We used to think most reimagining albums were awful; do you blame us with only a million Kidz Bop albums to go off of? But after Peter Gabriel’s Scratch My Back and the news of a Ray Davies album featuring Bruce Springsteen, you can call us believers. Now, add another album to the list as INXS have tapped the likes of Brandon Flowers, Ben Harper, Rob Thomas, Tricky, Nikka Costa, and more to rework some of their classics.
In an interview with Rolling Stone (via TwentyFourBit), drummer Jon Farris said that the unique cast of singers would add their own spice to the record, their first since the fiasco with Rockstar: INXS winner J.D. Fortune’s lead on 2005’s Switch and his subsequent release from the band.
“Everyone who sings on the stuff has their own style, their own take on things, and that’s why it’s so wonderful,” Farris said.
As for what fans can expect, Flowers did a “really beautiful, heart-wrenching rendition” of “Beautiful Girl”, while Ben Harper tackled “Devil Inside”. Farris seemed to be especially gushy over Thomas’ performance.
“Original Sin’ with Rob Thomas almost has a Cuban connection with some Spanish rap in it. That was really exciting,” Farris said of the Matchbox-20 frontman, who also did “Never Tear Us Apart”.
The album also features backing by the London Symphony Orchestra, which created the vibe of a particular globe-trotting secret agent.
“So that is really rich and juicy and almost has a James Bond-y sort of rhythm bed along with that,” Farris said. “So it was the juxtaposition of the classic and Sixties’ secret agent.”
And while fans of each act are awaiting the album’s release, try not to worry if you find the whole thing a bit of bummer; you’ll get your new material after the band takes a “transitional” step, as Farris puts it.
“We wanted to use to some of our existing songs and invite and integrate some well-known singers and very experienced and seasoned singers, friends of ours, and some up-and-coming artists, and just make it a collaboration of getting INXS to be involved in all sorts of things – and using the original material as the focal point,” Farris said.
The album’s expected to hit stores in May. More details as they’re announced.