[18] U2, ‘Mysterious Ways’

U2

Never having heard Rattle & Hum, Junior’s not well placed to assess U2’s seismic brand realignment from holier-than-thou, campaigning rock monoliths to fun-loving, wraparound-sporting, INXS wannabes with better songs. Good. 15 years on, Achtung Baby is just another rock album, most songs a bit tighter and poppier than U2’s earlier offerings but there’s more obvious filler.

The Perfecto Mix of ‘Mysterious Ways’ did it for me. A couple of minutes of looped guitar at the start before the nice big riff comes in, and then no sign of the first verse, just the second verse twice with a couple of choruses. It’s careless, but it works. Oakenfold’s sausage fingers were all over 1991.

Junior rocked side to side throughout; she definitely goes for the rock guitars and the sturdy drums. She needs to hear more Belle & Sebastian and Eg & Alice. I won’t have an infant Suzi Quatro on my hands.

Advertisements

[17] INXS, ‘Need You Tonight’

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.