An Excess of INXS - Biography



Group formed as The Farriss Brothers in Sydney, Australia. Line-up is: Andrew Farriss, Jon Farriss, Tim Farriss, Michael Hutchence, Kirk Pengilly, and Garry Gary Beers. Twenty years later, personnel will be unchanged.


Entire band moves from Sydney to Perth, a 7,000-kilometer journey across the Australian interior. The Farriss Brothers spend ten months writing, rehearsing, and playing local hotels and mining towns.


Returning to Sydney, group plays first inner city shows. Renamed INXS, they make live debut on September 1, at the Oceanview Hotel, Toukley.


May - First INXS single, Simple Simon/We Are The Vegetables, released in Australia by independent Deluxe Records. Also released in France.

October - Debut album, INXS, released in Australia; yields hit single, Just Keep Walking. Group tours country's East Coast extensively (Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane), often playing seven nights a week.


Cross-country touring of homeland begins in earnest... "Fear and Loathing Tour", "

The Campus Tour", "Stay Young Tour", "Tour With No Name"... some 300 shows altogether.

March - The Loved One single released in Australia; cover of #1 Australian hit by "The Loved Ones", a top Melbourne band of the '60s (INXS will record song again in 1987 for KICK album).

October - Second album, UNDERNEATH THE COLOURS, released. Commercial and critical success, it reaches top 15 on Australian charts and includes the anthemic single, Stay Young.


January - INXS tours New Zealand for first time. Upon return to Australia, band records The One Thing, produced by Mark Opitz.
April - Andrew, Michael, and Kirk embark on "pilgrimage" to England and America.

June - Recording of third album begins, Mark Opitz producing.

July - INXS signed to WEA Records in Australasia. The One Thing single released, goes Top 15.

October - SHABOOH SHOOBAH released in Australia, hits top five, becomes INXS's third gold album down under. One critic comments: "INXS have a definite style, an instantly recognizable sound that cannot be confused with any other band in the country." Group performs nationwide on the 78-date "Una Brilliante Band De Musica Amenizara Espectaculo Tour."


January - INXS signed by Atlantic Records for North America.

February - INXS makes North American debut with release of The One Thing single. Video enters high rotation on MTV; song hits US top 30.
SHABOOH SHOOBAH released in US to wide acclaim.
Rolling Stone calls the album "novel in approach and stirring in execution... Amid the current plague of identikit synth-pop records, SHABOOH SHOOBAH is certainly no ordinary song and dance."
Don't Change is next radio/video favorite.

March - INXS begins marathon debut US tour.

May - Band plays first New York City headlining show, at The Ritz. Same month, appears at massive US Festival in California.

August - Atlantic releases DEKADANCE, mini-LP containing re-mixes of four songs from SHABOOH SHOOBAH.

September - Original Sin recorded at New York's Power Station with Nile Rodgers producing, Daryl Hall and Dave Skinner on backing vocals.
Recording of fourth album begins at England's Manor Studios. Produced by Nick Launay, THE SWING is completed in Australia in December.


January - Original Sin hits #1 on Australian charts. INXS plays sold-out tour of homeland.

February - INXS embarks on first full-fledged world tour. THE SWING debuts at #1 on Australian charts.

May - THE SWING released in America. Debut London performance, at The Astoria.

June - Original Sin goes #1 in France.

July - First two albums, INXS and UNDERNEATH THE COLOURS, released in US.

September - Three-month North American tour concludes with sold-out show at Hollywood Palladium. INXS becomes first international group to play Guam.

December - Original Sin goes #1 in Argentina.


INXS performs for total of 50,000 people at three summer shows in Australia - including 20,000 at sold-out Adelaide Football Park for Year of the Youth.
THE SWING achieves double-platinum homeland sales, ranking as one of the five top-selling albums in Australian music history.

March - INXS commences recording fifth album at Sydney's Rhinoceros studios with producer Chris Thomas.

May - Band wins unprecedented seven Countdown Awards (Australian equivalent to US Grammies.)

July - INXS plays for Live Aid at Sydney's Entertainment Center; performance is beamed around the world.

August - Work on new album, LISTEN LIKE THIEVES, completed at Air Studios in London. 1985 World Tour begins in Australia.

October - LISTEN LIKE THIEVES released. First US single: This Time. Rolling Stone enthuses: "INXS rocks with passion and seals the deal with a backbeat that'll blackmail your feet." INXS tours South America.

November - Band returns briefly to Australia for "Rockin' The Royals," charity concert in the presence of Prince Charles & Princess Diana. Headlining North American tour commences with string of sold-out shows along West Coast.

December - Atlantic Video releases INXS long-form home video, THE SWING & OTHER STORIES. INXS plays pair of SRO shows at New York's Beacon Theatre.


January - What You Need, second single from LISTEN LIKE THIEVES, released. INXS plays dates in New Zealand and Europe before returning to North America in early February.

March - LISTEN LIKE THIEVES certified RIAA gold in US and heads quickly toward platinum.
What You Need becomes band's first top ten single in America, continues on into top five.
Band takes break to pursue individual projects: Michael Hutchence stars in film Dogs in Space, directed by Richard Lowenstein. Hutchence earns critical raves for movie debut, while soundtrack yields top ten solo hit, Rooms for the Memory.
Andrew Farriss produces solo single for vocalist Jenny Morris (backup singer on INXS tour), which hits Australian top ten and goes gold.
Tim goes fishing.
In Australia, where LISTEN LIKE THIEVES goes triple-platinum, INXS wins three more Countdown Awards.

May - INXS is back on the road for "If You Got It, Shake It!" world tour.
June - Band plays sold-out show at London's Royal Albert Hall.
July - 45-date North American tour begins.
LISTEN LIKE THIEVES yields new single, Kiss the Dirt (Falling Down the Mountain).
INXS returns to Australia for triumphant "Si Lo Tienes Muevelo" tour.
Jon Farriss produces Richard Clapton, "godfather" of Australian rock 'n' roll.

October - Atlantic Video releases WHAT YOU NEED home video compilation.


January - INXS headlines extraordinary "Australian Made" tour of homeland. With eight other Australian bands on bill, group plays for 200,000 fans across country; event preserved in film and book documentaries.
Recording of next album takes place at Rhinoceros in Sydney and Studio De La Grande Armee in Paris, with Chris Thomas again producing. Bob Clearmountain mixes at Air Studios in London.

October 16 - 1987-88 "Calling All Nations" world tour commences in US.

October 19 - KICK, sixth INXS album, released.
First North American tour leg runs through late-November, followed by December tour of UK.


January - KICK simultaneously certified RIAA gold and platinum. Album will pass quadruple-platinum mark in US sales.
New album's first single, Need You Tonight, becomes INXS's first #1 US single.
Spurred on by success of KICK, US catalog sales soar: THE SWING and SHABOOH SHOOBAH certified RIAA gold; LISTEN LIKE THIEVES certified RIAA platinum.

March - US tour resumes. INXS plays three sold-out shows at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
Atlantic Video releases KICK - THE VIDEO FLICK, which will go platinum in US.
Second single from KICK, Devil Inside, hits US top five.

May - Third US leg of 1987-88 World Tour begins.
New Sensation, third KICK single, hits US top five.

August - Fourth US tour leg begins. Included are trio of New York arena shows - Madison Square Garden, Meadowlands Arena, Nassau Coliseum. KICK yields fourth single, Never Tear Us Apart.

September - INXS sweeps MTV Video Music Awards. Need You Tonight/Mediate clip wins in five categories: Best Video, Best Group Video, Best Editing, Breakthrough Video, Viewers' Choice.
US tour wraps up; INXS heads to Japan, then back to Australia for record-breaking homecoming tour.


January - INXS earns first Grammy nomination for "Best Rock Performance By A Group." Band also up for BPI (UK) and Juno (Canada) Awards.

After sixteen months on the road, INXS finally takes a break. During hiatus, individual projects include:
Michael Hutchence - Records MAX Q album with Ollie Olsen. Acts in second feature film, playing Percy Bysshe Shelley in Roger Corman's "Frankenstein Unbound".
Andrew Farriss - Produces Jenny Morris's second solo album, SHIVER, which is certified Australian triple platinum.
Tim Farriss - Produces documentary on big game fishing, Fish in Space. Jon Farriss and Kirk Pengilly contribute to the music; Tim catches fish.
Garry Gary Beers - Works with Absent Friends, co-producing album with band member Sean Kelly.

November - INXS regroups to begin song rehearsals.

December - Band commences recording of new album, with production once again by Chris Thomas (his third consecutive INXS project).


January - Following holiday break, INXS reconvenes to continue recording.

March - While group takes short hiatus from recording, Michael and Andrew write more songs. Jon does the same at home.
Song rehearsals resume, followed by return to studio to complete recording of new album, later to be titled X.

June - Michael and Chris Thomas begin album mixing in London.
Andrew plays live shows with Jenny Morris, including opening for Prince tour in France and Germany.
Tim and Kirk produce Crash Politics.

August - Suicide Blonde, first single from new album, released. The single will go top ten around the world, including the US.

September 6 - INXS plays live in Los Angeles on MTV Video Music Awards show.

September 21 - X, the seventh INXS album, released. The album will go double-platinum in the US and Australia.

October 1 - INXS commences the "X Factor World Tour" in the tropics of Northern Australia.

November 28 - INXS plays the first of four sell-out shows at London's Wembley Arena.
X yields new single, Disappear.

INXS earns second Grammy nomination for "Best Rock Performance By A Group" for Suicide Blonde.
The band arrives in Mexico to play to 50,000 people and 1,000 armed guards are brought in to contain the excited crowds. INXS is the first rock band to play Mexico since The Doors nearly 20 years before.
INXS headlines Rock In Rio, Brazil to over 100,000 people and then go on to perform in Argentina.

January 28 - INXS performs their single, Disappear, on the American Music Awards. Two days later, they perform on the Arsenio Hall Show.

February - The American "X Factor tour" is launched in LA's famous Whiskey Au Go Go nightclub.
INXS completes a week of television appearances by performing on Saturday Night Live and playing to a sold-out crowd at Madison Square Garden.

March - Tickets go on sale for the Australian tour; a record breaking 22,000 tickets are sold in 20 minutes in Sydney.
INXS wins BPI (UK) Awards for Best International Band and Best International Male (Michael Hutchence).

July 13 - INXS reaches a milestone by headlining Summer XS to a sell-out crowd out 72,000 people at Wembley Stadium in London. This is filmed by David Mallet for release on video to coincide with a live LP, LIVE BABY LIVE.

July 14 - INXS records Shining Star, written by Andrew Farriss, in London.

August - Band finishes mixing and co-producing LIVE BABY LIVE with Mark Opitz at Sydney's Rhinoceros Studios.

November 11 - LIVE BABY LIVE, the eighth INXS album, released simultaneously with Atlantic Video's release of LIVE BABY LIVE, the video.
INXS named Best International Band at inaugural Australian Music Awards.

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