Listen Like Thieves

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Listen Like Thieves
Listenlikethieves.jpg
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)The Swing1984
Listen Like Thieves
(1985)
Kick
(1987)Kick1987
Singles from Listen Like Thieves
  1. "This Time"
    Released: 1985
  2. "What You Need"
    Released: 1985
  3. "Kiss the Dirt (Falling Down the Mountain)"
    Released: August 1986
  4. "Listen Like Thieves"
    Released: 1986

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.

The album featured the band's first top 5 single in the U.S., "What You Need", and it also won the group the Countdown Music and Video Award for 'Best Video' with that single, a sign of the critical acclaim that INXS had achieved. Listen Like Thieves also marks the beginning of the group's off-and-on alliance with producer Chris Thomas.

Background[edit]

Listen Like Thieves is the fifth studio album by INXS. The Sydney-based group had formed in 1977 by the three Fariss brothers: Andrew on guitar and keyboards, Jon on percussion and drums, and Tim on guitar, along with Garry Gary Beers on bass guitar, Michael Hutchence as lead vocalist, 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 worldwide 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, Elton John) producing at Rhinoceros Studios.[1][2][3]

Recording and production[edit]

Listen Like Thieves was recorded over a three-month period at the Rhinoceros studio in Sydney, NSW, Australia.[9] Many of the album's songs were written by the song writing duo of vocalist Hutchence and multi-instrumentalist Farriss.[10][11] As production came close to completion, Thomas told the band that the album was lacking a crucial hit single, so the band members left the studio having just a few days to come up with one last song.[11] "Chris Thomas told us there was still no 'hit'", Farriss later recalled. "We left the studio that night knowing we had one day left and we had to deliver a 'hit'. Talk about pressure."[11] Both Hutchence and Farriss searched through the demos that Farriss had composed throughout the album's production.[11] Out of the remaining demos, Thomas persuaded the duo to focus on one particular demo titled "Funk Song no 13".[11] "It was great. I thought, 'I could listen to that groove for 10 minutes!' I said, 'Let's work with that groove'", said Thomas.[11] INXS spent the next two days working on the demo track, which would eventually turn out to be the hit single "What You Need", giving the band their first top 5 hit in the U.S.[11][12]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[13]
Rolling Stone (1985)(favorable)[14]
Rolling Stone (2004)3.5/5 stars[15]

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)".[13] 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".[14]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Andrew Farriss and Michael Hutchence,[16] unless otherwise indicated.

No.TitleLength
1."What You Need"3:35
2."Listen Like Thieves" (Garry Gary Beers, A. Farriss, Jon Farriss, Tim Farriss, Hutchence, Kirk Pengilly)3:46
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]

Personnel as listed in the album's liner notes are:[10]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Country Provider(s) Peak
position
Certifications
Australia Kent Music Report 1 AUS: 4× Platinum[17]
Canada[18] RPM 100 Albums 24
New Zealand[19] Recorded Music NZ 4 NZ: Platinum[20]
Switzerland[21] Swiss Hitparade 30
United Kingdom[22] Official Charts Company 46
United States[6] Billboard 200 11 US: 2× Platinum[23]

Singles[edit]

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. ^ 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. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Discography INXS". New Zealand Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). Archived from the original on 8 January 2014. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "INXS | Awards". Allmusic. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  7. ^ "Item Display – Top Albums/CDs". RPM. 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. ^ "IN THE STUDIO WITH INXS (recording of Listen Like Thieves) by Neill McCutcheon". OoCities (Dolly Magazine Australia 1985). Retrieved 16 March 2017. 
  10. ^ a b Listen Like Thieves liner notes. Retrieved March 16th, 2017
  11. ^ a b c d e f g "The Day INXS Broke Through With 'Listen Like Thieves'". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 16 March 2017. 
  12. ^ "Listen Like Thieves (1985)". INXS: Online. Retrieved 16 March 2017. 
  13. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Listen Like Thieves – INXS". AllMusic. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  14. ^ 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. 
  15. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian, eds. (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. p. 406. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  16. ^ "'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
  17. ^ "The ARIA Albums Chart - 03/03/2014 (from The ARIA Australian Top 50 Albums)". Wayback Machine (original document published by ARIA). Archived from the original on 5 March 2014. Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  18. ^ "Item Display – Top Albums/CDs". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. 3 May 1986. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  19. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Discography INXS". New Zealand Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). Archived from the original on 8 January 2014. Retrieved 8 March 2014. 
  20. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – INXS". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 12 March 2017. 
  21. ^ Hung, Steffen. "INXS – Listen Like Thieves" (in German). hitparade.ch (Swiss Hitparade). Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  22. ^ "INXS | Artist | Official Charts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  23. ^ "American certifications – INXS". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 9 March 2014.