Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog)

Friday, March 12, 2010

INXS ~ The Greatest Hits (hits comp)



(Click on heading to visit official website.)
Style: new wave, rock, Australian rock
Label: Universal
Year: 1994
Home: Australia

Members: Garry Gary Beers ~ bass
Andrew Farriss ~ keyboards/guitar
Jon Farriss ~ drums/keyboards
Tim Farriss ~ lead guitar
Michael Hutchence ~ vocals
Kirk Pengilly ~ guitar/sax/backing vocals

Guest: Charlie Musselwhite ~ harmonica


I remember moving across the country as a boy with my parents. I'd selected a few favorite cassettes to carry in the front of the U-Haul for the week's journey. INXS's X (featuring the then hits 'Suicide Blonde' & 'Disappear') was one of chosen. I didn't tire of it that week & it's infectious sound still sends shivers down my spine. That's one of those albums where every song is great - MTV chart-topper or not. I've since bought many of their earlier albums with pleasure. Sadly, I consider X the peak of their career as nothing they did later interested me - chart sales show that I wasn't the only fan with this change of heart - & with the senseless & tragic death of singer Hutchence INXS ceased to exist for me as a viable band. I no longer pay attention to their career as they struggle through singers & try to avoid the nostalgia circuit or splitting up. Now, I don't want to say that INXS isn't a great band without Hutchence's voice. They remain a group of talented guys whoever is in the front, but he made them a greater band with a timelessness to what is essentially the New Wave end of rock with a dancefloor beat that is badly dated. Further, Hutchance drooled with sex with every word with the same flame that spurred the sexually-charged charisma of Jim Morrison & Janis Joplin or Bono. Reflecting the later part of their career, this collection is a mixed bag. It spans their career, but being out of chronological order sounds like a compilation of a couple bands, as INXS was a band whose sound progressed with every album from modest garage band to MTV-branded pop & beyond to self-destruction, but out of order the progression is hard to listen to. Also, the album aims to grab equally from most of their albums - something many greatest hits collections don't do instead choosing to pull most of the album from a select few albums & largely ignore the rest - but that means there's a few weak tracks here & some good tracks left off. The weak songs really hurt the flow of the album, particularly when you go from a song that you love to a song that you don't want to be reminded of. Albeit, the hits do remind you why this band is so great. If you want an introduction to INXS pick up X, Kick & Listen Like Thieves & call it a day. That's the heart of their legacy & between those three albums you'll get all the hits, see a band showing growth & walk away believing they are a better band then the rest of their career sadly reflects.



2 comments:

  1. Hiya Aaron,I agree wholeheartedly.I first saw INXS when they appeared as a support band to The Ramones in Melbourne sometime around 79/80.There was something about them that was different and good even in those very early days.I saw them on and off in small venues round town till they started to become big at which point I lost interest ,they kind of conflicted with my "strictly underground "tastes at that time haha.Hutchy was a friend of a friend and a real regular guy,when he passed away it was and still is very sad.I was working at Crown Casino in Melbourne recently and INXS were playing a car manufacturers dealership dinner,I caught their soundcheck that afternoon and ,man!,the band still absolutely cooks...they did a killer job of Suicide Blonde ...I bumped into J.D outside when I had a smoke..just my opinion but he seemed like a real wanker...Kinda left me feeling a bit empty ..I'm sure they got paid well but.....

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  2. Thanks for the great response, DirtyDave07 on the other side of the country (though one of closest friends live outside Melbourne). Just thinking about 'Underneath the Colours', 'Shabooh Shoobah', 'The Swing', 'Listen Like Thieves' and 'Kick' drum up nostalgia for albums I haven't heard in years but used to love. I just recently listened to 'X' again and I hit play twice it was so enjoyable, like visiting with an old friend. Those early albums I always thought of in the same way as early (or pre-Under The Bridge) Red Hot Chili Peppers - young, raw, primal, underground and basically good music.

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