For My Sunday Song #248, we are tackling the song “Suicide Blonde” off the band’s 1990 album ‘X’. The follow-up album to the very successful ‘Kick’ saw the band willing to stretch themselves even more and push the limits. The first single off the album went to #9 in the U.S. and #11 in the U.K., but it did go to #1 in Canada…way to go Canucks!!. The song was written by Andrew Farriss and Michael Hutchence as usual as they were the primary writers for the band.
The song title was inspired by Kylie Minogue who was dating Michael at the time. She told him she was going to dye her hair “suicide blonde” for a movie and all that means was that was she was going to color her hair herself. Michael loved the saying and turned it in to this wonderful pop tune. The song is not about suicide so you can get that out of your mind quickly. The only I can figure is the song is about their relationship and let me tell you that was an odd pair has Michael was a little wild and Kylie’s image was pretty squeaky clean.
Musically, the song sees the band push a little more to the electronic sounds. There is a great blues harmonica that was played by Charlie Musselwhite, but he didn’t play it live for the song. He played it and then they sampled it through Andrew’s synthesizer. Jon Farriss’ drums took on a more electronic dance beat almost acid house style. I love the fearlessness they had in willing to try new things. Michael is amazing as usual and makes the song as exciting as the beat tells you it should be. I always want to get up and start dancing when I hear this one. And let me tell you, I can’t dance.
For My Sunday Song #247, we are going to dive in to “Devil Inside” by INXS. Another track off the fantastic album ‘Kick” from 1987. The song was a massive success for INXS going all the way to #2 on the US Charts. INXS was exploding in the States and I was gladly jumping on board at the time as this is one of my favorite albums from the 80’s. The song was written by Andrew Farriss and the late Michael Hutchence.
The song is about excess, but it is also about the battle of good and evil in us all. We have a good side and we definitely have a dark side. The side that wants to come out and be really bad. When we start to wonder how the other half lives and jealousy starts rearing her ugly head, when we want the taste of flesh or lust…either of these things are lying it wait at the tip of our minds ready to explode out and let the dark side take over.
For me, the best part of the song is not the lyrics, but the opening guitar riff by Tim Farriss. It is simple and short, but so recognizable and for a band that always has some cool riffs in their songs, this is one of their best. Also, the other thing I love is the sexiness of Hutchence and they way he delivers those lyrics. The sultriness of the way they roll of his tongue it turns this pop/rock song into a sexy beast…roar!! Okay that was over-the-top, sorry. This album saw a band gel together and become so tight and this song is a perfect example, every guitar note, every keyboard strike and every bass thump and every pounding drum beat came together in a perfect combination to bring us this masterful pop song.
For My Sunday Song #246, we are going to review the song “Need You Tonight” by INXS. The song is off their massive hit album, ‘Kick’, which was released in 1987. The song was the first single off the album and took the band in to the stratosphere. The song went to #1 in the US and ended at #2 in the year end chart. It became a mainstay on MTV and the band were the new darlings of the time. The song was written by Andrew Farriss and Michael Hutchence and would boost their confidence and turn them in to the main song writers for the band.
The music was written by Andrew who had come up with the rhythm section of the song while waiting on the cab. When the cab driver arrived he asked the driver to wait as he had to get something from his room. An hour later Andrew came back down. I don’t think the driver was very pleased, but the rest of us are because in that hour, he demoed the song much to the dismay of the taxi driver. When Andrew played the song to Michael, Michael wrote those lyrics in about an hour. Now, the lyrics aren’t real deep as it is basically Michael trying to get a booty call which I am sure was pretty easy for him to get one as they were quickly becoming one of the biggest bands in the world.
The song is mostly an electronic track with a drum machine and a click track with a little cymbal hit every so often. But is that guitar riff that takes the song up a notch. It is very recognizable riff which the band was actually quite adept at coming up with those riffs in their songs. When you take the sexiness of that riff and through in the sultry vocals of Michael, it is no wonder that the women swooned over this band. The song had a bounce to it, a slick groove and was over-the-top sexy and made for a perfect combination to make this a #1 song.
For My Sunday Song #245, we are going to discuss the song “What You Need” by INXS. The song was written by Andres Farriss and Michael Hutchence and the first single off their 1985 album ‘Listen Like Thieves’ (2nd single in the US). The song was the band’s first Top Ten hit in the States as it went all the way to #5. I think it was probably the first time I started to take notice of this band and the lead singer Michael Hutchence. I could tell there was something special about them and they proved me right as they would blow up on the next album.
“What You Need” was the last song recorded for the album. The were pretty much done with the album when the producer, Chris Thomas, didn’t feel there was a “HIT” on the album. The band had one more day left and they needed to come up with a hit. Talk about pressure, dang!! Well, as you already know, they succeeded above all expectations. Now don’t think they pulled rabbit out of the hat with the song. Andrew Farris had a demo laying around called “Funk Song No. 13” and Chris really liked the groove and they worked it in to this beauty of a song.
Lyrically, I’ve never really seen what they’ve said it meant. There aren’t a lot of lyrics, but they seem pretty straight forward. They are about Michael Hutchence saying all you need is him or it is about needing God in your life and only He can give you what you really need. Or, it can be about whatever you want it to be about. Completely up to you.
For My Sunday Song #244, we are going to discuss the song “Elegantly Wasted” by the band INXS. The song is the title track to the 1997 album of the same same. The album and song were produced by the great Bruce Fairbairn and was written by Michael Hutchence and Andrew Farriss. The song was the first single off the album but the song did not chart on the Billboard Top 40.
It is believe the song was inspired by a night out that Michael had with Bono from the band U2. And from the lyrics it sounds like they had a good time. It sounds like Bono lives the good life and they saw a lot of things that weren’t actually morally decent. Michael realizes that it really isn’t the good life. I don’t know if it is really about Bono or just Michael blasting the media for the trashy coverage he received from the tabloids. Either way, it is a fun song to play when on the dance floor.
An interesting story I have read about the song, apparently Michael went back in to the studio after the song was finished and added another line to the chorus after an altercation he had with the Gallagher brothers from Oasis at the 1996 Brit Awards. When accepting an award presented to him by Michael, Noel made the following statement…”Has-beens should not be presenting awards to gonna-be’s.” This pissed off Michael and he went and added the line “I’m Better than Oasis” to the song. Now, I don’t know if I believe it or not as it is really hard to tell.
For My Sunday Song #243, we are going to discuss the song “God’s Top Ten” by the band INXS. The song is off their 2005 album ‘Switch’ which features their new singer J. D. Fortune who the band hired off the TV contest show they did called “Rockstar: INXS” where they set out to hire a new lead singer. The song was released as a single, but didn’t chart in the US. It did go to #88 in Canada and 18 in Poland…cool.
The song was written by keyboardist, Andrew Farriss, who wrote the song to honor Michael Hutchence who died about 8 years earlier. It is a tribute to Michael, his partner Paula Yates (who died 3 years after Michael) and their daughter Tiger Lily. They have said the song is really a gift to Tiger Lily. The verses seem to speak to her saying that when you hear his songs on the radio, know that he is one of God’s Top 10 meaning he is one of the best singers out there and now God has him in his Top 10 list. I think the lyrics are sweet, touching and so personal. It is a beautiful gift to her as a reminder of how great he was and how much he loved her.
Musically, the song is a ballad played effortlessly and tenderly on keyboard with a nice bass groove and drum beat. The guitars are only an enhancement to the song. Nothing overpowers anything else, everyone plays in sweet harmony and bliss. The drumbeat at the beginning is the sound of a heartbeat. The song is a duet between Suzie McNeil, also from ‘Rockstar: INXS’ and J. D. Fortune. Her vocals are angelic and J. D.’s is as tender as the music. So much heart, so much love and so much passion comes through in their delivery. It might be the best song on the album and one of the best they’ve ever done.
For My Sunday Song #242, we are going to tackle one of my favorite tracks by the band called “The Stairs” off the band’s 1990 album ‘X’. It was the final single off the album and didn’t chart, but there was something about it that I fell in love with. They did end up releasing a live version of the song as a single for their 1991 Live album ‘Live Baby Live’ album.
The song is one that Michael thought was the most ambitious song he had ever written. And he might be right. I find the song to be a sad commentary on life in the big city. The cities are filled with so many people and all these buildings, but no one is communicating. No one is building a relationship. They casually pass each other in “the stairs” of their buildings and don’t say a word. Cities need to have more town squares like the small towns have so people can meet up and talk, build that relationship and make life better. And what I find most troubling about this song is that it is even more true today. With Facebook, Twitter and all these other so called social sites, we still are not truly social or communicating. You’re posting for the world to see how you want to be seen not who you really are. You are not actually saying anything that builds people up or to even build a relationship you are hiding behind a mask so no one truly sees you. This song makes me sad, but in a beautiful way.
Musically, it is a ballad and actually has a slow instrumental piece in the first minute that builds and builds until Hutchence comes in with the vocals. You can hear it in his voice how much this song means to him as he sings with such a tenderness and with such heart. It is songs like this that made me appreciate his greatness. When I think of great frontmen for a band, Michael is always on my list. There is a sadness to the music that comes through and matches with the lyrics. As I said earlier, it is sad but beautiful.
For My Sunday Song #241 we are going to cover the song “Don’t Change” by the Australian band INXS. Actually for the next 10 episodes, we will focus on the band INXS as I feel they are worthy of having a spotlight on them for a little while. The song “Don’t Change” is off the band’s third album,’Shabooh Shoobah’ from 1982. It was the second single from that album and the first that saw the band start to take off around the world.
The song is credited to all the band members and is the only song on the album to do so. The song talks about how there is always a point where do to nostalgia, we don’t want anything to ever change and keep that feeling we are currently feeling. The singer is trying to keep hold and never let go. But regardless, things are and will change. There is no stopping it. The singer is thinking back to a lost love and how that relationship made him feel. He doesn’t want that person to change, not for her or for him. Stay the way they are…which people never do.
Musically, it is a fun, upbeat, fast tempo track. A simple song with very few chords, but interesting enough to grab hold and get you moving. The guitars sound great, the keyboards are pleasant and Michael Hutchence’s vocals are stellar. The man could sing. The music feels familiar which ties to the song meaning of the feeling of familiarity. INXS was part of the new wave sound, with a little rock and these earlier songs were a little punk sounding as well.
For My Sunday Song #240, we are ending this 10 song set of Halestorm tracks with one of my favorite songs by the band, “Love Bites (So Do I)” off the band’s 2012 album ‘The Strange Case of…’. The song was the first single off the album and is the opening track and it went to #2 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. It also garnered a Grammy for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance at the 2013 Grammy Awards. The song was written by Lzzy Hale and Dave Bassett.
The song is about her disdain for those women’s magazine and their quizzes telling people who they should date and what they should wear and all that crap. This song is Lzzy telling everyone to love whoever they want and however they want. If love bites, then bite it right back. For me, it is also saying love with all your heart and passion and don’t let anyone tell you that you aren’t good enough. Give the relationship 100% of you.
Musically, the song was actually inspired by the songs “Slave to the Grind” by Skid Row and “Out ta Get Me” by Guns ‘n Roses. The band covered those songs for the first covers E.P. ‘Reanimate’. The aggression and tempo of those songs was so huge, the band wanted to do something like that. And let me tell you, they captured that energy nicely. This song explodes out of the gate and never slows down. It is fire & brimstone raining down on you! Lzzy is at her best and delivers one of her most powerful vocal performances and proves to me she is a talent like no other and everyone should take notice. Joe Hottinger’s guitar riffs and solo are nasty and he shreds with the best of them. Josh Smith on bass and Arejay Hale are going 100 mph and laying down a pace that is so close to being thrash. It is quite amazing.
For My Sunday Song #239, we are going to talk about the song “Do Not Disturb” by Halestorm. The song is off their current album which is 2018’s ‘Vicious’. The album went to #8 on the Billboard Charts and this song was the 2nd single. It was written by everyone in the band, Lzzy hale, Josh Smith, Joe Hottinger and Arejay Hale.
The song is based on a true story and if you are sheepish about sex, then you might want to stop reading now. There was a night when the band was overseas, Lzzy met another woman and a guy and turned that meeting into a threesome. She figured the band was heading out the next day for another country so why not have a little fun as she would never see them again. The song is extremely suggestive in the lyrics without being dirty or vulgar. Before this song I always wondered what was going on behind a closed hotel door with the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the handle, well, now I know.
Musically, this is really a cool track. The way the guitar riffs, the drum fills and bass line play against each other is great. I like the pacing of the lyrics delivered by Lzzy. There is a really tight groove and the song is a little playful in tone to go along with those tasty lyrics. The song has a sexual tension to it as well and that guitar solo slides in nicely towards the end that seems to be the beginning of the climax of the song. One of the coolest sounding songs the band has ever done.