Listen Like Thieves

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For the related INXS song, see Listen Like Thieves (song).
Listen Like Thieves
Studio album by INXS
Released 14 October 1985 (1985-10-14)
Recorded

August 1985

Rhinoceros Studios, Sydney
Genre New Wave, Australian rock, alternative rock
Length 37:16
Label Atlantic, Mercury, WEA
Producer Chris Thomas
INXS chronology
The Swing
(1984)
Listen Like Thieves
(1985)
Kick
(1987)
Singles from Listen Like Thieves
  1. "This Time"
    Released: ?
  2. "What You Need"
    Released: ?
  3. "Kiss the Dirt (Falling Down the Mountain)"
    Released: ?
  4. "Listen Like Thieves"
    Released: ?

Listen Like Thieves is the fifth studio album by the Australian rock band INXS. It was released on 14 October 1985. It spent two weeks at number one on the Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart. Considered an international breakthrough album for the band, it peaked at No. 11 on the United States Billboard 200, No. 24 on the Canadian RPM 100 Albums and top 50 in the United Kingdom. It featured their first top 5 single in the US, "What You Need". This album also marks the beginning of their off-and-on alliance with their producer, Chris Thomas.

Background[edit]

Listen Like Thieves is the fifth studio album by INXS. 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.[1][2][3] Their previous album, The Swing (April 1984), had local chart success peaking at number one on the Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart and No. 6 in New Zealand.[4][5] Although appearing on international charts – No. 52 on United States Billboard 200,[6] and No. 27 on the Canadian RPM 100 Albums[7] – INXS wanted to improve their world wide impact.[8]

After recording their last album in New York and Oxfordshire, they returned to Sydney where they worked with Chris Thomas (Sex Pistols, Pretenders, Roxy Music) producing at Rhinoceros Studios.[1][2][3]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[9]
Rolling Stone (1985) (favorable)[10]
Rolling Stone (2004) 3.5/5 stars[11]
Alpha 4/5 stars

Allmusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine noted that with Listen Like Thieves the band "completes its transition into an excellent rock & roll singles band". However "the new configuration only works for three songs", which were its first three singles, "What You Need", "Listen Like Thieves" and "Kiss the Dirt (Falling Down the Mountain)".[9] Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, opined that it had "a much harder sound than heard on previous INXS records, but somehow it lacked the pop smarts that had made The Swing so appealing".[1]

Rolling Stone '​s Parke Puterbaugh felt the group were "going for the jugular – or is that the groin?" and with Thomas they "forge an unlikely union between the sonic extremism of Led Zeppelin-style crunch rock and the step-lively beat of disco" such that the album "rocks with passion and seals the deal with a backbeat that'll blackmail your feet".[10]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Andrew Farriss, Michael Hutchence,[12] unless otherwise indicated. 

No. Title Length
1. "What You Need"   3:35
2. "Listen Like Thieves" (Garry Gary Beers, A. Farriss, Jon Farriss, Tim Farriss, Hutchence, Kirk Pengilly) 3:47
3. "Kiss the Dirt (Falling Down the Mountain)"   3:56
4. "Shine Like It Does"   3:05
5. "Good + Bad Times" (Hutchence, Pengilly) 2:46
6. "Biting Bullets" (Hutchence, Pengilly) 2:49
7. "This Time" (A. Farriss) 3:11
8. "Three Sisters (Instrumental)" (T. Farriss) 2:27
9. "Same Direction"   4:58
10. "One x One"   3:05
11. "Red Red Sun" (A. Farriss, J. Farriss) 3:32
Total length:
37:16

Personnel[edit]

INXS members

Chart positions[edit]

Country Provider(s) Peak
position
Certifications
Australia[4] Kent Music Report 1 AUS: 4× Platinum
Canada[13] RPM 100 Albums 24
New Zealand[5] Recorded Music NZ 4
Switzerland[14] Swiss Hitparade 30
United Kingdom[15] Official Charts Company 46
United States[6] Billboard 200 11 US: 2× Platinum[16]

Singles[edit]

  • "This Time"/"Sweet as Sin" (September 1985)
  • "What You Need"/"I'm Over You" (December 1985)
  • "Listen Like Thieves"/"Different World" (April 1986)
  • "Kiss the Dirt (Falling Down the Mountain)"/"Six Knots" (August 1986)
  • "Shine Like It Does" (1986)

Videos[edit]

  • "This Time"
  • "What You Need"
  • "Kiss the Dirt (Falling Down the Mountain)"
  • "Listen Like Thieves"

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Encyclopedia entry for 'INXS'". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86448-768-2. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Nimmervoll, Ed. "INXS". Howlspace – The Living History of Our Music. White Room Electronic Publishing Pty Ltd (Ed Nimmervoll). Archived from the original on 27 July 2012. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Holmgren, Magnus; Shaw, Julian; Meyer, Peer. "INXS". Australian Rock Database. Passagen (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 1 April 2012. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book Ltd. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.  Note: Used for Australian Singles and Albums charting from 1974 until Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) created their own charts in mid-1988. In 1992, Kent back calculated chart positions for 1970–1974.
  5. ^ a b Hung, Steffen. "Discography INXS". New Zealand Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "INXS | Awards". Allmusic. Retrieved 8 March 2014. 
  7. ^ "Item Display – Top Albums/CDs". RPM 40 (19). Library and Archives Canada. 15 July 1984. Retrieved 8 March 2014. 
  8. ^ O'Donnell, John; Creswell, Toby; Mathieson, Craig (October 2010). 100 Best Australian Albums. Prahran, Vic: Hardie Grant Books. ISBN 978-1-74066-955-9. 
  9. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Listen Like Thieves – INXS". Allmusic. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  10. ^ a b Puterbaugh, Parke (5 December 1985). "INXS: Listen Like Thieves: Music Reviews". Rolling Stone (Jann Wenner). Archived from the original on 5 December 2008. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  11. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian, eds. (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. p. 406. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  12. ^ "'What You Need' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 9 March 2014.  Note: User may have to click 'Search again' and provide details at 'Enter a title:' What You Need; or at 'Performer:' INXS
  13. ^ "Item Display – Top Albums/CDs". RPM 44 (6). Library and Archives Canada. 3 May 1986. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  14. ^ Hung, Steffen. "INXS – Listen Like Thieves" (in German). hitparade.ch (Swiss Hitparade). Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  15. ^ "INXS | Artist | Official Charts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  16. ^ "American certifications – INXS". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
Preceded by
Be Yourself Tonight by Eurythmics
Australian Kent Music Report number-one album
14–27 October 1985
Succeeded by
For the Working Class Man
by Jimmy Barnes