Original Sin :: Inxs

Original Sin, by INXS, was released in 1984 on their fourth album The Swing. It was written by Michael Hutchence and Andrew Farriss, and produced by Nile Rodgers. The song was originally titled Brand New Day.

It was released as a single in the U.S. in December 1983, where it reached # 58 on the Billboard Hot 100, in 1984. In Australia, it reached # 1 in 1984, and became an international hit during that year.

Singer Daryl Hall sings the chorus along with Hutchence. According to an interview done in Australia, Hall says Nile Rodgers called him up and asked him to sing on the song. Rodgers had participated in remixing the single Adult Education for Hall and Oates the previous year.

Andrew Farriss, of Inxs, speaks of the recording of the song, stating:

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.”
The music video is set in Japan and features INXS singing the song arriving on motorbikes, as a fairground is set up and taken down around them, all brought in and removed with large trucks.

Editor’s Note: I am currently reading an autobiography by Duran Duran’s John Taylor. In it he mentioned hearing this song, and the album The Swing at a party (and asking it to be replayed a few times) he was inspired to reach out to Nile Rodgers to remix the Duran Duran hit, The Reflex and then later work with him on spin-off band, The Power Station.

Also, this song, and the album, were recorded at New York recording studio, The Power Station, where The Power Station recorded their album, as well as where Bryan Ferry recorded Kiss and Tell.

Listening to the song again, I can hear the influence and production work used in the other projects from those first drum beats and energy, and later, in the use of the bass guitar. I love when I can weave together inspirations and music connections like that between songs and artists/bands I love.

Leave a Reply