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Jimmy Barnes remembers having a good time making ‘Good Times’

Australian singer talks about 1987 session with INXS as well as his latest album, “Hindsight.”
Jimmy Barnes (photo courtesy of Mascot Label Group)

Jimmy Barnes (photo courtesy of Mascot Label Group)

By Chris M. Junior

When powerhouse singer Jimmy Barnes teamed up with INXS in 1987 to record the old Easybeats song “Good Times” for the film “The Lost Boys,” the recording session and accompanying video shoot were far from serious and laborious.

“We felt no pain,” Barnes recently recalled. “Michael [Hutchence] and I were good friends — in fact , INXS used to support us for many years when I was in Cold Chisel, my old band. So we got into that studio as old friends with one goal in mind, and that was to have a great time, no pun intended.

“We recorded ‘Good Times’ and wrote the B side ‘Laying Down the Law’ and mixed them both and made the film clip in about 24 hours. By the time we had finished, we’d had a lot of fun, we’d made a great record and we’d drank our weight in whiskey. I think we’d just about destroyed the studio, but we were young and foolish — what can I say?”

The Barnes-INXS version of “Good Times” spent 13 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 47. That remains Barnes' highest-charting song in the U.S., with the others being “Working Class Man” (No. 74, 1986) and “Too Much Ain’t Enough Love” (No. 91, 1988).

Those looking to catch up on Barnes’ career can do so with “Hindsight,” which will be released Jan. 27 via the Mascot Label Group's Provogue label. The album, which marks Barnes’ 30th anniversary as a solo artist, includes reworked versions of chart hits (both U.S. and Australian) and deep cuts, among them “Working Class Man,” which features Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain. Other guests on “Hindsight” include E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt (“Ride the Night Away”) and Journey guitarist Neal Schon (“Going Down Alone”).

New York-area fans, take note: In celebration of “Hindsight” (and Australia Day), a Skype event with Barnes will take place Jan. 26 from 3-6 p.m. at The Australian, 20 W. 38th St. in Manhattan. Fans who buy a copy of the album will have the opportunity to ask Barnes a question.