Original Sin

Composed by Andrew Farriss / Michael Hutchence

Song Review by

Andrew Farriss in particular had been a massive Chic and Nile Rodgers fan, so when Rodgers himself turned up at a show to offer INXS some praise, it didn't take the guitarist and the rest of the band long enough to jump at the chance to record. The result's another in the group's string of era-defining hits and first big American breakthrough, a slice of tightly wound pop-funk that manages the neat trick of dealing with the same themes as, say, Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder's "Ebony and Ivory" without sounding like Hallmark card glop. Admittedly, a lot of that comes from Michael Hutchence's sly, lusty lyrics and delivery -- the racial politics of the lyric are as sexual as much as anything -- but give him credit for ending the chorus on a note of questioning and doubt, of no easy solution found. For all that, it's the monstrous groove and punch of the song that counts first and foremost, with its stuttering drum breaks, the dark chime of the lead synth line matched by droning guitar, Kirk Pengilly's brisk sax, and the relentless, straight-up rhythm driving everything along. The lovely chorus, with backing vocals partially provided by Daryl Hall, acts like a sweet balm for all the suppressed tension, a great touch by both band and producer.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
No Image 1984 A*Vision Entertainment / Atlantic
The Greatest Hits [Universal] 1994 Atlantic 3:46
18 New Wave Classics, Vol. 1 1997
Various Artists
JCI Associated Labels 3:46
Shine Like It Does: The Anthology (1979-1997) 2001 Rhino 5:22
One Step Beyond: The Best of New Wave 2002
Various Artists
Flashback Gold / Rhino 5:23
The Years 1979-1997 2002 Universal Distribution / Universal International 4:02
INXS Squared: The Remixes 2004 Universal Distribution / Universal International 9:06
I'm Only Looking: The Best of INXS 2004 Rhino
Original Sin: The Collection 2004 Spectrum Music 5:20
The Videos 2007 Universal Distribution
Shabooh Shoobah/The Swing 2012 Relayer Records 5:19