Here are my thoughts on the one disc version:
Performance wise these blow away even the remixed Frenzy. It's so manic and in your face, and raw. Sound quality is great, the rawness reminds me of the remixed Let It Be ... Naked.
This is a strange one. I've never really liked this song, but I put that down to hearing a distorted live version. On first listen I'm thinking it's ok, by half way through, I'm thinking this is a great song. The opening synths and the synth bass line are great. There's a synth solo that sounds a bit moogy in the middle and a bit Keith Emerson too. The chorus is saved by the almost demented piano pounding in the background. Probably not the best song Timbo's written, but it's more than saved by the complex arrangement.
THis was the song I was waiting for. I've loved it ever since hearing a live version about 12 years ago. The arrangement is very close to the live arrangement. Probably a little too long, the chorus/guitar solo/chorus then last verse seems a bit clunky and overly long, but it's still a great song, even if the words a bit dodgy. Even by the second song, you start to realise how manic the energy is on these recordings, and how in your face it is.
Biggest surpise is it has vocals, and it doesn't seem to be the same demo I've had for years (and is floating about out there). No vocoder vocals for a start. The melody is really nice, though the words are pretty dreadful, do I detect Timbo doing a John Lydon impersonation at one point to force the words to fit? Again, still manic and in yer face and I'm loving it.
Great song, always has been. Is this a different mix to the one on the new Frenzy? Thought I heard a couple of new things in there... Always made reminded me of Neil doing a Phil. The bridge to this and So This Is Love always sounded like they inspired each other. Top song, enough said.
Last of the great Epics, though Hollow Victory, STraight Talk and Creature Comforts are coming from the same area. Top song enough said. Are the multi tracks missing for this song? I noticed it's the only song that hasn't been remixed on disc one. From what I can remember the drop out has been fixed in the guitar solo.
Has there been some sneaky speed correction on this? All the versions I'd heard before the tempo rocketed off in the second verse. Thankfully it's now all one tempo and sounds much better for it. A charming song, and I can hear Noel's harmonica much better now. Does this contain one of the first Neil Finn rants at the end??
Still brings a smile to my lips, even though it's a fairly silly song. Nice punk ethic to this. I thought this may be one of the songs they wouldn't realease, glad it's here. Not much else to say about it really. New mix is much clearer than the crackly old 45 I had of it.
Brilliant song, wonderfully perverse with a nice simple arrangement. Pity they never went further with this. I like the lyrics too and it has a great groove.
Late In Rome aka Serge
Nice demo, just Neil and piano. Very similar to the Rear Enz version (minus the string quartet) but it has an extra little instrumental section which I think was a good thing to cut later on. Nice vocal, amazing he was only 15 when he wrote it.
Fantastic, Split Enz are still inventive and off the wall at Luton. What happened after Luton? THey were never this off the wall again. A great complex arrangement again, loving the grunge-yness of it all. Only let down by some lame lyrics (but only in places).
This, Straight Talk, Semi Detached, Creature Comforts and Hypnotised all sound like they belong together, they're all coming from a similar place to me. They're the last gasp of the epic progressive rock of Split Enz (more's the pity). Another great complex arrangement, took a couple of listens to grow on me
Very much a sign of things to come. A nice pleasant pop song, I particularly like the b5 chord in the chorus. Not much else to say about this one.
Best version I've heard. Much better than the Anniversary or Extravagenza versions (though I do like the talk about going crofting in the Anniversary version) Wonderfully manic, the energy is great. Particuarly love the compressed lead vocals.
For a song that was never mixed at the time and forgotten about, it's probably the best recorded song of the lot on disc 1. It's also a bloody good song with a very strong chorus. Why they never contiunued on with it..... who knows. A lost opportunity though.
Blows away the version released as a b side, the percusion is amongst Noel's best. I love the use of the out of tune pinao at certain points, and it's a good vocal performance too.
So, a great release, well worth the wait. Something that is fairly unique to Luton seems to be the group vocals that are on many of the songs, and the shher raw manic energy. I don't think any other Split Enz recordings are as hot as these. So much of Malcolm Green's wonderful tom work too.