It’s the summer of ’88. You hop in your Cabriolet convertible, and you’re headed to the mall. So… what cassette are you poppin’ in your tape deck? George Michael’s Faith? Hardly. How many more times can you possibly listen to “I Want Your Sex”? No, you’re awesome, so your tunes need to be awesome, too. And that can only mean the six lads from Down Under: INXS, and their multi-platinum sixth album Kick.
Released in the fall of ’87, it was easily one of the decade’s best, selling more than 6 million copies and spawning four top ten hits. Twelve tunes in all, and each one of them killed. From Michael Hutchence’s hard-driving grunts that open “Guns in the Sky” all the way through to Tim Farriss’ closing chords on “Tiny Daggers”, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better top-to-bottom 80s pop album.
Want an ultimate dance tune? How about “New Sensation”? Want something with a little more groove? “Devil Inside”. How about a power ballad? “Never Tear Us Apart” more than fits the bill.
And then there’s “Need You Tonight”. The best-selling single of 1988, it was a funky mix of Hutchence’s breathy vocals, Farriss’ punchy guitar, and brother Jon’s bare-bones drum riffs. And the video? Dude, there’s a reason it swept the ’88 VMAs. The only bummer? When radio stations cut it off before it smoothly segued into the vastly underrated “Mediate”.
The boys would never again have success like they did that summer, but, man, Kick was one bad album. And by “bad”, we mean awesome.
We ♥ Kick.