Didn't he just oooooouze sex?! Wasn't Michael Hutchence probably the most charismatic frontman of any band ever?!
The origins of the band began with Andrew Farriss convincing his High School classmate, Michael Hutchence, to join his band, Doctor Dolphin. The band contained two other classmates, Kent Kerny and Neil Sanders and a bass player, Garry Beers and Geoff Kennely, from a nearby high school. In 1977, Tim Farriss, Andrew's older brother, invited Andrew, Michael and Garry to join him and his schoolmate Kirk Pengilly.
The parents of the Farriss boys relocated to Perth, Western Australia in 1978 and, as soon as Michael and Andrew finished school, the rest of the band followed. They briefly performed as The Vegetables before returning to Sydney ten months later, where they recorded a set of demos. At a chance meeting in the car park of the Narabeen Antler, Tim was approached by Gary Morris, the manager of Midnight Oil. The band began to regularly support Midnight Oil. Gary Morris advised that a member of the Oils crew had come up with a new name and suggested they change it to INXS, being inspired by English band XTC and Australian jam makers IXL. Gary Morris was a great marketer, and the band thought he also had this idea of them being 'inaccessible'.
But then gary told them that unless they wanted to change their ways and become the world's biggest Christian band, he could no longer manage INXS. He wanted them to write songs about Christ and to promote a drug-and-alcohol-free and no-sex-before-marriage, proper Christian lifestyle. He was very convincing and for a moment they thought they might have done it, but then Gary got on to strange terrain. They thought that would be a bit much – but INXS was a good name. The band's first performance as INXS was on 1 September 1979 at the Oceanview Hotel in Toukley on the Central Coast of New South Wales, Australia and by the end of 1979, after passing on the Christian band image, they hired Chris Murphy as their manager and continued playing the Oz pub circuit. With the help of Chris Murphy the band had signed a five-album record deal in 1980 with a Sydney independent label, Deluxe Records, run by Michael Browning, former manager of AC/DC.
INXS toured New Zealand as support act for Cold Chisel. Their band manager Murphy was convinced their future no longer lay with Deluxe Records. RCA (who distributed Deluxe downunder at the time) worked with Rod Woods, who had been promoting Eric Clapton, Split Enz and some of the worlds biggest acts. Ron Woods was crazy about INXS and brought key music people along to their gigs. He encouraged RCA to sign them worldwide. Deluxe in their time had been unable to attract international interest and decided to record a new song 'The One Thing' at their own expense. The track turned out so well that Murphy hired them to produce three more songs. Murphy approached WEA Australia with copies of the song, leading to INXS signing a recording deal in July 1982 with WEA for releases in AUS, SE Asia, Japan & NZ; Atco Records for Atlantic Records in North America & Polygram for Europe & the UK. INXS went on their first US performance in San Diego in March 1983, to a crowd of 24 people. Their first tour was as support for Adam and the Ants, then support for Stray Cats, The Kinks, Hall & Oates and The Go-Go's, as well as Men At Work. Following a performance in Toronto, Canada, the band was approached by producer Nile Rodgers, and in September 1983 recorded 'Original Sin', originally titled 'Brand New Day'.
INXS started out as a New Wave act, but now gradually moved in a more rock-oriented direction. 'Listen Like Thieves' was released in October 1985. The first US single from the album 'This Time' stalled at US#81 in late 1985, but the next single, 'What You Need', released there in early 1986, became a Top5, bringing INXS their first US success. The single was also a Top20 in Canada, an AUS#2, but only #51 on the UK charts. The British press dismissed the album, with NME calling the band 'INX-cusable' and a reviewer declaring 'Listen Like Thieves' to be a 'complete and utter turkey', while in the US Rolling Stone Magazine wrote 'INXS rocks with passion and seals the deal with a backbeat that'll blackmail your feet'.
In August 1985, they toured ahead of the album's release, touring South America before returning to Melbourne to play for Prince Charles and Princess Diana of Wales at a concert in Australia, which was filmed and later released on home video entitled Living INXS.
n May 1986, the band returned to the United States and over the next six months performed 32 European shows, including support for Queen at their Live at Wembley '86 concert on 12 July. The US's influential Musician magazine calling them 'the best live band in the world'. In August 1987 INXS recorded their album Kick in Sydney and Paris, but Atlantic Records was not happy with the result.
Despite Atlantic's protests, Kick was released in October 1987. Funny how life goes sometimes, huh? Sometimes you just have to stick to your guns, because it provided the band with worldwide popularity.
This is the point at which they ended up in my music collection.
More on the remainder of the band's career from their now reached peak until their demise after Michael Hutchence's tragic death in November 1997 tomorrow.
INXS - The Loved One (1981)
INXS - The One Thing (1982)
AUS#14, US#30, CAN#31
INXS - Original Sin (1984)
AUS#1, ARG#1, FR#1, NZ#6, CAN#11, CH#23, NL#31, US#58
INXS - Kiss The Dirt/Falling Down The Mountain (1986)
AUS#15, US#24, NZ#42, UK#54
INXS - Listen Like Thieves (1986)
AUS#28, UK#46, US#54
INXS - Need You Tonight (1987)
US#1, CAN#1, UK#2, IRL#2, AUS#3, NZ#3, IT#8, FR#10, NL#12, DE#16, AT#16
INXS - Devil Inside (1988)
US#2, NZ#2, AUS#6, FR#20, CAN#25, IRL#25, DE#33, NL#41, UK#47
INXS - New Sensation (1988)
US#3, AUS#8, NL#14, CAN#15, NZ#19, UK#25, DE#35
INXS - Never Tear Us Apart (1988)
US#7, NL#9, AUS#14, CAN#15, NZ#21, UK#24, FR#48, DE#66
INXS - Kick (1988) - Live at Wembley
INXS - Mystify (1989) - Live at Wembley
CAN#5, UK#14, US#17, DE#46, NL#53
INXS - Suicide Blonde (1990)
NZ#1, AUS#2, CAN#3, IRL#3, NL#5, US#9, UK#11, CH#11, SWE#16, DE#23, FR#23, AT#24,
INXS - Disappear (1990)
US#8, CAN#9, NL#15, UK#21, NZ#25, AUS#23, DE#43
INXS- Baby Don't Cry (1992)
UK#20, AUS#30, NZ#34, NL#46
INXS - Taste It (1992) - Live at my very own Brixton Academy in 1994 :-)
UK#21, NZ#31, AUS#34, US#101
INXS - Beautiful Girl (1993)
UK#23, CAN#28, AUS#34, US#46, NZ#50, DE#54
INXS- Elegantly Wasted (1997)
UK#20, US#37, AUS#48, DE#72, NL#90