Archive for February, 2010

Essential Vox – Michael Hutchence

Friday, February 26th, 2010

MixDown Magazine – February 2010


The vocal range known as baritone is the most common in males.  Michael Hutchence was a baritone that managed to transcend the pitfalls of middle register that many baritones fall into by being creative and using the strengths of his voice.  Unfortunately no one ever talks about the amazing vocal ability of Michael Hutchence.  He was one of very few singers who had the ability to project like a tenor into the nose bleed seats without having the range.

Usually his strange death, drugs, and the whole Paula Yates bullshit is how people remember him.  I say fuck that!  He was one really amazing singer, who fronted one of Australia’s greatest ever bands.  Amazing singers don’t always fall into the Aretha, Freddie Mercury and Jeff Buckley category.  They are amazing for the various reasons.  Michael Hutchence was a baritone.  This basically means he couldn’t sing as high as Bono but sounded way cooler in a lower register and had that sex in his voice that guys like Steven Tyler can only dream about.  Male singers with this kind of range will often struggle to find a key that can really project into a big audience.  It’s hard to be constantly singing in their upper register song after song or to start a verse in an upper register and then take it up a notch for an even bigger dynamic shift in the chorus.  This is especially hard when you’re singing in a dance/rock/pop/funk band and you need to make people move.  Michael Hutchence and the songs of INXS really fucking made people move, just check out the Live Baby Live DVD from Wembley.

So, how did Michael Hutchence do this and what made him so good?  It was a few things, complete vocal control, excellent vocal phrasing, great diction, a keen understanding of dynamics, amazing melodies, and singing with passion.  He had amazing control of this whole range.  Listen to his duet with Jimmy Barnes, Good Times.  Hutch takes the low parts and Barnes is always screaming up in the heavens.  Both vocals really work well with each other and their varying ranges are complimentary.  A the song moves on Hutch starts to get right up there but all the while remains in complete control.  When a singer with this kind of range is in his upper register and his vocal remains clean (with a bit of rock grunt) it’s difficult but the effect is amazing.  It’s a huge full voice with a deep resonance that is rare.

He also had the ability to project his voice when almost only whispering.  This was due to his great control and excellent phrasing.  Listen to Need You Tonight, for most of the song he is singing at a low volume (almost a whisper) in a low register and at the end of each line he brings up register and volume to great effect.  He was also fortunate to have an amazing band that accented any of the vocal hooks in his melodies which gave them that even greater dynamic effect.

Hutch had an excellent falsetto and great control when blending his falsetto with his full voice, a perfect example of this is Disappear.  The falsetto verses are ethereal and angelic with an underlying muscle that transcend unnoticeably at the end of the verse into the big four to the floor chorus which leads back out to the do, do, do’s with perfection.

The man could also wail like a Diva and flow through scales with ease.  He did this not to show off his amazing vocal abilities but he used it for the song and this always gave the songs that relaxed feel which never made them feel rigid or over rehearsed.  This is a huge reason for their excellent shelf life and timeless sound.  If you are having trouble breathing life into some of your band’s songs and give them that mark, a healthy dose of INXS should give you some tips.

Kostas Linardos

Michael’s Rough Guide to Hong Kong – Part 2

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Last week we saw the start of our three part series in highlighting Michael Hutchence's Rough Guide To Hong Kong, a video series originally filmed for MTV.

Today we see the second part of this series, click on the picture below to view the video on our YouTube Channel.


Michael’s Rough Guide To Hong Kong – Part 1

Friday, February 19th, 2010

Over the next three weeks we'll be showcasing an interesting series of videos that Michael Hutchence did for MTV in 1997.

In these videos Michael Hutchence takes us on a journey through Hong Kong, the city that he made his home in.

Enjoy and check back for more soon.

Dogs in Space Blu-Ray Edition – March 10th, 2010

Monday, February 15th, 2010



Set against the backdrop of Melbourne’s late ‘70s punk rock scene, Dogs in Space chronicles life in a chaotic, squalid share-house. Hippies, addicts, students and radicals fill their days and nights with sex, drugs, parties and television.

Writer/director Richard Lowenstein balances a series of chaotic vignettes with the central story of the romance between housemates Sam (Michael Hutchence), the lead singer of the band, Dogs in Space and his lover Anna (Saskia Post) as it spirals out of control.

Hutchence is a brilliant symbol of reckless youth in this, his first dramatic screen role, giving Dogs in Space instant cult status upon its release.

Special Features:
Audio commentary with director Richard Lowenstein and Ollie Olsen
Audio commentary with director Richard Lowenstein and Andrew De Groot
Audio commentary with Tim McLaughlin and Charles Meo
Original Theatrical Trailer
Director's cut trailer
We're Living on Dog Food – Featurette (94 min)
Rehearsal vision and screen tests including footage of Michael Hutchence
Rooms for the Memory – Video clip performed by Michael Hutchence
Pop corn Taxi interview with Richard Lowenstein
Behind the scenes vision on Super 8mm
Stills galleries
Pedestrian – A short film by Richard Lowenstein
Punk Line – A short film by Tony Stephens

Welcome to the new Michael Hutchence website

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

This site will be the most interactive Michael Hutchence website in the world, built especially for the fans.  Here you will find world exclusive photos, videos and content.  As well as keeping up to date on all the future projects regarding Michael Hutchence.  We invite contributions for videos, clippings, photos, music and stories.  Click here to send in a photo of you with Michael, or tell us your favorite memory of Michael Hutchence!  Hope you enjoy the site! Matt Marsland (Michael Hutchence Global Creative Director)

Free Dogs in Space Downloads with RollingStone Magazine!

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

The February 2010 editon of RollingStone Magazine Australia is giving readers the chance to download 10 songs from the Post Punk era, featuring tracks from the Dogs in Space soundtrack.  The magazine also features a 2-page feature "Dogs in Space: An Australian Masterpiece".  So grab this months RollingStone Magazine with Dogs in Space displayed on the front cover!

Michael Hutchence has had 6 RollingStone Magazine cover stories, the most of any Australian artist!  Check out his 6 front covers in the magazine gallery on the website!