Album:The Best Of INXS
The Aussie band INXS had a strong but brief run in the late 80s centered around the 1987 album Kick. There were four top ten hits from that album including New Sensation. Of course the success didn't last and they faded in the early 90s. Fans may not know that INXS is a family band. Back in 1977 in Sydney, Australia, keyboard player Andrew Farriss convinced classmate and lead singer Michael Hutchence to join his band Doctor Dolphin. Farriss and Hutchence wrote most of INXS's songs. Andrew's older brother lead guitarist Tim Farriss had a band with his schoolmate guitarist Kirk Pengilly. Tim suggested the bands merge and they added younger brother drummer Jon Farriss and bassist Garry Beers. At first they were called The Farriss Brothers. The Farriss family moved to Perth so Jon could finish high school. After that, they moved back to Sydney and performed as The Vegetables. They were approached by Midnight Oil's manager Gary Morris and the band started opening for them. The name INXS was derived from the British group XTC. Morris like a short band name of just capitals. INXS signed their first Aussie record deal in 1980. I don't think a lot of fans realize how long INXS was around before they became popular. They had some success in Australia with their first two albums. Then WEA signed INXS to a worldwide deal and the 1982 album Shabooh Shoobah was released on Atco in the US. The album did OK but they were unable to score a big hit single. INXS toured the US in 1983 opening for Adam and the Ants and other bands. INXS finally clicked when they worked with British producer Chris Thomas who produced the 1985 album Listen Like Thieves. What You Need was their first US top five hit. This continued with the 1987 album Kick. Need You Tonight topped the Billboard Hot 100 and this was followed by top five hits Devil Inside and New Sensation which reached #3. The album Kick was certified 6XPlatinum. INXS had started as a New Wave band but for Kick they wanted to record hit singles. So their sound changed to a more mainstream rock sound. The funny thing was Atlantic Records hated Kick and wanted INXS to go home to Australia and redo it. Their 1990 album X did OK but not as well as Kick. The decline of INXS began when Hitchence's romance with Kylie Minogue landed them in the tabloids. They also seemed to think that with popularity they could record more experimental music. Of course that isn't true. Most fans just want the same music that made INXS popular in the first place. The 1992 album Welcome To Wherever You Are had a 60 piece orchestra. It went nowhere and after the 1993 album Full Moon, Dirty Hearts, Atlantic dropped INXS. You can get all their Atlantic hits on this budget comp. They went on hiatus but Hutchence got into a tabloid fodder relationship with British TV host Paula Yates who was married to Bob Geldof. Their high profile custody battle had photographers following Hutchence and Yates. He even hit a photographer. They had a daughter in 1996. INXS signed with Virgin and released the 1997 album Elegantly Wasted. At the end of their world tour, Hutchence was found dead in a Sydney hotel room. His death was ruled a suicide due to depression fueled by alcohol and drugs. Michael Hutchence died on Nov. 22, 1997 at age 37. INXS toured occasionally using guest vocalists. Then in 2004, they signed up for Mark Burnett's CBS reality show Rock Star: INXS to find a new singer. That might have seemed like a good idea at the time but it didn't turn out well. Canadian JD Fortune won the competition. INXS released the 2005 album Switch on Epic Records and they toured. Fortune became a cocaine addict while with INXS and he was fired in 2009. He returned in 2010. INXS recorded a couple of albums and continued to tour. But they announced their retirement from touring Nov. 2012 and it is doubtful they will record again. The 2013 Aussie mini series INXS: Never Tear Us Apart did well enough that there has been talk of turning it into a Broadway musical. INXS: The Musical will open in Sydney in 2017. Here's the video for New Sensation by INXS.