I’ve been on an ’80s kick lately with music, and INXS has been coming up a lot on Pandora, so I took it as a sign.
Brothers Andrew (keyboards), Tim (guitar), and Jon (drums) Farriss formed the band The Farriss Brothers in 1977 with Kirk Pengilly (guitar, saxophone), Garry Gary Beers (bass), and Michael Hutchence (vocals). They started as a New Wave/ska/pop band, but gradually moved into “pub rock” (a harder sound with dance and funk elements). In 1980, they were calling themselves INXS and released their eponymous first album, which charted in their native Australia. They gradually gained fame elsewhere with Underneath the Colors (1982), Shabooh Shoobah (1982), The Swing (1984), and Listen Like Thieves (1985), finally breaking out in 1987 with Kick, from which our two songs come today. Their popularity waned in the United States starting with 1992’s Welcome to Wherever You Are, as they were gaining more popularity in the UK, thanks in part to Hutchence’s romance with Kylie Minogue. In 1997, Hutchence was found dead in his hotel room at the Ritz-Carlton in Sydney; the New South Wales State Coroner determined that he had taken his own life while depressed and under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
After a year off the road, INXS resumed their appearances using guest singers Jimmy Barnes, Terence Trent D’Arby, and Jon Stevens. Stevens joined the band for their 2002 tour. In 2005, they participated in Rock Star: INXS, in which Canadian singer J. D. Fortune was selected as the band’s new singer. in 2011, the band announced that Ciaran Gribbin had replaced Fortune in the band. On November 11, 2012, during a performance in Perth, they announced that their performance would be their last.
Anyway, on to the songs for today, selected from the band’s YouTube channel.
- “Devil Inside” rose to #2 in the US, #3 in Canada, #6 in Australia, and #47 in the UK in 1988.
- “Never Tear Us Apart” reached #11 in Australia, #9 in Canada, #24 in the UK, and #7 in the US later that same year.
The band maintains a website at inxs.com (as you might expect). There are a lot of pictures and tweets from fans and a shop where you can get band gear.
INXS: You Two for Tuesday, August 12, 2014.