New Michael Hutchence project mashes up rarities and interviews

Michael Hutchence 
Mystify: A Musical Journey With Michael Hutchence
★ ★ ½ 

A new documentary film looks into the life of INXS singer Michael Hutchence, and at the same time a new audio offering presents some of his rarest recordings.

Put together by longtime INXS manager CM Murphy and friend Mark Edwards, the collection mixes together a series of INXS songs, snippets of interviews, rare recordings and studio outtakes. Presented as four sides, like an old fashioned record, the collection mixes five or six tunes together in each of the four tracks.

Hear music legend Ray Charles work out the phrasing of Please (You’ve Got That Need), hear the stunning recording of Hutchence covering the Rolling Stones’ Under My Thumb with the London Symphony Orchestra, and revisit some of the magical moments of INXS including Burn for You, Baby Don’t Cry and Shine Like It Does.

and many of the lesser known tracks are not engaging. One of the album’s highlights is a slowed down dreamy version of Original Sin presented with an alternative vocal take.

If your fan of the band, you soon find yourself wanting to hear the original version, and if your a super-fan you already know there are better cuts to show Hutchence’s brilliance from his solo work and Max Q side project.

INXS recordings have often been changed, remixed and revisited. The band often remixed their work, and since Hutchence’s death they’ve been a reality TV show, and at times almost a cover band of themselves. Their most recent project saw a variety of singers front the band to record their classic works. Their output has never been held up as sacred texts.

I doubt this collection will get many repeat listens. If you’re looking to dive deep into the world of INXS it’ll be far more rewarding to slip on any of their LPs, track down a Decadance cassette, or drop on of their classic 12 inches onto the turntable.

Graeme Watson


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