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INXS ‘Kick’ Album Turns 25

Time has a strange way of changing perspective. When INXS released ‘Kick’ in 1987, they became the next big thing. Fresh on the heels of the success of U2’s ‘Joshua Tree’, the Australian band were MTV’s “It Boys”, blending alternative and new wave sounds with a danceable beat.

Twenty-five years later, it seems kind of silly to compare the band to U2,but you can’t deny that this is INXS’ signature album. The band was no newbie to the music scene, having released five other albums prior to ‘Kick’, and having developed quite a following in the underground music scene and gained heavy rotation on college radio stations. I still remember EVERY girl from my college owning the album, even though I didn’t quite understand it. (My morning show co-host made me play an INXS song every time I DJ’d, and I dare you to find a woman around 40 who didn’t have a crush on Michael Hutchence.)

While the songs don’t quite hold up as well as a band of U2’s ilk, you can’t deny that ‘Kick’ was loaded with hits. It earned the band four top 10 singles and tons of face time on MTV, especially for lead singer and dreamboat Hutchence.

“New Sensation,” “Never Tear Us Apart,” “Devil Inside” and “Need You Tonight” were the most popular songs, but fans also loved “Kick,” “Mediate” and “Mystify.” So while it’s easy to dismiss INXS, it was clearly one of the biggest albums of the ’80s.

This week the band released a 25th anniversary three-CD set, complete with DVD featuring demos, rare recordings and videos from the album. It also includes a book about the band.

Check out the video for the extended version of “Never Tear Us Apart,” which also happens to be the first song I ever played on the radio (back when Jack FM had DJs and was called “Alice”. Thankfully, the operation was successful).

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