Top 10 INXS songs | My countdown from 10 to 1

Top 10 INXS songs | My countdown from 10 to 1
Note – This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy via these, I may earn a small fee. This has absolutely no effect on the price you pay. As an eBay and Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

This is not the top 10 INXS songs in terms of sales; rather, it’s my own take on the best tracks from my favourite band ever. The hardest part when approaching this post is picking only ten. As well as which should be number one on the list, of course.

I’ve loved INXS since my schooldays, when a crush on a classmate led to my interest in checking the Australian band out. Yes, really – that’s a true story. Of course it led to a far bigger crush on Michael Hutchence. Which has so far lasted for well over three decades, and I very much doubt it will never wane now.

The tracks on this list comprise my favourites from a number of INXS albums, beginning with Shabooh Shoobah and ending with Elegantly Wasted. Most were written by Andrew Farriss and Michael Hutchence, but there are some exceptions.

A few albums are missing – the first couple – INXS and Underneath The Colours, as well as Full Moon, Dirty Hearts. As well as anything post Michael Hutchence. It’s not because they don’t have their merits; rather it’s due to the fact that this is a top 10 list. It’s also true that I just couldn’t bear to include anything recorded without Hutch at the helm.

I’m sure every INXS fan will have a different list of the top INXS songs. The sales charts’ placings of INXS top hits would also tell their own tales. This would also vary by country, from their native Australia or the US to my UK homeland or elsewhere in Europe.

Of all INXS hit songs, these are my personal favourites. From the best band ever in my eyes, let alone the 80s and 90s. They still steal my heart on a daily basis, when I get my regular fix of Messrs Farriss, Hutchence, Farriss, Beers, Farriss and Pengilly.

Some of the best INXS tracks didn’t make the grade, of course. Even if I made a top 20 list, some of my all-time top tunes wouldn’t even feature. After all, if I made a top 10 list of my favourite tracks ever – by any artist or band – it might well consist purely of the best songs by INXS. With no room even for anyone else to feature at all.

Here it is – my ultimate INXS songs list. The ten best INXS songs for me, and why, plus my favourite lines from each.

My top 10 INXS songs

10. Elegantly Wasted

1997, Elegantly Wasted

by Andrew Farriss & Michael Hutchence

I had to include this one because of Noel Gallagher. Does Hutch really sing, ‘I’m better than Oasis”? I like to think so, after the former’s utterly unforgivable behaviour at the Brits in 1996. The year before the worst happened. Many INXS fans, I’m sure, hope that particular rumour is true.

While I prefer their earlier stuff in general, I do really like the title track and Searching in particular from Elegantly Wasted. I just don’t really like to recall Hutch as he was at this time, spiralling ever-further into the darkness that would ultimately spell the end.

‘Aah, elegantly wasted
Aah, better than Oasis’?

9. Beautiful Girl

1992, Welcome To Wherever You Are

by Andrew Farriss

Much of the best of INXS came from Andrew Farriss and Michael Hutchence, but this one came from only the former. It’s sweeter than many of their rockier numbers, but no less appealing for that. This is also true of my other favourite track from this album, Heaven Sent.

How many women from around the world wish that Hutch had been singing this song for them? I’m certainly one of them. Swoon.

‘Among the neon lights
That haunt the streets outside’

8. Devil Inside

1987, Kick

by Andrew Farriss & Michael Hutchence

Speaking of swooning, it’s the breathy, sensual vocals on this one that place it in my top ten songs by INXS. I just can’t decide whether I prefer the studio version from Kick or the live version.

I guess I’ll just have to listen to it over and over again. As I frequently do, in fact. I’ve just checked and apparently this track only peaked at number 47 here on the singles chart in my home country. Shame on you, music fans of the UK 😉

‘Words are weapons sharper than knives
Makes you wonder how the other half die’

7. Original Sin

1983, The Swing

by Andrew Farriss & Michael Hutchence

Ah, Nile Rodgers. Surely one of the coolest men on the planet. I saw him performing somewhere not so long ago and he didn’t appear to have aged one bit. And, back in the day, he was partly responsible for one of INXS’ best tracks.

Apparently Original Sin was placed at 58 on a list of the most Australian songs ever. Good on ya, Aussies. I also love a song with the potential to cause a stir and that talks of ‘playing with fire’.

‘Then wake up to a brand new day
To find your dreams are washed away’

6. Don’t Change

1982, Shabooh Shoobah

by Garry Gary Beers, Andrew Farriss, Jon Farriss, TIm Farriss, Kirk Pengilly & Michael Hutchence

This was one I learned to love later on. During the 80s and 90s Kick and X got me into INXS, but other tracks have also made a big impact.

My first foray into earlier INXS was the Listen Like Thieves album, and after loving that more raw, rocky and quintessentially Australian sound I also got into The Swing and Shabooh Shoobah in particular. I’m always struck by how young they were here – Hutch was just 22 when this was released.

‘Don’t change for you
Don’t change a thing for me’

5. Listen Like Thieves

1985, Listen Like Thieves

by Garry Gary Beers, Andrew Farriss, Jon Farriss, TIm Farriss, Kirk Pengilly & Michael Hutchence

I can’t decide if this makes me think of America or Australia more, but it’s definitely rockers in leather jackets riding round in an open-topped car, in a city not far from the desert. Of all INXS music, this one for me has the firmest sense of place. It’s also the kind of track I can really imagine them playing during their earlier gigging days, at smaller venues like the Coogee Bay Hotel in Sydney.

‘It’s all in your hands’ and being down on the knees seems more poignant since November 1997 – what a crying shame that’s the way things played out.

‘At the local bar
In the hot traffic by the red tail lights’

4. Lately

1990, X

by Andrew Farriss & Michael Hutchence

Number 4 in my list of the top INXS songs was never released as a single, yet contains some of Hutchence’s most poetic lyrics. The main reason it makes the grade, though, is Wembley 1991 (I’m so proud they played their biggest gig ever in my capital city).

That sax solo at the start – the whole shebang. Phenomenal. Much respect to the entire band, but in this case Kirk Pengilly firmly deserves to be in the spotlight.

‘Your blue sky calls
To seduce and bewitch
And give you the wings of your fate’

3. Disappear

1990, X

by Jon Farriss & Michael Hutchence

Disappear apparently caused friction within the band because this time (yep, it’s a pun) Hutch’s writing partner was Jon Farriss rather than Andrew Farriss. And guess what – it was X’s biggest hit. According to the Mystify documentary, the ‘do-do, do-do’ bit came about before the lyrics has been written, but the catchy phrase stuck.

Sometimes wouldn’t we all just like to ‘Disappear. Make it all go away’? (A quote from Wembley 1991, as Michael introduced the song.)

‘Making spells as the shadows close in
Fall across all our yesterdays’

2. Mystify

1987, Kick

by Andrew Farriss & Michael Hutchence

Of all INXS Kick songs I love this one most, and it’s for the lyrics as much as the tune. ‘Almond looks, ‘Misty streets of blue’, ‘Some silken moment’…. I could go on forever.

This could have topped my list of the top ten INXS songs, but I have my reasons for not placing one of the most popular INXS songs in pole position…

‘I need perfection
Some twisted selection
That tangles me
To keep me alive’

1. By My Side

1990, X

by Andrew Farriss & Michael Hutchence

Think of INXS ballads and I’m sure Never Tear Us Apart would top the list, but my By My Side is my all-time favourite of INXS’ hits. And the other track played at his funeral in 1997.

What really nudged this one into first place is Michael Hutchence’s emotive live performance at Wembley. Just phenomenal. I defy a grown man not to cry: I don’t think he could help himself.

‘In the dark of night
Those small hours
I drift away
When I’m with you’

Which are your top 10 INXS songs?

I’m sure you’d read the above list and guess that X is my favourite INXS album… but not quite. Live Baby Live is my number one. A band that were born to be seen in the flesh if ever there was one.

The Greatest Hits of INXS, for me, are the top tunes detailed above. If your favourite is absent, please forgive me. I could only pick ten from the best band ever bar none…

Marcy x

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