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Music / INXS

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"That's why - You need
That's why - This is what you need
I'll give you what you need"
INXS, "What You Need"

INXS were an Australian rock band that existed from 1977 to 2012. Among their best known hits are "What You Need", "Need You Tonight" and "Never Tear Us Apart." Formed in 1977 they spent many years on the Aussie pub rock circuit and supporting other bigger bands before breaking through with their 1985 album Listen Like Thieves and following up with the smash hit Kick coinciding with the golden age of MTV where their videos became highly popular. The band rode a wave of popularity for the next ten years releasing four more well received albums before tragedy hit the band. The charismatic lead singer and Face of the Band Michael Hutchence was found dead of a suicide (though autoerotic asphyxiation is also a strong suspect, but this is not the place to debate it) in a Sydney hotel room on November 22, 1997 dealing the band a body blow from which they never really recovered.


This obviously completely derailed the band for some years and despite a two year stint with ex Noiseworks singer Jon Stevens the band didn't do much of note until they decided to recruit a new singer (J.D. Fortune) via the Reality Television show Rock Star: INXS. This lead to tours and two new albums in 2005 and 2010 before offscreen drama between Fortune and the rest of the band started to tell. The band soldiered on for a couple of years with Fortune's status as a permanent member, guest vocalist or hired gun fluctuating on a regular basis before finally calling it quits in 2012.

Official site


Principal Members (founding members in bold):

  • Garry Gary Beers - bass, double bass, keyboards (1977–2012)
  • Andrew Farriss - keyboards, piano, rhythm guitar, harmonica, percussion (1977–2012)
  • John Farriss - drums, percussion, keyboards (1977–2012)
  • Tim Farriss - lead guitar (1977–2012)
  • J.D. Fortune - lead vocals (2005–2011)
  • Ciaran Gribbin - lead vocals (2011–2012)
  • Michael Hutchence - lead vocals (1977–1997; his death)
  • Kirk Pengilly - rhythm guitar, saxophone (1977–2012)
  • Jon Stevens - lead vocals (2000–2003)


  • INXS (1980)
  • Underneath the Colours (1981)
  • Shabooh Shoobah (1982)
  • The Swing (1984)
  • Listen Like Thieves (1985)
  • Kick (1987)
  • X (1990)
  • Welcome to Wherever You Are (1992)
  • Full Moon, Dirty Hearts (1993)
  • Elegantly Wasted (1997)
  • Switch (2005)
  • Original Sin (2010)

"Full Moon, Dirty Tropes":

  • The Band Minus the Face: What they became after Hutchence's death.
  • Band of Relatives: Originally named the Farris Brothers, as there were three (keyboardist/guitarist Andrew, drummer Jon and lead guitarist Tim)
  • The Cameo:
    • Daryl Hall sang the chorus for "Original Sin" with Hutchence.
    • Jimmy Barnes duetted with Hutchence on the single “Good Times”.
    • Ray Charles, on "Please (You Got That...)" and Chrissie Hynde on "Full Moon, Dirty Hearts".
    • And the show's winner, J.D. Fortune, became "sixth ranger" and lead singer at the same time.
  • Five-Man Band: Before Hutchence passed away, it broke down like this:
    • The Leader: Tim. According to the rest of INXS, he was looked up to as a father figure (chiefly due to being the first to get married, as well as his age).
    • The Lancer: Kirk. He'd played in at least one or two bands with Tim before INXS, and was originally the lead singer before Michael was added.
    • The Smart Guy: Andrew. He wrote the music for almost all of the band's hits, with Michael supplying the lyrics.
    • The Big Guy: Jon, befitting his role as drummer.
    • The Heart / The Face: Michael. This is somewhat self-evident.
    • Sixth Ranger: In a way, Garry. He was the only member who wasn't close-bosom friends with the Farriss brothers (like Kirk and Michael were) before joining the band that became INXS.
  • Instrumentals: "Three Sisters"
  • It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": According to the booklet for The Greatest Hits, the first "Live" in the title of Live Baby Live is pronounced like the word give, and the second one is pronounced like five. This makes a certain amount of sense because it's a Live Album, but it's still confusing because the title comes from a lyric in "New Sensation", where "live" rhymes with "give" both times.
    • Their name is pronounced "In Excess", not "eye en ex sess" or "inks". It's not an acronym.
  • List Song: "Mediate"
  • Live Album: Live Baby Live
  • Long Runner Lineup: The original lineup lasted from 1977 to the death of Michael Hutchence in 1997 and therefore counts as Type I.
  • Megane: Saxophonist/guitarist Kirk Pengilly.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Michael Hutchence.
  • New Sound Album: The album The Swing has more of a harder-edged rigid sound to it than their previous three albums and moved further away from the New Wave sound and Michael Hutchence sings in a more soulful manner than earlier in the band's career. The album also helped the band have more of a signature sound as well as their first album to feature guest musicians and audio sequencing and effects that were then state of the art.
    • Welcome to Wherever You Are has also been seen as one, being more experimental after the straight-ahead rock of Kick and X.
  • Non-Appearing Title: "Viking Juice"
  • Protest Song: "Guns in the Sky"
    "Well I'm sick of it
    It's a load of shit"
  • Reality Show: Rock Star: INXS
  • Rearrange the Song: In 2010, they rerecorded "Original Sin," which first appeared on 1984's The Swing, as a dance single with Rob Thomas and Cuban female rapper DJ Yalediys. It appeared on the 2010 tribute album Original Sin.
  • Self-Titled Album: INXS
  • Shout-Out: The video for "Mediate", to the "Subterranean Homesick Blues" sequence in Bob Dylan's Rockumentary Don't Look Back.
  • Siamese Twin Songs: "Need You Tonight/Mediate"
  • Silly Love Songs: "The One Thing", "Need You Tonight," "Never Tear Us Apart," "Beautiful Girl," "Disappear," etc. etc.
  • "X" Makes Anything Cool: Part of the band name. The band were specifically inspired to pick their name by seeing a flyer for an XTC concert and wanting to use a similar "abbreviation including X" formula.

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