Song of the Week: This Time, by INXS

Song of the Week: This Time, by INXS

INXS was a pivotal band for me. As a young hard-rock fan, I was typically closed-minded. But on a family visit to Quebec in 1986, the Aussie sextet was lodged our hotel, along with Boston’s Del Fuegos.  Met the Fuegos in an elevator and used my Boston connection as a way of opening my mouth in their rock and roll presence.  They were so indulgent of me, I left feeling like I had had a brush with greatness.  As we were going to be in town, I convinced my parents to let me buy a couple tickets and see the show (as I recall it was something like $18 Canadian for the pair and the show was at a 1,500-seat outdoor venue – those were the days).  Later that day I ran into Michael Hutchence and got his autograph.  He was a bit spacey but still very cool to my punk ass.

In the end, the show was rained out and I was moderately disappointed, yet still a bit thrilled by my brush with a bunch of MTV poster boys.  Shortly after returning home, I bought Listen Like Thieves.  And was blown away.  Here was a band that took all the best elements of their early sound and fused it with some classic rock ideas, some 80s guitar stylings, and a whole shitload of really great songs.  This was the beginning of my education in the modern.  It wouldn’t be long before Duran Duran surpassed INXS in my esteem, but I will stand by Listen Like Thieves forever.

While “This Time” is not the best song on the record, as I recall it was the lead single and it’s the song that grabbed my attention tonight.  It’s a great example of strength in simplicity — “The One Thing” plus.  The way the acoustic guitar stabs define the pre-chorus, and the droning guitar complements the melodic bass line on the chorus is just perfect.

INXS - Listen Like Thieves