Kick (INXS album)

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INXS kick.jpg
Studio album by INXS
Released 19 October 1987
Recorded 1986–1987 at Rhinoceros Recordings, Sydney, Australia, and Studio De La Grande Armée, Paris, France
Genre Alternative rock, pop rock, new wave
Length 39:54
Language English
Label WEA, Atlantic, Mercury/PolyGram
Producer Chris Thomas
INXS chronology
Listen Like Thieves
Singles from Kick
  1. "Need You Tonight"/"Mediate"
    Released: 23 September 1987
  2. "Devil Inside"
    Released: 13 February 1988
  3. "New Sensation"/"Guns in the Sky"
    Released: 31 March 1988
  4. "Never Tear Us Apart"
    Released: 8 August 1988
  5. "Mystify"/"Kick"
    Released: 15 March 1989

Kick is the sixth studio album by the Australian rock band INXS, released in 1987 by WEA in Australia, Atlantic Records in the United States and Phonogram Records in the United Kingdom on Audio CD, Compact Cassette and Gramophone record. As the band's most successful studio album, it is certified six times platinum by the RIAA, and spawned four US top 10 singles, "New Sensation", "Never Tear Us Apart", "Devil Inside" and "Need You Tonight", the last of which reached the top of the Billboard singles charts. At the 1988 MTV Video Music Awards, the band took home five Moonmen for the "Need You Tonight"/"Mediate" video.

The album was produced by Chris Thomas and recorded by David Nicholas in Sydney, Australia, and in Paris, France. The album was mixed by Bob Clearmountain at Air Studios in London.


After the success of their fifth studio album, Listen Like Thieves (1985), and its second single "What You Need" (1986), INXS knew their new material would have to be even better, according to guitarist Kirk Pengilly, "We wanted an album where all the songs were possible singles".[1] They recorded Kick in Sydney and Paris, it was produced by Chris Thomas again,[2] but Atlantic Records was not happy with the result, as manager Chris Murphy remembers:

They hated it, absolutely hated it. They said there was no way they could get this music on rock radio. They said it was suited for black radio, but they didn't want to promote it that way. The president of the label told me that he'd give us $1 million to go back to Australia and make another album.[1]

Despite Atlantic's protests, Kick was released in October 1987 and provided the band with worldwide popularity; it peaked at No. 1 in Australia,[3] No. 3 on the US Billboard 200,[4] No. 9 in UK,[5] and No. 15 in Austria.[6] It was an upbeat, confident album that yielded four Top 10 US singles, "New Sensation", "Never Tear Us Apart", "Devil Inside" and No. 1 "Need You Tonight".[7] "Need You Tonight" peaked No. 2 on the UK charts,[5] No. 3 in Australia,[3] and No. 10 in France.[8] They toured heavily behind the album throughout 1987 and 1988. The video for the 1987 INXS track "Mediate" (which played after the video for "Need You Tonight") replicated the format of Bob Dylan's video for "Subterranean Homesick Blues," even in its use of apparently deliberate errors. In September 1988 the band won 5 categories in the MTV Video Music Awards with the video for "Need You Tonight/Mediate".[9]

It was stated on an interview disc [10] that the name of the album was considered halfway through production when it was seen that the word "Kick" was featured in a couple of tracks at that point. There was also the appeal that the word had four letters like the band name. During the second half of the production a song of the same name was written, thus the song was named after the album as opposed to the usual naming of the album after a song.

During 1989, Hutchence collaborated with Ian 'Ollie' Olsen on a side project, Max Q,[11] the two had previously worked together on Lowenstein's film Dogs in Space. The rest of the band also took a break to work on side projects, but returned to the studio to record their follow-up album X (1990).

In 2002 Rhino Entertainment released a remastered reissue of 'Kick', with four previously unreleased bonus tracks. Mercury/Universal reissued the album in 2004 as part of their Deluxe Edition series of albums. The two-disc collection was bolstered by a disc of remixes, B-sides and outtakes. Kick is the band's best-selling album and Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified it as 6× Platinum, with shipments of six million units, in 1997.[12] According to INXS: Story to Story: The Official Autobiography (2005) it has sold more than 10 million copies in the US alone.[13]

In March 2010, as part of his Record Club series where he covers classic albums in their entirety, Beck released the first video of his cover version of Kick on his website. The videos were submitted weekly in the same track order as the original release, although the whole album was recorded in just twelve hours on 3 March.[14] In October, it was listed at No. 11 in the book, 100 Best Australian Albums.[15]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[16]
Christgau's Record Guide B[17]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 4/5 stars[18]
Los Angeles Times 2.5/4 stars[19]
Q 4/5 stars[20]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3.5/5 stars[21]

AllMusic's Steve Huey described the album as "an impeccably crafted pop tour de force, the band succeeding at everything they try".[16] Robert Christgau describes INXS as "silly middlebrow hacks" but acknowledges that Kick delivered "danceable rock and roll that sounds smart in the background".[17] BBC Music's Cormac Heron reviewed the 2004 deluxe edition, "superfluous second disc notwithstanding, this is a near flawless collection of songs" and felt that the "production still sounds fresh and the song-writing partnership of Hutchence/Farriss wins you over with an anthemic glory".[22] Australian rock music historian, Ian McFarlane, advises that "it became the band's most enduring release by mixing the hard rock sound of Thieves with a looser approach to dance grooves".[11]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Andrew Farriss and Michael Hutchence, except where noted.

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Guns in the Sky" Michael Hutchence 2:21
2. "New Sensation"   3:39
3. "Devil Inside"   5:14
4. "Need You Tonight"   3:01
5. "Mediate" A. Farriss 2:36
6. "The Loved One" Ian Clyne, Gerry Humphreys and Rob Lovett 3:37
7. "Wild Life"   3:10
8. "Never Tear Us Apart"   3:05
9. "Mystify"   3:17
10. "Kick" Kirk Pengilly and Andrew Farriss [23] 3:14
11. "Calling All Nations"   3:02
12. "Tiny Daggers"   3:29

Charts and certifications[edit]



  1. ^ a b Jenkins, Jeff; Meldrum, Ian (2007). Molly Meldrum presents 50 years of rock in Australia. Melbourne, Vic: Wilkinson Publishing. pp. 86, 179–183, 223, 253. ISBN 978-1-921332-11-1. 
  2. ^ Holmgren, Magnus; Shaw, Julian; Meyer, Peer (2007). "INXS". Australian Rock Database. Retrieved 18 May 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, Sydney: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.  NOTE: Used for Australian Singles and Albums charting until Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) created their own charts in mid-1988.
  4. ^ "INXS > Charts & Awards > Billboard albums". AllMusic (Rovi Corporation). Retrieved 18 May 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "INXS Singles and Albums Charts". Chart Stats. Retrieved 18 May 2010. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Discographie INXS". Austrian Charts Portal (Hung Medien). Retrieved 18 May 2010.  NOTE: Information in German.
  7. ^ "INXS > Charts & Awards > Billboard singles". AllMusic (Rovi Corporation). Retrieved 18 May 2010. 
  8. ^ "Discographie INXS". French Charts Portal (Hung Medien). Retrieved 18 May 2010.  NOTE: Information in French.
  9. ^ St John, Ed; INXS (1992). INXS: The Official Inside Story of a Band on the Road. Port Melbourne, Vic: Mandarin. p. 75. ISBN 1-86330-207-7. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ a b McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Encyclopedia entry for 'INXS'". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86448-768-2. Retrieved 18 May 2010. 
  12. ^ "RIAA Certifications". Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Retrieved 18 May 2010. 
  13. ^ INXS; Bozza, Anthony (2006). INXS: Story to Story: The Official Autobiography. Atria Books. ISBN 978-0-7432-8404-2. 
  14. ^ "Beck / Record Club". Retrieved 11 January 2012. 
  15. ^ O'Donnell, John; Creswell, Toby; Mathieson, Craig (October 2010). 100 Best Australian Albums. Prahran, Vic: Hardie Grant Books. ISBN 978-1-74066-955-9. 
  16. ^ a b Huey, Steve. "Kick – INXS". AllMusic (Rovi Corporation). Retrieved 18 May 2010. 
  17. ^ a b Christgau, Robert. "INXS: Kick". Retrieved 18 May 2010. 
  18. ^ Larkin, Colin (2007). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-857-12595-8. 
  19. ^ Willman, Chris (25 October 1987). "The Rhythm of INXS". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 11 January 2012. 
  20. ^ "INXS – Kick CD". CD Universe. Retrieved 11 January 2012. 
  21. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian, eds. (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. p. 406. ISBN 978-0-7432-0169-8. 
  22. ^ Heron, Cormac (15 November 2004). "Review of INXS - Kick (Deluxe Edition)". BBC Music. Retrieved 18 May 2010. 
  23. ^
  24. ^ "End of Year Charts – ARIA Top 50 Albums 1988". ARIA Charts. Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 7 January 2015. 
  25. ^ "End of Year Charts – ARIA Top 100 Albums 2014". ARIA Charts. Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on 11 January 2015. Retrieved 7 January 2015. 
  26. ^ "Argentinian album certifications – INXS – Kick". Argentine Chamber of Phonograms and Videograms Producers. Retrieved February 17, 2017. 
  27. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1996 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  28. ^ "Canadian album certifications – INXS – Kick". Music Canada. Retrieved 14 September 2012. 
  29. ^ "French album certifications – INXS – Kick" (in French). InfoDisc.  Select INXS and click OK
  30. ^ "Les Albums Platine :" (in French). Retrieved 14 September 2012. 
  31. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (INXS; 'Kick')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 14 September 2012. 
  32. ^ "IFPIHK Gold Disc Award − 1989". IFPI Hong Kong. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  33. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – INXS – Kick". Recorded Music NZ. 
  34. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (in Spanish) (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  35. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (INXS; 'Kick')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. Retrieved 14 September 2012. 
  36. ^ "British album certifications – INXS – Kick". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 14 September 2012.  Enter Kick in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
  37. ^ "American album certifications – INXS – Kick". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 14 September 2012.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  38. ^ a b c "Kick > Credits". AllMusic (Rovi Corporation). Retrieved 18 May 2010.