Need You Tonight
Originally known as The Farriss Brothers, Australian rock group INXS first charted in their native country with their eponymous debut album in 1980 before starting an international career with the moderately successful album “Shabooh Shoobah” (1982). The album featured the band's first Top 40 US hit single, “The One Thing,” which peaked at No. 30 on the Billboard Hot 100 in May 1983. The band enjoyed bigger commercial success with “The Swing” (1984), which became the band's first No. 1 hit record in Australia. Its first single “Original Sin” topped the Australian Singles Chart in 1984 and became an international hit during that year. INXS eventually emerged as international stars thanks to a string of hit recordings such as “Listen Like Thieves” (1985), “Kick” (1987) and “X” (1990), with “Kick” becoming the band's best selling album to date, receiving 6x platinum certification from the RIAA. The album earned the band a Grammy nomination for Rock Vocal Group. Its lead single “What You Need” hit No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Other notable singles produced during this period included “Need You Tonight,” “Devil Inside,” “New Sensation” and the Grammy nominating song “Suicide Blonde.”
The band's popularity in the US, however, started to decline after “Welcome to Wherever You” (1992). Their follow up albums “Full Moon, Dirty Hearts” (1993) and “Elegantly Wasted” (1997) sunk at No. 53 and No. 41 on the Billboard 200. The latter also marked the band's last album with lead vocalist Michael Hutchence, who died in November 1997 of suicide. At the time of his death, Hutchence had fronted the band for twenty years. The surviving members of INXS (bassist Garry Gary, keyboardist Andrew Farriss, drummer Jon Farriss, lead guitarist Tim Farriss and guitarist/saxophonist Kirk Pengilly) continued with several guest singers like Jimmy Barnes, Terence Trent D'Arby and Jon Stevens before Canadian J. D. Fortune, the winner of the reality TV show “Rock Star” INXS,” becoming the band's new vocalist in 2005. On November 29, 2005, the band released “Switch,” their first new studio album since 1997. In November 2010, the band resurfaced with a tribute album called “Original Sin.”
In addition to their two Grammy nominations, INXS has won and been nominated for many ARIA Awards, MTV Video Music Awards and Brit Awards. The band was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2001 alongside The Saints. The band also has won six other ARIA Awards, including three for Best Group in 1987, 1989 and 1992. In 1988, the band won a total of five MTV Music Video Award for the song “Need You Tonight.” The band was named Best International Group at the 1991 Brit Awards, with Hutchence taking home the award for Best International Male.
Childhood and Family:
The story of INXS began when Andrew Farriss (keyboard, guitar) and Michael Hutchence (vocals), both were students at Davidson High School, performed together in a band called Doctor Dolphin. Garry Beers (bass), from nearby high school, Forest High School, soon joined the band. Simultaneously, Andrew's older brother, Tim, was playing in various group with his schoolmate Kirk Pengilly. The two groups eventually merged in 1977, with younger brother Jon Farriss joining as drummer, and named themselves the Farriss Brothers. The band made their debut appearance at Whale Beach on August 16, 1977. In 1978, the parents of Farriss boys relocated to from Sidney to Perth and took Jon with them to continue his studies. As s soon as Hutchence and Andrew finished school, the rest of the band followed him to Perth, where the boys briefly performed as The Vegetables. After Jon graduated from high school, the band returned back to Sydney and started making a set of demos. They began to play pub circuit and regularly supported Midnight Oil and other local bands. It was the manage of Midnight Oil, Gary Morris, that suggested the band to take the name INXS, which was inspired by English band XTC and Australian jam makers IXL. The boys made their debut performance as INXS on September 1, 1979 at the Oceanview Hotel in Toukley on the Central Coast of New South Wales.
INXS continued to play the club circuit in Sidney, and within a year, the band had inked a five album record deal with the Sydney based independent label Deluxe Records, thanks largely to their manager, Chris Murphy, who was an expert business manager and negotiator. In May 1980, the band launched their first single, “Simple Simon,” in Australia and France. The single had its television performance debut on Simon Townsend's “Wonder World,” but failed to chart. The band's first studio album, “INXS,” followed on October 13, 1980. Co-produced by the band and Duncan McGuire, the album reached No. 27 on the Australian Albums Chart and eventually went gold. The single, “Just Keep Walking” (1980), reached No. 38 on the Australian Singles chart, making it the band's first Top 40 single in Australia.
In 1981, the band hired Gary Grant as their tour manager, and performed almost 300 shows during the year. In between their hectic touring schedule, in May 1981, the band launched a single called “The Loved One,” which was a cover of a 1966 song by Australian group The Loved Ones. Produced by Richard Clapton, the song rocketed to No. 18 on the Australian Singles chart. Lured by the success of the single, the band reunited with Clapton for their next studio effort, “Underneath the Colours,” which was released on October 19, 1981 and reached No. 15 in Australia. The lead single “Stay Young” peaked at No. 21 the Australian Singles Chart.
In July 1982, INXS signed a recording contract with WEA Australia for releases in Australia, South East Asia, Japan and New Zealand, Atco Records (a subsidiary of Atlantic Records) for North America and Polygram for Europe and the UK. Three months later, the band launched their third studio album, “Shabooh Shoobah,” which marked the band's first album to be released worldwide. Produced by Mark Opitz, the album made the Top 10 in Australia, peaking at No. 5. The album was released in the United States in February 1983 and peaked at No. 46 on the Billboard 200 album chart. The lead single “The One Thing” peaked at No. 14 on the Australian Singles chart and in May 1983, it reached No. 30 on the US Billboard Hot 100, making it the band's first US Top 40 hit. The song also reached No. 2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks. The second single “Don't Change” reached No. 14 on the Australian Singles chart, No. 80 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and No. 17 on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks. The last two singles from “Shabooh Shoobah,” “To Look at You” and “Black and White,” only charted on the Australian Singles chart at No. 36 and No. 24, respectively.
In May 1984, INXS returned with the fourth album “The Swing,” with Nick Launay and
Nile Rodgers as producers. The album enjoyed a huge success in Australia. It topped the Australian Albums chart and remained in the top 50 selling albums for over 2 years. Later, in October 2010, the album was listed at No. 56 in the the book, “100 Best Australian Albums.” “The Swing” produced three big hit singles in Australia with “Original Sin” (1983), which became the band's first No.1 hit single in their native country, “I Send a Message” (1984, #3) and “Burn for You” (1984, #3). “Original Sin” was released in the US in December 1983 and peaked at No. 58 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1984. The song emerged as an international hit during that year.
INXS, however, did not achieve worldwide stardom until the release of “Listen Like Thieves” on October 14, 1985. Produced by Chris Thomas, the album reached No. 3 in Australia and made into the Top 20 in the Billboard 200, peaking at No. 11. The album also charted in the UK at No. 48. The single “What You Need” peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, becoming the band's first American Top Ten hit. It also charted at No. 3 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks as well as No. 51 i the UK. The song peaked at No. 2 in the Australian ARIA Singles Chart. It was nominated for a 1986 MTV Video Music Award for Best Group Video. The album also produced the hit singles “This Time” (#19 AUS, #81 US, #11 US Main), “Kiss the Dirt (Falling Down the Mountain)” (#15 AUS, #24 US Main) and “Listen Like Thieves” (#28 AUS, #54 US, # 12 US Main). “Listen Like Thieves” eventually received double platinum status in the US.
In 1987, INXS recorded two songs with Jimmy Barnes of Cold Chisel: The Easybeats cover “Good Times” and “Laying Down the Law,” to promote their tour. The song “Good Time” appeared on the Joel Schumacher film “The Lost Boys” and its soundtrack. It peaked at No. 2 on the Australian ARIA Singles Chart, No. 18 on the UK Singles Chart and No. 47 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The band resurfaced with a new studio album, “Kick,” in October 1987, which was released by WEA in Australia, Atlantic Records in the United States and Phonogram Records in the United Kingdom. A reunion with producer Chris Thomas, the album became the band's second No. 1 hit in Australia after “The Swing” and reached No. 3 on the Billboard 200, making it the band's first Top 5 hit on the chart. It also charted at No. 11 in the UK and No. 9 in Germany. “Kick” earned the band their first Grammy nomination in the category of Rock Vocal Group in 1988. The album was eventually certified 6x platinum by the RIAA and becomes the band's best selling effort.
“Kick” produced four US Top 10 singles. Released in September 1987, the song “Need You Tonight” rocketed to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and reached No. 2 on the UK Singles Chart in November 1988. It was the band's sixth Top 10 in Australia, peaking at No. 3 in the Australian ARIA Singles Chart. The song won five MTV Music Video Awards for Viewer's Choice, Video of the Year, Best Group Video, Best Editing and Best Breakthrough Video. “Devil Inside,” “New Sensation” and “Never Tear Us Apart” respectively charted at No. 2, No. 3 and No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100. “Never Tear Us Apart” won a 1989 ARIA Award for Best Video.
INXS released the seventh studio album “X” on September 25, 1990. Produced by Chris Thomas, the album topped the Australian ARIA Albums Chart from August 15, 1990 to August 21, 1990 and also peaked at No. 5 in the United States, No. 2 in the United Kingdom, No. 5 in Switzerland and No. 10 in Sweden. It was certified double platinum in the US and platinum in the UK. “X” yielded four hit singles. The first single “Suicide Blonde” reached the Top 10 in the US (#9 Hot 100 & #1 US Main and US Mod) and Australia (#2) and peaked at No. 11 in the UK Singles Chart. It was nominated for a 2000 Grammy Award in the category of Rock Vocal Group. The follow up “Disappear” peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the band's seventh and last top 10 single, and No. 21 on the the UK Singles Chart. “Bitter Tears” reached at No. 46 on the Billboard Hot 100, while “By My Side” peaking at No. 42 in the UK Singles Chart.
On November 11, 1991, INXS released a first live album titled “Live Baby Live.” The album peaked at No. 3 in Australia, No. 8 in the UK, No. 31 in France, No. 43 in Germany and No. 72 in the US. It has been certified platinum by the RIAA. On August 3, 1992, the band released the eight studio album “Welcome to Wherever You Are,” which the band co-produced with Mark Opitz. However, due to lack of promotion by their label and no support touring shows, the album failed to achieve the same level of success of their two previous album, “Kick” and “X.” The album, however, managed to reach the top spot in the UK Albums chart and peaked at No. 16 in the Billboard 200. The singles “Heaven Sent” and “Not Enough Time” both peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks, while “Baby Don't Cry” became a Top 20 hit in the UK. “Live Baby Live” won INXS a 1992 ARIA Award for Best Group.
The band released the follow up studio album “Full Moon, Dirty Hearts” on November 2, 1993. It peaked at No. 4 in Australia, No. 53 in the US and No. 3 in the UK. The album went gold in the UK. The album produced the Australian hit singles “The Gift” (#16), “Please (You Got That ...)” (#37) and “Time” (#36). “The Gift” won an ARIA Award for Best Video in 1994.
On October 31, 1994, INXS released a successful greatest hits compilation album, “The Greatest Hits,” with two new songs, “The Strangest Party (These Are the Times)” and “Deliver Me,” included. The album reached No. 2 in Australia and No. 3 in the UK but only peaked at No. 112 in the US Billboard 200. It eventually went platinum in both the UK and the US.
The band returned with “Elegantly Wasted” in April 1997, their first new studio album in four years. It reached No. 14 in Australia, No. 41 in the US and No. 16 in the UK. The title track charted at No.20 in the UK Singles Chart and No. 48 the Australian ARIA Singles Chart. In the US, the single reached No. 13 in the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks and No. 37 in the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks. “Elegantly Wasted” becomes the final album recorded with lead singer Michael Hutchence before he was found dead in a Sydney hotel room on November 22, the same year.
INXS took a year off following the death of its lead vocalist Michael Hutchence. The band performed with Jimmy Barnes as guest vocals in 1998 and then with Terence Trent D'Arby in 1999. Vocalist Jon Stevens, who previously toured with he band during 2000-2002, eventually joined for a recording season in 2002. On December 23, 2003, the band released the single “I Get Up,” the first new material by INXS since the death of Hutchence, with Stevens on lead vocals. The song only peaked at No. 72 in the Australian ARIA Singles Chart. Stevens left in October 2003 to pursue a solo career.
In 2005, members of INXS took part in a reality television series named “Rock Star” INXS,” where 15 contestants competed to become the lead vocalist for the band. The winner of the series, J.D. Fortune, became the band's new lead singer. After the series, the band released the studio album “Switch” in November 2005. The album reached No.18 in the Australia ARIA Albums chart and No. 17 in the Billboard 200. It went on to achieve gold status in Australia. The lead single “Pretty Vegas” charted at No. 9 on the Australia ARIA Singles chart, becoming the band's first ARIA Top 10 single in 14 years, and topped the Canadian Singles chart. The song also peaked at No. 37 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 7 on the Billboard Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks chart. The follow up single “Afterglow” peaked at No. 24 on the ARIA Singles chart, No. 22 on the Billboard Adult Top 40 chart and No. 20 on the Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks.
On November 16, 2010, INXS released “Original Sin,” a tribute album, featuring guest artists such as Kavyen Temperley (of Eskimo Joe) and Ben Harper. It peaked at No. 49 on the Australian ARIA Albums chart.
ARIA: Best Video, “The Gift,” 1994
ARIA: Best Group, “ Live Baby Live,” 1992
Brit: Best International Group, 1991
Brit: Best International Male (Michael Hutchence), 1991
ARIA: Best Group, 1989
ARIA: Best Video, “ Never Tear Us Apart,” 1989
ARIA: Outstanding Achievement , 1989
MTV Video Music: Viewer's Choice, “Need You Tonight,” 1988
MTV Video Music: Video of the Year, “Need You Tonight,” 1988
MTV Video Music: Best Group Video, “Need You Tonight,” 1988
MTV Video Music: Best Editing, “Need You Tonight,” 1988
MTV Video Music: Best Breakthrough Video, “Need You Tonight,” 1988
ARIA: Best Group, 1987