INXS: Kirk Pengilly (vocals, guitar, saxophone); Michael Hutchence (vocals); Andrew Farriss (guitar, keyboards); Tim Farriss (guitar, synthesizer); Garry Gary Beers (bass); Jon Farriss (drums).
Additional personnel: Ray Cooper (percussion); Ann O'Dell (string arrangement).
Recorded at Rhinoceros Studios, Sydney, Australia.
SHABOOH SHOOBAH and THE SWING may have produced college radio hits like "The One Thing" and "The Original Sin," but it took 1985's LISTEN LIKE THIEVES for INXS to make a true commercial breakthrough in the US. The album leads off with three killer singles, the still-remarkable whiplash dance swagger of "What You Need" and the more anthemic rockers "Listen Like Thieves" and "This Time." On the first of those in particular, singer Michael Hutchence finally perfects the postmodern Mick Jagger vibe he'd been trying to achieve since 1980's INXS, and the band was rewarded with a substantially larger American audience, a commercial gain solidified on the next album, 1987's mega-platinum KICK. LISTEN LIKE THIEVES didn't reach that level of marketplace success because the songwriting quality dips a bit after that impressive opening stretch, but it's nonetheless a fine commercial pop album.
CMJ (1/5/04, p.18) - Ranked #3 in CMJ's "Top 20 Most-Played Albums of 1986"
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