A Peek Into How Hutch Composed a Song – Part 2 cont. by Ian Patterson
Since this article was first published late last year, Andrew Farriss has approved the release of what we will refer to as the “Middle Version” of Deliver Me which was recorded in America while INXS were taking a break from their touring. This Middle Version became a last draft from which the rest of the band based their final London recording session (see Andrew’s interview for the details).
Deliver me – Middle version
The Middle Version is significant in that Andrew has helped Michael re-shape the melody in the chorus by developing the harmonic progression which is the choice and order of chords that are used behind the vocalist’s melody. Listen carefully too to Andrew’s fine electric piano playing that adds an extra layer of rhythm and harmony to the Miami Session. It must be stressed that this is only a raw version which served the purpose of developing the melodic, harmonic and rhythmic aspects of the song. The band would collectively add the icing on top, create the groove and bring the song into a cohesive whole.
This Middle Version, which of course was never intended for release, has a noticeable vocal boost a little way into the recording. Thus we are given a unique opportunity to hear Michael’s voice stand out beyond the conventions of a normal mix. Again Michael takes opportunity to experiment vocally. He has most importantly considered dynamic build, and so in the Middle Version he begins in the lower voice register (unlike the Miami raw version where he comes in, guns blazing, in the higher register). Michael won wide acclaim, including high praise from seasoned performers such as Bono, for his ability to perform in the upper registers and it is indeed a hallmark of INXS. But later in his career he started experimenting more with those lower notes which created a laid back feel and soulful sound to his voice. Michael didn’t think he was particularly suited to those lower notes. But his lower register, as in this and the final version of Deliver Me gave Michael more scope to build the song into an exciting climax.
See if you can detect where Michael shifts from the lower to upper register in the Middle Version and notice how he intentionally uses both pitch and volume to build tension, creating more variety and contrast to the composition. It is a fine example how Michael Hutchence always worked hard to give us his very best performance. Another fine example of his use of vocal build that transformed his performances into historic moments of rock greatness can be heard on INXS’ Aria Awards performance of “Searching”… So the Middle Version gives us yet another great vocal performance. Once recorded, Michael would take it away and explore new and often very subtle variations until they met in the studio again to record a final version for mastering. Mastering is the post production process of taking a multi-track studio recording and blending it into an attractive dynamic mix that becomes the released version. In this instance the London session became the released version.
Deliver me – Final version
We hope you enjoy this final addition to our exclusive article on how Michael and Andrew developed a song. It is proudly released to coincide with Michael’s 45th birthday.