INXS - The Album thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by mark winstanley, Nov 19, 2020.

  1. twicks

    twicks Forum Resident

    I like "Elegantly Wasted" but think it's missing a few things as a "comeback single." It doesn't really update their sound like the Bon Jovi song you mentioned; instead it's got the "Need You Tonight" DNA that was recognizably INXS but didn't bring much new to the table. The lyric also lacks the directness of "It's My Life" or "Beautiful Day" by U2.

    I don't really know how much effort went into crafting the song, but as a U2 fan I know they basically built "Beautiful Day" up and tore it down multiple times in order to craft an absolute killer, undeniable single. They knew it was their last shot. Maybe that just wasn't INXS's style.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2021
    krock2009, DTK, Melllvar and 4 others like this.
  2. walrus

    walrus Forum Resident

    Minneapolis, MN
    True. I don't think it would've been as big. But even half the success of those two songs, and a substantial follow-up tour with prominent publicity appearances and a 100% healthy and engaged Michael would've been enough, I think. Not to return them to U2 levels of success, but into higher-profile gigs and bigger venues and maybe setting up the stage for an even better follow-up.

    Of course, again, this would've been entirely dependent on Michael being healthy. I've seen clips but never fully dived into video of their 1997 shows, but my take is that they were...inconsistent. At a time when every gig should've been treated like Wembley Stadium, even if they were only playing to a couple thousand. Certainly after the depressing doldrums of the 90's rock scene, by the turn of the millennium I think audiences would've been ready for the re-emergence of a rock god frontman, but it just wasn't to be.
  3. twicks

    twicks Forum Resident

    I wouldn't say Michael was giving actively *bad* performances in '97. If anything he just seemed alternately bored/erratic, and would get too loose with songs, not come back in exactly on cue, etc. The televised performances from that era are all fairly professional. It's not like word got out that "INXS sucks live now" and that tanked their comeback.

    So was this effort too soon? Too late? Who knows?
  4. DTK

    DTK Forum Resident

    I remember seeing a lot of promo posters concurrently for Elegantly Wasted and Neapolis by my old favorite band Simple Minds. Like, plastered everywhere.

    Both bands were really out of vogue by 1997/98 but their albums were certainly promoted by ads. I seldom heard them on the radio and no one talked about them.
    This was in Sweden.
  5. FLF

    FLF The insurgency began and you missed it.

    Southen Oklahoma.
    I had the pleasure to see INXS on the EW tour stop in Dallas in April of '97 headlining the Edgefest show if I remember correctly. At the time, I do recall INXS being a bit "out of fashion" I suppose as years prior had made way for a lot of really, really good bands as we all know. Not that INXS were disliked, but they just ended up blending into the swarm of (in my opinion...mostly lesser) bands.

    Anyway, I do recall the response for them being really positive. Surprisingly so. Michael appeared to be somewhat looser for sure, but at the time (not having known about his struggles leading up to) I just thought that he'd grown into an ever more comfortable spot in his role and as a performer. Besides, by the time the mid 90's came around, everyone was a bit more loose and a tad bit less "proper" and "structured" I suppose.

    As always, the band closed out their set with Don't Change. I would give anything to find it on video, because it was particularly moving. A little way into the song, Michael was interacting heavily with some fans up close to the stage. He eventually pulled a girl from the crowd who proceeded to shower him with affection. Lots of hugs going on between the two of them. So much so, they fell to the stage floor with Michael finishing out the last half of the song on his back with this gal on top of him. It wasn't vulgar in any way. Quite the opposite. It was simply an overwhelming amount of honest adoration from a fan, and in so many ways, Michael as well. And as they lay there together, obviously drained and carried away with it all during the last parts of the song, it was particularly impactful. It was quite the sight to see at that very moment and I *STILL* get goosebumps and think about that every time I hear that song. I'll never forget that.

    Michael, wherever you were one of a kind. There will never be another like you. You are loved and very much missed.
  6. twicks

    twicks Forum Resident

    Great story.
  7. dirkster

    dirkster Forum Resident

    McKinney, TX, USA
    That’s a great story!

    I missed the EdgeFest show in the Dallas area but I later bought this CD that has three INXS tracks on it from the show:

    Elegantly Wasted
    What You Need
    Never Tear Us Apart
  8. Moggio_4K_Ultra_HD

    Moggio_4K_Ultra_HD Forum Resident

    Vancouver, BC
    Everything is one of the few ballads from EW. And while I like it, especially the acoustic guitar feel, it's missing the magic that would've made it a much better song. First of all, the chorus, despite having an anthemic quality to it, doesn't take off until the near the end, and isn't as strong as it should've been. In fact, the verses are more enjoyable and hold the song together. And the bridge seems unfinished and doesn't necessarily fit, or appears to be edited (?). I also have an issue with Michael's vocals - they should've used better takes to capture some of his lines. I think INXS should've worked on this track longer or perhaps significantly re-arranged it live. Everything might be the weakest link from EW...

    The Jaxx Club Vocal & Love Dub are horrible mixes. I can't even get to the end of them.

    Let It Ride is an excellent track and should've been included somewhere on EW. I love the moody Depeche Mode-ish vibe during the 1st half, then how it gradually becomes more uplifting into the 2nd half. Hutchence's vocals are spectacular here. And the horns parts driving the extended outro before the fade out are a pleasant addition. Though, admittedly, the song does seem a little incomplete but I can't quite make out what is missing...
  9. heyday2day

    heyday2day Forum Resident


    I was at that show as well, about 20 rows back on Tim's side of the stage. I'd seen them several times before that, with particular memories of the headlining spot at "The Super Bowl of Rock 'N Roll" at Texas Stadium (with Guns 'N Roses, Smithereens, Ziggy Marley, etc), the '88 show at Reunion Arena, the '93 Bomb Factory gig and what was my favorite gig until '97 Edgefest, at the small Ft. Worth Exhibition Hall in 1993. The crowd was hot at Edgefest, the band was loose and funky, they were touring what I still believe is their best album and MH was having a good time. Thanks for sparking a good memory.
  10. Melllvar

    Melllvar No Matter Where You Go, There You Are!

    Anchorage, Alaska

    Sure, not as a good as their previous ballads, but it's still a decent song from the band. The mature lyrics, the laid back nature of the music stand out and provide a nice breather on contrast to the previous songs.
  11. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    "Don't Lose Your Head"

    Single by INXS
    from the album Elegantly Wasted
    27 June 1997 (Europe, Australia); December 1997 (Japan)
    Recorded 1997
    Genre Rock
    Length 3:30
    Label Mercury
    Songwriter(s) Michael Hutchence, Andrew Farriss
    Producer(s) Bruce Fairbairn

    "Don't Lose Your Head" is the third single from the album Elegantly Wasted by INXS. Released in Europe (Germany and The Netherlands) and Japan at the end of 1997. No official release for this in USA. The song was written by Michael Hutchence and Andrew Farriss and recorded by the band in Dublin during the summer of 1996.

    Although it was never officially released as a single in USA, INXS released "Don't Lose Your Head" as a promo tie-in with Paramount's 1997 film Face/Off starring John Travolta and Nicolas Cage. A Radio Edit version of the single was remixed by Tom Lord-Alge to clean up the opening lyrics; "You wake up in the morning with a star**** for a friend" to "You wake up in the morning with a dealer for a friend".

    CD Promo – INXDJ31 – Mercury/UK (Withdrawn)

    1. Don't Lose Your Head (Radio Mix) (3:34)
    2. Don't Lose Your Head (Leadstation Solid Gold Mix) (4:27)
    CD Promo – MECP 283 – Mercury/US

    1. Don't Lose Your Head (Radio Edit) (3:34)
    2. Don't Lose Your Head (LP Version) (4:02)
    CD5 – 568 039-2 – Mercury/Australia/Europe

    1. Don't Lose Your Head (Radio Mix) (4:02)
    2. Don't Lose Your Head (Leadstation Solid Gold Mix) (4:27)
    3. I'm Just a Man (Live in Belgium, 4 April 1997) (5:11)
    4. Kiss the Dirt (Falling Down the Mountain) (Live in Belgium, 4 April 1997) (3:54)
    CD – 568 038-2 Mercury/Europe

    1. Don't Lose Your Head (Radio Mix) (3:34)
    2. Don't Lose Your Head (Leadstation Solid Gold Mix) (4:27)
    CD5 – PHCR-4073 – Mercury/Japan

    1. Don't Lose Your Head (Radio Mix) (3:34)
    2. Don't Lose Your Head (Leadstation Solid Gold Mix) (4:27)
    3. Never Tear Us Apart (Acoustic Version) (2:31)
    4. Elegantly Wasted (Live in Aspen 1997) (3:52)
    5. Need You Tonight (Live in Aspen 1997) (3:06)
    6. I'm Just a Man (Live in Belgium, 4 April 1997) (5:11)
    We enter with a descending keyboard line, that is light and airy, and then a chord pattern reveals itself. We get some hand claps come in, and it is rare I enjoy handclaps in a song ... I don't know why, but normally they sort of irritate me....
    Anyway ....
    The bass and vocals come in together, and the vocals start of at maximum intensity.

    Shot your mouth off like a kid
    Who's scared to have a heart
    You're losing grip of what really matters
    Cause you don't know where to start
    You wake up in the morning
    With a star**** for a friend
    The things you do are so in tune
    With what you said you hate
    What's giving you the will to live
    Is looking for revenge
    The only laugh that you've got left
    Is hiding from the pain
    What must have happened to your soul
    Is skinnin' you alive
    The thing that you fear the most is love
    And that's buried deep inside
    So deep inside

    Don't lose your head
    Cause I can't do the time
    Don't lose your head
    If you can't pay the price

    The heart you're building out of rock
    Is turning into sand
    Cause you never took the time to think
    What it means to be a man
    You act like you got the answers
    When the questions never asked
    I've been to where you're coming from
    But the postcards weren't so bad
    The knife I carry's been sharpened
    On the mouth's that won't keep shut
    I'll stab at you in the darkness
    Cause I'm trying to shed some light
    Your point of view's so meaningless
    If you ever had one at all
    All you seem to care about
    Is who's is gonna take the fall

    Don't lose your head
    Now I can't do the time for ya
    Don't lose your head
    Can you pay the price


    Don't lose your head
    Cause I can't do the time
    Don't lose your head
    But can you pay the price

    Don't lose your head
    You can't do the time
    Don't lose your head
    You can't you pay the price

    Don't lose your head
    You can't do the time
    Don't lose your head
    I can't do the time


    I suppose to some degree with the Noel thing having been raised a few times, I can't help feeling this may have been a veiled kickback in his direction, but that seems too simplistic.
    When I look through the lyrics, I get a few things from them. We have someone living behind a mask, we all do, to some degree, but this is a thick and ignorant mask. There is also a certain amount of selfishness here.
    One thing about the lyric, is off the top of my head, these seem to be the most aggressive lyrics I can quickly remember from the band and they come across as intensely as Michael's vocal.

    The song sort of keep on building .... as the song moves along the handclaps somewhat fall back in the mix, which is a relief for me.... a straight up solid snare would have suited me much better, because the song has so much intensity and is so much based around a building power and aggression .... but anyway, that's probably just me.

    The insistent bass keep things moving forward, we get some backing vocals that add a nice rich layer, and the piano chords give us some nice texture.
    When the power guitar comes in it takes the song to the next level.
    When we get that drum fill and we roll into a lead break, it is excellent, because the lead is a little more extended than we normally get in an Inxs song, and it works really well.

    The power punching out choruses also work well, and with the kind of soul/gospel type backing vocals it just keeps that intensity level nice and high.

    This is a great track, and I would absolutely love it, if we lost those handclaps, that to my ears devalue the power we are going for here.

  12. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Leadstation Solid Gold Mix

    This has more of a groove feel, and it is a nice groove. We have gotten rid of those handclaps, so that is a bonus.
    This is nice, and it floes really well, but for me it miss the power...
    So far for me a mix between the main version and this word make this an absolute classic.

    Moggio_4K_Ultra_HD likes this.
  13. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

  14. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Never Tear Us Apart Acoustic version

    Can't remember if we looked at this before, but it won't hurt to slot it in....
    It is a cool version and a nice inclusion on the 12"

  15. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Elegantly Wasted live in Aspen

    Another nice inclusion on the 12".... It seems many of these singles had some live tracks. Perhaps the band was trying to remind the public, "Hey we're a live rock band, don't forget it"

    Moggio_4K_Ultra_HD likes this.
  16. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Need You Tonight Live In Aspen

    Reminding folks "Hey remember us, we have some great songs, and still do!"

    Moggio_4K_Ultra_HD likes this.
  17. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I guess this is the Belgium show that some of the b-sides come from.... but I can't find the individual tracks.

    Setlist: New Sensation - Taste It - Elegantly Wasted - Original Sin - Time - I'm Just a Man - Kiss the Dirt (Falling Down the Mountain) - Show Me (Cherry Baby) - Listen Like Thieves - Searching - Never Tear Us Apart - Everything - Need You Tonight - Girl on Fire - Devil Inside - What You Need - Suicide Blonde - Kick - Heaven Sent - Don't Change

  18. Interpolantics

    Interpolantics Forum Resident

    Don't Lose Your Head

    This is as aggressive a lyric as anything Hutchence wrote up to this point. There's a real sense of vitriol being unleashed here, who it's directed at is anyone's guess (Noel Gallagher, Bob Geldof, the British press, himself....).

    The song itself is fast and direct with some nice flourishes of lead guitar and ad lib vocals.

    Not my favourite on the album but one that has grown on me over the years. Initially I disliked the song as I felt the vocals and lyrics were rushed and ill fitting. It seemed like there were too many words being squeezed into the verses. On reflection though this tactic perhaps gives the track that extra bit of venom.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2021
  19. Bluepicasso

    Bluepicasso Android Confused

    Arlington, Va
    Don't Lose Your Head 3.5/5. This song never really connected with me. I see it where it lyrics might be a veiled hit at the press, which was relentless. In a way, it has an Exile on Main Street vibe with the gospel moments, and I could see the Stones doing a credible version of this, which they would never release if they tried. Along with the title track, this song is the only one I tend to skip/by-pass when I play the album. Still, it's a credible song.
  20. dirkster

    dirkster Forum Resident

    McKinney, TX, USA
    I’ve never seen someone who hated handclaps so much, LOL. The claps work for me because I am envisioning this song as a sort of gospel choir track with MH in the role of the preacher, urging on a sinner in the congregation to get “your head straight, before you lose it”. The claps absolutely work for me in that context.
  21. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I think it's residue from overuse in the eighties lol ... I don't know, I just often, but not always, cringe when the handclaps start in a rock song :)
  22. dirkster

    dirkster Forum Resident

    McKinney, TX, USA
    I’m the same way with the “generic female backup vocals” that are present in so many songs from the 80’s. Those are in this song too, but I am ok with them as well because of the gospel choir concept.
  23. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Yea, I know what you mean... I generally don't have an issue with backing vocals
    dirkster likes this.
  24. dirkster

    dirkster Forum Resident

    McKinney, TX, USA
    Don’t Lose Your Head

    Preacher Hutchence takes the stage here and comes out of the gate swinging. Those backup singers with the “whoops” and “doots” bring it home. Nice use of them. The music crackles with excitement. That keyboard sound is perfect - is it electric piano? Lots of words to cram in here, and the delivery is rushed, but it adds to the immediacy of the song. The drums absolutely crush when they do that fill just before the guitar solo, and it is an extended solo compared to most from INXS.

    The “Leadstation Solid Gold Mix” emphasizes the soul aspect of the song over the gospel. It’s great too.

    This song and the title track were the two that stood out to me when I first heard the “one-sided promo cassette” of the album. There are more good songs to come, but I think these two + “I’m Just A Man” are the stone-cold classics here. I am not as familiar with the back end of the album though so I may need to re-evaluate in another week or so.
  25. Al Gator

    Al Gator You can call me Al

    Don’t Lose Your Head comes across as a wall of words with a short instrumental break. The lyrics almost seem autobiographical in retrospect. It doesn’t quite work for me.

Share This Page