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Mystify: A Musical Journey with Michael Hutchence / new doc and soundtrack

A new feature length Michael Hutchence documentary called Mystify will be released this year along with an accompanying soundtrack.

The film has been directed by Richard Lowenstein, who worked with the band throughout their career, directing 18 of their promo videos, for example, and was recently premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York where it was apparently very well received. The documentary delves into the singer’s complicated upbringing, his rise to fame, his relationships with women such as Helena Christensen, Kylie Minogue, and Paula Yates, a growing drug problem, the brain injury that changed the course of his life, and more.

If you’ve seen the Senna documentary, that charts the career, life (and death) of the Formula 1 world champion, Mystify looks like it shares a similar style with no ‘talking heads’ and utilising period footage and interviews to tell the story.

Inevitably, there is a soundtrack, but here’s where it gets interesting, because rather than cobble together another INXS best of, longtime band manager Chris M. Murphy (working with Mark Edwards) have come up with something much more creative.

They’ve pulled together some INXS hits (not necessarily the familiar versions) and hidden gems from both Michael and the band’s back catalogues and fused them with snippets of dialogue from interviews, discussions in the studio and so on. This has resulted in four ‘tracks’ – Side A, Side B, Side C and Side D, of roughly 20 minutes each. I had a sneak preview this week and really loved the approach. It reminded me a little bit of Trent Reznor‘s work on the Natural Born Killers soundtrack released back in 1994, which similarly fused dialogue with songs. The Mystify soundtrack is being described as a dreamlike ‘musical journey,’ which sounds a bit pretentious but isn’t actually far off.

I think I may have opted for some grittier, classier, black and white artwork… but my only real criticism is that there is nothing included on the soundtrack from the wonderful Max Q album – Michael’s 1989 collaboration with Ollie Olsen. To me, that’s one of the best things he did, period, never mind outside of INXS, so the omission is both very disappointing and hard to understand.

The soundtrack will be issued on CD on 5 July 2019 (four tracks, with no indexing of individual songs or dialogue) with a double vinyl edition following in September. The documentary film is expected to be released around the world in summer/autumn of this year.

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Various Artists

Mystify - A Musical Journey With Michael Hutchence [VINYL]

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Mystify - A Musical Journey With Michael Hutchence

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MYSTIFY – A MUSICAL JOURNEY WITH MICHAEL HUTCHENCE

SIDE A

Let It Ride • Deliver Me (Demo) • Black & White • Need You Tonight (Live 1988) • Under My Thumb** • Please (You Got That)

SIDE B

What You Need • Don’t Change • Spill The Wine* • Move On • Need You Tonight

SIDE C

Devil Inside • Love Is (What I Say) • Baby Don’t Cry • All I’m Saying* • Shine Like It Does

SIDE D

Burn For You • Viking Juice • Kiss The Dirt (Falling Down The Mountain) • Original Sin • Never Tear Us Apart***

* Michael Hutchence

** Michael Hutchence & London Symphony Orchestra

*** Michael Hutchence, Mylène Farmer & INXS

23 responses to Mystify: A Musical Journey with Michael Hutchence / new doc and soundtrack

  1. Simon Richardson says:

    Really looking forward to this. I saw the Last Rockstar documentary earlier this year which was meant to be followed up with a release of un-released Michael Hutchence tracks (inc Save my life, which sounds amazing) Hope this sees the light of day as well

  2. Darren says:

    I was also at the Get Out of the House show at The Mayfair in Newcastle, once you’d got tickets from HMV you had to listen to the local radio station on the day of the show to discover the venue. It was such an epic night and still remains one of my all time time favourite gigs!

  3. Rudi says:

    Really looking forward for both movie and soundtrack.
    I fear that the soundtrack will annoy me the second, third, fourth time and so on though, as the dialogue only is interested the first time you hear it.

  4. Iva says:

    ROOMS FOR THE MEMORY should have definitely been included! Do we need another INXS compilation?

  5. Romchik says:

    “Please (You Got That)” – one if their worst recordings. Why is this here? “Freedom Deep”, “Heaven Sent”, “Full Moon…” would’ve been better.

  6. Harry Williams says:

    Saw the premiere in Melbourne yesterday afternoon, in the company of many, many people who knew Michael on a personal level. The screening was bookended by a short intro from Lowenstein and a brief Q&A at the end, after which he received a standing ovation. Undoubtedly a treasure of a film, that Lowenstein poignantly called his ‘personal apology’ to Michael for not being attentive and picking up on the signs. He called the project a ‘Slave labour of love’ and reckoned he would’ve made more money on unemployment benefits over the past two years than he did working on the movie. Every aspect of the film was so evocatively and sensitively handled by Richard… it was telling that there were no villains… In my opinion, getting the women in Michael’s life to come forward and contribute their voiceovers and individual perspectives was an absolute masterstroke and helped paint a far more realistic and empathetic picture of the man. For some of those present yesterday who knew Michael personally, they found it all a little bit close to home and said it was akin to being hit by a truck. Lowenstein also remarked that for a long while it looked as if the whole project was going to have to be done without any INXS tracks but once Richard had shown Tigerlily a rough cut and got her blessing, she emailed all the key players including labels, management, and the band, and then as if by magic the music was his to use. The absence of Max Q material is indeed, sadly, down to legalities. The soundtrack was originally going to include a handful of tracks which would have be tremendous but, at the 11th hour, legalities and deadlines spelt their exclusion. Damn shame all round. Go see the movie! Highly recommended!

  7. Steve Williams says:

    Slightly different track list on the record label websites, adding a track called Semi God to side B

    SIDE B
    1 What You Need
    2 Don’t Change
    3 Spill The Wine*
    4 Semi God*
    5 Move On Need You Tonight

  8. Don says:

    Max Q was one of the best albums of the 80s, it was ahead of its time. It came out in 89 but sounds like the kind of albums being made in London in the early 90s. That said, I think I read somewhere, possibly even SDE, that there are still major legal issues with this album and the Hutchence estate, so that’s probably why it has never been reissued and doesn’t appear here.

    ALSO, last year there was a big announcement that Giles Martin was working on the INXS catalog and that there would be more deluxe editions and archive releases coming. Whatever happened to that???

  9. Tom D says:

    Where is the Max Q material? It is certainly better than what INXS was doing at the time.

  10. Shane says:

    Sounds really interesting and yes that is a pants artwork, budget release at your local gas station.

  11. Neil says:

    Back in 1993, I had the pleasure of seeing INXS on their “Get Out Of The House” Tour.It was a real stripped back affair,with the band playing smaller venues around the world in an attempt to re-engage with their fanbase.To this day it is one of the most exciting gigs I have ever attended and Michael was just incredible,full of charisma and energy .We all know how this story ended but it’s great to see him/them back in the spotlight – better late than never !

    • Quante says:

      Hi Neil,

      Thanks for jogging my memory. I saw INXS on that tour at The Mayfair in Newcastle (a brilliant place that sadly is no more). Everyone had to queue to buy tickets from HMV – a major endurance test compared to buying through the internet nowadays. As a major band playing a small venue, there was huge excitement and a great atmosphere. INXS looked like they were having a great time, as we did.

      • Neil says:

        Yes Quante,I distinctly remember the “major endurance test” of getting those tickets ! There was a stampede at The Potteries Centre, Stoke-on-Trent,when the doors opened ,with people rushing to get to the HMV store.Like you said, a far cry from today. The atmosphere on the night inside the Victoria Hall was electric and INXS were superb.Great memories.

        • mike says:

          Best gig of my life at Portsmouth, on the Get Out Of The House tour, the band were so tight and MH generated such heat, he could have had me there and then, despite me being 100% kylie in persuasion! I dont think as a gig it will ever be topped for me. Looking forward to film and the soundtrack idea sounds interesting. Off to dig out Max Q…

    • Mike.C. says:

      I saw that tour, too. I’ll never forget how I was able to shake Michael’s hand during Devil Inside. During the guitar solo Michael was sitting down on the stage right in front of me. We were all just dancing and smiling and moving to the music. Michael looked at me with a HUGE smile on his face, gave me a thumb’s up and extended his hand. I shook it, of course.

  12. BJ says:

    Even more mystifying is that Mystify doesn’t appear on the album.

  13. Ed says:

    Weird that MaxQ and Rooms for the Memory are not given a look in here. In the trailer it speaks of him wanting to be remembered as an artist first and foremost yet this period is the closest he ever came. I guess the INXS boys never got over their bitterness about his solo project. By this stage of their trajectory he should have well and truly bid them farewell.

  14. Stephen Barr says:

    I totally agree. Max Q was Hutchence’s creative peak in my opinion. Also sad that Dogs In Space’s ‘Rooms For The Memory’ was also missing – especially as Richard Lowenstein directed that film too.

    However, it’s great to see this collection out there. I look forward to hearing it.

  15. Dave Butterfield says:

    Does this mean the wonderful Mylene actually recorded a version or with Inxs on NTUA? Has this been out before..big fan of Mylene

  16. Eamonn says:

    Is this separate to the film about him commissioned by the BBC which is due to air on BBC2 this summer?

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