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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars XS-ively Good.
"Kick" sold more copies, but "Listen Like Thieves" is the Aussie group's most consistent and enjoyable album. This disc is loaded with all the things I like in pop music: hooks galore, catchy choruses, and top-notch instrumentation. THERE ARE NO BAD SONGS ON THIS ALBUM. The disc starts moving in the right direction with the funky "What You Need," moving to the loud and...
Published on October 28, 2002 by The Groove

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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not quite there
After groundbreaking albums, Shabooh Shoobah and The Swing, Listen Like Thieves seems to stagnate. To me this album does not leap forward like the previous ones and although it contains hits like What You Need, Listen Like Thieves and This Time it does not grab me and make me listen. Oddly the album does contain two outstanding tracks in Kiss The Dirt and Shine Like It...
Published on September 25, 2000 by Mark McKenzie


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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars XS-ively Good., October 28, 2002
By 
This review is from: Listen Like Thieves (Audio CD)
"Kick" sold more copies, but "Listen Like Thieves" is the Aussie group's most consistent and enjoyable album. This disc is loaded with all the things I like in pop music: hooks galore, catchy choruses, and top-notch instrumentation. THERE ARE NO BAD SONGS ON THIS ALBUM. The disc starts moving in the right direction with the funky "What You Need," moving to the loud and fun title track, the groovy bite of "Shine Like it Does," and the solid first single "This Time." Other favorites are "Same Direction" (lifted from the 1980s Mitch Gaylord campfest "American Anthem") and "One X One." Vocalist Michael Hutchence yells, screams, and growls through each of these tunes with feeling and verve. INXS never got enough credit in their multiplatinum days, but they were a solid pop act that suffered some catty blows from petty critics. Pay them no mind. Crank this one up, and let the grooves take you back to the glory days. Party like it's 1985.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Album where Inxs Evolved Their Sound - More than "What You Need", August 1, 2005
By 
L.A. Scene (Indian Trail, NC USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Listen Like Thieves (Audio CD)
"Listen Like Thieves" would be the breakthrough album in the United States for the six member band from Australia called Inxs. Prior to this album, Inxs had already established a solid following in their home country of Australia. This would be the album where Inxs would begin to transition to the sound that would define the band in the late 1980s and 1990s. While many people are only familiar with their Top 10 hit "What You Need", there is a lot more that this album has to offer.

One fact that I find amazing about Inxs is that this six member band stuck together from their formation in the late 1970s through Michael Hutchence's untimely death in 1997. During this period, the band would release 10 studio albums, 1 Greatest Hits album, and 1 Live album. This has allowed the band to meld together and grow professionally. Much of this is due to the fact that three band members are brothers: Andrew Farriss (Keyboards), Jon Farriss (Drums), and Tim Farriss (Guitar). The other three members also stuck tightly with the band the whole way. These members include: Michael Hutchence (Lead Vocals), Garry Gary Beers (Bass), and Kirk Pengilly (Guitar and Sax). Hutchence - known for his long hair and theatrical performances in concert often gets the most publicity. But the remaining five members all make major contributions from a musicianship standpoint. In addition, Hutchence is not just eye candy - he plays a key role in the songwriting. It is worth noting for "Listen Like Thieves" that the majority of the songs are written by Hutchence and Andrew Farriss.

I think Inxs' musical style can be considered an offshoot of the Punk and New-Wave movements of the late 1970s and early 1980s I look at "Listen Like Thieves as a transition album - this is where they would migrate from the Punk/New Wave influence of their early work and begin to move toward a more mainstream Pop/Rock sound. At the same time, Inxs wasn't afraid to try new things and experiment with different sounds. While this experimentation is done very well on, I find three other factors that make this album sound so good. 1) The guitar work is as strong as I have seen (this album some of Tim and Kirk's best work); 2) The infusion of Kirk's saxophone into this punk/new-wave influenced sound; and 3) Hutchence's powerful vocals really elevate the sound of the band.

Here is a song by song breakdown of the tracks:

"What You Need": Back in 1985,when I heard this song, I wasn't too impressed. However on Inxs' "Live Baby Live" album, the live version really impressed me. Now when I go back and listen to the studio version I have a new appreciation for this song. While Hutchence does his usual good job on vocals, I think this is a song where the other members of the band really pick it up. While Kirk's saxophone and Tim's guitar are right on the money - I ultimately think it's Jon Farriss' drumming that give this song an "edge".

"Listen Like Thieves": This song is credited to all members of the band - and you can truly hear all of the contributions of each member of the band from an instrumentation standpoint. However the beat of this song almost is the perfect showcase for Hutchence's gregarious style.

"Kiss the Dirt (Falling Down the Mountain)": The opening tracks have a very classic guitar sound, but the song transitions into a Synth-Pop sound. This song is a perfect example of Inxs bridging the Synth-Pop sound back to some classic guitar sound. There is some very creative keyboard work by Andrew.

"Shine Like It Does": This song might not be known in the U.S., but this is a classic among Inxs fans. While this isn't a very sophisticated sound by Inxs, it will be Hutchence's vocals that will boldly deliver the lyrics perfectly.

"Good & Bad Times": The end of "Shine Like it Does" will segue into this song. This song is more reminiscent of the sound from "Shabooh Shoobah". Again while Hutchence is very good - here is another example where the other members of the band really step up. There are also some terrific guitar chords by Tim and Kirk - and ultimately Kirk's sax solo midway through the song will shine.

"Biting Bullets": On this song, this has a definite Punk/New Wave feel to it. Inxs has a lot of their trademark balance of guitar and keyboards in perfect working form. Hutchence is able to pull off the Punk/New Wave vocals flawlessly.

"This Time": This is another song known by Inxs fans. The story of this song is Hutchence. This song demonstrates why it may be almost impossible to ever find another vocalist close to him. The guitar work is outstanding again, but give credit to a keyboard solo by Andrew Farriss.

"Three Sisters": This is a terrific instrumental piece written by Andrew. His keyboard and synthesizer work takes center stage.

"Same Direction": This is the best track on the album - and perhaps their most underrated. The near one minute intro is outstanding. This is a song that will have you clapping throughout the whole song. Tim and Kirk really jam on the guitars on this song. Hutchence doesn't miss a beat with his vocals.

"One X One": Kirk's horn work will open up this song and give this song a real "alley cat" feel to it.

"Red Red Sun": This is another hard rocking song with some terrific Tim and Kirk guitar work. This song does a great job at showing the blend of some Classic Rock sound with the New Wave roots.

The liner notes include all of the lyrics as well as production credits and acknowledgements. As mentioned above, this album offers so much more than "What You Need". Overall, this album shows how Inxs positioned themselves for superstardom with their follow-on album "Kick". "Listen Like Thieves" is highly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is what you need!, November 16, 2004
By 
Richard "Chappo" (Rochester NY, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Listen Like Thieves (Audio CD)
INXS never looked back after this album, at least for a few years. After the excellent 'The Swing' the year before, INXS followed it up with more of the same solid funky catchy rock songs. The opening volley of three track in particular stand out for me. The groove of 'What You Need', the downright infectious title track and the sulty 'Kiss The Dirt' are some of the finest songs of the time. Also there is the stomping 'One x One' and anthemic 'This Time' both live favourites. Listening again to this album it's hard to believe it's 20 years old, it also shows how underrated INXS were. Although the next album 'Kick' would break the band internationally, this album and 'The Swing' are superior in my opinion and I think they still stand as the musical highlights of their career.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1985: INXS is Rising., December 6, 2000
By 
Edward Crawford "Beatles Fan" (Randolph, MA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Listen Like Thieves (Audio CD)
The drums crash and guitar blares from the first song on the album. We lead of with What You Need, which is the first top ten hit for INXS, I beleive it hit #5 on the charts here. When you buy the CD you will instantly recognize this song. It's also on their greatest hits CD from 1994, which is also worth picking up. Listen Like Thieves is the next track. It gives me a mental picture of summer, the heat, Australia, and people listening to the radio in their cars. The bass is somewhat heavy in this track, but good. Kiss The Dirt has a very melodic feel to it. It starts out as a lighter pop/rock song for the time, but has a great rocking guitar part towards the middle/end of the song. There are great rythym changes. Shine Like It Does seems to have a deeper meaning in the song. "Every single hour that we have known", from the song is one of my favorite lines in a song. It seques into Good + Bad Times. Synthesisers, a rocking guitar, and heavy drums make this a shoulda-been released single in the US, along with Kiss The Dirt. Biting Bullets has a very punk feel, think of a faster Sex Pistols song. Lighting vocals and good guitar work make this another good track. This Time laments yet another lovers quarell. The singer seems to tire of the typical love/hate game in many relationships. Three Sisters is an instrumental. It's good, but seems slightly out of place in this album. Same Direction has a distorted guitar beginning and could be the most "psychadelic" (term used loosely here) track on the album. One X One has horns blazing that is very reminiscent of Kick, which would come in 1987. In fact the track sounds particularly like a warm up for Kick. Red Red Sun rocks the album out. Another punk/Police influenced track. You could imagine this on the Police's Synchronicity album, or really any album of theirs. This album shows INXS learning their trade fast and taking command. Kick is only a guitar strum away. This captures them just as they were getting big, but still hungry for success. This is the bridge between their earlier, new wave-type output of 1980-1984, and their later work starting from 1987 until the end in 1997.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So good it's a crime, January 7, 2006
This review is from: Listen Like Thieves (Audio CD)
On "Shabooh Shoobah," INXS gelled as a band. On "The Swing," they experimented. And on "Listen Like Thieves," they realized their potential. From the opening guitar misfire and drum roll that thunders into "What You Need" to the final cascades of "Red Red Sun," INXS hit the dirt and kept on running. The entire first half of this CD is flawless, with four INXS classics in a string. You have the killer single "What You Need" (the band's first American Top Ten), then the statement of purpose title song, then the funky "Kiss The Dirt" and then the fan favorite "Shine Like It Does," which became the obvious title for the band's greatest hits anthology.

The band just kept growing. Michael Hutchence was clearly attaining a level of critical mass-as-rock star, a pinnacle that would be reached on the following "Kick." Kirk Pengilly's sax gives the edge to great songs like "What You Need." The Farris brothers and Pengilly kept making leaps as songwriters, with the Stonsey "This Time" being a single that should have been a smash. In fact, the only track on the album that I wasn't all that keen on was the instrumental "Three Sisters" which, without the sex appeal of Michael's urgent singing, sounds flat.

But still, as far as 80's rock is concerned, INXS made albums that still hold their worth as music. "Listen Like Thieves" found the band still hitting new highs, and is the obvious harbinger to the mammoth "Kick."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just What We Really Needed!, January 4, 2013
This review is from: Listen Like Thieves (Audio CD)
1985 was a time where a lot of blockbuster albums were vying for their day in the spotlight. Mix with that the growing ascendancy of MTV and you have a music world that seemed to be built rather more on popularity than creativity. Looking back on it now,a good majority of these groups and individuals were among some of the most enduring talents in pop music. Who just happened to be in their creative and commercial peak at roughly the same time. That was the environment in which Inxs,a relative newbie band in terms of the US pop audience,came into with this album. They'd certainly had plenty of practice in their native Australia. And their previous album The Swing began to get them a lot of international attention. Well one could say that this was the beginning of Inxs blockbuster period.

To start with the album busted out with the intense Stax/JB style funk hit of "What You Need",their first major US smash and a radio staple to this day. And deservedly so. The title song and "Good + Bad Times" are are actually very slick synth funk grooves with a lot of production gloss and some compelling harmony and melodic developments. "Kiss The Dirt (Falling Down Mountains)" returns to the funk that opened the album only mixed with a good dose of melodic popcraft as well. "Shine Like It Doesm","This Time","Same Direction" and the driving rocker "Biting Bullets" all represent a cleanly produced pop/rock sound on some incredibly well crafted and played compositions. After the electro oriented instruntal "Three Sisters" there's the soulful horn shuffle of "One X One" followed by the ferocious guitar rocker "Red Red Sun".

Albums of this type were among the best things to happen to the mid 1980's pop landscape. They managed to blend music-in this case from new wave,to hard rock as well as dance and funk music in a way that was both creatively vital and ideally suited to the commercial landscape of the time. At the time it was pretty much accepted for a pop act at the top of their game to wait a year or two to release an album. Considered a long wait compared to the rapid fire album releases of the 70's,it's nothing compared to the sometimes four-five year waits between albums today while artists spend much of their time going through the publicity circuit. In roughly a year and a half from this release Inxs would release their followup and cement their status as megastars. That,however,is a whole other story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for any INXS fan...get this!, May 8, 2001
By 
Jay Gelston (Latham, NY (USA)) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Listen Like Thieves (Audio CD)
I had enjoyed the music of INXS as a young boy in the 80's, but I didn't become a full fledged INXS fan until my college years. I got my first INXS album just a month before the death of Michael Hutchence. While the "Kick" album contains many hits that us Americans are most familiar with, "Listen Like Thieves" contains some great gems that some new American fans of the band (like myself) may not have heard before. Tracks such as "This Time", "One X One", and "Kiss The Dirt" are some of the best pieces of music that have ever been made. Of course this album contains the US hits "What You Need" and "Listen Like Thieves", the title track. US fans may oy may not be familiar with the track "Shine Like It Does", but either way you won't get it out of your head after you listen to that beautiful song. INXS was not yet burdened by the mega-success they would soon achieve in the mid/late 80's, so they could experiment with different sounds on this album. They were even free to put a cool instumental song on the album ("Three Sisters") If you're a die-hard INXS fan, you probably have this already. If you're just getting into INXS, like I was, than get "Listen Like Thieves" into your possession right away. It's OK if you wanna get "Kick" first, but get this album soon after.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars AUSTRALIAN PRIDE, March 2, 2005
This review is from: Listen Like Thieves (Audio CD)
One of their better efforts.Came right after THE SWING which is my favourite INXS album and before KICK so it's often forgotten or overlooked but this kicks ass!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my all-time favorite albums, May 6, 2000
This review is from: Listen Like Thieves (Audio CD)
I ABSOLUTELY LOVE this album. There are albums that you buy and listen to a few times and put on a shelf. And there are albums that you pull out and listen to that transport you to a wonderful time and place in your life. This is one of those for me. One of my must-haves for a road trip. I first listened to this while driving thru the Rockies in Colorado and I can still remember the scenery and the music becoming one for me. Very spiritual, which is not something you'd expect from an INXS fan, but then again, maybe you had to be there! Falling Down a Mountain is fantastic, not to mention the rest of the album. However, on another note, the album now has a meloncholy tone for me since Michael's death. How sad to never hear that wonderful voice again!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Is Their Greatest Hits, June 15, 2005
By 
David P. Squire (Livonia, Michigan United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Listen Like Thieves (Audio CD)
I had the pleasure of seeing INXS during the Kick tour and after the concert, the very next day I proceeded to go to the music shop and purchase their entire catalogue and when I came across Listen Like Thieves I was sure this was a greatest hits collection, but no it's not...but it could be...not one bad song on that disc...I'm telling you right now, get it! Heck, get 'them all, now with Michael Hutchence long gone it's as close as you're ever going to get to something this good...so sad he had to end it the way he did...just to think what else he would've come up with...like I said, don't delay...go get it and enjoy!
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Listen Like Thieves by Listen Like Thieves (Audio CD - 1990)
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