Live at Wembley Stadium ‘91
You knew this as Live Baby Live – a VHS tape (and live album) now it’s been reissued as a double-CD under a new name. Primarily this exists because INXS doesn’t. In order for the band to live on in any way – and boy have they tried to exist post-Hutchence, milking whatever legacy, all but, er, killing it – they rely on ways of reshaping/reselling the existing material.
Tied in with a recent mini-series this exists to remind people that INXS really did make the big time – went from the bar-rooms to the big stadium and the perfect pop material of Kick worked well for them in staging a stadium show that was sold almost entirely around the music (in that the stage-show was never flashy, save for Michael Hutchence doing a bit of a silly Jim Morrison-wannabe-bit and flicking around those curls).
Fortunately we get a few of the best of the pre-Kick songs too – though Original Sin somewhat lumbers along without its killer studio production (they don’t call Nile the Hitmaker for nothing).
What You Need is ponderous, Devil Inside – implausibly – is stretched out as one of the highlights of the set, Suicide Blonde might have been the only thing they needed to do post-Kick, then they could have picked out selected early songs, almost all of Kick and the song Suicide Blonde (even though some of X was quite good) and toured on. And on. Until…
Well, that’s actually – pretty much – what they did do.
Maybe you had to be there. I grew up with this stuff and loved it – at the time. It mostly sounds hideously dated here – and hard to see what the fuss was about. But there was fuss. That perhaps is what’s most remarkable now when forced to look back.