Thursday, October 14, 2010

listen like thieves

INXS had their commercial breakthrough in the states with listen like thieves. producer chris thomas went after a live sound in the studio, which brought out the funkiness without softening the harder edges. this was a big change from the overly produced sound of the swing. it was also their 'promotion' from adko to atlantic records. it is my favorite of all of their albums.

for me, every song is a winner. after the killer one-two-three punch of 'what you need', 'listen like thieves', and 'kiss the dirt' comes the delicate transcendence of 'shine like it does'. 'good + bad times' and 'biting bullets' rock harder than anything they had ever done. 'this time' picks up where 'dancing on the jetty' (from the swing) left off, taking the political to the personal. the atmospheric instrumental 'three sisters' provides a subtle interlude with sounds that evoke the outback. the driving beat of 'same direction' is intoxicating; it should have been a single. 'one x one' lays down some serious funk and 'red red sun' kicks things into apocalyptic overdrive for a big finish with fantastic guitar work.

'what you need' was recorded after the album was finished because producer chris thomas said there was "no hit". they all liked the funky guitar riff from the demo and worked it into a great song very quickly. it was their first top ten hit, peaking at number five.

'this time' was the first single from the album; but it didn't go very far.

'kiss the dirt (falling down the mountain)' didn't chart in the states.

the single for the title track didn't chart either; but it featured their most elaborate video to date.

shine like it does

listen like thieves
full album:

01. What You Need
02. Listen Like Thieves 3:36
03. Kiss The Dirt (Falling Down The Mountain) 7:23
04. Shine Like It Does 11:20
05. Good + Bad Times 14:26
06. Biting Bullets 17:10
07. This Time 20:00
08. Three Sisters (Instrumental) 23:11
09. Same Direction 25:39
10. One x One 30:37
11. Red Red Sun 33:44

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