in 1977 as the Farriss Brothers in Sydney, Australia, INXS comprised
the three Farriss brothers Tim (b. 16 August 1957; guitar), Jon
(b. 18 August 1961; drums) and Andrew (b. 27 March 1959; keyboards);
Michael Hutchence (b. 22 January 1960, Lain Cove, Sydney, Australia,
d. 22 November 1997, Sydney, Australia; lead vocals), Kirk Pengilly
(b. 4 July 1958; guitar, saxophone, vocals) and Garry Beers (b.
22 June 1957; bass, vocals). The group moved to Perth, Western
Australia to develop their own distinctive rock sound which incorporated
both black dance music and white soul influences. The band began
its recording career in 1980 with a single, "Simple Simon"/"We
Are The Vegetables" on the independent Deluxe label. Over
the next three years, half a dozen singles reached the lower Top
40 in Australia, but the second album, Underneath The Colours
sold well, and the next Shabooh Shoobah reached the Top 5.
was with the "Original Sin" single of early 1985 and
its accompanying album, The Swing, that the band finally hit the
top of the charts in Australia. The album and single generated
interest in the band from the USA, Europe and South America, and
the follow-up album, Listen Like Thieves, consolidated their worldwide
success, except in the UK where critics savaged the band, but
it would not be long before sales finally took off there as well.
In 1986 Hutchence made his acting debut in the movie Dogs In Space.
One song from the film, "Rooms For The Memory", earned
him a solo Australian Top 10 single. The band toured the USA and
Europe constantly, and MTV aired their videos; as a result, Kick
achieved over 1 million sales on advance orders in the USA alone
and the band finally gained a number 1 US hit with "Need
You Tonight" in January 1988. The band's success could be
attributed to many factors, including an unchanged line-up from
the beginning, the sultry good looks of vocalist Hutchence, unstinting
touring schedules, diverse songwriters in the band and consistently
fresh production with a new producer for each album. After Kick
and before the release of X, all the members had a 12-month break
and became involved with other projects - Hutchence with Max Q;
Andrew Farriss in production work with Jenny Morris ; and Garry
Beers joined a loose collection of friends for a tour and recording
as Absent Friends.
Baby Live is a document of the INXS Wembley Stadium concert in
July 1991. Hutchence's much publicized, fleeting romance with
Kylie Minogue brought the band's name to the attention of a whole
new generation of potential fans. Their 1993 set, Full Moon, Dirty
Hearts, included a Hutchence/Chrissie Hynde ( Pretenders ) duet
on "Kill The Pain", and the single "The Gift".
The video of the latter was banned by MTV, formerly INXS' greatest
ally, due to its use of Holocaust and Gulf War footage. Hutchence
embarked on a highly publicized relationship with Paula Yates,
being cited in her divorce from Bob Geldof. Over the next few
years, until his untimely death in 1997, Hutchence and Geldof
were at loggerheads over the custody of the latter's children
with Yates. Hutchence was found hanged in his hotel room in Sydney,
Australia, on 22 November 1997. The remaining members resumed
live work in 2001.