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"Suicide Blonde" was the name of the first single from the INXS album X. It reached the top 10 on the US Hot 100 (#9) and Australia in 1990 and reached a peak of #11 in the UK.

Writing and recording

The song was written by Michael Hutchence and Andrew Farriss of the group INXS, after the band had gotten back together after a year-long sabbatical during 1989. The title track (a term not originating with this song) was named after a woman who had bleached her own hair because she had "dyed" by her own hand and who was "love devastation." It is rumoured that Hutchence's then-girlfriend, Kylie Minogue, gave him the inspiration for the title whilst working on her 1989 film "The Delinquents". Minogue was required to dye her hair platinum blonde for the role and was quoted by Hutchence in an interview in '89 as saying "I'm going suicide blonde today".

The recording of "Suicide Blonde" showed some new influences on INXS. Jon Farriss' drums show the influence of dance music especially the acid house sounds popular in the UK. Similarly, the blues harp intro on the track, performed by Charlie Musselwhite, was sampled rather than recorded live.

The track became poignant after Hutchence committed suicide on November 22, 1997 and his lover Paula Yates died of an overdose on September 17, 2000 after attempting suicide in 1998. Kym Wilson (with her then boyfriend Andrew Reyment the last people to see Michael alive) also became known as the "Suicide Blonde" in the tabloids.

Garry Gary Beers's ex-wife Jodie can be heard laughing on the track.

Chart performances

The track was released in September 1990 throughout the world. In the US, the track reached a peak of #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped both the modern rock and mainstream rock charts. A dance remix of the track received wide airplay on US top 40 stations, reaching the top 10 of the dance chart. In the UK, the track reached a peak of #11 while it reached #3 in their homeland of Australia1 and #1 in Canada.

While X was not as successful as Kick, it went double platinum in both Australia and the US. The band remained a popular live act playing sold-out concerts at Wembley Stadiummarker in the UK and Madison Square Gardenmarker in the US.

Cover versions

A jazz cover of the song by Urselle was included on the 2006 compilation Jazz and '90s.

Track listings

7" single
Mercury / INXS 14 (UK)
  1. "Suicide Blonde [7" mix]"—3:53
  2. "Everybody Wants U Tonight"—5:09


12" maxi
Mercury / INXS 1412 (UK)
  1. "Suicide Blonde [devastation mix]"—6:19
  2. "Suicide Blonde [milk mix]"—5:40
  3. "Everybody Wants U Tonight"—5:09


CD single
Mercury / INXCD 14 (UK)
  1. "Suicide Blonde [demolition mix]"—6.53
  2. "Suicide Blonde [7" NIK mix]"
  3. "Everybody Wants U Tonight"—5:09


CD maxi
Atlantis
  1. "Suicide Blonde" (7" mix)—3:54
  2. "Suicide Blonde" (earth mix)—5:39
  3. "Suicide Blonde" (devastation mix)—6:19
  4. "Suicide Blonde" (milk mix)—5:40
  5. "Suicide Blonde" (demolition mix)—6:53
  6. "Everybody Wants U Tonight"—5:09


Charts

Chart (1990) Peak

position
Australian ARIA Singles Chart 2
Austrian Singles Chart 24
Canadian Singles Chart 3
French SNEP Singles Chart 23
German Singles Chart 23
Irish Singles Chart 3
New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart 1
Swedish Singles Chart 16
Swiss Singles Chart 11
UK Singles Chart 11
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 9
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play 25
U.S. Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks 1
U.S. Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks 1


End of year chart (1990) Position
Australian Singles Chart 42


References



  • "INXS: X Marks the Spot" Rolling Stone Issue 590 1 November 1990 page 85


(1) US chart details from Allmusic.com UK chart details from Everyhit.com, Australian chart details from ARIA and Wikipedia INXS article.


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