Listen: One of Two Never-Released Songs by INXS’ Michael Hutchence, “One Way”

Shortly before INXS’ frontman Michael Hutchence died in 1997, he was working on his first solo album, featuring collaborations with Gang of Four’s Andy Gill (1956-2020), Bomb the Bass’ Tim Simenon, and Black Grape producer Danny Saber. The eponymous album was later released in 1999, except for a few songs, which Saber is releasing on a 10-inch picture disc single out May 15.

“One Way” is the first of two songs being released by Saber, who said he worked for more than 20 years to release these unreleased tracks. If you’ve got the lust for wonder, just let yourself in / They’ll keep you safe from gravity, so let’s just begin, sings Hutchence on the slinkier rocker, recorded during his solo sessions with Saber.

Snippets of Hutchence’s unfinished songs were featured in the 2017 documentary on Hutchence’s life Michael Hutchence: The Last Rockstar, which only aired in Australia and New Zealand. “While some portions of these songs were featured in the documentary,” said Saber, “the fully mastered versions had never been released.”

Videos by American Songwriter

[RELATED: 7 Great Deep Cuts by INXS]

Michael Hutchence (Photo: Chris Cuffaro)

Hutchence first contacted Saber in 1995 following the release of his band Black Grape’s album It’s Great When You’re Straight. “Michael was a huge fan of my record and wanted to find the right sound for a solo record,” shared Saber, “a sound that would galvanize all the success he had with INXS and allow him to establish himself as a solo artist and spread his creative wings outside the confines of being the frontman of one of the most successful bands in the world.”

As Hutchence started working on his solo album with Saber, the two became good friends and collaborators. “Over the next two years, we became very close collaborators, and the period we worked together was one of the best times of my life,” said Saber “I had just broken through with a No. 1 record, and having Michael as a ‘big brother’ to help me navigate this was so important to me.”

Hutchence died on November 22, 1997, at the age of 37, shortly after the release of INXS’ tenth album Elegantly Wasted. His eponymous solo album, which he co-produced with Gill and Saber, was released in 1999 and went to No. 3 on the Australian chart. The album was dedicated to Hutchence’s daughter Tiger Lily and also features his friend U2‘s Bono on the track “Slide Away.”

“One Way” Cover Art

“One of the fundamental reasons for releasing this music is to give the fans the opportunity to hear Michael’s voice on something new and fresh offering a glimpse into what might have been, and, in turn, reawakening millions of people who may have simply forgotten about him,” said Saber.

A second single by Hutchence, “Save My Life,” will be released on the 10-inch picture disc. Both tracks will not be available digitally.

“One of the best things for me personally is that through this journey, I have come to a better understanding of what happened to Michael and why,” added Saber. “I want to share that perspective as I really feel Michael’s story has so much relevance and value on so many levels, and along the way, hopefully, we can shift the focus to how he lived and not how he died. Michael deserves to take his place in the pantheon of great frontmen and finally get the recognition he and the band deserve.”

Photo: David Redfern/Redferns

Zach Top's new album Cold Beer and Country Music dropped today

Exclusive: Zach Top Discusses ‘Cold Beer and Country Music,’ His Timeless Sound, Songwriting, and More