INXS – Original Sin

INXS’ “Original Sin” is apparently centered on the band’s view of interracial romantic relationships. Original sin is a term which is commonly used to refer to the story of Adam and Eve, particularly in terms of them partaking of the infamous apple as presented in the Bible. However, according to the first verse of this song, it seems that INXS is rather applying the original sin to another early-Biblical story pointing to man’s behavioral origins, that of Cain and Abel. 

But more to the point, according to widely-accepted theological beliefs these major faults exhibited by the progenitors of mankind have subsequently been passed on to the rest of us. And that is the general idea which the band is talking about. However, it is put into the specific context of interracial relationships and is presented as being more akin to people being prejudiced as opposed to sinners per se.

They recognize that the romance between a “white boy” and a “black girl” or a “black boy” and a “white girl” is going to face its fair share of resistance. And based on the aforementioned concept introduced into the song, what they are apparently attributing this reality to is attitudes that are passed down from generation to generation.


So looking at the lyrics from a macrocosmic perspective, what this track is actually meant to allude to is the concept of socialization. What that means is that children will have the tendency to adopt the beliefs of their parents. And there is one likely reason why INXS has likened such a process to “original sin”. And this is because the result of such, as illustrated by the case in point, is often the passing on of hateful/negative attitudes.

Lyrics of "Original Sin"

Facts about “Original Sin”

This is the lead single from INXS’s noted album “The Swing”.  The song was released by the Warner Music Group during April of 1984.

“Original Sin” features uncredited supporting vocals from Darryl Hall. Hall is best known for being the lead singer of Hall & Oates.

INXS rerecorded this song in 2010 for their final album. That album was also entitled “Original Sin”. The rerecorded version featured vocals from Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty fame.

“Original Sin” topped the Kent Music Report in INXS’s homeland of Australia. It also topped the IFOP chart in France. Additionally, in 2011 it managed to top Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Songs in the US.

And going back to 1984, it charted in 8 countries altogether, including making an appearance on the Billboard Hot 100.

Its success in the US was initially hampered  by the fact that due to the espousement, if you will, of interracial romance, some radio stations refused to play it.

The music video to “Original Sin” was shot in Japan. It also had a Japanese director in the form of Yasuhiko Yamamoto.

“Original Sin” is widely considered to be one of the greatest Australian songs ever recorded.

Who wrote “Original Sin”?

INXS band members Michael Hutchence and Andrew Farriss penned this track together. And the track was produced by Nile Rodgers alongside Nick Launay.

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