this is a belated tribute to my mum’s 67th birthday yesterday.
after a very long time of not actively listening to INXS, i discovered beck’s record club a couple of years back in which he brought a range of musos together to perform ‘classic’ albums in their entirety. one of these was kick, which surprised me. but hearing the familiarity of guns in the sky took me back to adelaide in the mid-80s.
it’s funny that i followed up from this and bought a liars album… but not a st vincent one. i think it was because i was lamenting the lack of male singers these days who embrace their deep voice (thank you angus). too many high pitched boys… mum would be appalled!
anyway, INXS were a feature of my youth, especially between about 1984 and 1988. that’s when i can actually remember things at the youngest age, including mum going to two concerts (as they were big enough to be stadium-like already, rather than ‘gigs’) – i think they were tours for listen like thieves and kick. it preceded the CD age, so mum still has all the vinyl records.
a form of political commentary was not something i ever associated with them at the time (indeed, not until only recently). listen to the lyrics of guns in the sky, or more subtly watch the video for never tear us apart. that’s Prague in still soviet-era Czechoslovakia before the velvet revolution. sure, he’s singing about personal relationships, and maybe you could perceive it more as propaganda or ‘fan gathering’ than revolutionary… regardless:
as i listen to kick, i think INXS were also partly responsible for my first exposure to/thought of sex. i don’t quite know what to make of that in hindsight!
my mum loved michael hutchence, in spite of how short he was. she always told me that she wished she had hair like him. but i don’t think she was as sad when he died as when jim morrison did…
we can stop the world, and let off all the fools and let em go live with the guns in the sky