Album reviews: Icehouse and INXS

By Kim Gillespie


If there's an Aussie pop-rock fan on your list of people to buy Christmas gifts for, you may have hit the jackpot.

But be aware we're mainly talking 1980s and a bit of the 90s here.

Both INXS and Icehouse have put out retrospective collections - 70 tracks between them - to remind many of us what we were listening to way back when.

I'm sure most of us can rattle off several INXS song titles, but who knew Icehouse had 30 hits?

And what hits they were: from the new wave pop of We Can Get Together and the darkness of Great Southern Land to the MOR classics Crazy and Electric Blue.

How would bands have got through the 80s if the saxophone and synthesiser hadn't been invented?

Gems to watch our for include the fun love song My Obsession (not stalkery at all), upbeat rocker Nothing too Serious and the emotional Touch the Fire. A welcome walk down memory lane, the White Heat three-disc set comes with a DVD with 32 clips.

INXS - the 80s version - made their first big impression with Original Sin but it was 1987's Kick and its slew of singles that thrust them higher up the musical food chain.

The collection kicks off with that album's Need You Tonight - which is all a bit confusing; I much prefer the chronological simplicity of the Icehouse best-of.

Even though I'm thoroughly sick of tracks like Devil Inside and New Sensation, and I Send A Message sounds a bit like Madonna's Material Girl, there are plenty of examples of pop brilliance: This Time, By My Side, Don't Change, Baby Don't Cry, Disappear and, of course, Never Tear Us Apart.

Possibly an excess of filler, but otherwise not a bad compilation.

Icehouse

White Heat: 30 Hits (Deluxe)

(Universal)

Stars: 3.5/5

and

INXS

The Very Best

(Universal)

Stars: 3/5

- The Aucklander

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