INXS – Live At Brixton Academy – October 28, 1994 – BBC In Concert Series – BBC Radio 1 –
INXS in concert tonight. Recorded at their only UK appearance in 1994 at The Brixton Academy on October 28th and recorded by BBC Radio 1 for In Concert.
Formed as The Farriss Brothers in 1977 in Sydney, New South Wales. INXS founding members were bassist Garry Gary Beers, main composer and keyboardist Andrew Farriss, drummer Jon Farriss, guitarist Tim Farriss, lead singer and main lyricist Michael Hutchence, and guitarist and saxophonist Kirk Pengilly. For 20 years, INXS was fronted by Hutchence, whose magnetic stage presence made him the focal point of the band. Initially known for their new wave/pop style, the band later developed a harder pub rock and alternative rock style that included funk and dance elements.
In 1984, INXS had their first number-one hit in Australia with “Original Sin”. The band would later achieve international success in the mid-to-late 1980s and early 1990s with the hit albums Listen Like Thieves, Kick, and X, as well as the singles “What You Need”, “Need You Tonight” (the band’s only number-one single in the United States), “Devil Inside”, “Never Tear Us Apart”, “Suicide Blonde” and “New Sensation”.
On 28 March 1992, INXS performed at the controversial Concert for Life at Centennial Park in Sydney (a fundraiser for the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Centre), and other performers included Crowded House, Yothu Yindi, Jenny Morris, Diesel, Ratcat and Def FX. Due to inclement weather, the expected attendance of 100,000 never came through, and the event only raised $500,000.
Welcome to Wherever You Are, produced by Mark Opitz and released in August 1992, was an experimental album using sitars and a 60-piece orchestra while adding a more “raw” sound. It received good critical reviews and went No. 1 in the UK and in Sweden; No. 2 in Australia and Switzerland, and No. 3 in Norway, but had less chart success in the US (peaking at No. 16). Singles from the album included “Taste It” and “Baby Don’t Cry”, which were Top 20 successes in UK but had less success in US and Australian markets.
Full Moon, Dirty Hearts, produced by Opitz, was released in November 1993 and peaked at No. 3 on the UK charts, No. 4 in Australia, No. 8 in Sweden, No. 9 in Switzerland, No. 14 in Norway; it did not reach the Top 50 in the US. The title track featured The Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde, and another track–“Please (You Got That)”—featured Ray Charles. The band made a full video album for the record using unknown Australian students to direct with help from Richard Lowenstein. Full Moon, Dirty Hearts received mixed reviews, and was the last record under INXS’ contract with Atlantic in the States. The band took time off to rest and be with their families, while Hutchence remained in the public eye through modeling and film acting.
In 1997, the group released a comeback album titled Elegantly Wasted, which garnered mixed reviews. It fared respectably in Australia (No. 14), Canada (No. 14), France (No. 30), UK (No. 16) (where INXS had more success in the 1990s than in the 1980s), Belgium (No. 7), Switzerland (No. 13), but only No. 41 in US.
On 22 November 1997, Michael Hutchence was found dead in his Sydney Ritz-Carlton hotel room. On 6 February 1998, New South Wales State Coroner Derrick Hand presented his report, which ruled that Hutchence’s death was a suicide while depressed and under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Despite the official coroner’s report, there was continued speculation that Hutchence’s death was accidental.
Following Hutchence’s death, INXS made appearances with several guest singers and toured and recorded with Jon Stevens as lead singer beginning in 2002. In 2005, members of INXS participated in Rock Star: INXS, a reality television series that culminated in the selection of Canadian J.D. Fortune as their new lead singer. Irish singer-songwriter Ciaran Gribbin replaced Fortune as lead singer in 2011. During a concert on 11 November 2012, INXS stated that the performance would be their last, although they did not announce the band’s permanent retirement.
INXS won six Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) awards, including three for “Best Group” in 1987, 1989 and 1992; the band was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2001. INXS has sold an estimated 60 million records worldwide making them one of Australia’s highest selling acts.
As a reminder of their early 90s watershed period, here is that Brixton Academy concert from October 28, 1994.