Monday, 13 April 2015


This is a new series, I will listen to all the 80s albums released by the decade's artists and judge the songs that were not singles (in the UK) from an album.  I will give my opinion whether the remaining songs were just fillers or could have been singles.  How many singles I can find will determine the final rating of how good the album is as a whole.  Below 49% = Poor/50-64% = Average/65-79% = Very Good/80-100% = Excellent.  There will be a different artist each blog.  I am a big fan of all the artists I review in this series, so I have to think hard if the song would wow the chart public, even if they are my favourite songs!


Members - Michael Hutchence (Lead Vocals/Guitar) /Tim Farriss (Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals) /Kirk Pengilly (Rhythm Guitar/Saxophone/Backing Vocals) /Garry Gary Beers (Bass) /Andrew Farriss (Keyboards/Guitar/Harmonica/Backing Vocals) /Jon Farriss (Drums/Keybaords/Backing Vocals).

Other Members - Later - Jon Stevens (Lead Vocals) /JD Fortune (Lead Vocals) /Ciaran Gribbin (Lead Vocals)/

INXS (#0) (1980) -

Tracks -
On A Bus/Doctor/Just Keep Walking/Learn To Smile/Jumping/In Vain/Roller Skating/Body Language/Newsreel Babies/Wishy Washy.

Singles -

Potential Singles -
On A Bus - A kind of early Police/Men At Work Electronic Rock with a catchy chorus and bridge.

Doctor - An almost Ska beat with a hint of Talking Heads, quirky and catchy.

Just Keep Walking - A heavier rockier sound but with an 80s Numan-esque electronic backbeat.

Learn To Smile - A Rock/synth crossover track complete with Punk vocals.

Jumping -  An eclectic mix of Ska/Mod/unk!

Roller Skating - Almost early Madness style, definitely nutty influence here!

Fillers -
In Vain (A overlong dramatic Electronica song)/Body Language (Two Tone sound but it just doesn't work, lyrically not challenging)/Newsreel Babies (Definite filler, enough said!)/Wishy Washy (Like very early Adam and the Ants, raw but not hitting the mark).

Average album! 6 singles from 10 tracks. 60/100.



Tracks -
Stay Young/Horizons/Big Go Go/Underneath The Colours/Fair Weather Ahead/Night Of Rebellion/Follow/Barbarian/What Would You Do/Just To Learn Again.

Singles -

Potential Singles -
Stay Young - Great song, one of my favourites, only a hint of Ska and maybe a touch of Reggae, simple lyrics but catchy enough.

Underneath The Colours - Real early 80s song, reminds me of early Spandau, Electronica and strong repeated vocal.

Night Of Rebellion - Up tempo early New Wave akin to Talking Heads.

Barbarian - Unusual, sounds like an early attempt at Goth Punk Rock.

Fillers -
Horizons (Atmospheric up and down synth driven track, a little too drawn out)/Big Go Go (Sparse track musically, with sparse interest!)/Fair Weather Ahead (Trying too hard to be an epic song and failing)/Follow (Doesn't grab the ears, a slight melody but not enough)/What Would You Do (Electronic mishmash)/Just To Learn Again (Michael trying hard to give it some emotion, but the whole song is overlong and boring).

Poor album! 4 singles from 10 tracks.  40/100.

SHABOOH SHOOBAH (#0) (1982) -

Tracks -
The One Thing/To Look At You/Spy Of Love/Soul Mistake/Here Comes/Black And White/Golden Playpen/Jan's Song/Old World New World/Don't Change.

Singles -

Potential Singles -
The One Thing - Almost the sound we know of later INXS, rocky, melodic, similar to Simple Minds, great tune.

To Look At You - Stadium Goth Rock, Gary Numan-esque vocals again, top song!.

Black And White - Pure Classic Pop.

Don't Change - Great Indie Rock. 

Fillers -
Spy Of Love (A little too much going on to establish the sound the band are going for)/Soul Mistake (Early Billy Idol, but not having the desired effect)/Here Comes (Fast paced track, nothing more to say)/Golden Playpen (Far too much going on with not much sign of tune or melody)/Jan's Song (Nice reggae sound but nothing to grab the attention)/Old World New World (Synth Pop, poor attempt).

Poor album!  4 singles form 10 tracks.  40/100.

THE SWING (#0) (1984) -

Tracks -
Original Sin/Melting In The Sun/I Send A Message/Dancing On The Jetty/The Swing/Johnson's Aeroplane/Love Is (What I Say)/Face The Change/Burn For You/All The Voices.

Singles -

Potential Singles -
Original Sin - The real INXS sound emerges, funky guitars, great chorus, finding their own unique sound.

The Swing - More Goth Rock and a little later U2 here.

Love Is (What I Say) - A little of everything here, Rock, Pop, and a tiny hint of OMD, great 80s pop record.

Face The Change - An attempt to create their own Blondie's Rapture, an almost Rap vocal and funky Hip Hop/New Wave backbeat.

Burn For You - An 80s Disco beat with melodious female backing chorus, uplifting sound.

Fillers -
Melting In The Sun (Industrial effects and very stop-start)/I Send A Message (Sounds like The Art Of Noise took over Michael, awful)/Dancing On The Jetty (Repetitive guitars and similar vocals)/Johnson's Aeroplane (Quirky but uninspiring)/All The Voices (Not a bad song, but more of a background song to a film trailer, too long at over 6 minutes).

Average album!  5 singles from 10 tracks.  50/100.

LISTEN LIKE THIEVES (#48) (1985) -

Tracks -
What You Need/Listen Like Thieves/Kiss The Dirt (Falling Down The Mountain)/Shine Like It Does/Good And Bad Times/Biting Bullets/This Time/Three Sisters/Same Direction/One X One/Red Red Sun.

Singles -
What You Need (#51)/This Time (#79)/Kiss The Dirt (Falling Down The Mountain) (#54)/Listen Like Thieves (#46).

Potential Singles -
Shine Like It Does - Classic 80s Pop Rock, INXS find their niche with this album.

Good And Bad Times - A heavier sound, searing guitars, powerful vocals, brilliant Rock song.

Biting Bullets - A venture back into the old INXS Punk Pop sound, catchy chorus..

Same Direction - Mick Jagger re-modelled?, Classic Rock.

One X One - Parts remind me of The Smiths and other remind me strangely like Go West, but it works!

Red Red Sun - Punk says hello to The Specials!

Fillers -
Three Sisters (Uneventful Howard Jones instrumental sound-alike).

Excellent album! 10 singles from 11 tracks.  90/100.

KICK (#9) (1987) -

Tracks -
Guns In The Sky/New Sensation/Devil Inside/Need You Tonight/Mediate/The Loved One/Wildlife/Never Tear Us Apart/Mystify/Kick/Calling All Nations/Tiny Daggers.

Singles -
Need You Tonight (#2)/Devil Inside (#47)/New Sensation (#25)/Never Tear Us Apart (#24)/Mystify(#14)/Kick (#0)

Potential Singles -
Guns In The Sky - Great album opener, simple but hard hitting Rock.

The Loved One - The Rolling Stones re-emerge as an influence here.  Anthemic Rock.

Wildlife - Another Rock hit

Fillers -
Mediate (Rhyming talk over an atmospheric backing, good break in the album but nothing more)/Calling All Nations (Second to worst track on the album after Mediate, repetitive and not one of their best)/Tiny Daggers (Jagger-esque vocals on a poor Stones' imitation).

Very Good album!  9 singles from 12 tracks.  75/100.

My favourite 80s INXS tracks?

Top 20 in not particular order -

1   Listen Like Thieves
2   What You Need
3   On A Bus
4   Doctor
5   Just Keep Walking
6   Stay Young
7   Night Of Rebellion
8   The One Thing
9   Black And White
10 Don't Change
11 To Look At You
12 Original Sin
13 New Sensation
14 Need You Tonight
15 Devil Inside
16 Mystify
17 Shine Like It Does
18 The Swing
19 Good And Bad Times
20 Never Tear Us Apart




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