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INXS bio, timeline, discography, pics & more

INXS with JD Fortune  2005

INXS photo 2005
[L-R] Kirk Pengilly, Garry Beers, Andrew Farriss, Tim Farriss and Jon Farriss
with JD Fortune [center]

INXS Biography

With a career spanning 30 extraordinary years, INXS are undoubtedly one of the world's great Rock acts, with more than 30 million records sold worldwide, the band are arguably Australia's most successful Rock export. It all began in 1977 in Sydney, AUSTRALIA, when vocalist Michael Hutchence, lead guitarist Tim Farriss, his brothers Andrew on guitar + keyboards and Jon on drums, bass player Garry Gary Beers and Kirk Pengilly on guitar + saxophone decided to start a band. As The Farris Brothers, they played regular gigs in Sydney's Northern beaches and in 1979 the group changed its name to INXS.

The following year the sextet released their eponymously titled debut album which included the band's first Australian top 40 hit single, "Just Keep Walking".

1981's "Underneath The Colours" garnered a lot more critical and commercial attention on the strength of the hit single "Stay Young".

A year later, signing with Atco Records in America, INXS with its third effort, "Shabooh Shoobah", entered the U.S. Top 200 LPs & Tapes chart at #46, thanks to the Top 40 Sales hit "The One Thing", the track also peaked at #2 on The Mainstream Rock chart and a second single, "Don't Change", cracked the top 20 on the same chart.

The band musical development coincided with their growth in popularity and 1984's platinum-selling "The Swing" spun off a worldwide smash hit, "Original Sin", a quirky intersection of New Wave-Dance and Rock, the track hit #1 on the Australian Pop Singles chart and in several other countries, it was quite successful in the U.S. where reached the #58 position on The Billboard Hot 100; the second single, "I Send A Message", peaked at #2 in Australia and "Burn For You" hit #3.

October 1985 saw the release of the group's breakthrough effort, "Listen Like Thieves", the album enjoyed a 81-week chart run in Australia eventually attaining multi-platinum status, it also soared to #11 on The Billboard 200. The first single, "This Time", received strong airplay on U.S. album-Rock stations peaking at #11 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart; "What You Need" hit #3 on the same chart, smashed into the top 5 of The Billboard Hot 100 and also peaked at #2 in Australia; the third single, the album's title-cut, reached the #12 spot on the U.S. Mainstream Rock chart and the final single, "Kiss The Dirt (Falling Down The Mountain)", broke into the Australian top 20 in July 1986.

That fall INXS recorded the single "Good Times" with Jimmy Barnes, the song, which was commissioned for the soundtrack of Joel Schumacher's film "The Lost Boys", shot to #1 in Australia and hit #3 on the Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks.

The sextet managed to soar to unprecedented heights with their sixth album: "Kick"; it was released in October 1987 reaching the top slot in Australia, #9 in the U.K. and #3 on The Billboard Top 200 chart, selling over 6 million copies in U.S. alone. "Kick" was powered by no less than five smash singles, "Need You Tonight" hit #1 on The Billboard Hot 100, #2 on the British Official Pop chart and #3 in their native Australia; "Devil Inside" rose to #2 spots on both Billboard's Hot 100 and Mainstream Rock charts and hit the top 10 on the Australian Pop chart; the third single, "New Sensation", shot to #3 on The Billboard Hot 100 and entered the top 10 of The Mainstream Rock Tracks; "Never Tear Us Apart" reached the #7 slot on The Billboard Hot 100 upon its August 1988 release, it also hit #5 on The Mainstream Rock chart and #28 on The Modern Rock Tracks. Before the year was out, "Mystify" was released as a single in the U.K. alone and reached the #14 spot on the Official chart, the track received considerable airplay on U.S. Rock radio stations, it ended up hitting the top 20 of the Billboard's Mainstream Rock list.
After over a year on the road INXS took a break and Hutchence found time to launch a side project, Max Q.

Premiered by the smash single "Suicide Blonde", the band's long awaited seventh album, "X", hit the shelves on September 21, 1990; the record debuted at #5 on The Billboard 200, peaked at #2 in the U.K. and had yet another string of successful singles; "Suicide Blonde" shot to #1 on both the Modern and Mainstream Rock charts, cracked the top 10 of The Billboard Hot 100, hit the top 3 in Australia and reached the #11 position on the British Top 40 Sales chart; "Disappear" hit #8 on The Billboard Hot 100 and also climbed into the top 10 of The Mainstream and Modern Rock charts. In the spring of 1991 "Bitter Tears" was released as the third single from the album reaching the top 5 of the U.S. Rock Airplay charts, #46 on The Billboard Hot 100 and #30 in Britain; that summer "By My Side" crested at #23 on the Australian chart and INXS played at London's Wembley Stadium in front of a crowd of over 70000 fans.

The video of the event was eventually issued in November 1991 coinciding with the release of the concert album "Live Baby Live", the set climbed into the top 10 in the U.K. and was certified platinum in the U.S. where the accompanying new studio-single, "Shining Star", made the top 20 of the Mainstream Rock chart.

Nearly a year later the band released its eighth studio album, "Welcome To Wherever You Are", which rocketed straight to #1 in Britain, to #2 in Australia and quickly catapulted into the top 20 of the American Billboard 200 chart; the first single, "Heaven Sent", stormed both Alternative and Active Rock radio stations falling just one position short of #1 on The Modern Rock Tracks and peaked at #4 on The Mainstream Rock chart, it debuted at #14 on the Australian Pop Singles chart. Both follow-up singles, "Baby Don't Cry" and "Taste It", cracked the Australian top 40, the latter also climbed the U.S. Modern Rock chart peaking at #5. "Not Enough Time" was the album's best-known song in America where reached the #28 position on The Billboard Hot 100 and hit #2 on The Modern Rock Tracks. The final single, "Beautiful Girl", was a mid-sized hit in the U.K. and in the States, on the Official Pop Sales charts but held the #10 place on The Modern Rock listing.

In November 1993 INXS released "Full Moon, Dirty Hearts", their most disappointing album, it failed to go gold in the U.S. and included only one Modern Rock top 10 hit, "The Gift"; the record found more success in Great Britain where cracked the top 5 and the main single ascended to #11 on the Official Pop Sales chart. Not long after the band switched from Atlantic to Polygram and began work on their next album.
It was around this time that Michael Hutchence became involved with British television personality Paula Yates with whom he had a daughter, Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily Hutchence, in July 1996.

"Elegantly Wasted", was issued in April 1997 reaching #41 on The Billboard Top 200; the first single, the album's title-cut, rose to #13 on The Modern Rock chart, it also debuted within the top 20 on both the U.K. and Australian charts; although the follow-up single, "Don't Loose Your Head", was included in the hit movie "Face Off" starring Nicholas Cage and John Travolta, the track failed to make chart impact. That year the band embarked on a lengthy international tour playing the first show in Capetown, South Africa; the group played a further four shows before heading to Europe then to North America.

On November 22, 1997, just 4 days prior to beginning the Australian leg of the Elegantly Wasted world tour, seemingly despondent over his personal life, Michael Hutchence took his life in a hotel room in Sydney. A service was held for him at the St. Andrew's Cathedral in Sydney and he was later cremated at Rookwood Cemetary.

INXS continued to perform occasionally using singers such as Terence Trent D'Arby and Jon Stevens as vocalists.

In October 2005, with a new lead singer, Canadian-born JD Fortune, chosen by the viewers of the CBS reality series "Rock Star: INXS", the Australian band returned to The Billboard Hot 100 chart after an absence of twelve and a half years with the top 40 hit single "Pretty Vegas". The band's first album in eight years was finally released in November 2005, it reached #18 in Australia, peaked at #17 on The Billboard 200 and rose to #2 on the Top Canadian Albums chart. The first single, "Pretty Vegas" which debuted atop the Canadian chart, was followed by two more Australian top 40 hits "Afterglow" and "Devil's Party".

Two years in the making, the group's next offering "Original Sin" revisited all their best-loved tracks with the help of stars like Ben Harper, Rob Thomas, John Mayer and Tricky. The set was released in November 2010 and includes the Canadian single "The Stairs" featuring JD Fortune.


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INXS pictures:

  • INXS band mid 80s INXS band mid 80s
    Group shot mid-'80s
  • INXS band 1997 INXS band 1997
    INXS 1997