Childhood & Early Life
Neil Mullane Finn was born on 27 May 1958 in Te Awamutu, New Zealand, as the youngest of four children to Mary and Dick Finn. His father worked in the Italy military and served as an accountant during the World War II.
As a child, Finn would frequently perform at family functions with his elder brother Tim. Their family would also engage in sing-alongs around the family piano time and again.
Finn studied at Sacred Heart boarding school and later at the Te Awamutu College. Throughout his school years, he performed in hospitals, prisons and family gatherings. At the age of 12, he decided to become a musician.
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In the mid-1970s, Neil Finn initially formed the band, After Hours, with guitarist Geoff Chunn and lyricist/drummer Mark Hough. After the departure of Mark from the band, Alan Brown joined to perform the bass duties. Unfortunately, the group came to a quick end, and on the suggestion of his brother, Finn went on to replace singer/songwriter Phil Judd in the group Split Enz.
By 1980, Finn was performing as the lead singer and contributed significantly to Split Enz’s later albums. He also briefly assumed its leadership after his brother left in 1984. During his tenure, he wrote some of the band’s most successful songs including "I Got You", "Message to My Girl", "One Step Ahead" and "History Never Repeats”.
After the disbandment of Split Enz, the singer/songwriter formed a new band called The Mullanes with guitarist Craig Hooper, bassist Nick Seymour and drummer Paul Hester. Hooper left just before the band recorded its first album and soon it was renamed Crowded House.
Finn and his Crowded House band mates went on to earn much success worldwide with their major hits "Don't Dream It's Over" and "Weather With You". The former, which released in 1986, charted at # 1 in New Zealand and Canada while the latter, released in 1992, charted at #7 in UK and #9 in New Zealand.
Crowded House also earned recognition for their albums ‘Crowded House,’ ‘Together Alone,’ ‘Woodface,’ and ‘Temple of Low Men.’ Before its disbandment, it also released a greatest hits album titled ‘Recurring Dream’.
Neil Finn then embarked on his solo music career, initially releasing the album ‘Try Whistling This’ (1998) which featured the songs "She Will Have Her Way" and "Sinner".
In 1999, he released the album ‘Afterglow.’ It contained previously unreleased recordings of the band Crowded House. That year, Finn also penned a theme song titled "Can You Hear Us?" for All Blacks' participation in the Rugby World Cup.
In 2001, he released a live album/DVD consisting of songs recorded at the St James Theatre in Auckland. The same year, the New Zealand artiste recorded the album ‘One Nil’ which was later released under the new title ‘One All’.
He and his brother collaborated on the album ‘Everyone Is Here’ (2004), which featured the singles "Won't Give In", "Nothing Wrong with You", "Anything Can Happen" and "Part of Me, Part of You".
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In January 2007, Crowded House was reformed with Finn, Mark Hart, Nick Seymour and new drummer Matt Sherrod to release a new album titled ‘Time on Earth’. That year, Finn also featured on ‘On a Clear Night’, musician Missy Higgins' CD, offering backing vocals on "Going North” and playing the electric guitar for the track "Peachy".
In 2008, he, alongside other musical artists, contributed to Oxfam’s charity album ‘The Sun Came Out,’ which was released in September 2009.
Finn next went on a world tour with his Crowded House band mates to promote their 2010 release, ‘Intriguer.’ This album, the final studio album of Crowded House, charted at #1 in Australia and #3 in New Zealand.
In 2011, Neil Finn, alongside his wife Sharon, started a side project called Pajama Club. On 8 November 2013, he released ‘Goin' Your Way’ under under EMI label. It was a live album compilation from his performance at the Sydney Opera House in March that year.
Finn came up with his third solo album ‘Dizzy Heights’ (2014) which debuted at No. 130 on The Billboard Top 200. He next performed at the Auckland Zoo alongside his brother, Tim, and son, Liam. The performance also featured Sharon Finn, Tim's children Harper and Elliot, and Elroy Finn.
In April 2018, Finn joined the British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac along with Heartbreakers' guitarist Mike Campbell.
In August 2018, he released ‘Lightsleeper’, a collaborative album with Liam. The album featured the songs "Meet Me in the Air", "Back to Life", "We Know What It Means" and "Hold Her Close".