Tag Archives: 1980s

From the Vault: The Swing by INXS

 

From the Vault

30 years old this month.

Before their biggest hits “Devil Inside,” and “Need You Tonight,” INXS released The Swing in 1984 (I’m happy to say my vinyl copy has survived countless moves over the past 30 years). I’d argue it’s their best album.

Want to hear a perfect pop song? Listen to Side A, Track 3 – “I Send a Message”. How about one of the best pop songs ever recorded about interracial love (yes, EVEN BETTER than Stevie Wonder’s “Jungle Fever”)? Then listen to the album’s first track (produced by the GREAT Nile Rodgers), “Original Sin,” and then just keep going and listen to the entire record all the way through. It’s sexy and melodic. It’s danceable rock n’ roll. It’s Michael Hutchence’s voice and Garry Beers’ bass and Kirk Pengilly’s Sax and the Farriss brothers on guitars, keyboards and drums.

Plus,  the album has a song called “Johnson’s Aeroplane,” and that makes me very happy.

If you don’t have a 30 year old vinyl copy – try it out on Spotify:

 

 

The Poetry of The Style Council: Sweet Sounds, Dark Thoughts

The first few times I heard this classic by The Style Council in 1984 I assumed it was a love song. I thought the singer was lamenting his inability to stay faithful to his girlfriend. Or maybe he was only admitting to having a wandering eye? In defense of my younger self I’d say this was an easy mistake to make. The song lures you in with its sweet and smooth British soul harmonies. It’s Motown via South London.  But Paul Weller is asking you to come for the groove and stay for the lyrics – an angry, sad, rebellious mediation on taking responsibility for injustices in the world. Downer? Yep. But have no fear, if the lyrics have you feeling low, the music will lift you back up.

Teardrops turn to children who’ve never had the time

To commit the sins they pay for through another’s evil mind

The love after the hate

the love we leave too late

I wish we’d wake up one day and everyone feel moved

But we’re caught up in the dailies and an ever changing mood.