on 14 March 2004
Simply, the "Definitive INXS" album includes some of the most vibrant and influential songs of their career.
Although not much is heard of this band at the present time their career spanning over 25 years has become a great mixture of all the music industry has to offer.
This album including the great key tracks: "Need You Tonight", "New Sensation" and "Disappear" - which truely show their style, flare and individuality - is a collection of all the truely miraculous compositions and representive of the INXS rollercoaster.
Since their formation in 1979 and from their hits in Australia, America, the UK and around the world - their music has taken on a different and completely magical critical element. How does a band become truely great? No-one can quite answer this question, but platinum selling albums such as "Kick" and sell-out world tours has to be an indication that this is perhaps a major step towards this.
All I have to say about this album is that it introduced me into the world of INXS and other greats - such as Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones - and for this I will be forever indebted.
Buy this album if you like the greats, or if perhaps like me you seek a truly rewarding musical experience!! Enjoy!!
on 21 August 2008
Fickle human beings as we are, when my workplace didn't have radio I cursed the bosses for their small-mindeness; yet when my workplace did I cursed the stations for playing some tracks to the brink of death, whilst others would rarely be heard. Playlist? Heavy Rotation? Pay-ola more likely!
But I have to say I took little notice of INXS until the radio stations convinced me they were well worth listening to. No, INXS' records were not played to death, quite the reverse, they were nuggets of gold on a seashore full of sand, so when they were played they were a joy to hear rather then a hated dirge.
And the best thing about this band was, the more I heard their songs on the airwaves, the better they became, and the delight led to the purchase of this CD to enable constant enjoyment rather then as-and-when the radio station decided we would hear them.
No one can deny Michael Hutchence was one of rock's all-time best front men, but he had one heck of a band there to give him the confidence to get out there and strut his stuff, and truckloads of classic tracks without anything lacklustre or inferior to be embarrassed about.
Yes, the title of this CD is misleading, it is a great selection of their best, but never Definitive. But hang on, I had to review this one as there is no space for the 'Limited Edition' copy I have here. This is a 2 CD set, and the second has, as the sticker on the box says, a 9 track 'Limited Edition disc which includes live hits, classic videos and bonus features.'
Yes, a pretty good package, aimed not only to dip the newcomer's toe into INXS' waters, but also a crafty one for the long-time fans to buy for the Limited Edition disc, too. Tracks on this 2nd disc are: Mystify live, Suicide Blonde live, New Sensation, Tight, Precious Heart, I'm So Crazy, Suicide Blonde video, Need You Tonight and Mystify video. But if you need these tracks make sure the seller has the double CD version rather then just the one disc.
The only other album I own by INXS, apart from this 'best of' compilation is "Kick" and the two combined probably supply as much INXS as I could ever want to own. The Sydney-based band have produced some fantastic songs over the years but, while I can listen to this and thoroughly enjoy it, they will never be one of my favourite bands. This collection, at twenty-one songs, provides an excellent overview of their career up until the death of charismatic lead singer Michael Hutchence in 1997 (their first studio album was released in 1980, although it wasn't until their fifth album, 1985's "Listen Like Thieves", that they would taste widespread success) and certainly features all of their best known and loved songs and a few that they probably shouldn't have bothered including - the superfluous and horribly ordinary cover of Steppenwolf's "Born To Be Wild" for one.
There are plenty of massive hits to be enjoyed here. "Need You Tonight", one of their most memorable tracks, has an immense riff and the beats are tight and smart, "What You Need" is a piece of catchy Eighties pop with light, breezy verses and slamming, crashing choruses, "Disappear" follows the same formula with the same success, the overblown "Baby Don't Cry" features an orchestra, making them sound like they've collaborated with Tears For Fears and "Elegantly Wasted", which I hated when I first heard it, is now oddly appealing. The piano-led "Mystify" is another commercially-appealing, hook-laden piece of pop, "Suicide Blonde" is decent albeit a bit samey, but the dramatic, magnificent "Never Tear Us Apart" remains Hutchence and INXS' finest hour and, if you needed one reason to buy an INXS album, it should be that song. Other notably good songs on this collection are "Listen Like Thieves", which has always reminded me of A-ha, "New Sensation", which features an irresistible riff and more Eighties keyboards than you can shake a stick at and the fantastic driving riff of "Devil Inside" which grows in stature and appeal the longer the song goes on. Some of these tracks are just too good to ignore.
There are, however, quite a few less-than-stellar tracks on this compilation which dilute the quality of the album significantly. "Shining Star" is a trite, lyrically and musically banal song which has me reaching for the 'skip' button, "Original Sin" (recorded with Nile Rodgers and Daryl Hall), which appears to be about mixed-race relationships, hammers home the point with a sledgehammer and now sounds horribly dated, whilst "The Gift" is sonic sludge that never quite gets out of first gear. The closing two tracks, "Salvation Jane" and "Tight" are completely forgettable, the latter sounding like a jam which happened to get recorded and finishes off this compilation in an extremely disappointing manner. My edition of this album also features a bonus CD with three live tracks, a couple of radio edits and a remix and, frankly, isn't worth the cost of the plastic it is burned on. All-in-all, this album is well worth getting if you have nothing else by the band (and it really is all you need unless you particularly love INXS), but I believe they could have done a much better job of this by being a little more selective about the tracks they included. Quality over quantity would have actually made this album the "Definitive" collection the title implies it is, instead of loading all the genuine hits at front of the disc and letting it fizzle out towards the end. Still, that's what the 'stop' button is for, right?
on 18 October 2002
INXS. Those gadgies played a most royal strain of rock: white hot, elegant and poetic. There are a few classics here. But, just like 'Live Baby Live' was fatally weakened by the absence of the 'Don't Change'( who decided to finish that album with a murky, jack the lad version of 'Devil Inside'?),and just like 'INXS: Greatest Hits', also deprived of that perfect swan song, this album fizzles out towards the end and 'Don't Change' is more missed than ever. Just like Hutch himself.