Several months ago I read that INXS was going to release a new record/album/CD (what is it that we call it these days??) called “Original Sin”, named after their big hit from 1984. The song has a driving beat, a catchy chorus, a slightly-controversial (for its time) topic, and of course, the magic of the band in its original incarnation.
The new record was to be a tribute to the writing powerhouses in the band, Andrew Farriss and the late Michael Hutchence, and would be full of “re-imagined” recordings of their big hits by some of today’s rock stars.
To be completely honest, I’m not sure why I was so excited about this. INXS has always been one of my favorite bands, but I was devastated when Michael Hutchence died and knew that nothing the band did from that point forward would ever feel right. (They made a good effort with the addition of JD Fortune for “Switch”, especially “Pretty Vegas”, but still, meh.)
At any rate, a tribute to Farriss and Hutchence was intriguing to me, and I bought “Original Sin” from iTunes.
After listening, I had a great sense of unease. I don’t believe that great songs should never be redone in general, but for me, because INXS played such a huge part of my teenage years and beyond, it just didn’t feel right to hear their classic hits in this “re-imagined” way.
Oddly enough, it’s the new version of “Original Sin”, which features Rob Thomas, that is the one I can listen to without bristling. It’s fun, and very “clubby”.
In general though, this newest release from INXS is not going to be at the top of my playlist. I find myself having the distinct opinion that the best tribute to the genius of Michael Hutchence would have been to leave his songs alone.