Why One INXS Member Struggled With ‘Devil Inside’


As INXS climbed to new heights of success with their 1987 album, Kick, the discharge of “Satan Inside” would assist fortify the Australian band as dependable hitmakers throughout the globe.

Launched In February 1988 because the second single from the group’s sixth LP, “Satan Inside” not solely capitalized on the huge success of Kick‘s first single, “Need You Tonight,” it additionally marked a definitive turning level within the band’s slow-burning rise over the previous 5 years.

Rock artists have by no means shied away from their fascination with the satan, and with “Satan Inside,” INXS singer Michael Hutchence stated the track was meant to look at the battle between good and evil that he believed was inside everybody. “I used to be on a God-and-the-devil section there,” Hutchence said of the track’s lyrics, which he wrote. “I suppose it is to do with the chaos of every little thing, you realize? And we are able to put it into non secular phrases, I suppose. The satan is chaotic. So that each time you suppose one thing’s proper, he is available in and adjustments every little thing.”

Nonetheless, as a lot as Hutchence valued the lyrics he wrote for INXS, he was extra inclined to share the private views behind them in interviews. “I’d somewhat articulate my very own place on issues in an interview than in a track,” he informed Rolling Stone in 1988. “As a result of I believe it may be a compromise. I’m not an incredible political lyricist, and I don’t declare to be. I don’t like knee-jerk politics. Anyone can learn the entrance pages and write down, ‘It’s unhealthy, it’s unhealthy, it’s unhealthy.’ That is in all probability probably the most educated, conscientious era in historical past. They’re not silly. Why inform folks one thing they learn within the newspapers final month? We don’t make any nice claims to vary the world, however hopefully, someplace in our lyrics we’re prodding folks.”

Watch INXS’ ‘Satan Inside’ Video

INXS’ rising stature with “Satan Inside” occurred to coincide with the downfall of televangelist Jimmy Swaggart. A yr earlier, Swaggart had accused fellow televangelist Jim Bakker of “immoral sexual habits.” However his skeletons surfaced, too, together with the revelation that he had “carried out voyeuristic acts” with a prostitute.

None of this was misplaced on Hutchence, who mentioned the duplicity of televangelists within the Rolling Stone interview. It wasn’t lengthy earlier than he started dedicating “Satan Inside” to Swaggart throughout the band’s concert events.

“It surprises me that persons are so outraged that Swaggart will get busted,” Hutchence stated. “It’s unimaginable how persons are raised above and change into pious people and all people seems to be as much as them they usually have full religion. It’s great to have religion, however I don’t drink the pope is any higher than anybody else. By addressing the satan – and I don’t imagine within the satan, it’s a metaphor – and never attempting to realize the angel, we’re all loads higher off.”

Even with the track’s large success – “Satan Inside” reached No. 2 on the Billboard chart – different INXS members weren’t significantly comfy with its subject material. In a 2022 interview with Bart Herbison of Nashville Songwriters Affiliation Worldwide, “Satan Inside” co-writer and INXS keyboardist Andrew Farris admitted he “used to wrestle” with the sentiment behind the track.

“[Hutchence] used to like that track. And it was nice reside, as nicely,” Farris stated. “The gang went bananas, you realize, but it surely wasn’t that a lot as I used to wrestle with the track a bit bit, as a result of I did not write the lyric. He wrote the lyric and … I’ve some beliefs about life and the afterlife. And I assumed, ‘Ooh, that is kinda attention-grabbing, this lyric?’ However then once more, I took the view of ‘Effectively, that is artwork.'”

Farris famous that Hutchence was a gifted lyricist, even when he did not totally comprehend what the late singer was going for in “Satan Inside.”

“Michael had an actual genius for … placing phrases collectively,” he stated. “And what used to actually impress me probably the most with the best way we labored collectively is that he would by no means query what I used to be doing musically or be aggressive. He would not say, ‘If I had accomplished that, I’d have accomplished it this fashion,’ He would simply belief me implicitly. … After which I’d have the identical respect for him with lyrics. So typically if I did not fairly perceive a few of the lyrics that he was writing, I simply went, ‘Possibly I simply do not get it fairly but.'”

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