like the kind of vocal vibrato implemented on Split Enz early efforts. It's like listening to a seamless transition going from Family's last album to Split Enz's first album as the major overtones of their respective oeuvres are woven together by psychedelic, vaudeville, and carnival influences to create a seemingly unbroken eclectic aural quilt. I believe that any lover of the Enz would find Family immediately appealing for the very same reasons.
As brilliant as the Enz were, hearing Family helped me see them in a more realistic context. Not that I wasn't aware of this, but when exceptionally creative music is being considered, it's easy to lose sight of the fact that nothing happens in a vacuum. All of these early prog-rock groups had immediate precursors, and the precursors had influential precursors, etc. I wish I had discovered Family earlier, they're really quite amazing.