Twenty-nine years ago this month, pop rock band INXS released its first-ever live recording Live Baby Live. The recording, captured July 31, 1991 at London’s famed Wembley Stadium, a venue that at that point, had also hosted the likes of Queen, Michael Jackson and U2. So for INXS to take the stage at the legendary venue meant also putting the band in very good company, considering the venue’s reputation as one of the world’s “elite” live venues. When the recording was originally released, it was a hit, reaching No. 3 on the Aria (Australian Recording Industry Association) Charts and No. 8 on the UK Albums Chart. The recording’s charting positions showed its popularity even with critics on both sides of the Atlantic and in the band’s home nation of Australia panning the presentation. Now almost 30 years later, the recording has been re-issued through Eagle Rock Entertainment for a whole new generation of audiences along with the band’s established fan base. Specifically speaking, it was released June 26 on Blu-ray/4K-HD, DVD and other formats. The concert’s set list makes for its own share of interest for audiences. It will be discussed shortly. The band’s performance of said set list adds to that interest. It will be discussed a little later. The companion booklet featured with the recording’s new re-issue rounds out its most important elements. Each noted item is important in its own way to the whole of the recording’s presentation. All things considered, they make Eagle Rock Entertainment’s Live Baby Live a presentation that will Keep INXS’ legacy a-LIVE. Yes, that awful pun was intended.
Eagle Rock Entertainment’s recent re-issue of INXS’ debut live recording Live Baby Live (The first “Live” is pronounced like it rhyme with the word “give.” The second rhymes with the word “hive.”) is an interesting presentation from the legendary pop rock band. That is due in part to the recording’s 19-song set list. The set list pulls largely from the band’s hit 1987 album Kick and that record’s follow-up, 1990’s X. The Swing (1984) gets a couple of nods. The band even presents its hit single ‘Devil Inside’ to close out the show, but by and large, the two noted albums – Kick and X – get the most attention in this concert. Eight of the 12 songs featured in Kick’s original presentation are featured in this set list. Eight of the songs from X’s 11 total songs are also featured here. Needless to say the set list is not a career-defining presentation from the band even at that point. Why the band opted to focus on the two noted albums is anyone’s guess. Considering that the band was touring in support of X at the time, the emphasis on that album is understandable. Add in that at the time of X’s release, three years had passed between its release and that of Kick and the emphasis makes more sense, especially considering the extended story behind the release of Kick, which involved two record labels. That story will be left for audiences to learn for themselves. Even with the limited focus of the concert’s set list, the band keeps the energy flowing from one song to the next throughout the show. The concert’s energy falls all of maybe twice total. In other words, the concert’s energy will keep audiences engaged and entertained thanks to the set list. What’s more, the songs featured in the set list features arrangements that bear a distinct similarity to works from INXS’ British counterparts, The Rolling Stones. This is worth its own future discussion, as the stylistic similarities between the band’s songs were intended. Keeping all of this in mind, the set list featured in Live Baby Live does its own share to entertain and engage audiences, even with its limitations kept in mind.
While the set list featured in Live Baby Live has some limitations what with its set list, the songs themselves will keep audiences entertained and engaged. On a related note, the band’s performance thereof builds on the presentation’s appeal. One of the most notable aspects of the band’s performance is that of front man Michael Hutchence. Hutchence struts around the stage with the same swagger of The Rolling Stones’ front man Mick Jagger, even sounding at times like Jagger in his vocal delivery. Drummer Jon Fariss’ time keeping is solid throughout each song, his energy never letting up at any point. Kirk Pengilly (sax, guitars) adds his own unique touch to each song with his own performances. His saxophone solos oozes the sound of so much music from the 90s, which adds even more to each song’s appeal. He, Hutchence and the rest of the band members’ performances feed the audience’s energy. That energy is in turn reciprocated, giving the band even more of its own energy, enhancing the experience even more. That engaging and entertaining performance by the band couples with the concert’s set list to give audiences even more reason to experience this concert whether for the first time or the first time in a long time. Those elements are not the only notable aspects of Live Baby Live, either. The companion booklet that comes with the recording rounds out its most important elements.
The companion booklet that accompanies Eagle Rock Entertainment’s new re-issue of Live Baby Live is important to note because of the background that it offers audiences before they even experience the concert. it should be noted that all of the background offered through the booklet is itself newly collected by fa Jamie East, who was at the band’s 1991 concert. The booklet opens with an introspective recollection on the concert by then guitarist/keyboardist Andrew Fariss. He writes about the honor of performing at Wemblem as a headliner even though the band had previously played there as an opener for Queen. Additionally, Fariss offers a funny anecdote about locking himself in a bathroom in order to mentally prepare for the band’s 1991 headliner show. That in itself will put a smile on audiences’ faces. Fariss’ band mate Garry Gary Beers expands on those comments, offering his own praise for Hutchence while also discussing the band members’ excitement at headlining Wembley. As the discussions continue, Jon Fariss gives thanks to the audience for taking part in the concert, noting, “We could not only see the mesmerizing vibe from the audience right in front of us – but the electricity and energy radiating from the audience was insanely unforgettable…I humbly thank and salute all our audience who were there at this Wembley show and for every other 3 thousand plus INXS shows we performed – I thank each and every one of you.” Hutchence and Gilly also share their own thoughts (Hutchence thoughts were obviously recorded prior to his untimely passing in 1997) in the booklet, enriching the experience even more. Considering their comments and the whole of the comments from the other noted band members, the booklet helps to paint a rich, vivid picture of Live Baby Live before audiences even experience the concert. That enriches the recording’s presentation even more. Considered with the recording’s set list and the band’s performance, all three elements join to make this concert a memorable presentation from INXS that audiences of all ages will appreciate. Live Baby Live is available now on a variety of platforms.
Eagle Rock Entertainment’s recent re-issue of INXS’ live recording Live Baby Live is an interesting updated presentation of the recording. that is due in part to the recording’s set list. While limited in its overall picture of the band’s catalog it still offers its own share of entertainment for audiences. The band’s performance of said set list makes the recording even more worth experiencing. The companion booklet, which features newly culled notes from the band members about the concert, adds yet another layer to the recording’s presentation. All the items noted here are important in their own way to the whole of Live Baby Live. All things considered, they make Live Baby Live well worth the experience. More information on Live Baby Live is available along with all of INXS’ latest news at:
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