The Black Friday RSD list dropped on Monday 10/3, and one of the releases that is interesting to me is the INXS Shabooh Shoobah Rarities colored vinyl LP release. It’s limited to 3500 copies in the US and should be $24.97.
Shabooh Shoobah was Australian band INXS’s third album, and the album that brought the band worldwide attention. The huge, anthemic singles “The One Thing” (July 1982) and “Don’t Change” (October 1983) hit the charts everywhere with “The One Thing” breaking the Top 30 in the U.S. as well as being the debut video from INXS for the fledgling music video channel MTV. “To Look At You” dropped as a single in March 1983, and the final single “Black and White” came out in June the same year.
In September 1983 the US was treated to an EP of remixes of singles from Shabooh Shoobah. Titled Dekadance, it included extended dance remixes of “Black and White,” “To Look At You,” “The One Thing,” and a “new version” of “Here Comes” called “Here Comes II.” The band is credited as producing the new remixes with Mark Opitz and David Nicholas credited as the engineers, so it seems by the credits that the band was fairly hands-on with the creation of the EP. Ostensibly, it seems that the band and their label wanted to ride the wave of excitement around the album and the band. When this EP dropped, the band was already in the studio with Nile Rodgers at the Power Station in NYC working on their next album The Swing.
In Australia, there was a related 12″ release just called Dance with a similar cover which was really just a single release of the extended mix of “Black and White” along with two b-sides, “Long In Tooth” and “No Day But Sunday.”
As an aside, the band released another EP confusingly also titled Dekadance in Australia in 1985 of remixes from The Swing.
By the time Shabooh Shoobah came out, INXS had established a standard practice of using non-album b-sides on their singles and these songs usually presented a more loose and fun version of the band including jazz instrumentals usually composed by Kirk Pengilly. As a fan of the band in the 1980’s I collected every 7″ and 12″ I could find to get all of the remixes and b-sides. I even created a mixtape of all of the b-sides and remixes as well as soundtrack songs that stayed in my car. In fact, my first car still belongs to my family, and my brother found the tape recently when they were detailing it.
The RSD release of Shabooh Shoobah Rarities is a collection of some of the non-album tracks from the 2022 Deluxe 40th Anniversary reissue of Shabooh Shoobah. The song titles listed below are links to YouTube videos of the songs.
A1 The Sax Thing – The b-side to the “To Look At You” single from March 1983. Jazzy Pengilly composition.
A2 Long in Tooth – The b-side to the “Don’t Change” single from October 1983. Also on the Australian Dance EP. Nice chiming synth track.
A3 The One Thing (Extended Mix) – From Dekadance EP.
A4 Black and White (Extended Mix) – From Dekadance EP. Also on Australian Dance EP.
A5 Here Comes II – From Dekadance EP. I have always loved this re-imagining of this song. Slower, moody.
B1 Go West – B-side from the Australian “Don’t Change” single. Very stripped down with Casio rhythm track. Almost seems like a demo, Hutchence’s vocals are dry/no reverb.
B2 Phantom of the Opera – “The One Thing” b-side from July 1982. This track as presented in the RSD information, is actually spelled wrong. This is a Tim Farriss track, so the real title is a pun: “Phantim of the Opera.” A pastiche of film dialog and synths.
B3 Soul Mistake (Live from the US Festival, 1983)
B4 Here Comes (Live from the US Festival, 1983)
B5 Spy of Love (Live from the US Festival, 1983)
B6 Old World New World (Live from the US Festival, 1983) – These last four tracks are live takes from the US Festival and haven’t been released anywhere other than the 40th Deluxe reissue. The band’s setlist at the US Festival was nine out of the ten tracks from Shabooh Shoobah.
Here are the songs missing from this release based on the 40th Deluxe:
You Never Used To Cry – From the Australian limited edition two 7″ single set for “To Look At You.” Written and performed by Tim Farriss. Also used in the Jon Cryer 1984 film No Small Affair.
Space Shuttle – B-Side from “The One Thing” Australian 12″. A kind of dark new-wave track.
Any Day But Sunday – Tim Farriss track. Also from the No Small Affair soundtrack.
This release, while good-intentioned is disappointing because it doesn’t include all of the bonus tracks from the 40th Deluxe reissue. It’s also missing the extended version of “To Look At You” from the Dekadance EP (which is also included on the 40th Deluxe). Honestly, the US Festival tracks aren’t essential on vinyl, in my opinion, and I would have rather had all of the b-sides and “To Look At You” extended remix. I’ll still pick it up since I’m a big fan of INXS.