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:
Guns in the sky
Never Tear us apart
Need You Tonight
The One Thing