A completely beautiful package for a band that really deserves the recognition. In the 1980s and ’90s, these Australian rockers made perfect pop/rock records that were laced with funk, soul, and R&B. They weren’t always like that. The first parts of disc one of this two-disc set show a band that appears to want to be the next Cars. But by the time of their first U.S. hit, “The One Thing,” in ’83, they’re well on their way to mixing the various genres into a beautiful stew that provided them with hits up until the tragic death of vocalist Michael Hutchence.
These two discs have all the hits and more. You’ll be amazed as you listen to the number of songs you recall. The blistering dance-floor funk of “What You Need.” The loud rock and roll of “Good Times” with guest vocalist Jimmy Barnes. Or how about the rigid, skeletal pop-funk of “Need You Tonight.” And that’s just the start. Eighties rock didn’t get a whole lot better than “Devil Inside.” “Never Tear Us Apart” was a retro-rock ballad that didn’t sound old. “Suicide Blonde” cooked, and cooked hard. There are other brilliant pieces too; “Beautiful Girl,” and “Not Enough Time” to name just a couple.
This set also shows off some stuff you may not have run across. “Please,” with Ray Charles, lets Hutchence sing with the master, and he does fine. Guitar-wise, the Farris brothers (Andrew and Tim) and Kirk Pengilly prove equally adept at interlocking funk parts, or big ol’ giant power chords.
This was a great band. If you missed out on their stuff somehow, pick up this anthology. It’s irresistible pop-rock from guys who did it as well as anyone in their time.
This review originally appeared in VG‘s Nov. ’01 issue.