Monday, February 22, 2021

"Devil Inside" by INXS

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  3413
Date:  02/13/1988
Debut:  65
Peak:  2
Weeks:  17
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  INXS scored their first and only US #1 with "Need You Tonight," the first single from their sixth album Kick. On the strength of that song, the album would peak at #3 just two weeks after this follow-up single would debut on the Pop chart. It would continue to ride high on the chart thanks to "Devil Inside" nearly becoming their second #1. Overall, it was their third US Top 10 hit. The track would also peak at #2 on the Rock chart. By March, the album would be certified for sales of over 3 million.

ReduxReview:  This sleek, sexy song was the perfect follow-up to "Need You Tonight." Like that song, this one also had a memorable guitar lick that drove the song. What I also like is the quietly menacing chorus. Typically, the chorus for a pop/rock song should rise above the verse. The tone may be higher than the verse and could also be louder. It is the main hook of the song so it needs to soar and be memorable. A chorus that goes quiet and is lower in tone is not usual and something that is sort of an unwritten no-no in pop songwriting (I was even told that at music college). However, there are songs that can pull off the trick of making an undercutting chorus work and this is one of them. Michael Hutchence's lead vocal approaches a beckoning whisper and it makes you lean in because he's quietly offering something alluring, dark, and maybe a tad evil (but in a hot, good way...). It was another great track from the band.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  The video for this song was directed by Joel Schumacher. Schumacher started to direct films in the early 80s and secured his first major hit with 1985 Brat Pack classic St. Elmo's Fire. He followed it up with another box office winner, the teen vampire flick The Lost Boys. For that soundtrack, INXS supplied a couple of songs they recorded with Jimmy Barnes including the cover tune "Good Times" (#47 Pop). Perhaps as a sort of "thanks," Schumacher decided help them out with "Devil Inside." It was Schumacher's first foray into the music video world. He would only direct a minor few more over the years with perhaps his most viewed one along with "Devil Inside" being Seal's #1 song "Kiss from a Rose." That song/video was a tie-in to Schumacher's first Batman film, 1995's Batman Forever.


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