Taking INXS’ Kick into school in the fifth form brought some unexpected kudos, but they were never really loved, were they? There were enormous global sales, unprecedented female attention for Michael Hutchence and a funky bar room sound that could appeal to the boys, yet still no one would ever say that they were their favourite band.
So when Hutchence knuckle-shuffled off this mortal coil, the posthumous Number Ones didn’t ensue. There were no voices raised in grief, wailing “First Kurt, then Diana, now Michael – when will the killing end?” and no fountains commissioned. No, we became voyeurs, and took cheap shots at the names of Paula Yates’ children.
‘Need You Tonight’ has retained its groove. Junior, in fact, is in raptures as it kicks off and Dad discovers he can do a passable Kanye Gold Digger dance to it. It’s a sexy record, I suppose, of the sort that INXS could pull off every album or so, but it’s ultimately unsatisfying. It peters out, and loses its gist through false endings. Even its real ending seems false. You can almost sense the ghost of Bruno Brookes wondering when to cut in.