Wednesday, October 14, 2015

What You Need: INXS Listen Like Thieves at 30

October 14, 1985 was the release date of INXS's fifth album, Listen Like Thieves. It was the final album of their worldwide obscurity. While in Australia, they were already sensational superstars, songs like What You Need would finally begin to trickle over to the US. Let's take a look at what made Thieves a classic.

What You Need
This song was made famous in the US because of its groundbreaking and award winning video. The rotoscope animation technique gave What You Need a new wave feel and added the pop animation that 80's music fans were feeling entitled to. Kirk Pengilly's sax riff and Michael Hutchence's sultry voice was a glimpse at what the future INXS would give us.

Listen Like Thieves
Sadly, not many know this gorgeous cinematic video, Mad Maxian video. And strangely enough, the apocalyptic montage fits the song well. Again, the future and static INXS sound is solidified in this song.
You are all you need
So don't hesitate
There's no time to waste
You just do it for yourself

Kiss the Dirt (Falling Down the Mountain)
The video for this song should be an Australian travel commercial. The red sand desert, the blazing sun, and the gigantic fire the backlights the band are the perfect backdrop for the Australian proud band. It's a song about love, getting hurt, and doing it all over again.
Shine Like it Does
If there is one thing about INXS lyrics, it is that they are very simple, but hard hitting and true. Shine Like It Does is no exception. Made up of not even twenty lines, its message is simple: do your best.

Good Times + Bad Times
This one is more reminiscent of the bands previous album, The Swing. While not a huge hit, it was resurrected with Australian singer, Jimmy Barnes.

Biting Bullets
Another hidden gem in the lyric library of INXS. This song is full of symbolism and metaphors set to a toe tapping 80's rhythm.

I loose myself like anybody else
But I'm not so strong to make it in the end
I need some answers when
The day comes crashing down
But it's all over when there's
No one to be found

This Time
Lots of love songs on this album. A song about love, loss, and finding each other again.
We are hoping - yes we are praying
This time will be the last time
That we will fight like this

Same Direction
Love, love, love. This love song has the beat of a march off to the war of love.

One + One
Lots of saxophone and more love, and promises to be there through the night, if you know what I mean. Michael's troubadour is definitely in full swing in this song.

Red Sun
A fitting final song of the album. It's an amalgam of the old and the new and a perfect segue into KICK.