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INXS Biography

Home > Music > I > INXS > Biography

Birth Place: Sydney, Australia
Years Active: 1977-present
Genres: Rock, New Wave

INXS is an Australian rock band, formed as The Farriss Brothers in 1977 in Sydney, New South Wales. Mainstays are Garry Gary Beers on bass guitar, Andrew Farriss on guitar/keyboards, Jon Farriss on drums, Tim Farriss on lead guitar and Kirk Pengilly on guitar/sax. For twenty years, they were fronted by Michael Hutchence on lead vocals. Initially known for their New Wave/ska/pop style, they later developed a harder pub rock style, including funk and dance elements.

INXS released their first single, "Simple Simon"/"We Are the Vegetables", in Australia and France in May 1980. Their self-titled debut album, “INXS,” was released in October 1980. It featured "Just Keep Walking" which was their first Australian Top 40 single, with the album peaking in the Top 30 for Australian albums. The album eventually went gold (selling over 35,000 units).

The albums “Underneath the Colours” (1981) and “Shabooh Shabooh” (1982) followed, but it wasn’t until “The Swing” (1984) that the band achieved global success.

The first single "Original Sin" from “The Swing” became their first #1 single and was a highly popular song worldwide. The album was certified double platinum making it, at the time, one of the five biggest domestic albums in the history of Australian music.

“Listen Like Thieves” was released in October 1985, reaching #3 on the Australian charts and #11 on the US charts. The first US single from the album, "This Time", stalled at #81 in late 1985, but the next single, "What You Need", released there in early 1986, became a Top 5 Billboard hit, bringing INXS their first breakout US success. The single was also a Top 20 hit in Canada, reached #2 in Australia (September 1985) and #51 on the UK charts.

“Kick” was released in October 1987 and it peaked at #1 in Australia, #3 on the US Billboard 200, #9 in UK, and #15 in Austria. It was an upbeat, confident album that yielded four Top 10 US singles, "New Sensation", "Never Tear Us Apart", "Devil Inside" and #1 "Need You Tonight". "Need You Tonight" peaked #2 on the UK charts, #3 in Australia, and #10 in France. The album is their best selling to date, having been certified 6x platinum in the US alone.

In October 1990, INXS released the double platinum “X” which peaked at #3 in Australia, #5 in the US, #2 in the UK, #5 in Switzerland and #10 in Sweden. “X” scored hits with "Suicide Blonde" and "Disappear" (both Top 10 in the US), "Suicide Blonde" peaked at #2 in Australia, #11 in the UK and in Switzerland. Other singles from “X” were "Bitter Tears" and "By My Side" but they had less chart success.

“Welcome to Wherever You Are,” was released in August 1992, and was an experimental album using sitars and a 60-piece orchestra while adding a much more "raw" sound to their music. It went #1 in the UK and in Sweden, #2 in Australia and Switzerland, and #3 in Norway, but had less chart success in the US peaking at #16. Singles from the album included, "Taste It" and "Baby Don't Cry," which were Top 20 successes in UK, but had less success in the US or Australian markets. This was their last in a string of five consecutive albums to achieve platinum certification.

“Full Moon, Dirty Hearts',” was released in November 1993 and peaked at #3 on the UK charts, #4 in Australia, #8 in Sweden, #9 in Switzerland, #14 in Norway, but did not reach the Top 50 in the US. The title track featured The Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde and another track, "Please (You Got That)", featured Ray Charles.

In 1997, the group released “Elegantly Wasted,” which fared respectably in Australia (#14), Canada (#14), France (#30), UK (#16), Belgium (#7), Switzerland (#13), but only #41 in US.

On November 22, 1997, Hutchence was found dead in his Sydney Ritz-Carlton hotel room. After Hutchence's death, INXS did not perform publicly for almost a year and then only made a few one-off performances with different guest singers. 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. On 20 September 2005, J. D. Fortune of Salt Springs, Nova Scotia, Canada won the eleven-week competition. The Fortune penned “Pretty Vegas" was released 4 October 2005 and peaked at #9 in Australia, #37 on the Billboard Hot 100, and became a huge radio airplay hit (going platinum and reaching #1) in Fortune's native Canada.

In November 2005, the band's first album with Fortune as lead singer, “Switch,” was released in the United States via Epic Records. Three singles were released from the album in America ("Pretty Vegas", "Afterglow" and "Devil's Party"), with "Pretty Vegas" reaching #37 on the Billboard Hot 100.

“Original Sin” was released in November 2010 and features covers of their earlier songs, with each song featuring a different singer including such hits as "New Sensation" and "Never Tear Us Apart." The album charted at #49 on the Australian Albums Chart.

INXS has won six Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) awards including three for 'Best Group' in 1987, 1989 and 1992, and was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2001. To date INXS has sold more than 30 million records.