Michael Hutchence was a great singer

I’m not a huge INXS fan - lots of their music was cheesy, and the lyrics were usually pretty bad, though I did see them on the Kick tour, and they were good. But whenever I hear one of their songs these days, I’m struck by how good a rock singer Michael Hutchence was. He could either belt it out or croon effortlessly where other singers would strain, and the timbre of his voice was perfectly suited to the songs. Anybody agree/disagree?

I agree! I just bought my husband the Kick CD because he thinks they were a great band. Hutchence reminded me of a cross between Marc Bolan and Jim Morrison. I don’t think their songs were that cheesy; after listening to the CD for the first time in many years, I was struck by how well they’ve lasted compared to most of the doofus-y pop of their day.

Agree. There was a lovely, comforting quality to his voice. And quite a bit of talent, to boot.
I feel a little wistful every time I think of him or hear one of his songs.

To be honest, I never felt Hutchence was anything special, voice-wise – but then, I’ve only heard INXS’s radio hits, nor have I ever heard him perform live.

Can anyone recommend album tracks which will change my opinion of his talent?

To me, it’s apparent even in the radio hits - “Need You Tonight”, for example, seems deceptively simple, but if you try to sing along or do a karaoke version you realize how much control he’s got. He manages to be soulful while basically talk-singing in a lot of it, then turns on a dime to belt out the “I’m lonely!” line. Impressive to me, anyway.

Face it, Hutchence was INXS. That whole little TV show they did to find a new front man and reinvent INXS was a joke.

I dismissed them as yet another crappy pop band when they first were popular in the 80s, but rediscovered them during the Rockstar INXS reality show. I’ve since become incredibly impressed with their talent and depth of their back catalog of music.

Hutchence had the lot, really, as a rock star. Great voice, looks, performer.

His band sucked, though, which is probably why he’ll never be remembered as being all that great.

Yeah, but sometimes his belting was inappropriate. Ultimately he died from inappropriate belting.

Oh, ouch.

No argument with the OP - he could take simple hooky bits and make them come together as a song via his presentation. Need You Tonight is a great example.

I wasn’t expecting a Bohemian Rhapsody creation that would kick them up to the next level, but they were solidly dependable pop rockers and Hutchence a very effective frontman within that context…

I’m extremely fond of Not Enough Time.

Hutchence lacked the collaborator that all great rock acts have. It’s nice to be loyal, but he could have been a part of something a lot better.

I hear you, but I don’t think he would’ve agreed with you - for better or worse. He had an active collaborator: he and Andrew Farriss were the songwriting core of the group. I guess my point is: he had a strong influence on his music.

I agree with the OP and I was always partial to the lyrics, sentiment, and music of Don’t Change. But yes, I did run out to get my copy of *Kick *almost immediately.

If you like Hutchence, make sure you see the movie Dogs In Space in which he plays the lead role.

What was wrong with INXS? Kick is a solid pop/rock album through-and-through that any band should be proud of. I don’t really know much of their work outside that album, but that album would almost certainly make my top 100 list for the 80s.

“I Send a Message”

…and others already named.

I am a huge INXS fan, and I was gutted when Hutch died. The band gets horrible shrift but they were something special - their early catalog is criminally underrated, but megaproducers like Chris Thomas and Nile Rodgers saw their spark. Bono was a huge fan and friend.

I’ll be back to post longer and recommend some deep tracks.

Okay, now I have time. Most of the early INXS stuff is pretty twee, but even on their debut album there is really good stuff - In Vain, On a Bus to name two tracks. Hutch is really quite versatile; he sounds like a young Jagger in some moments, and like he’s channeling (ironically) Bob Geldof. In fact, they look remarkably alike as young men… maybe that explains the Paula Yates thing.

They really hit their stride with Shabooh Shabaah - the first album that really hung together, which of course is bookended with the classics “The One Thing” and “Don’t Change.” “Invisible Sin” was on The Swing, which was produced by Nile Rodgers (the track not the album), is another classic and really is the grandaddy of the classic INXS funk/rock/dance mix they perfected in 1987 on Kick.

I think Kick’s predecessor, Listen Like Thieves, might be a better album than Kick. It has probably my all-time favorite INXS dance track, “What You Need.” But the album has a variety of great sounding tracks, and one of the greatest videos of all time, “Kiss the Dirt.” Makes me want to hop on a plane to Australia.

Everyone’s heard Kick, the album that ate the world, etc. My favorite track is probably “Mystify.”

I admit the band lost the plot somewhat during X (1990) but there are good tracks on that album, too. I think they were trying to write Kick Mk II and that never quite works out. But Welcome to Wherever You Are is a brilliant record, with so many great songs - “Heaven Sent,” “Beautiful Girl,” “Baby Don’t Cry,” “Taste It,” and many others.

Elegantly Wasted, their last album, had some excellent songs - “Searching” is a highlight, with Hutch doing an incredible falsetto.

His death was so tragic - was it a wank gone wrong or a suicide? I think it’s fair to say he was probably depressed - he was fighting Bob Geldof over custody of Paula’s kids, I think. He also hit his head on a curb in Amsterdam a few years earlier which cost him his sense of taste… that had to suck. He made a desperate call to his manager the night he died, but there’s been a great deal of controversy about what happened that night.

I think INXS were due for a comeback - maybe a lower-level U2 sort of thing, with the 80s nostalgia ramping up in the late 90s. Rock Star: INXS was a great show, and it at least gave the band some identity post-Hutchence. I personally liked the INXS version with Terrence Trent D’Arby - different style but it seemed to work.

RIP Hutch, one of a kind.

Well the guy has a lisp and when you hear him speaking normally in itself shows his skillful voice lol.

I’d say look at :
By my side
Bitter tears
Hear that sound
Who pays the price
Know the difference
Possibilities (solo work)
Breathe (solo work)

Max q - the way of the world - this project he did with Ollie is incredible ! The lyrical content, passion and power in his voice. So under rated… I’ve been into inxs and michael hutchence for a while…and when I found this was blown away ! I was born the year this came out lol so, I’ve learned about inxs etc later through my own love of music and missed the 80s era and inxs times first hand. I feel like this should have a resurgence as it’s actually appropriate still and so powerful and moving.

Max q - sometimes.

You might not be into a certain genre or sound, but, the fact is he could make music, re invent and was s9 versatile. I don’t care what anyone says. He deserves respect like any great.

For me when u listen to shabooh Shoobah to the swing to x to kick etc… they and he really have gone through quite a musical journey and growth etc. You can hear it and it’s quite magical.

Anyone that also is a musician or artists etc can appreciate and respect this. I love music, I dabbled a bit of guitar and like t0 sing for fun. I have pursued and done art for years and taken it seriously, I studied it etc and can’t live without it. And i can see how much he evolved and was just destined to do it !! You just feel it within your soul when you really pay attention and listen and feel
He was in it, loved it and lived for it
Was fun , funky, sexy, compassionate. He got every feeling. Not just sexy and good to look at an sensual. There was many facets and thats why i always have inxs and michael come through my playlists many times throygh a day! Lol.

I love a lot of music. I was definitely the era of metal and grew up in the metal scene… I always liked inxs and michael but as I’ve aged I appreciate them more and more and understand why I do.

If only Michael could be resurrected as easily as this thread :frowning: