Monday, May 12, 2014

INXS - The Swing

This month marks the thirtieth anniversary of The Swing, the fourth studio album from INXS. It spent twenty-eight on the US Billboard Album chart, peaking at number 52. It also charted at number 27 in Canada and number 1 in Australia. It was listed at number 56 in the book 100 Best Australian Albums.

Side one opens with "Original Sin", a song about society's then intolerance towards interracial relationships. This first single went to number 58 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 43 on the US Mainstream Rock chart, number 31 in the Netherlands, number 20 in Canada, number 6 in New Zealand, and number 1 in Australia. Nile Rodgers produced the track, and Daryl Hall sings on the chorus. It has a great dance beat and a funky bass hook that made it a favorite at parties around campus in 1984.

"Melting in the Sun", which struggles with the price of fame, is up next. Being sandwiched between two hit singles, this one showed up a lot on album-oriented rock radio weekend blocks of music.

The dance party continues with the third track. "I Send a Message", the second single, reached number 77 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 41 on the US Mainstream Rock chart, number 18 in New Zealand and number 3 in Australia. The song reflects upon the past, so far away.

"Dancing on the Jetty", the fourth single, went to number 39 in Australia. This is a commentary of nations at war.

The title track "The Swing" wraps up the first half. It compares a playground activity of children to the passage of time. The guitar parts bring to mind, for me, the early days of the Beatles.

Side two begins with "Johnson's Aeroplane", which talks about the plight of the small farmer being squeezed out by bigger conglomerates and their blind eye to the environment. It was also the B-side to the third single.

"Love Is (What I Say)" has an interesting structure, both musically and lyrically. The short bursts keep the listener riveted.

"Face the Change" sounds like it stepped right out of Sly Stone's seventies catalog.

The third single, the love song "Burn for You", went to number 29 in New Zealand and number 3 in Australia.

"All the Voices" closes out the record.

With each album, INXS was growing stronger with their sound. The Swing is a solid record with a lot of great grooves.

For my blog posts relating to INXS, click here.

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