80’s Mania Mondays: I’ll Take You Where You Really Need To Be

Think of some of your favorite groups over the last thirty years and you can bet that each one of them had somebody that was charismatic. Someone that was the focal point of the group. They didn’t necessarily have to look good, but it helped. Didn’t have to even sing well, but it didn’t hurt. Some examples: Michael Jackson for the Jackson 5, Mick Jagger for the Rolling Stones, as well as Jim Morrison for the Doors. Morris Day was comically charismatic for The Time. For a time in the mid-80s, Michael Hutchence was that charismatic focal point for the group INXS.

INXS and Hutchence had tasted some success in its native Australia beginning as far back as 1980, but wouldn’t find its  breakout hit until late in 1985, when the album Listen Like Thieves was released. When the band released its second single “What You Need” early in 1986, the group finally had the big success it was looking for. Today’s 80’s Mania Mondays song is “What You Need.”

It may not look like it, but trust me, the video works. At least it did before I put the link in the post.

For INXS, U.S. success was just beginning when this song was released. While it wasn’t their first charting single in the States, it was the first to take up residence in the Billboard Hot 100 top 5, peaking at #5 in the Spring of 1986.  I know I couldn’t wait to hear it when it came on the radio that year; I loved the energy in the song as well as the beat. It sounded like an R&B song that kicked like a rock track, at least to me. Listen Like Thieves then set up the band’s greatest success; the album Kick which was released in 1987. Led by the #1 single “Need You Tonight”, and the video for the song (coupled with album track “Mediate”), Kick contained four top ten singles (“Devil Inside,” “New Sensation,” and “Never Tear Us Apart” being the other three). It also catapulted Hutchence into something of a sex symbol. More attention began to be paid to Hutchence as he began to do modeling and acting work, in addition to fronting the group.

After one more hit album, X (1990), the group’s fortunes in the U.S. began to take a dip. Each successive released proved to be less successful than the one before it, even as they achieved decent success elsewhere. In fact, they were more successful in the 1990s in the United Kingdom than they ever were in the 1980s, while the reverse was true here in the States. After taking a break in the middle of the 90s, the group returned with the album Elegantly Wasted in 1997. Not long after the release of the album, Hutchence was found dead in a hotel room in Sydney, Australia. His death was ruled a suicide, caused by an overdose of alcohol and drugs.

While we’ll never know if INXS could have made a comeback with Hutchence leading the way, we do have their great 80s hits to remember them by. I hope you remember and enjoy “What You Need” as much as I did. As always, thanks for reading and listening.

27 Replies to “80’s Mania Mondays: I’ll Take You Where You Really Need To Be”

    1. Hi there, friend…so glad I could bring back a happy memory. I really loved this song when it was out. I remember when I first heard “Original Sin,” it wasn’t even the album version, it was a remix on some compilation that I had. By that time, INXS had become a sensation (no pun intended).

      Liked by 1 person

  1. My sister is ten years older than me and she absolutely LIVED for INXS and U2 when she was a teen in the 80s. I remember this song. I was just a wee kid listening outside the door because she wouldn’t let me in.

    Thank you for another memory inducing post, sir.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re very welcome! I’m sure your sister wasn’t the only one living for those two bands in those days. It’s good that you don’t have to listen outside the door anymore 🙂


  2. INXS is one of the more underrated bands of the entire decade. This song and “Need You Tonight” are about their only two i regularly hear on the radio anymore, but they had so many more that either were hits or deserved to be hits. “The One Thing” (Shabooh Shoobah), “Listen Like Thieves” (The title track) and “Mystify” (Kick) are three of my under the radar favorites of theirs…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so right about INXS. Kick had a bunch of great songs; it was a solid album throughout. Only after hearing “What You Need” did I go back and look at what they had done previously. As I mentioned in an earlier comment, I heard a remix of “Original Sin” before I actually heard the original version.


  3. I loved INX; I had a crush on the drummer. You can see him pointing at the camera with his drumstick in “I need you tonight.”
    Yeah erybody thought he was pointing at them; he was pointing at ME!!!!
    Great memories are attached to this one too!
    Sooooooo ’80’s

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Now that’s some inside information that you just can’t Google! All those times I saw that video, that is something I never knew! Then again, how could he not be pointing at my Twin! 🙂

      Glad you enjoyed this trip down 80s memory lane!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. T. Wayne…get outta my head! You always seem to know what’s playing in my gray matter! How do you do that? LOL!
    I LOVED INXS. Michael Hutchence was a incredible front-man. I read somewhere that he lost his sense of taste during the last years of his life and he spiraled into a dark depression. He loved wine and could no longer enjoy the nuances of its taste or taste anything else for that matter. His partner, Paula Yates, committed suicide not long after he died. They had a daughter together, Tiger Lilly, who is now being raised by Paula’s ex-husband, Bob Geldof, (Live Aid and The Wall). Such a tragic end to such an amazing talent.
    I also loved, “Beautiful Girl” “Mystify” and “By My Side”
    As always…great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lex…I don’t know…maybe it’s some kind of weird synchronicity? If I truly have the gift, I need to take it on the road and make some dollars!!!

      Thanks so much for the compliments! I loved INXS…played Kick just about ’til the tape popped. Hutchence had such charisma and charm that the great ones seem to have in spades. He was perfect for them and I loved their sound. Thanks so much for the additional info on him and the latter days of his life.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think you and your “twin” have a link to my brain! And I am glad you do…because you put my faves on here!
        I also wore Kick out and purchased their entire collection for my firstborn a couple of birthdays ago. After listening to 2 albums, he was hooked! He’s often told he resembles Michael Hutchence (but he CANNOT, let me repeat…CANNOT sing like him) so during the winter, he breaks out the cool wool pea coat with the long scarf and saunters around campus, as if he’s in the “Never Tear Us Apart” video. LOL!!!! I have thought how funny it would be to have a saxophonist hiding behind something, come out playing the song as he struts by…LOL!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. So we’re >>><<< kinda! Ha! Great story about your firstborn!

        Basically, I'm just winging it on a bunch of songs that I grew up with, loved or remembered fondly, with the occasional new song thrown in. I'm glad you like what is going on here…I'm hoping to do more and different things in the time to come, so we'll see how it goes.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Way back when I saw a movie. “Pump Up The Volume”. It inspired me. I became that radio Pirate. Loved it so much, I started in community radio. Then got pulled to commercial radio. Along the way, the first song I played at every stop was “What You need”

    Liked by 1 person

Leave A Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s