Wednesday, 26 April 2017

INXS ‎Shine Like It Does The Anthology 1979-1997



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From the vantage of 2001, the year Rhino released the double-disc retrospective Shine Like It Does: The Anthology (1979-1997), it's a little hard to believe that the Australian sextet really rivaled U2 for popularity in 1987/1988, when Kick worked its way to multi-platinum global success. At the time, they belonged next to the likes of U2 and R.E.M., two post-punk legends that worked their way into the mainstream because they were a quintessential college rock band of the '80s, thrillingly balancing style with substance. This, of course, means that they can still sound tied to the times, but that's leavened by their heritage as an Australian rock band -- which means no matter how stylish they got, they could still rock really, really hard. Unfortunately, at the height of their popularity, they made records that camouflaged their raw talents with synthesized bass and drums, which is what rock bands did in the late '80s. And, throughout their career, INXS did tend to favor the sounds of the time, whether it was the angular new wave of Shabooh Shoobah, the evocative Listen Like Thieves, the Stonesy funk of Kick, or the alt-rock explorations of Welcome to Wherever You Are. This can make Shine Like It Does sound a bit like a music travelogue of its time, especially because its 42 songs do have their fair share of songs that seem like filler, but what stands out when the collection is finished is how damn good INXS was when it all clicked. That could mean such new wave classics as "The One Thing," "Don't Change," or "Original Sin," the college rock staples of "Kiss the Dirt (Falling Down the Mountain)" and "Listen Like Thieves," or such mainstream breakthroughs as "What You Need," "Need You Tonight," "Devil Inside," "New Sensation," "Never Tear Us Apart," "Suicide Blonde," and "Disappear." And it didn't stop there, either, because such latter-day songs as "Heaven Sent," "Not Enough Time," "Beautiful Girl" and "Elegantly Wasted" may not have been big hits, but they did hold their own against those hits. All these are here, along with some rarities, album tracks, and quasi-rarities, such as the Jimmy Barnes duet "Good Times" from The Lost Boys soundtrack and a number of remixes and single edits, giving this a reason to spread out over two discs.

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