(Australian 1977 - Present)
Noted for their blend of rock and funk, Australia's INXS is still composed of the same members who started the band in 1977 - Tim, Andrew, and Jon Farriss, Kirk Pengilly, and Garry Gary Beers (with the exception of Michael Hutchence who died in 1997) After struggling for years on the Australian pub scene, the group began to attract international attention in the early 1980s and had what Rob Tannenbaum labeled in Rolling Stone a "breakthrough hit" in the United States with 1986's "What You Need." This taste of fame was small, however, compared to the phenomenal popularity INXS experienced after the release of their 1987 album Kick. Aided by wide music video exposure on networks such as MTV, Kick's first single, "Need You Tonight," thrust INXS, and especially lead singer Hutchence, into the limelight. As critic Cathleen McGuigan announced in Newsweek, INXS has "a hard-driving, irresistibly danceable sound and a sexy, live-for-the-moment attitude--tempered with just a dash of social consciousness." She concluded that the band possessed "all the right ingredients for late '80s success."
When Andrew Farriss first crossed Michael Hutchence, they were both high school students. They met when Andrew broke up a fight that Michael was involved in. The two became instant friends, and found that they shared a very strong interest in one thing - music. By the end of their high school days in 1977, they formed a band called "The Farriss Brothers" which was composed of Andrew, his two brothers Tim and Jon, Kirk Pengilly, Garry Gary Beers, and Michael. Within a couple of years, the sextet refined their sound and changed their name to INXS (pronounced IN EXCESS.) Little did the Perth, Australia-based band realize the magnitude of success that awaited them in the years to come.
Their first single, "Simple Simon" was heavily influenced by the declining punk scene and also found roots in ska and pop. With their initial single finished, the band began touring the Australian continent, and slowly began to establish a fan base in the pub touring scene. It is this initial dedication of INXS to touring that helped to establish their credentials and begin to create a solid fan base of support. It is estimated that they were playing nearly 360 shows a year in the sweaty pubs of Australia during their early years. It sure payed off....
In 1980, the band released their first album, the self-titled "INXS" on Deluxe Records. The album featured their first major hit in Australia, "Just Keep Walking," and was quickly followed in 1981 by their second LP, "Underneath the Colours." These two albums, in conjunction with continual touring, helped refine their sound and style, and paved their way for the hugely successful "Shabooh Shoobah" album.
This legendary record, released in 1983, became the first INXS album released worldwide, and its impact was very strong. The album's major hit, "The One Thing" was a worldwide smash hit, and with the help of a worldwide tour, INXS began the road to world domination. The album is also important in that it is the first album to feature the trademark INXS style of dance rock. "The One Thing" was followed by a string of hits, including "Black and White" and "Don't Change," which is still many fans' favorite INXS song of all time.
1984 saw the band release "The Swing." The Swing continued to push INXS toward the top of rockdom, with such classic singles as "Original Sin," "Burn For You," and "Melting in the Sun." Original Sin, the lead single from the album, established what the band had always tried to do with the help of Nile Rodgers - namely, allow rock music to still be danceable. The controversial single dealing with interracial relationships was banned in several countries, including the United States. "Burn For You" began the creative relationship between INXS and filmmaker Richard Lowenstein. Lowenstein created the video for the song, and has since served as video director for most subsequent INXS singles. The album, "The Swing," did phenomenally well around the world, and became one of the five biggest selling albums in Australian music history.
Though INXS had become well-known around the world, it was not until 1985' "Listen Like Thieves" that they became house-hold names. The album was the first to go platinum (1 million units sold) in the US, and featured their first US Top 10 single, "What You Need." Behind their growing popularity were two things - their unique style of rock rhythms and their continual touring of the world. The album features such singles as "This Time," "What You Need," "Listen Like Thieves," and "Kiss the Dirt (Falling Down the Mountain)."
In the interim between "Listen Like Thieves" and their next record, the band continued to branch out and diversify. Michael Hutchence entered the world of acting with his memorable performance in Lowenstein's "Dogs in Space," featuring the Australian hit song, "Rooms for the Memory." The band also contributed songs to various soundtracks, including "American Anthem," "Crocodile Dundee," "Pretty in Pink," and most notably, "The Lost Boys."
1987 saw INXS explode into one of the most famous bands in the world... ever. "Kick" not only sold 4 million copies in the US, but 10 million worldwide, and still stands today as one of the most famous albums of all time. "Need You Tonight," the lead single, hit #1 in the US and many other countries, and went on to win 5 awards at the MTV Video Music Awards show in 1988. The string of hits on the album is near legendary: "Devil Inside," "New Sensation," "Never Tear Us Apart," and "Guns in the Sky." The album featured killer hooks and rhythms, great melodies, well-written lyrics, and more. With two successful stadium tours INXS had finally scaled the world [extracts from biography by Neil Kothari]
On 22 November 1997, Hutchence was found dead in his Sydney Ritz-Carlton hotel room. On 6 February 1998, after an autopsy and coronial inquest, New South Wales State Coroner, Derrick Hand, presented his report which ruled that Hutchence's death was a suicide while depressed and under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Despite the official coroner's report, fans and relatives considered his death accidental. After Hutchence's death, INXS did not perform publicly for almost a year and then only made a few one-off performances with different guest singers until 2000.
Former lead singer of Australian band Noiseworks, Jon Stevens began singing with INXS in May 2000 and fronted the band until late 2003. In 2005, Jason Fortune won the right to front the band via a reality T.V show / competition held in the states and stayed with INXS until 2009.
The band is still looking for a replacement - any takers ?
Live In San Diego was a recording on the 31st March in 1988 during INXS's World Tour to promote their highly successful album "Kick" which reached #1 in Australia.
Tracks from this concert span back to their first hit 'The Loved One', with a majority of them taken from "Swing", "Listen Like Thieves" and of course "Kick". The sound quality is excellent and it is a fantastic snapshot of INXS performing at the peak of their career. This posting is a 320kps rip from a CD (originally taken from a soundboard tape recording) and includes full album work, along with select photos of the band. This posting is a must have for any INXS fan or the uninitiated wanting to hear what all this XS is about!
02. Guns In The Sky
03. Tiny Daggers
04. The Loved One
05. Original Sin
06. Shine Like It Does
07. Listen Like Thieves
08. New Sensation
09. Soul Mistake
10. Kiss The Dirt ( Falling Down The Mountain)
11. Need You Tonight
13. Devil Inside
14. This Time
15. The One Thing
16. What You Need
17. Good Times
18. Don't Change
Michael Hutchence - Vocals
Andrew Farriss - Keyboards and Guitars
Kirk Pengilly - Guitars, Sax and Vocals
Tim Farriss - Guitars
Garry Gary Beers - Basses
Jon Farriss - Drum and Percussions
INXS Live Link (161Mb) New Link 05/04/2017