The year was 1985, and things were going nowhere up up for INXS. On the heels of the platinum sales of The Swing, they released Listen Like Thieves, a rock/pop masterpiece of sexy, driving beats that were danceable and alluring. I swear after seeing the videos I would have a cold shower or a cigarette. Singer Michael Hutchence had such a swagger going on, and his was on top of the vocals. Bandmates bassist Garry Gary Beers, keyboardist Andrew Farriss, drummer Jon Farriss, lead guitarist Tim Farriss and guitarist/saxophonist Kirk Pengilly were also looking damn good, all seeming to take the the rock star thing seriously, dressing and styling to look the part.
The first single off the album was This Time, which barely made it into the US Top 100, at #81. The second single, however, was an entirely other case. What You Need, with the brace of Michael's voice and the electric guitar to open to the drum driven kick of into the song, to the video with Hutchence sporting a leather jacket and spandex tights, and the innovated editing and used of animation, it all just came together. The song soared up to #5 on the charts in the US, to #2 in Australia.
The fourth single was the title track, a post-apocalyptic world with a less than cleansed band speaking to a new world order. Hutchence slithered around the stage like Mick Jagger for the new world, with a heightened and more ambiguous sexuality and stronger dance groove. The video was in heavy rotation on MTV, and seemed like it was a bigger hit than the #54 on the charts would represent.
The album went double platinum, and solidified INXS as a band everyone needed to keep an eye on. You can find out more about INXS at the official website here.