Tonight’s selections from INXS’s third LP, 1982’s Shabooh Shoobah.
Don't Change was INXS's first single to be released internationally. There's another way to look at it: this was the last time INXS could really be called ours. [...]
More importantly, it was the first INXS album to get widespread international release, reaching No 52 on the Billboard charts and leading to commensurate American touring. From here on in all INXS albums would be released around the world, and this paved the way for the international domination which started in earnest 18 months down the track via the release of Original Sin.
So Shabooh Shoobah was the last album written by a Sydney band for an Australian audience. It's not a classic by any stretch – like its predecessor, 1981's Underneath the Colours, it shows a band still struggling to get a handle on this whole “songwriting” thing – but it does have the first undeniable classic they ever created. — The Guardian
Of course, after Don't Change things … well, changed. [...]
The band changed dramatically too, leaving their pub rock roots for the sleek, modern funk that defined their sound. Yet through the subsequent years Don't Change was the only song from the early albums that endured. For just about every tour the band did from here on in this was almost always the song that closed their sets, a perfect, unfollowable note to go out on.
It was, appropriately, the final song that INXS played after announcing they were finally calling it a day on stage at Perth Arena in November 2012, after opening for (ahem) Matchbox 20, with milqetoast Irish frontman Ciaran Gribbin the latest candidate to fail to fill the late [Michael] Hutchence's unfillable shoes.
But that was all to come. For now, Don't Change was the middlingly successful second single off their patchy but promising third album, but most importantly it was also the final song on side two. In that sense Don't Change was the final moment for a band just about to grow up and move on. — The Guardian
The One Thing
My mates and I knew that INXS would be huge. One reason, of course, was the late Michael Hutchence: a true rock star, too big for Australia to ever be able to keep for itself.
Then, when we were in year 11, INXS released Shabooh Shoobah. My mate Macca bought the record on the day of its release and made a copy for me on a cassette tape. This was the album that created the platform for the band’s international success: the platform onto which Kick would later ascend and dance all over. It was also the album that franked Hutchence and Andrew Farriss as major songwriting talents. Bookended by the brooding opener The One Thing, which smouldered so much it nearly melted the cassette deck, and the rocker Don’t Change, just about perfect in every way, there were plenty of highlights, not the least of which were the two other singles To Look At You and Black And White.
My mates and I were proved correct. INXS rose to be, at one stage, one of the world’s biggest rock bands. It is true that the polished and varied Kick more firmly withstands that thief of time, and Shabooh Shoobah will always be regarded as the stepping stone of INXS albums. But oh, the glory of that closing track Don’t Change, which is still one of my all-time favourite Australian songs. Any album containing that track alone is still worth at the very least an occasional listen. — Footy Almanac
To Look at You
Black and White
INXS were first encountered when their video for the single “The One Thing” started to get airplay on MTV. I wasn’t convinced. They seemed to be kind of mainstream. The cheap sexual metaphors of the video were gauche, and they just rubbed me a little bit the wrong way. I decided at that point to ignore the group. I liked the followup single, “Don’t Change” a lot, but I needed more convincing. It wasn’t until I saw their third US video for the single “Original Sin” that I twigged that something was happening with this band, and I developed an interest.
As it turned out, the band were mainstream; in the best sense of the word. They managed to hit the sweet spot between mid-late Roxy Music and the Rolling Stones and make music which filled the airwaves without causing nausea. In fact, much of their catalog was pretty good! The band’s earlier two albums seemed to be aiming for a Joe Jackson vibe before they moved onward to new territories with “Shabooh Shoobah.” Once I heard a tape of B-sides a friend with Oz connections gave me of their rarities from ’80-’84 I crossed the line from casual to committed fandom. Here was a band with the talent to do almost anything.
The Australian 2×7″ of “To Look At You” is pretty much the sort of record that if it alone didn’t make one a fan of INXS, it was never going to happen. The A-side is the finest track off of their US breakthrough “Shabooh Shoobah” album. While the US got singles of “The One Thing” and the much superior “Don’t Change,” their home turf got this subtle, elegant number that sounded like it would be a good fit with the likes of Roxy Music’s “Flesh + Blood” album. The moody, synth-laden track was a gift from the pen of keyboardist Andrew Farris, who has an able facility for melody and shows that he doesn’t need Michael Hutchence to rely on for lyrics, either. — Post Punk Monk
Spy of Love
WHO’S TALKING TO WHO?
All repeats but there may be an end to the writers strike in sight.
LAST WEEK'S POLL: YOU ARE ASSIGNED A RANDOM PHOBIA, HOW SCREWED ARE YOU?
Not at all 6%
A little bit 29%
Fairly, but I'll manage somehow 12%