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Neil Finn Biography

Home > Music > F > Finn, Neil > Biography

Birth Name: Cornelius Mullane Finn
Born: 1958/05/27
Birth Place: Te Awamutu, New Zealand
Years Active: 1976-present
Genres: Pop, Rock

Neil Finn (born Neil Mullane Finn, May 27, 1958) is a New Zealand recording artist. Along with his brother Tim Finn, he was the co-frontman for Split Enz and is now frontman for Crowded House. He has also recorded several successful solo albums and assembled diverse musicians for the 7 Worlds Collide projects.

After finishing high school in 1975 Finn formed a group known as After Hours with Mark Hough, Geoff Chunn and Alan Brown. Not long after the band's debut performance, Finn was invited to London to join Split Enz, the band formed by his elder brother Tim Finn. By 1980, he was sharing lead singer duties. He wrote their first international hit “I Got You” and contributed significantly to all of their later albums, even briefly assuming leadership of the band after Tim left in 1984, soon before its breakup.

After the breakup of Split Enz in 1984. Finn formed a new band called The Mullanes (Mullane being both his middle name and his mother's maiden name) with Split Enz drummer Paul Hester, guitarist Craig Hooper of The Reels and bassist Nick Seymour whom Neil had met on the final Split Enz tour. Hooper left just before they recorded their first album, at which time the band was renamed Crowded House, inspired by the rental home they shared while recording in Los Angeles.

Crowded House went on to enormous success worldwide, in particular with two major hits, “Don't Dream It's Over” which went to #2 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart in 1987 and “Weather With You” which went to #7 on the U.K. Albums chart in 1992. Both Neil and his brother Tim were invested as Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to New Zealand music in the 1993 Queen's Birthday Honours List. After releasing four albums, “Crowded House,” “Temple of Low Men,” “Woodface” and “Together Alone,” the group broke up in 1996, concluding by releasing a greatest hits album “Recurring Dream.”

Following the breakup of Crowded House, Finn went solo. He released the solo albums, “Try Whistling This” in 1998 and “One Nil” in 2001. In addition, he and his brother Tim have collaborated on two Finn Brothers albums, 1995’s “Finn” and 2004’s “Everyone Is Here.”

In 2001, he released a live album/DVD “7 Worlds Collide” consisting of songs recorded at St James Theatre in Auckland, New Zealand with the likes of Lisa Germano, Sebastian Steinberg (Soul Coughing), Ed O'Brien and Phil Selway (Radiohead), Johnny Marr (The Smiths), Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam), Paul Jeffrey, Tim Finn, and Betchadupa. A second 7 Worlds Collide charity studio album, “The Sun Came Out,” was issued in 2009. It featured contributions from Johnny Marr, Ed O'Brien,Sebastian Steinberg, Phil Selway, Lisa Germano, Tim Finn and Liam Finn, Don McGlashan, Bic Runga, Glenn Richards, KT Tunstall and Wilco members Jeff Tweedy, John Stirratt, Glenn Kotche and Pat Sansone.

In January 2007, Crowded House reformed with Finn, Nick Seymour, Mark Hart and new drummer Matt Sherrod (following the suicide of Paul Hester in 2005). The group's new album “Time on Earth” was released in June 2007.

Finn and wife Sharon began a side project called Pajama Club in 2011. Pajama Club released their self-titled debut album in September 2011. The album was change in style from the material Finn performs with Crowded House, with a more groove oriented feel. Finn has stated that the Post-punk funk band ESG was a key inspiration on the album.

Finn and Paul Kelly released a live album, “Goin’ Your Way,” in 2013. It was recorded during a performance at the Sydney Opera House in March 2013. Finn’s third solo album, “Dizzy Heights,” was released in 2014. Musicians on the album included Finn’s sons Liam Finn and Elroy Finn, Connan Mockasin and SJD.