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Origin Sydney, Australia
Years active 1977–present
GenresDance, New Wave, Rock
Members J.D. FortuneTim FarrissAndrew FarrissKirk PengillyGarry Gary BeersJon Farriss
Past members Michael HutchenceJon Stevens
INXS (pronounced "In Excess") is an Australian rock group. The band was formed in 1977 by the late Michael Hutchence (lead vocals), Andrew Farriss (guitar and keyboards), Tim Farriss (b. August 16, 1957, in Perth, Western Australia, Australia) (lead guitar), Jon Farriss (drums), Garry Gary Beers (bass), and Kirk Pengilly (b. July 4, 1958, in Kew, Victoria, Australia) (saxophone and guitar). On September 20, 2005, Canadian singer J.D. Fortune became the band's new lead vocalist after a twelve-week competition on the CBS reality show Rock Star: INXS.
1.1 Michael Hutchence era
1.2 Rock Star: INXS
3.1 Studio albums
3.2 Live albums
3.3 Compilation albums
4 See also
5 External links
Michael Hutchence era
INXS began under the name The Farriss Brothers but the band changed it in 1979, just prior to the release of their self-titled dbut album in 1980, INXS, which featured "Just Keep Walking".
Its follow-up, 1981's Underneath the Colours (produced by Richard Clapton), became a hit-album in Australia.
In 1983, their third album, titled Shabooh Shoobah, was released successfully worldwide. The single "The One Thing" brought them their first top 30 hit in America, while "Don't Change" became a staple in the set list of college rock bands who played the frat circuit. The album itself entered the U.S. top 50.
With the Nick Launay-produced fourth album, The Swing in 1984, the band received more significant attention all around the world, as "Original Sin" became their first #1 single and an international hit. Indeed, during all this year, the song was, for example, #1 in Australia as well as in Argentina and in France, #23 in Switzerland, #31 in the Netherlands and #58 in the U.S. where the single's explicitly political and anti-racism message may have contributed to low airplay. Yet, "Original Sin" (produced by Nile Rodgers) was largely ignored in the UK, where INXS didn't have any success in the charts until 1986 with the album Listen Like Thieves. In the same way, the band's charismatic singer Michael Hutchence gained attention with his MTV-ready looks. INXS, which had started out as a new wave act featuring more synthesizers than guitar, gradually moved in a more straight-ahead rock-oriented direction through the first half of the 1980s. By 1985's breakthrough album Listen Like Thieves the band had perfected a matured sound influenced by the Rolling Stones and Chic but true to the band's original roots in the Aussie pubs. Listen Like Thieves was loved by the critics. In the US, the first single, "This Time" stalled at #81 in late 1985, but the band roared out of nowhere with the second, "What You Need", which in early 1986 became a top-five Billboard hit, bringing INXS their first breakout U.S. success.
The band's worldwide peak of popularity came with 1987's Kick, an upbeat, confident album that yielded four top-ten US singles and several international hits ("New Sensation", "Never Tear Us Apart", "Devil Inside", etc.), including the #1 "Need You Tonight". They toured heavily behind the album throughout 1987 and 1988. Afterwards, the band took a break and Hutchence released a side project of sorts called Max Q, which received decent reviews, but at best attained a cult status.
However, the band had a lot of pressure on their shoulders as fans and critics alike having high expectations about their follow-up album to Kick. In 1990, INXS released X. It followed in the same vein as Kick, and added harmonica to some songs, but critics and fans considered it a weak follow-up. Nevertheless, X did score two hits in "Suicide Blonde" and "Disappear" (both top ten in the US).
INXS performed at Wembley Stadium on July 13, 1991, during their "Summer XS" tour of London to a sold out audience of 72,000 fans. During this show, INXS organised a film crew to shoot their show onto video to come out simultaneously as their live album Live Baby Live (the video was also called Live Baby Live).
1992's Welcome to Wherever You Are was an experimental album using sitars and a 60-piece orchestra while adding a much more "raw" sound to their music. It received critical reviews and went No. 1 in the UK but it flopped in the U.S.; the band complained of lack of promotion by their American record label Atlantic Records, but the band did not tour in support of the album because they wanted a long break. At the same time, alternative rock began to dominate the airwaves and more traditional rockers like INXS fell out of favour.
1993's Full Moon, Dirty Hearts was their attempt to capitalise on the grunge movement, and while it received mixed reviews, it plunged the band further into obscurity, despite the track "Please (You Got That)" featuring the legendary Ray Charles. The band made a full video album for the record using unknown Australian students to direct with help by Richard Lowenstein. Full Moon, Dirty Hearts was the last record under INXS's contract with Atlantic, so the label, knowing that the record wasn't selling well, in 1994 brought out the first of many Greatest Hits compilations.
Hutchence, meanwhile, remained in the public eye, dabbling in modelling and film acting and dating several models and public personalities including Kylie Minogue, Helena Christensen, and Paula Yates.
Throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s, INXS was a major force in Australian popular music, leading the way into worldwide popularity for several Australian bands. The band worked closely with several other Australian artists, such as The Models and Jenny Morris, helping to establish their careers. By the mid-nineties, however, their popularity had waned, especially in the US, where their Greatest Hits compilation failed to reach the top 100. In 1997, the group released a comeback album titled Elegantly Wasted, which garnered mixed reviews. It fared respectably in Australia, Canada, and Great Britain (where INXS had ironically more success in the 90s than in the 80s), but floundered in the US.
On November 22, 1997, Hutchence was found dead in a Sydney hotel room, an apparent victim of suicide. Some speculate his death was actually an accident, the result of autoerotic asphyxiation. Since Hutchence's death, INXS continued, using Terence Trent D'Arby, Suze DeMarchi, and Jimmy Barnes as temporary lead singers. New Zealander and Celebrity Treasure Island Host Jon Stevens began singing with INXS in 2000 and was officially named a member of the band in 2002. However, he left INXS in 2003 to pursue a solo career, only recording a contractual obligation song called I Get Up, released as a single (which charted in the top 100 on the Australian ARIAnet Singles Chart) in the same year, and it was used in the Rugby Union World Cup 2003 and the EA Sports Rugby 2004 video game.
Rock Star: INXS
INXS returned to the news in 2004 when it was announced that a new reality television program titled Rock Star: INXS would feature a contest to find a new lead vocalist for the band. The show, which debuted on the CBS network July 11, 2005, (and on VH1 in the UK and on FOX 8 in Australia), featured 15 contestants vying for the position of lead singer. The show was executive produced by Survivor's Mark Burnett and hosted by Brooke Burke and former Jane's Addiction and Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Dave Navarro.
On September 20, 2005, J.D. Fortune (born Jason Dean Bennison, uses his mother's maiden name Fortune) of Oakville, Ontario, Canada won the eleven week competition, which culminated in his singing the Rolling Stones's "You Can't Always Get What You Want" and INXS' "What You Need" in the finale of the show to become the new lead singer of INXS. He has recorded the new album with producer Guy Chambers and is currently on a world tour with INXS in 2006. Runner-up Marty Casey was the opening act during leg one of the world tour, along with his band, The Lovehammers.
During the Rock Star: INXS competition, the contestants were challenged to write the lyrics and melody to music written by Andrew Farriss. Originally this challenge was divided up into two teams. When Fortune did not see eye-to-eye with his team (that included Casey), he decided to venture out on his own and write his own lyrics. At first Fortune's move seemed to have doomed his chances to win the competition (because it was perceived he couldn't work in a team), but it was this move that resulted in his creation of the lyrics to "Pretty Vegas". This song became a favourite of both fans and INXS and played a major role in Fortune being able to win the competition. This single was released October 4, 2005, and reached #5 on the iTunes Music Store ranking of top downloaded songs on its first day, dbuted on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at #37, and became a huge radio airplay hit in Fortune's native Canada.
On November 29, 2005, the band's first album in eight years was released, titled Switch.
In 2001, INXS were inducted into the Australian ARIA Hall of Fame. They were inducted before a standing ovation.
In total, the band has received three Grammy nominations over their 25 year career.
After heavy touring to promote Kick, the band took a break. It was then in the year 1989 that bassist Garry Beers actually resigned from the band to release some side projects but soon returned to record their follow-up album titled X.
INXS is an informal abbreviation for "in excess," used in chemistry. For example, "HCl is INXS."
Somewhat bizarrely a Sega CD game named INXS: Make My Video was released in the early '90s in which players had to cut together their own version of INXS music videos, the game was almost universally panned for being nigh on unplayable.
AFI released a cover of the song "Don't Change" by INXS on a CD promoting their new album Decemberunderground and also as a b-side on their latest single miss murder on both cd and vinyl.
The Goo Goo Dolls covered the song "Don't Change" by INXS in 1995, including an acoustic version. The original mix was for the Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls soundtrack, and the acoustic version appeared later on a single.
Grinspoon released a cover of the song "Don't Change" by INXS on their 2003 EP "Panic Button" (which peaked at #13 in Australia)
"Never Tear Us Apart" was originally intended to be used in the opening scene of cult film "Donnie Darko," but was unable to secure the rights to use it. "Killing Moon" by Echo and the Bunnymen, was used in replacement of the song. By the time the directors cut was released on DVD, "Never Tear Us Apart" was able to be used.
In 1985, INXS performed live (via satellite) from Sydney, Australia for the mega-concert "Live Aid", a benefit to raise money for the starving in Africa (organized by Bob Geldof)
INXS and AC/DC are the only two Australian acts that have performed at Wembley Stadium.
In 2006 Pollstar announced the Top 50 Mid Year Tours (January 1st- June 30th) playing to 278,278 fans across North America and ended up at #22 with $13.9 million in grossing ticket sales. They even managed to play to more fans than 30 other rockers on the list including Aerosmith, Elton John, Queen, and U2
For a complete discography, seeINXS discography.
1980 - INXS
1981 - Underneath the Colours
1982 - Shabooh Shoobah
1984 - The Swing
1985 - Listen Like Thieves
1987 - Kick
1990 - X
1992 - Welcome to Wherever You Are
1993 - Full Moon, Dirty Hearts
1997 - Elegantly Wasted
2005 - Switch
1991 - Live Baby Live
2004 - INXS: Live At Barker Hangar
1982 - INXSIVE
1994 - The Greatest Hits
2001 - Shine Like It Does: The Anthology (1979-1997)
2002 - Definitive INXS/The Best of INXS
2002 - The Years 1979-1997
2002 - Stay Young 1979-1982
2004 - INXS: The Remixes