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INXS

INXS hailed from the pubs of Australia, which is part of the reason the band never comfortably fit in with new wave. Even when they branched out into synth pop on their early recordings, they were underpinned by a hard, Stonesy beat and lead singer Michael Hutchence's Jagger-esque strut. Ultimately, these were the very things that made INXS into international superstars in the late '80s. By that time, the group had harnessed its hard rock, dance, and new wave influences into a sleek, stylish groove that made its 1987 album, Kick, a multi-million-selling hit. While that sound was their key to stardom, it also proved to be their undoing; INXS became boxed in by their Stonesy pop-funk in the early '90s, when their audience became entranced by harder-edged alternative rock. In spite of declining sales, they soldiered on, continuing to tour and record for a dedicated fan base until Hutchence's 1997 death brought the band's heyday to a close.

Appropriately for a band that featured three brothers, INXS had their roots in a family act, the Farriss Brothers. The group came together while keyboardist Andrew Farriss, the middle brother, was attending high school with vocalist Michael Hutchence. The two formed a band with bassist Gary Beers. Simultaneously, guitarist Tim Farriss was playing in various groups with his friend, guitarist/saxophonist Kirk Pengilly. Eventually, the two groups merged in 1977, with Jon Farriss joining the unified lineup as drummer. Two years later, when Jon graduated from high school, the band renamed itself INXS, moved from Perth to Sydney, and began to play the pub circuit. Within a year, the group landed an Australian record contract and released an eponymous debut on Deluxe in 1980.

INXS and Underneath the Colours (1981) became Australian hits, leading the band to an American contract with Atco Records. In 1983, they released their U.S. debut, Shabooh Shoobah, and embarked on an extensive tour which, thanks to the hit single "Don't Change," made them minor new wave stars. For their next album, INXS recorded a few sessions with producer Nile Rodgers, which resulted in the sleek, funky "Original Sin," the first inclination that the band was making a move toward a fusion of Stonesy rock and dance music. "Original Sin" made 1984's The Swing a minor hit, yet the group didn't have a genuine mainstream breakthrough until 1985's Listen Like Thieves, which climbed to number 11 in the U.S. on the strength of the single "What You Need."

Listen Like Thieves laid the groundwork for Kick, the album that made INXS international superstars. Released late in 1987, Kick worked its way to multi-platinum status over the course of 1988, as four singles -- the number one "Need You Tonight," "Devil Inside," "New Sensation," and "Never Tear Us Apart" -- climbed into the U.S. Top Ten. In the wake of the album's success, Hutchence was hailed in some quarters as the heir to Jagger's throne, and the group was considered to rival U2 in terms of international popularity. However, such success went to the group's head. Hutchence released the "experimental" side project Max Q in early 1990, and the record tanked. X, INXS' follow-up to Kick, appeared in the fall of 1990 to mostly negative reviews. While the album generated several hits, including "Disappear" and "Bitter Tears," only its first single, "Suicide Blonde," reached the Top Ten in the U.S., and the sales of X were disappointing when compared to Kick.

X hurt INXS' momentum considerably. Although the group was still quite popular on its accompanying tour -- the 1991 live album Live Baby Live was recorded at Wembley Stadium, the second largest stadium in Europe -- the group could no longer be considered in the same league as U2 or R.E.M. Hutchence continued to live a jet-setting lifestyle, dating Kylie Minogue and various supermodels, which did not wear well in the wake of alternative rock's commercial breakthrough in 1992. By the time INXS released Welcome to Wherever You Are, their most adventurous record, they were out of date in 1992, and even a rash of reviews that favorably compared the record to U2's Achtung Baby couldn't make it a hit. Full Moon, Dirty Hearts followed in 1993 and was generally ignored. Following its release, INXS left Atlantic's roster, releasing Greatest Hits as their last album for the label.

INXS signed with PolyGram in 1994, yet it took them three years to release a new album. During that time, Hutchence was involved in several tabloid scandals, most notably his love affair with British TV personality Paula Yates (which brought an end to her marriage to Bob Geldof), and he hinted that he was recording a solo album. That record didn't materialize, but INXS returned in the spring of 1997 with Elegantly Wasted. While the album was greeted with poor reviews, its hedonistic dance-rock was better suited to the late '90s than the early '90s, which made the record the group's biggest hit since X. On November 22 of that year, however, Hutchence was found dead in his Sydney hotel room, the victim of an apparent hanging. His long-in-the-works solo debut was posthumously issued in late 1999.

Terence Trent D'Arby took the frontman role for an abbreviated set at the opening of Sydney's Stadium Australia in 1999, and Jon Stevens filled the spot for occasional gigs that took place through the end of 2003. The latter singer eventually left to pursue a solo career. INXS remained quiet throughout the following year, but in 2005 they teamed up with reality show maverick Mark Burnett to launch Rock Star: INXS, a global TV show that aimed to find a permanent replacement for Hutchence. The winner was J.D. Fortune, a former Elvis impersonator from Canada. Fortune joined INXS, sang on their 2005 album Switch, and participated in the accompanying world tour. Switch only charted well in Fortune's native Canada, though, and his cocaine habit drove a wedge between Fortune and his bandmates as the tour wound down. Another period of inactivity followed. When INXS returned in 2010, they did so with a long list of guest vocalists, retaining Fortune as the official frontman but enlisting stars like Rob Thomas and Ben Harper to appear on their next album, Original Sin, which featured reworked versions of the band's past hits. Released in November of 2010, it charted just outside the Top 40 in Australia. The band played often during the subsequent two years, but announced at the end of 2012 that they weren't going to tour anymore. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Switch

1. Devil's Party

2. Pretty Vegas

3. Afterglow

4. Hot Girls

6. Remember Who's Your Man

7. Hungry

8. Never Let You Go

9. Like It or Not

10. Us

11. God's Top Ten

x

Track List: Greatest Hits

1. The One Thing

2. Original Sin

3. What You Need

4. Listen Like Thieves

5. Shine Like It Does

6. Need You Tonight

7. Devil Inside

8. New Sensation

9. Never Tear Us Apart

10. Suicide Blonde

11. Disappear

12. The Stairs

13. Heaven Sent

14. Beautiful Girl

x

Track List: Full Moon, Dirty Hearts

1. Days Of Rust

2. The Gift

3. Make Your Peace

4. Time

5. I'm Only Looking

6. Please (You Got That... .)

7. Full Moon, Dirty Hearts

8. Freedom Deep

9. Kill The Pain

10. Cut Your Roses Down

11. The Messenger

12. Viking Juice

x

Track List: Live Baby Live

1. New Sensation (Live)

2. Guns In The Sky (Live)

3. Mystify (Live)

4. By My Side (Live)

5. Shining Star (Live)

6. Need You Tonight (Live)

7. Mediate (Live)

8. One X One (Live)

9. Burn For You (Live)

10. The One Thing (Live)

11. This Time (Live)

12. The Stairs (Live)

13. Suicide Blonde (Live)

14. Hear That Sound (Live)

15. Never Tear Us Apart (Live)

16. What You Need (Live)

x

Track List: X

1. Suicide Blonde

2. Disappear

3. The Stairs

4. Faith In Each Other

5. By My Side

6. Lately

7. Who Pays The Price

8. Know The Difference

9. Bitter Tears

10. On My Way

11. Hear That Sound

x

Track List: Kick

1. Guns In The Sky

2. New Sensation

3. Devil Inside

4. Need You Tonight

5. Mediate

6. The Loved One

7. Wild Life

8. Never Tear Us Apart

9. Mystify

10. Kick

11. Calling All Nations

12. Tiny Daggers

x

Track List: Listen Like Thieves

1. What You Need

2. Listen Like Thieves

3. Kiss The Dirt

4. Shine Like It Does

5. Good + Bad Times

6. Biting Bullets

7. This Time

8. Three Sisters

9. Same Direction

10. One X One

11. Red Red Sun

x

Track List: The Swing

1. Original Sin

2. Melting In The Sun

3. I Send A Message

4. Dancing On The Jetty

5. The Swing

6. Johnson's Aeroplane

7. Love Is (What I Say)

8. Face The Change

9. Burn For You

10. All The Voices

x

Track List: Shabooh Shoobah

1. The One Thing

2. To Look At You

3. Spy Of Love

4. Soul Mistake

5. Here Comes

6. Black And White

7. Golden Playpen

8. Jan's Song

9. Old World New World

10. Don't Change

x

Track List: The Best Of INXS

1. Need You Tonight

2. What You Need

3. By My Side

4. Taste It

5. New Sensation

6. The One Thing

7. Disappear

8. Never Tear Us Apart

9. Original Sin (Single Version)

10. Mystify

11. This Time

12. Suicide Blonde

13. Beautiful Girl

14. The Gift

15. Listen Like Thieves

16. Devil Inside

17. Bitter Tears

18. Not Enough Time

19. Salvation Jane

20. Tight

21. Don't Change

x

Track List: Welcome To Wherever You Are

1. Questions

2. Heaven Sent

3. Communcation

4. Taste It

5. Not Enough Time

6. All Around

7. Baby Don't Cry

8. Beautiful Girl

9. Wishing Well

10. Back On Line

11. Strange Desire

12. Men And Women

Comments

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Beautiful if you have found this love- 1 of my fav songs
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Saw them live at the Hollywood Palladium for the Swing tour, awesome live at such a small venue!
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Behind every suicide….Is always a woman!
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Totally love INXS especially Don't Change song������
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milosdad
I've said this before but, Don't Change is my favorite INXS song. I feel the pain every time I hear it. So glad I got to see them at their peak.
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you don't change a thing my Mike we will become better people like we were and now we will fly like he wind m darling Mike your mim
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I remember going to see INXS in Fayetteville , NC on their 80's Listen Like Thieves tour... Michael Hutchence's edgy voice and cocky stage strut-thrash - k i c k stage presence introduced me to the difference between a singer and a performer. 30 years later, and their music still pumps me up.
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kick 80s favorite
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INXS...the Very Best!!!! Will forever be linked as being the preeminent band of the 80s (even though Suicide Blonde was '90...straig h t - u p b**chin' rock/dance song!) Michael Hutchence Greatest Voice EVER, EVER, EVER!!! Pure Sex Delivered Via Song & Moves!! One of Best Frontmen Of All Time!! Imagine 3 brothers, 3 friends (like brothers all) getting along & gigging for 20 years!!! Liam G. & Noel G. could take a lesson from INXS!! Michael, we lost you Much Too Soon!! Never Tear Us Apart. RIP.
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mfissel3
INXS apparently influenced by Duran Duran, in turn who were influenced by Roxy Music. Nothing new under the sun.
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Just announced: INXS will be reuniting to record a new album and begin a concert tour
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bliss_erin
Why is the cure played on INXS Radio? Stupidity I hate the cure
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great song....
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KICK, one of the best albums ever.
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It's sad that mike is gone, to me he was a great singer, God bless his soul
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don't change the way you are your special the way you are you are better I will change my residence to yours my love Mimi Mike
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❤❤❤❤❤
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The One Thing....dam n this song takes me back
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lovit my will be strong again even stronger then ever Mimi love the seagalsmimi
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I'm happiest when your with me Mimi mike
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your great the way you are my love mimi
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alvvays loved this song bvt never pegged it as inxs, still doesn't sovnd like them to me
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does anyone know wheRe eye can Find a mark "gonzo" gonzalez vision sk8 board like on the album
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garammasala1 9 6 8
R.I.P., Michael! Please, Pandora don't compare him to Jagger. Hutch's style was nowhere close to that struttin' monkey Jagger! Blech!
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mysteriousst r a n g e r s 8 6
❤❤❤❤❤
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LOVE THIS BY INXS DISAPPEAR
RANDY ROCKS TEXAS WITH CLASSICS AND OLDIES.
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Sweeeeet
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Love this group! & RIP Michael luv u
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❤❤❤❤❤
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RIP Michael...mi s s you much.
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What You Need: SEXY...PERIO D .
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❤❤❤❤INXS
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❤❤❤❤❤
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Talent in excess....Th e World...is Missing Michael..... . . I N X S . . . . . . . X X X X X X X O O O O O O
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skellyhorne
Always missing MH...��
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i checked this out at the library @ 12 and never tuned back
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bbhulse1
This world was a much better place when Michael Hutchence was in it. All the stars must have been aligned perfectly when he was conceived. Beautiful man, lyrical genius with the most wonderful voice. I will always miss him....it's just too sad and I don't think I will ever get over it. The remaining members should be ashamed of themselves to ever think that they could replace him.
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masonjar077
80's radio gods
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Never Tear us Aparts,SAY NO MORE!!!!!!!
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THAT is such a good bio photo. I remember Michael that way when he was in Las Vegas before he left to go home before his passing. I will never forget you Michael. I'm so sorry that I could not get to Las Vegas for you. PEACE b :- and RIP. I love you just for trying to take a stand. Reaching out for love and help that never came. I'm so sorry babies.
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Reminds me of Blade Runner
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Brings me back to the days MTV!
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donnam541
INXS GREAT!! ♡♡ :0)
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Love this song
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A song for Bighead...I miss you.
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such rich guitar tone
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Love this song!
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Soothed the soul!!!!!!'
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Travis I completely agree, such personality and depth. I think Michael was going to make a change before he died... Get back to his roots. Was a sad day.
Report as inappropriate
totally underrated talent!! In they're heyday ,pre- kick that is, the songs held alot more weight and showed range in a time when the pop formula was getting to be too predictable. I remember skating and partying to their early stuff, nothing else compared to their style and Michael's voice
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