5th May – The Number One Album in Australia – 1984 (INXS – The Swing)

INXS - The Swing

It was in 1984 when INXS achieved their first number-one single “Original Sin”, the opening song from the fourth album “The Swing”

INXS originally formed as The Farriss Brothers in 1977.

The early part of their career was a combination of relentless touring and recording where in the space of three years the band had released their first three records – “INXS” (October 1980) a Top 30 album, “Underneath The Colours” (Oct 1981) a Top 20 album and “Shabooh Shoobah” (Oct 1982) a Top 10 album.

The band was perfectly poised for major success in Australia.

It was 1983 after a show in Toronto when INXS was approached by Nile Rodgers, who had just produced the hugely successful “Let’s Dance” album for David Bowie, to see if they could work together

The outcome of that encounter was recording a song titled “Brand New Day”, which would become “Original Sin”, in September 1983 at New York’s Power Station Studios.

Andrew Farriss recalls:

“We were fresh off the road. So we had the basic song completed and we’d been playing it live in the set. He was talking to us through the headphones, kind of saying things that were meant to encourage us, and we figured he was just getting levels and stuff on the whole band playing together, but after we’d run it down a couple of times he said ‘OK, come in and have a listen’. We went in and the control room was sort of full of people dancing. Apart from adding background vocals and the sax solo, we were finished. We didn’t even know he was recording” – Burn : The life and times of Michael Hutchence and INXS”

Nile Rodgers who had also worked with Hall & Oates invited singer Daryl Hall into the studio who sings the chorus along with Michael Hutchence.

“Original Sin” became the lead track on “The Swing”, which was completed with producer Nick Launay – who had produced Midnight Oil’s  “10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1” album (1982), The Church’s “Séance” (1983) and Models “The Pleasure of Your Company” (1983).

The ten track album had a number of music videos made – in addition to “Original Sin”, promos were done for “I Send a Message”, “Burn for You”, “Dancing on the Jetty”, “Love Is (What I Say)” and “All the Voices”. These combined with the band’s touring and promotional schedule saw “The Swing” enjoy a lengthy tenure on the Australian charts where it sat inside the Top 50 selling albums for over 2 years.