The story of INXS begins as so many of these stories do, during the school years of its founding members.
Legend has it that that Michael Hutchence broke up a fight at Davidson High School between Andrew Farriss and another student and the two boys became firm friends.
Andrew invited Michael to join his band 'The Farriss Brothers' which was made up of Garry Beers on bass guitar, Andrew Farriss on keyboards, Jon Farriss on drums, Tim Farriss on lead guitar, Geoff Kennelly on Drums, Kirk Pengilly on guitar and saxophone with Michael on lead vocals.
The year was 1977 and the boys began performing at various gigs, by 1979 they had started to develop a strong following as a support act for Midnight Oil who decided they should change their name to INXS. (The name was inspired by English band XTC and the Australian jam makers IXL).
Shortly after they moved from Perth to Sydney, and the band's first performance as INXS was on 1st September 1979 at Toukley on the New South Wales Central Coast.
Within a year they started to forge a name on the pub circuit and landed an Australian recording contract, releasing their first single in 1980 and later that year their self-titled debut album, "INXS".
In October 1981, their second album 'Underneath the Colours' was released and became a hit, leading the band to an American contract with Atco Records.
In 1983, they released their U.S. debut, Shabooh Shoobah, and embarked on an extensive tour which, thanks to the hit single 'Don't Change,' made them minor stars.
For their next album, INXS recorded a few sessions with producer Nile Rodgers, which resulted in the sleek and funky 'Original Sin,' the first inclination that the band was making a move toward a fusion of rock and dance music.
'Original Sin' made 1984's 'The Swing' a minor hit, yet the group didn't have a genuine mainstream breakthrough until 1985 with the release of 'Listen Like Thieves', which climbed to number 11 in the U.S. on the strength of the single 'What You Need.'
'Listen like Thieves' laid the groundwork for 'Kick', the album that made them international superstars. Released late in 1987, 'Kick' worked its way to multi-platinum sales over the course of 1988, as four singles, 'Need You Tonight,' 'Devil Inside,' 'New Sensation,' and 'Never Tear Us Apart' climbed into the U.S. Top Ten.
In the wake of the album's success, Michael Hutchence was hailed in some quarters as the heir to Mick Jagger's throne, and the group was considered to rival U2 in terms of international popularity.
Michael Hutchence then released the "experimental" side project 'Max Q' in early 1990, and the record failed badly.
'X', INXS' follow-up to 'Kick', appeared in early 1990 to mostly negative reviews even though the album generated several hits, including 'Disappear' and 'Bitter Tears,' only its first single, 'Suicide Blonde,' reached the Top Ten in the U.S., and the sales of 'X' were considered disappointing when compared to 'Kick'.
'X' hurt INXS' momentum considerably, although the group was still quite popular.
The 1991 live album 'Live Baby Live' was recorded at Wembley Stadium but the group could no longer be considered in the same league as U2 or R.E.M.
Michael Hutchence continued to live a jet-setting lifestyle, dating Kylie Minogue and various supermodels, which did not wear well with fans in the wake of alternative rock's commercial breakthrough in 1992.
By the time INXS released 'Welcome to Wherever You Are', the group's most adventurous record, they were out of date in 1992, and even a rash of reviews that compared the record favorably to U2's 'Achtung Baby' couldn't make it a hit.
'Full Moon, Dirty Hearts' followed in 1993, and it was generally ignored. Following its release, the group left Atlantic, releasing 'Greatest Hits' as its last album for the label.
INXS signed with PolyGram in 1994, yet it took them three years to release a new album.
During that time, Michael Hutchence was involved in several tabloid scandals, most notably his love affair with British TV personality Paula Yates (which brought an end to her marriage to Bob Geldof), and he hinted that he was recording a solo album.
That record didn't materialize, but INXS returned in the spring of 1997 with 'Elegantly Wasted'. While the album was greeted with poor reviews, it eventually became the group's biggest hit since 'X'.
On November 22nd of that year, Michael Hutchence was found dead in his Sydney hotel room, the victim of an apparent hanging. His long-in-the-works solo debut was posthumously issued in late 1999.
There were several attempts to revive the band with different lead vocalists, including searching for a lead singer through the reality TV show Rock Star: INXS in 2005 where they found J. D. Fortune and later in the year released the album 'Switch'.
But, unfortunately, none of the attempts to re-group after the death of Michael were very successful and INXS announced at a concert in Perth in 2012 that they would no longer be touring.
I've seen these guys a couple of times in the early years and I own all their music because I absolutely bloody love them; they were an amazing band to see live and their music is still some of my favourite, I can remember playing the album 'Kick' over and over when it was first released..... good times.
Sadly they have left the stage but we can still enjoy all of their music; just go on over to iTunes by clicking on any of the buttons on this page.
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