Other down under artists that I love are Split Enz and Crowded House. They are acutally from New Zealand, not Australia; got to have the distinction in, or I may get hate mail. Split Enz started out as a progressive art-rock band in 1971, the year of my birth, and had 2 different phases, the REALLY artsy-progressive phase, and the less artsy, more commercial phase. The lineup included Tim Finn, who later went on to have a fairly successful solo career, and later on his brother Neil, who later started the band Crowded House. The Finn brothers headed up the band during its less art conscious period, and I am more of a fan of the less artsy side.
The band was up-and-coming in the early 80's after the release of "I Got You", off the album "True Colours", which was modest, but fierce, and caught my ear in mid 1984 along with the likes of Depeche Mode, OMD, The Stooges, 7 Seconds, The Vandals, and Youth Brigade. I immediately searched far and wide(as it was hard to find some of their albums) for anything I could find. Albums like "Time and Tide", "Frenzy", "Corroboree"("Waiata" here in the states), and "Conflicting Emotions" were little gems for me, getting too much play in my boombox for almost 2 years straight.
I learned about the breakup of Split Enz in '85 perusing an issue of Rolling Stone in my high school library freshman year, waiting for homeroom to begin. I didn't have long to feel sad, for in 1986, Neil Finn and Split Enz drummer Paul Hester formed Crowded House with bassist Nick Seymour. The band quietly exploded onto the scene with songs like "Don't Dream It's Over" and "Something So Strong", while I was in love with songs like "That's What I Call Love" and "World Where You Live". I haven't been as obsessed with Crowded House as I was with Split Enz, but I suppose that's aging for you. I think that Neil Finn's songwriting matured from Split Enz to the new band, and With later songs like "Into Temptation" I have made many a woman cry, grab hold of my collar(my shirt, not my bondage contract), and kiss me with abandon, amazed and impassioned by my "sensitivity". Thanks, Neil, for all the wet memories. They broke up somewhere around '96, and I didn't hear much about them except for little snippets here and there, such as a song on the Reality Bites soundtrack. Earlier this year I found out that they have gotten back together with a new drummer(Paul Hester, sadly having committed suicide in 2005), have a new album out, "Time On Earth", which is pretty good, did a limited tour, and will be back in the studio soon for a new album in the next year. Sweet.