Mark Opitz defines in episode 103 of INXS: Access All Areas that the role of the producer is akin to the director of the movie: guiding the engineers to follow his time-honored practices in getting the sounds and sonics of the vocals, guitars, drums, and keyboards in sync; ensuring the mixes are done to satisfaction, and pushing the band to be the best they can be with their songwriting and studio performance. Despite the commercial failure of Full Moon, Dirty Hearts, particularly in America (no thanks to the record label), the band and Mark came up with 12 tracks that 29 years later still hold up musically. We drill down on the Capri experience to examine “where” each member of the band was at, personally and professionally, after Welcome to Wherever You Are and a recent retreat to Michael’s South France villa.
Why was Capri chosen? What actually happened there? (Warts and all!) And what did the imminent ending of INXS’ long-term arrangement with its label mean for the marketing and distribution for Full Moon, Dirty Hearts?
Mark has never been more erudite and revealing as we take you on a “Back to the Future, fly on the wall” experience of the entire Capri affair: the island, the hotel, the history, the recording studio, the ad hoc phone calls to Bono from Michael, the sudden arrival of Chris Murphy who sought to renegotiate his management deal, and Michael’s post-accident period where he was adjusting to life without the vital senses of taste and smell.
Sometimes great music can come out of great calamity and band dysfunction (hello, Fleetwood Mac 1977 Rumours), and we are lucky to have this often forgotten and neglected album to listen to and re-appreciate some 29 years later. So, before we examine each track and discuss the songs, sit back and immerse yourself in a time and place where the band was enjoying a creative peak, if not a commercial one, and embrace the making of Full Moon, Dirty Hearts.
Love and Peace ✌️
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