Why these 10 classic INXS songs are exactly What You Need
As one of Australia’s most famous homegrown acts, INXS and their classic albums have truly stood the test of time.
From their self-titled debut album in 1980, to their last album in 1997, the band’s signature style has transcended generations, and made millions of music lovers around the world fall head over heels for the down to earth music legends.
We have rounded up ten of the most iconic tracks from their ten studio albums they released before Michael Hutchence’s untimely death in 1997.
From their humble beginnings in Sydney to the biggest stages in the world, INXS left a mark on the Aussie music scene with these songs that will never be replaced.
Just Keep Walking
The only single released from their self-titled album in 1980, Just Keep Walking tells the story of a band who were struggling to have their music heard while trying to make ends meet.
The song became the band’s first Top 40 track, and introduced a new wave sound to the world of Aussie rock.
Widely regarded as their first international single, Don’t Change was released in 1982 from the album Shabooh Shoobah.
In Australia, the song climbed into the top 20 on the charts, and peaked at number 17 on the US Billboard chart, firmly cementing them as the underdogs from Australia in the global music scene.
Since Michael Hutchence’s death, the rock anthem has been performed live by the Farriss brothers in an emotional, stripped back acoustic rendition.
The fifth and last single from their 1987 album Kick, Mystify was often outshone by other tracks from the album.
The song’s lyrics hold a poetry and romance that softens the hard rock album, while the music video offers an insight to Michael’s songwriting process with Andrew Farriss.
Mystify has subsequently been the name for several documentaries about the band, and the life and story of the late Michael Hutchence.
Never Tear Us Apart
This signature ballad was the fourth single of Kick, and showcases a string section and epic saxophone solo from Kirk Pengilly to drive home the emotional story of two soul mates.
Never Tear Us Apart peaked at number 7 on the US Billboard Hot 100 charts, and was played during Michael Hutchence’s funeral procession in 1997.
The song has become a fan favourite, as the emotion, passion and longing in the song is palpable to those looking for a power ballad to speak for them.
That, and it’s one of the best saxophone solos in music history.
Need You Tonight
This first single from Kick became an instant hit, as it was the band’s only song to reach the coveted number one spot on the US Billboard charts.
The infamous guitar riff from Need You Tonight came to Andrew Farriss while he was waiting for a taxi, while it took Michael 10 minutes to write the lyrics after hearing the demo.
The music video also won five MTV Video Music Awards including the 1988 Video of The Year.
Baby Don’t Cry
This track was the second single from the 1992 album Welcome to Wherever You Are: the eight album by the band
Baby Don’t Cry was written by Andrew Farriss as a tribute to his young daughter who he missed while on tour.
Featuring the 60-piece Australian Concert Orchestra, Baby Don’t Cry debuted in the top 50 charts in Australia, England, Belgium, New Zealand and The Netherlands.
The title track and first single from the band’s tenth studio album, Elegantly Wasted is said to have been based on a wild night on the town with Michael Hutchence and Bono from U2.
The song peaked at number 27 on the US charts, and became a number one single in Canada.
After an argument with Oasis’ Noel Gallager, Michael added additional vocals into the chorus of the song, and he can be heard saying “I’m better than Oasis” during the “I’m elegantly wasted” lines.
Kiss The Dirt (Falling Down The Mountain)
An ode to Australiana, Kiss The Dirt was a single from the 1985 album Listen Like Thieves.
The song reached number 15 on the Aussie charts, but became the seventh single to fail on the US charts.
The music video became one of the band’s most iconic performances, as they danced and performed in the baron moon plains of Coober Pedy in South Australia.
By My Side
The fourth single taken from the 1990 album X, By My Side is potentially one of the band’s well-known ballads.
Featuring an anthemic chorus accompanied by a string section, the song peaked in the top 50 charts of several countries.
Along with Never Tear Us Apart, By My Side was also played at Michael Hutchence’s funeral.
Released in 1983, Original Sin was the lead single from The Swing album, and peaked at number one on the Aussie charts.
The chorus features a special cameo from Daryl Hall of Hall & Oats, who changed the lyrics of the chorus to reflect his inter-racial parents.
Released as the fifth single from the 1992 album Welcome to Wherever You Are, Beautiful Girl was again written by Andrew Farriss who was inspired by the birth of his daughter.
In an interview about the track, Andrew said, "I was writing lyrics like Baby Don’t Cry and Beautiful Girl and lyrics just about how wonderful it is to have something else in your life besides yourself to worry about and think about."
Image credits: Getty Images
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