The One Thing (song)

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"The One Thing"
The One Thing single.jpg
Australian 7-inch vinyl single
Single by INXS
from the album Shabooh Shoobah
B-side "Space Shuttle"
Released July 1982
Format 7", 12"
Recorded 1982
Genre Rock[1]
Length 3:24 (album version)
3:18 (single edit)
6:06 (12" extended version)
Label Warner Music (North America, Oceania, Japan, Southeast Asia)
Mercury Records (Europe)
Songwriter(s) Michael Hutchence, Andrew Farriss
Producer(s) Mark Opitz
INXS singles chronology
"Underneath the Colours"
"The One Thing"
"Don't Change"

"Underneath the Colours"
"The One Thing"
"Don't Change"

"The One Thing" is a song by Australian rock group INXS, released in July 1982 as the first single ahead of their third studio album, Shabooh Shoobah, which appeared in October that year.


In January 1982 INXS toured New Zealand as support act for Cold Chisel. Band manager Murphy, became convinced their future no longer lay with Deluxe Records. RCA (who distributed Deluxe) had employed music lover Rockin' Rod Woods, who had been promoting Eric Clapton, Split Enz and some of the worlds biggest acts. Woods was passionate about the band and brought key music people along to their gigs. He encouraged RCA to sign them worldwide because Murphy had played him some demos of future songs. Deluxe had been unable to attract international interest, and the band decided to record a new song at their own expense, with Mark Opitz at Paradise Studios.[2] The resultant single, "One Thing", peaked at number 14 on the Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart.[3] Due to the success of the song Murphy hired Opitz to produce three more songs.[4] Murphy also approached WEA Australia with copies of the song, leading to INXS signing a recording deal in July 1982 with WEA for releases in Australia, South East Asia, Japan and New Zealand, Atco Records (a subsidiary of Atlantic Records) for North America and Polygram for Europe and the UK.[2][5][6]

Shabooh Shoobah was released in the United States in February 1983 and peaked at number 46 on the Billboard 200 album chart.[7] "The One Thing" brought INXS their first Top 40 hit in the US, reaching number 30 on the Billboard Hot 100 in May–June 1983.[7] It was a big hit on album-oriented rock radio, reaching number 2 on the Billboard Top Tracks chart,[7][8] and was also a top 20 hit in Canada.[9]

The music video for the song, directed by Soren Jensen, featured the band members having a decadent banquet with a number of beautiful models, including Hutchence's then girlfriend Michele Bennett, interspersed with clips of the band playing their instruments. Hutchence knew Jensen, who was an assistant director on the Australian soap opera, The Young Doctors, through his mother, Patricia, who was a make-up artist for the show. The models, Susan Stenmark and Karen Pini, who appear in the music video were also actresses on The Young Doctors.[10] The music video was their first video to air on the fledgling MTV and went into high rotation on the channel, which added to the chart success of the single in the US.[4]

We made a crazy video at home in Australia for "The One Thing." We fed valium to a few cats and had them running around a table while we had a feast with sexy models and Playboy centerfolds, ripping apart a turkey. Next thing we knew we had a top 40 hit in America and were opening for Adam Ant. Tim Farriss[11]

"The One Thing" is featured in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories on the fictional radio station Flash FM.

Track listing[edit]

7" single Track listing

1."The One Thing"M. Hutchence, A. Farriss[12]3:18
2."Space Shuttle"A. Farris[13]2:39

12"/CD Maxi single Track listing

1."One Thing" (Extended remix)M. Hutchence, A. Farriss[12]6:06
2."Phantim of the Opera"M. Hutchence, A. Farriss[14]4:26
3."Space Shuttle"A. Farris[13]2:39


Chart (1982-83) Peak
Australian Singles Chart[3] 14
Canada (RPM)[15] 31
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[7] 30
U.S. Billboard Top Tracks[7] 2
U.S. Cash Box Top 100[16] 30


  1. ^ Raggett, Ned. "The One Thing – Overview". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 25 February 2018. 
  2. ^ a b St John, Ed (1998). Burn : The life and times of Michael Hutchence and INXS (doc). Bantam Books, Sydney. ISBN 0-733-80182-X. 
  3. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book Ltd. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.  Note: Used for Australian Singles and Albums charting from 1974 until Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) created their own charts in mid-1988. In 1992, Kent back calculated chart positions for 1970–1974.
  4. ^ a b Bozza, Anthony (2005). INXS Story to Story : The official autobiography (doc). Bantam Books, Sydney. ISBN 0-593-05517-9. 
  5. ^ McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Encyclopedia entry for 'INXS'". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86448-768-2. Retrieved 16 November 2008. 
  6. ^ Nimmervoll, Ed. "INXS". Howlspace – The Living History of Our Music. White Room Electronic Publishing Pty Ltd (Ed Nimmervoll). Archived from the original on 27 July 2012. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c d e "INXS – Awards". Allmusic. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  8. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1991). Billboard Hot 100 Charts : The Eighties. Record Research Inc. ISBN 0-89820-079-2. 
  9. ^ "INXS > Charts & Awards > Billboard singles". Allmusic. Retrieved 6 March 2008. 
  10. ^ Hutchence, Tina; Glassop, Patricia (2001). Just a Man: The Real Michael Hutchence. Pan Books. ISBN 978-0330390194. 
  11. ^ Tannenbaum, Rob; Marks, Craig (2011). I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution. Penguin. ISBN 9781101526415. 
  12. ^ a b ""The One Thing" at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  13. ^ a b ""Space Shuttle" at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  14. ^ ""Phantim of the Opera" at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  15. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 25 February 2018. 
  16. ^ "CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending June 4, 1983". Archived from the original on 11 September 2012. Retrieved 2018-02-25. Cash Box magazine.

External links[edit]