INXS – Devil inside
On February 13, 1988, INXS released Devil Inside, the second single from their fantastic album “Kick” . The album had been out for a few months so the song was not completely new, but let’s be honest, it was irresistible.
Before the release of “Kick” INXS (written strictly in capital letters) were famous mostly in their Australia, where they had already released five albums, but they did not enjoy great popularity in the rest of the world: they had only been noticed for one or two songs from the previous album (“Listen like thieves”).
With the release of the new album, however, they changed their strategy to attack the American market, and the label had organized a tour of some American colleges. The first single, Need you tonight, sold very well and the tour took off.
Devil Inside seemed to have everything to repeat that success, although the production was generally skeptical of the album. The song certainly had an engaging rhythm, and the lyrics written by Michael Hutchence were very particular. As he stated in a book, Hutchence was in a phase of his life where he loved to use words and concepts of the religious world. And so he put together a masterful text that involves characters bordering between disturbing and the charming, including the devil within every single of us.
With Devil Inside they decided to get even closer to the American public, and they shot a very American video, filmed in California while the group performed at various venues in the area. The director was also an American, and would later become a great director: Joel Schumacher, director of “St. Elmo’s fire”, “Falling down”, “Batman forever”, “Batman & Robin”, “8MM”, and many other movies. He died in 2020.
Schumacher was in his first experience with a music video, but would later direct videos for Lenny Kravitz, Seal and others.
Actually it seems that INXS did not really like the video, they considered it too American. Perhaps for them who were Australian to the bones (with a few weekends in Singapore to record the new songs) all this Americanism was a bit excessive. But after all, everything is about excess: from their own name, of course, pronounced IN-excess, to the lyrics of this beautiful hit. An excessively beautiful hit, in fact.
INXS on Wikipedia