Band Talks

Hi Dudes…

Generally, for a music band, the frontman, by default, will always be the vocalist.

Though there is no hard n fast rule to reinstate this, the one who sings becomes the voice and face of the band by common law.

And this very notion makes the singers job a glorified one.

Bands have replaced bassists and drummers without much media attention, but, when a vocalist moves, it makes headlines.

Bands have perished, endured, lost deals, lost even bands title over legal battle and all with the moving of lead singers.

And if its death that creates a void in the band, barring a few, most of them have even ceased to exist.

Queen, the legendary British outfit being an example.

And then there are bands that have resurrected and continued to entertain fans with a new singer.

This blog intends to focus on such a band, ironically the second one with an Australian origin that carried itself on after the passing away of its first vocalist.

INXS is the band that we are touching this time.

Essentially a pop-rock band, like most others, they also started the journey as a cover band at pubs and clubs across Western Australia in the 70s.

The band was actually Farris brothers band consisting of Andrew Jon and Jim Farris.

Later, a flamboyant frontman with incredible showmanship and macho charms joined the band and that was Michael Hutchence.

Post his addition, the band slowly started establishing a pop/dance based rock style of their own, producing chart soaring numbers.

INXS with its distinct band persona actually introduced the new wave pop in the early 80s.

After their formation in 77 and performances in Perth and Sydney, the band once had an opportunity to meet Garry Morris, manager of popular Aussie rock band Midnight Oil.

Consequently, they started supporting and opening shows for Midnight Oil.

In fact, the name itself was inspired by Midnight Oil.

Inxs brought out their self-titled debut album in 1980 with the single Just Keep Walking, their first Australian top 40 number.

The release was followed by a pretty intensive tour with almost 300 live shows throughout 1981 and in the process, they established themselves as a highly successful LIVE band.

Soon, the band released their first Megahit album Shabooh Shooba internationally, which hot the top slots in US and UK charts.

What followed was one of their all-time big hit The One thing that once again concreted their global acceptance.

That song video was their first on MTV and it remained on top slots for about 94 weeks.

Amidst their exhaustive tours, they made albums like The Swing, Listen Like Thieves etc.

In 1985, INXS played at Melbourne before Prince Charles and Princess Diana of Wales at a concert which was filmed and released as a home video titled Living INXS.

Michael was already reigning supreme as a superstar and was a favorite hot target for paparazzi due to his involvement with yet another Aussie pop diva Kylie Minogue.

The year 1987 saw the release of their careers biggest album KICK which had tracks strong and powerful enough to become independent singles and all were fairing well in all charts internationally.

The ones that still adores any playlist are Devil Inside, Need You Tonight etc.

Post Kick the only significant studio album from the band in Hutchence era was X and a paler product followed titled Elegantly Wasted. By then Hutchence was grossly leading the rock star life haunted by drugs and covered with personal issues.

Much to the shock and dismay of fans around the world, Michael was found dead at his Sydney residence in 1997.

Though the band went dormant for a year after Hutchence’s death, They started giving one-off live performances with guest vocalists.

Much to the relief of loyal INXS fans, Jon Stevens, an ex-vocalist from Aussie Band Noiseworks teamed up as frontman.

They started recording new material in 2002, but soon, Jon left too, pursuing a solo career.

Apparently, the band was somewhat at a stage of calling it a day.

Reality shows were becoming hugely popular at the advent of that decade.

INXS also got hooked to one, titled rockstar.

The winner of the show was to be selected as the new vocalist for the band.

There were several episodes and the end result was a new fresh singer for the band- J D Fortune.

He had all the charms and appeal that was required for the slot left by Michael.

Until 2010, it was literally Fortune era for the band and it gifted the world with massive hits like Pretty Vegas, Afterglow etc.

With Fortune on lead, INXS took the stadium by storm during the opening ceremony of Winter Olympics 2010.

All this while, there were issues propping up between Fortune and the Farris brothers which eventually lead to his quitting the band.

Again, they went on giving sold-out gigs with guest vocalists until Garry Beers started developing severe medical issues that forced him to refrain from playing.

A point where the band also felt like they didn’t wanna go for a replacement bassist as well as a regular Vocalist.

Official reports say that by 2012 after all committed concerts got over, the band stopped touring and also hitting the studio for new material.

The span over nearly 3 and a half decades, distinctly marked as Hutchence era and post Hutchence era, the band INXS had a very highly energized entertaining presence across the world.

They are still one of the best among the greatest Live Dance Pop/Rock act the world has experienced.

Must listen tracks for the New Gen kids:

Beautiful Girl

Guns in the sky

Never Tear us apart

New Sensation

Need You Tonight

The One Thing

Disappear

Devil Inside

The Stairs

Band Talks

In the 60s, they conquer the music world and were soon one of the most successful bands ever.

Today you will know everything important about the Beatles and how they became one of the most popular bands of all time.

Hardly any band has influenced the music as much as the Beatles. What they played became, from that moment, the most successful style of the time.

The Beatles were founded in 1960 by Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, Pete Best and Stuart Sutcliffe, who quit the same year. In 1961 they met their manager Brian Epstein and in 1962 they got their first recording contract from George Martin. After her early days in Hamburg in 1962 Pete Best was replaced by Ringo Star, actually Richard Starkey.

On the 5th of October of the same year, they released their first single “Love Me Do“.

Please Please Me“, their second single, unexpectedly took second place in the English Hitcharts and the Beatles were immediately sent to Abbey Road Studios to record their debut album “Please Please Me”.

The third single “From Me To You” was released in April 1963. The album reached the top of the British charts a little later with 650,000 CDs sold and represented the beginning of a winning streak of the Beatles.

By February 1967, the Beatles reached with all their singles the first place in the British charts. “She Loves You“, for example, was the bestselling single from the British Kingdom to date with 1.6 million records sold.

The “Beatlesmania” had progressed so far in the autumn of 1963, that nothing could stop her. The need for new records was so great that they quickly released their album “With the Beatles” as well as their single “I Want to Hold Your Hand.

The Beatles had sworn to enter the American continent only when one of their singles.

The event, which is generally regarded as the beginning of the “Beatlesmania”, was the Ed Sullivan show, in which the band with about 16 million television viewers set a record attendance at that time.

Some more records will probably never be topped: at times the first five singles on the US charts were five Beatles productions: “Can not Buy Me Love“, “Twist and Shout“, “She Loves You“, “I Want To Hold Your Hand” and “Please Please Me.

And another extraordinary record: 14 Beatles singles were in the top 100 US charts, with 60% of them temporarily

In addition, the Beatles produced the movie “A Hard Day’s Night” with the accompanying number-one single and the album, the predecessor of “Beatles For Sale.” After a world tour, the Beatles brought “Help!” and “Yesterday” the most covered song in pop history, The Beatles was awarded the MBE medal.

On December 3, 1965, the Beatles released the double A-side single “We Can Work It Out” / “Day Tripper” and the album “Rubber Soul“. The LP tracks reveal the first signs of a new style of music.

In 1966, the single “Paperback Writer” came into the shops. Then with the LP “Revolver” the final jump in the new direction. When “For No One,” “Eleanor Rigby,” “Only Sleeping,” and “She Said She Said,” were brave, “Tomorrow Never Knows” was foolhardy, and in February 1967, the double-a-side single ” Strawberry Fields Forever “/” Penny Lane “, both pieces of music describe places from the composer’s personal past.

For the first time since 1963, the record did not reach the number one on the British charts, but “only” came in second, since each single was scored for themselves. After that, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” which was voted the best album by many, appeared. In 1967, The Beatles composed “All You Need Is Love” for a television program that reached 400 million viewers.

After the suicide of their manager Brian Epstein, the Beatles released the album “Magical Mystery Tour“.

As a consequence, the Beatles founded their own record label Apple Records. In 1967 John Lennon met the Japanese artist Yoko Ono. The togetherness of the couple also had a counterproductive effect on the cooperation of Lennon with the other Beatles, as Yoko Ono always wanted to be in the studio; The other band members found this disturbing.

In 1968, the Beatles began their new double LP “The Beatles“, which is more commonly known as the “White Album“.

Most of the songs published therein were written in India when the group took part in an advanced Transcendental Meditation in Rishikesh. With the release of “Hey Jude” in August 1968 on the Apple label, the group achieved a worldwide success.

On 2nd January 1969, the Beatles began filming their film “Get Back“, which received the eponymous title with the release of the single “Let It Be“. Following the idea of Paul McCartney, the group was to be filmed while working on the new album. In April 1969, the single “Get Back” came out. As early as May 29, “The Ballad of John and Yoko,” written by John during bed-in, appeared.

Then the band worked on their new album “Abbey Road“, which also appeared before the album “Let It Be“.

It was a great irony that one of her last songs was “The End“. It was the last song recorded collectively by all four Beatles and is the final song of the medley that constitutes the majority of side two of the album.

After that, the ways of the Beatles parted until John Lennon’s death.

In 1994, the remaining three band members met again to record four of John’s unpublished songs sung by himself.

Free As A Bird” and “Real Love” were also released, the two remaining recordings were not pursued due to disagreements.

So ended the story of probably the greatest pop band of all time.

Band Talks

Dudes,

Are you ardent fans of rock music?
Have you been following many music bands, their discographies, collecting merchandise, gathering memorabilia and every single snippet within your reach?
Are you able to point out the unique features or persona of a band that you are fond of?

If yes, then you must be having a great Band IQ.

You can also list out a handful of bands that have had the longest standing career since formation as a band, without a change in their original line up.

Ok, some mundane history.

Ever since some revolutionary form of music that stood apart from the regulation jazz, blues and choir started gaining popularity among the youth of the west in the ’50s and 60s, and, ever since that artform got christened as POP music, a plethora of bands came to existence. And extinction as well.

Their music conquered the youth and old alike, casting a magic spell on mankind.

Their songs talked about countries, people, emotions, relationships, incidents and everything else under the sun. Music was becoming a means of mass communication. The message it conveyed became more important than the musical composition itself. And through the process, music was evolving. And so was the industry. Pop stars, nevertheless, were creating for themselves a slot in peoples minds as messiahs, as protesters, as rebels, as preachers. And thus time went by.

Even surpassing the flower power era, a decade that signified the “sex-drugs-rocknroll” camaraderie.

Come the 80s, and then there was punk, glam rock and liberation time.

Bands in all genre sang antagonizing governments, president, politicians, social dogma and the systems.

It was around that time, a teen band, rather four friends who took to music for portraying their emotions and imaginations hit the city clubs and local gigs of Dublin, Ireland. They met each other at Temple Mount School in 1976 and decided to play as a band, calling themselves Feedback.

U2 band rattle and hum poster

And yes, this is the band that we have picked from the history, to feature in this blog issue of Bandtalk. And why them, you will find the answer in the prologue.

Feedback, formed by drummer Larry Mullen Jr, Bassist Adam Clayton, guitar brothers Edge Evans and Dik Evans and a crazy passionate dynamic flamboyant vocalist Paul Hewson believed in the principle: music is more about energy and trying to say something and not necessarily about great musicianship.

early age photo of U2 band members

This essentially was what the POP culture was and still is all about. Dik Evans moved on with different plans in life, reducing the band to the quartet that it is today. And guys, have no more doubt, Feedback is that band that soon became The Hype and later on, the legendary rock band that we all know today as U2.

The mighty band that currently holds the record for concert world tour gross collection, a whopping figure of $76421584 (c) Wikipedia, has 14 studio albums, one live album, three compilation albums and 67 singles to their credit.

From their debut album Boy released in 1980 to the last studio product Songs of Experience released in 2017, U2 has maintained an incredible charm of versatility and lyrical wizardry. From the early days, the band has been labeled PUNK and ALTERNATE ROCK. Yet somewhere in the middle of these three decades, they experimented with electropop and dance music and saw them sail through the crest and trough of commercial success. The band literally paved way for the alternate rock band reign at a time when heavy metal and hard rock was the general youth music globally.

U2 band's album poster

Well, reaching out to each and every one of their albums through a single article is too humongous a task and calls for a deep research. However, we shall take a closer look at one of their biggest ever selling albums- the one that literally skyrocketed their popularity and cemented their superstardom- The Joshua Tree.

Released in 1987, The Joshua Tree was an instant hit, a critical and commercial success, reaching number one in over 20 countries. It still is one of the best selling albums in the US.

Remember, that was the year when Pops all-time reigning stars like Michael Jackson and George Michael were enjoying the soaring success of Bad and Faith.

U2 band poster of the album the joshua tree

Produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno, long time U2 associates, the band sort of stuck to the basic and conventional rock music structure throughout this album. The bands signature storytelling lyrical prowess is felt in all the songs, particularly on tracks like Bullet the blue sky, Running to stand still, Where the streets have no name etc. The bands most successful single from the offering, With or without you remained on the number one slots on all charts for long weeks on end. The other singles from this Irish band’s Grammy winner album built around a theme – mythical America are I still haven’t found what I’m looking for, Where the streets have no name, In Gods country and One Tree Hill.

Frequently listed among the greatest albums of all time, this one is a must-have for all rockers.

It won the Grammy for album of the year and also for the best rock performance by a group.

The band commemorated the records 20th anniversary with a remastered re-release and 30th anniversary with a concert tour. In 2014, the US Library of Congress deemed this album “culturally, historically and aesthetically” significant.

After all these things being said, what makes this band one of the most unique and rare? In what context do they stand apart?

No prize for rockers guess.

The group has maintained its neat and decent image unlike many of those megastars, hasn’t run into controversies, hasn’t pretty much promoted the regulation rock star lifestyle and above all, has all those founder members still with it, alive, kicking and touring.

recent photo of U2 band members

Yes, indeed a remarkable thing to have the same original line up over nearly four decades, in spite of the huge success and scintillating stardom.

The much recommended U2 albums from their discography: Unforgettable Fire, Rattle, and Hum, Achtung Baby, Pop, All That you cant leave behind.

The Band: The Edge Evans- Lead n Rhythm Guitar and Backing vocals, Bono ( Paul Hewson) Vocals, Rhythm guitar, Larry Mullen Jr- Drums, Adam Clayton- Bass.