inxs : michael hutchence : max q
don't change - inxs
from the album shabooh shoobah, released in 1982.
original sin - inxs
from the album the swing, released in 1984.
kiss the dirt - inxs
from the album listen like thieves, released in 1985.
when i was 10, i really liked michael hutchence and inxs. my sister and i had shabooh shoobah, the swing and listen like thieves on vinyl. but when inxs released kick in 1987, it was the beginning of the end.
when kick came out, i had it on a cassette, and i liked it at first. but after several months of liking it, i started hating it. the devil inside and never tear us apart? cringe. i mean, i liked the smiths! sarcasm, depression, nihilism! inxs was getting too pop. too sweet. i had reached the adolescent tipping point, and their music just ceased to matter to me.
but i am nothing if not loyal. so despite the fact that michael's band turned lame, i stuck with him on his next project - an album called max q, released in 1989. this is often referred to as michael's solo album, and the rest of inxs were none-too-happy that he released it. max q was a band masterminded by michael and australian post-punk artist ollie olsen. the songs had some politically charged lyrics, and the music was like a harder version of inxs. very techno/industrial in its feel. it has heavy synth elements similar to depeche mode or massive attack. michael's vocals on max q are angry, soulful and full of swagger.
max q - ghost of the year (michael hutchence)
max q - sometimes (michael hutchence)
max q - way of the world (michael hutchence)
the max q album is currently out of print, but you can find used copies for sale if you google around.
michael's 8 years of work after max q up until his death in 1997 really went completely off my radar screen. there are a few 90s era inxs songs i could sing along to, like suicide blonde or elegantly wasted, but that's about it.
suicide blonde - inxs
from the album x, released in 1990.
i am certain there are some good songs that i missed out on, but as i got older i just lost interest in what inxs was doing. you can't make music mean something to you. it just does or it doesn't. i have no interest whatsoever in the new incarnation of inxs without michael. and the way they replaced him ensured that.
i would love to hear what kind of songs michael would be singing if he were still with us. he'd be 46.
buy: inxs music
view: michael hutchence website
past post: slide away, michael hutchence & bono
article: michael hutchence biopic in the works