I was lucky enough to get to a few of their concerts (I'm in the crowd at Wembley Summer XS and Alison & I saw them at The DeMonfort in 1993 (which I blogged about here) and at the NEC in 1997). We've seen the band twice since (at the NEC again with Jon Stevens and on Clapham Common with J.D. Fortune) but neither worked for me - Hutchence was too integral to the band for it to work without him, I reckon and it's only their pre-1997 music that moves me.
The album featured "Just Keep Walking" (which was their first Australian Top 40 single) and eventually went gold (selling over 35,000 units) but it took a good few years to do so.
I like the album, with its New Wave-ska-pop style but Alison isn't so keen and she's not alone...
I'm not a great fan of the first album. It's naïve and kinda cute, almost. It's these young guys struggling for a sound. All I can hear is what was going to happen later and it's probably an interesting album because of that. "Just Keep Walking" was the first time we thought we'd written a song. And that became an anthem around town. It's funny, I remember kids in pubs saying it and hearing it on the radio the first time. We'd never heard that before.
- Michael Hutchence,
as quoted in "Burn : The life and times of Michael Hutchence and INXS" (Bantam Books)
17 years ago, Michael Hutchence passed away. 17 years before that, INXS were starting on the road that would lead - for a time - to world domination in music. It still doesn't feel that far away.
And this has nothing to do with 1980 or 1997 but comes from "Later With...Jools Holland" in 1994, with Hutchence, Andrew Farriss (on piano) and Kirk Pengilly (sax) performing a beautifully stripped down version of "Never Tear Us Apart"