Saturday, March 16, 2013

Rock Goes Country: Jackson

One of the perks of being a radio programmer was the fact that non-American releases sometimes crossed my desk and today’s final example of our “Rock Goes Country” feature is one of those. In 1984, WEA Australia issued an INXS cassette of six regular tunes and one bonus. The kind folks at ATCO records, and probably Marc Nathan, made sure that I got a copy of this cassette.

The bonus track is the one we are concerned with as it features INXS and Jenny Morris doing the classic country number “Jackson.” Back last fall, I featured the 1967 recording of the tune by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood. Although not the first recording of the song, it was the first to chart in the Top 40. Several months later, Johnny Cash and June Carter recorded their country hit of the same song that peaked at #2.

Australian artists INXS and their lead singer Michael Hutchence teamed up with fellow Aussie performer Jenny Morris for a duet of this classic country tune. I remember hearing this recording the first time I played the cassette in my car and really enjoyed this rendition of the “Jackson,” which is out of character with INXS’ primary style. As for its performance in the US, it was not released here – and hence never charted and is the ultimate bubbling under hit.

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