INXS – Need You Tonight

First Hit #1: January 30, 1988

Need You Tonight isn’t a particularly complicated song. It has a unique riff, it has Michael Hutchence cooing over that riff, and that’s all it has. Still, while it’s not particularly complicated song, it is actually probably the most modern track that’s been on the top in a while. It’s got the background vocalists who pump up the chorus, an old girl-band trick, but it’s not used in the same way as those old songs, mostly because it’s more shouting with rougher voices, to contrast with Hutchence and his more smooth – and more Bono-esque – vocal. It’s almost a reaction to U2 combined with a couple other trends. A little bit of old school harmony, a bit of guitar, even a smattering of electronic noises. The song is overall very complicated, but it’s definitely a song that comes from a specific time.

In short, it sounds like 1988.

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One Response to INXS – Need You Tonight

  1. RBerman says:

    INXS were known for having 3 guitarists. The placement of a repeated riff over an unchanging root chord grounds this song in the funk tradition. The non-distorted guitar recalls an early 80s New Wave thing, but the drum programming and synth bass are very late 80s. Pretty-boy Hutchence is part Jim Morrison, part Bon Jovi.

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