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On a global level, INXS are the most successful music act Australia has ever sent out into the world, all the more important because they were also a product of Australian music, rather than an Australian version of what the rest of the world had to offer.

The INXS story begins as a tale in two parts, first of a tight-knit family which encourages its children to do whatever they want - even joining rock and roll bands - and welcomes their friends into the Farriss family. The second part of the story is of a child born into a family constantly pulling apart, emotionally and physically.

Michael Hutchence's parents separated when he was young, but old enough to feel it hard. He was sent bouncing between his parents. His father's import business meant that he was sent bouncing from country to country. Michael first encountered the Farriss family when Andrew rescued Michael from being picked on and roughed up as the new boy in high school. The two became instant friends and although his own family situation sent him away to Hong Kong for a while, when Michael came back to Sydney that friendship remained. After high school Michael virtually moved in with the Farriss family as he, the three Farriss brothers and two of the other brothers' friends formed a band together in 1977. When the Farriss family moved to Perth the whole band moved.

Top Singles


Need You Tonight (#3)
Original Sin (#1)
Good Times (with Jimmy Barnes) (#1)
Burn For You (#3)
What You Need (#1)
Suicide Blonde (#2)
I Send A Message (#2)
New Sensation (#6)
Never Tear Us Apart (#8)
Devil Inside (#5)

They played every godawful place there was to play, from mining towns to inner suburban pubs; writing songs, rehearsing, and becoming a musical unit as tight as their personal bond. Ten months later they returned to Sydney as The Farriss Brothers. Midnight Oil's manager spotted them and thought they should make themselves in-access-able, with Michael singing from behind bars. The concept only lived long enough to give the group a new name - INXS - and, they found a manager of their own - Chris Murphy - whose father ran an old school talent agency worlds away from rock and roll.

That same year, 1980, INXS was signed to Deluxe Records, an independent label set up by Michael Browning with the money he received when AC/DC took on American management. INXS' memory of recording the first album was producer Duncan McGuire (of Ayers Rock fame) slumped exhausted over the mixing panel. Producer and band were fitting the album sessions in between gigs. The self-titled album generated the first significant INXS landmark, 'Just Keep Walking'. (YouTube) Before releasing the next album they recorded their first version of 'The Loved One' as a single - another landmark, but only another modest hit.

It was their fellow musicians who were paying most attention. The second album, 'Underneath The Colours', and its single standout single 'Stay Young' were produced by singer songwriter Richard Clapton. A step forward. But the band and their manager felt that they couldn't realize their full potential at Deluxe and signed with a major, Warners.

All the while INXS were doing what they became noted for, working their butts off. They had an insatiable thirst for playing live, and Australians were developing a thirst for seeing them live. INXS had become the quintessential "pub rock" band, pushing out a solid rock and roll while their singer pranced and danced at the microphone.

Fresh from bringing Cold Chisel into shape on record, Mark Opitz now did the same for INXS. For their part INXS delivered an album stacked with strong songs, and in 1982 the resulting 'Shabooh Shoobah' bringing INXS to stardom. It's with this record that INXS launched themselves onto the world stage.

They did this, just as they had in Australia, just working and working and working; on 1984's 'The Swing' album introducing the dance and funk rhythms which would characterize their work from now on. On record, and in reputation they grew from strength to strength. 'Listen Like Thieves' - an admission to their methodology? - delivered the American breakthrough. 1987's 'Kick' sold 9 million worldwide as England finally came on board. Their UK record company had decided they knew better and released singles with jackets which completely misled the band's potential audience. How sweet it was then to record 1991's 'Live Baby Live' album in front of a packed Wembley Stadium.

Top Albums
Kick (#1)
The Swing (#1)
Listen Like Thieves (#1)
Shabooh Shoobah (#6)
5X (#2)

On the way INXS had forged a strong, creative relationship with the regular creator of their inventive video clips, Richard Lowenstein. His role in INXS' success allowed Richard to create his first full length feature film, 'Dogs In Space', which starred Michael Hutchence and gave Michael the excuse to record without INXS for the first time. From the moment the group became international superstars INXS again became a tale in two parts. While the rest of the band did their best to live ordinary lives between tours and albums, Michael Hutchence continued his rock star life, rubbing shoulders with his peers, experimenting and experiencing, a citizen of the world. When it was time to record another INXS album Michael arrived with a bunch of ideas and experiences he'd accumulated, and lyrics he'd collected on scraps of paper in his laundry bag. At the start of each INXS session there was always a period of tug of war while the two INXS worlds collided and found common ground again.

The Nineties proved tough for INXS. They'd been around more than ten years, and music is constantly changing. Survival is always tough at the top, as well as the bottom, but INXS seemed to have the strength and talent to see the struggle through.

It all came to a sad and abrupt end of course in November 1997 when Michael Hutchence was found dead in his Sydney hotel room. The band was rehearsing for an upcoming tour when Michael didn't arrive. The band sent hotel management to Michael's room. There was no indication what they would find. Hutchence had his personal problems with companion Paula Yates and her ex-husband Bob Geldof, but his other 'family', INXS was celebrating its twentieth anniversary together. At the time they were heading for the next chapter of their story, under new management and with a new record company.

Just under a year after Michael's death INXS appeared in concert for the first time, backing Jimmy Barnes at Mushroom Records' Concert Of the Century at the MCG. In June 1999 they celebrated the opening of Sydney's Stadium Australia with England's Terence Trent D'Arby at the microphone. In May 2000 they gave the first of their occasional performances with Jon Stevens of Noiseworks as singer. The rest of INXS were still struggling with having their career so cruelly interrupted, wondering if and how they should continue.

In November 2002 they re-entered the studio with Stevens to finally start recording new material, but in October 2003 Stevens revealed in a television interview he was leaving, comfirmed by the group with an announcement the following day. Stevens contract with INXS was due to expire at the end of the year. In the end INXS were never happy with the results in the studio and Stevens became frustrated by the paralysis and the failure to commit to the songs he was trying to contribute.

In 2005 entered a novel method of finding a new singer, via an internally screened reality television series. In September 31 year old Canadian J.D. Fortune was announced as winner and rushed into the studio to record the band's first album in eight years.


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Absent Friends
Jimmy Barnes
Richard Clapton
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Jenny Morris





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