Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Looking Back on INXS

Well according to this story INXS has finally called it a day after 35 years. 

From the story –
Drummer Jon Farriss announced the end of the band's remarkable run of performances during a concert in the West Australia city of Perth earlier this week. The band later confirmed the news in a statement.

INXS was formed in 1977 and released their self-titled debut album in 1980. They achieved worldwide fame with hits such as "New Sensation," ''Need you Tonight," and "Devil Inside."

Frontman Michael Hutchence died in 1997. In a statement Tuesday, the band paid tribute to their friend, saying: "We lived for each other in the trenches and we loved each other. It was the six of us against the world and then suddenly and inexplicably we were but five."
I honestly didn't realize that they were still performing.  Either way it’s sad to see this band go.   

Like a lot of kids in the 1980's I first heard INXS when their song "What You Need" from their 1985 album Listen Like Thieves became a huge hit.  I followed the band after that point and loved the singles from their 1987 album Kick (though for some reason I didn’t get it at the time) and picked up 1990’s X shortly after it was released.  X really hit home with me and it is still my favorite INXS record.  After 1991’s Live Baby Live, I stopped following the band.  I did pick up 1992’s Welcome to Wherever You Are but beyond the song “Beautiful Girl,” that record didn’t leave much of an impression on me.  By that time I was well entrenched in the sounds of the American underground and INXS fell to the back burner. 

In 1997, INXS frontman Michael Hutchence died but the band decided to keep going and worked with a few different singers over the years.  I never followed these incarnations of the band, partially because I saw Hutchence as an integral part of the band.  INXS without Hutchence is like U2 without Bono or R.E.M. without Michael Stipe or Fugazi without Ian MacKaye. 

Here are three of my favorite INXS songs.  First is “The Stairs” from X (though this is the performance that appeared on Live Baby Live), then “Don’t Change” from 1982’s Shabooh Shoobah, and finally “Need You Tonight/Mediate” from Kick.  If I had to pick an absolute favorite INXS song it would be “The Stairs” though “Don’t Change” would be a close second.  Also the song “Disappear” from X is another favorite.  “Need You Tonight/Mediate” is actually two separate songs but they were released together.  The part of the video for “Mediate” is fantastic.  For some irritating reason most radio stations only play “Need You Tonight” leaving off “Mediate,” which to me is like playing “We Will Rock You” without “We Are the Champions.”  

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