THE SWING (album)

The Swing (INXS album) – 1984

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The Swing is Australian rock band INXS’s fourth studio album, released in April 1984. It peaked at number one on the Kent Music Report Albums Chart for five non-consecutive weeks from early April to mid-May 1984. The lead single “Original Sin” was recorded in New York City with Nile Rodgers and featured Daryl Hall on backing vocals. Overall, the album featured a slightly harder-edged sound than their previous releases.

By 1983 Australian rock band INXS attempted to expand their international profile with their fourth studio album, The Swing. The Sydney-based group had formed in 1977 by three brothers Andrew on guitar and keyboards; Jon on percussion and drums; and Tim Farriss on guitar; together with Garry Gary Beers on bass guitar; Michael Hutchence on lead vocals; and Kirk Pengilly on guitar, saxophone, and vocals.

In September 1983 the band travelled to New York City to work with Nile Rodgers (Debbie Harry, David Bowie, Kim Carnes) as producer at his Power Station studio. It was the first time the group had recorded outside Australia and provided the album’s lead single, “Original Sin” (December 1983). Rodgers asked Daryl Hall of Hall & Oates to guest on backing vocals for the chorus, Hall later recalled “I don’t know why because they’re good singers, they didn’t need me but I did it anyway”.

All four singles were co-written by Andrew with Hutchence,while other album tracks were generally written with one or more additional band members.

From December INXS were working with Nick Launay (Midnight Oil, Models) at The Manor Studio in Oxfordshire, to complete the rest of the album. A cassette extended play of remixes, Dekadance, was also released in Australia.

AllMusic’s Stephen Thomas Erlewine noted that The Swing “retains the new wave pop sense and rock attack of their earlier albums, while adding a stronger emphasis on dance rhythms”. He liked the improved songwriting “with more than half of the album featuring memorable hooks”. Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, opined that “It boasted all the confident swagger and accomplished rock hooks of a band on the cusp of international acceptance”.

Fellow Australian journalists, John O’Donnell, Toby Creswell and Craig Mathieson, found that Rodgers’ effort with “Original Sin” had delivered a track with a “confident rhythm” and helped the band so that “they now had focus; the lyrical image … fitted their circumstances”.Meanwhile, Launay, after hearing that track, “accepted the challenge” of providing a “sense of reinvention” for the group so that “post-punk affectations and new romantic plumage were fading away, revealing a rock band with funk leanings and pop instincts”

Track listing

All tracks written by Andrew Farriss and Michael Hutchence, unless otherwise indicated.

No. Title Length
1. “Original Sin” 5:19
2. “Melting in the Sun” (Tim Farriss, Jon Farriss, Hutchence) 3:25
3. “I Send a Message” 3:24
4. “Dancing on the Jetty” 4:34
5. “The Swing” (Garry Gary Beers, A. Farriss, T. Farriss, Hutchence, Kirk Pengilly) 3:52
6. “Johnson’s Aeroplane” (A. Farriss) 3:53
7. “Love Is (What I Say)” (Beers, A. Farriss, Hutchence, Pengilly, Anthony Braxton-Smith) 3:42
8. “Face the Change” (A. Farriss, Hutchence, Pengilly) 3:34
9. “Burn for You” 4:59
10. “All the Voices” 6:06
Total length: 42:40


INXS members

Garry Gary Beers – bass guitar
Andrew Farriss – guitar, keyboards
Jon Farriss – percussion, drums
Tim Farriss – guitar
Michael Hutchence – vocals
Kirk Pengilly – guitar, saxophone, vocals, photography

Additional musicians

Sherine Abeyratne – backing vocals
Andrew Duffield – backing vocals
Kim Liat Edwards – backing vocals
Daryl Hall – backing vocals on “Original Sin”
Sean Kelly – backing vocals
Norma Lewis – backing vocals
Jenny Morris – backing vocals
Phillip Mortlock
William Motzing – string arrangements
Frank Simms – backing vocals
David Spinner – backing vocals
Production work
Producers – Nick Launay, Nile Rodgers
Engineers – Nick Launay, Jason Porcaro
Assistant engineers – Jeremy Allom, Ross, Stewart, Allan Wright
Mixing – Nick Launay
Paul Clarke – photography
Jon Watkins – cover art