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INXS - Need You Tonight (1987)

  • Video Views 36,918,698
  • 80's Score80's Score 80's score: 1.91
  • Find this song on: Music Stack

“Need You Tonight” is the first single to be released worldwide from Australian rock band INXS‘s 1987 ...

“Need You Tonight” is the first single to be released worldwide from Australian rock band INXS‘s 1987 album, Kick, as well as the fourth song on the album. It is the only INXS single to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also achieved their highest charting position in the United Kingdom, where the song reached number two on the UK Singles Chart; however, this peak was only reached after a re-release of the single in November 1988. On its first run on the UK charts in October 1987, it stalled at No. 58. It was one of the last songs recorded for the album, yet it would arguably become the band’s signature song.

In February 2014, after the Channel 7 screening of the INXS: Never Tear Us Apart mini-series, “Need You Tonight” charted again in Australia via download sales. It peaked at No. 28 on the ARIA Singles Chart. In January 2018, as part of Triple M’s “Ozzest 100”, the ‘most Australian’ songs of all time, “Need You Tonight” was ranked number 69.

Music video

The music video combined live action and different kinds of animation. Directed by Richard Lowenstein, the video was actually “Need You Tonight / Mediate”, as it combined two songs from the album. Lowenstein claimed that the particular visual effects in “Need You Tonight” were created by cutting up 35mm film and photocopying the individual frames, before re-layering those images over the original footage.

For “Mediate”, it segues into a tribute to Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues”. The members flip cue cards with words from the song; the last one displays the words “Sax Solo,” at which point Kirk Pengilly starts a saxophone solo. Beneath the lyric “a special date” in the “Mediate” portion of the video, the cue card shown reads “9-8-1945” which in Australian date format is 9 August 1945, the date which the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan.

The video won five MTV Video Music Awards including 1988 Video of The Year and was ranked at number twenty-one on MTV’s countdown of the 100 greatest videos of all time.

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