Archive for the ‘Frontpage’ Category

In Memory Of Michael Hutchence: 16 Years On… (22/01/1960 – 22/11/1997)

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

November 22nd, 2013:

In memory of Michael Hutchence 16 years on…

22/01/1960 – 22/11/1997

Please go to the official Michael Hutchence facebook page and leave your tributes to Michael at:

The Killers Tribute To Michael Hutchence In ‘Wembley Song’ (June 22nd, 2013)

Friday, June 28th, 2013


During The Killers performance at Wembley this week on June 22nd, 2013 they performed a new track titled 'Wembley Song' which included a tribute to Michael Hutchence, as well as other artists who have sold out Wembley Stadium.

Lead singer Brandon Flowers sang "Michael you left us all too soon…but you climbed those stairs to Wembley" as images of Michael performing at 1991's Summer XS concert were shown on the video screen.

Watch the video below of the performance, the Michael Hutchence tribute is from the 1:18 minute mark…

Michael Hutchence Wins 1st MAX Legends Poll

Sunday, May 19th, 2013

May 19th, 2013:

Michael Hutchence Wins 1st MAX Legends Poll

Michael Hutchence has upset Freddie Mercury to take out the first MAX Legends Poll.

The former INXS frontman beat out the Queen ringmaster for the title of Greatest Frontman of All Time.

The Australian music legend also beat out other fancied names in the list, including Robert Plant, Bon Scott, Mick Jagger and Jon Bon Jovi.

The biggest surprise in the MAX audience-voted countdown, however, was Midnight Oil frontman, Peter Garrett, not even placing in the top 20 – coming in at number 23.

Voting is now open for the second Legends Poll, where we ask you to vote for your favourite artist of the 1980s. You can vote now by clicking through to the MAX Legends Poll website –

Here is the complete list of the MAX Legends Poll: Greatest Frontman in order:

1. Michael Hutchence
2. Freddie Mercury
3 Bon Scott
4. Robert Plant
5. Jon Bon Jovi
6. Mick Jagger
7. Jimmy Barnes
8. Bono
9. Jim Morrison
10. Bruce Springsteen
11. Dave Grohl
12. Axl Rose
13. Kurt Cobain
14. Eddie Vedder
15. Steven Tyler
16. Anthony Keidis
17. David Lee Roth
18. Alice Cooper
19. Jimi Hendrix
20. Bob Marley
21. Ozzy Osbourne
22. Sting
23. Peter Garrett
24. Roger Daltry
25. James Hetfield
26. Robert Smith
27. Johnny Rotten
28. Joe Strummer
29. Simon Le Bon
30. Angry Anderson
31. James Brown
32. Bryan Ferry
33. Rod Stewart
34. Morrisey
35. Nick Cave
36. Thom Yorke
37. Jack White
38. Maynard James Keenan
39. Zac De La Rocha
40. Iggy Pop
41. Joey Ramone
42. Marilyn Manson
43. Michael Stipe
44. Mike Patton
45. Damon Albarn
46. Frank Zappa
47. Peter Gabriel
48. Liam Gallagher
49. Little Richard
50. Jarvis Cocker

R.I.P. Divinyls Lead Singer Chrissy Amphlett (1959 – 2013)

Friday, May 3rd, 2013


April 22nd, 2013:

Today comes the very sad news that Divinyls lead singer Chrissy Amphlett passed away in New York after a long battle with cancer.  Her family released the following statement:

"Our beloved Chrissy peacefully passed this afternoon. Christine Joy Amphlett succumbed to the effects of breast cancer and multiple sclerosis, diseases she vigorously fought with exceptional bravery and dignity. She passed gently, in her sleep, surrounded by close friends and family, including husband of fourteen years, musician Charley Drayton; her sister, Leigh; nephew, Matt; and cousin Patricia Amphlett (“Little Pattie”).

Chrissy’s light burns so very brightly. Hers was a life of passion and creativity; she always lived it to the fullest. With her force of character and vocal strength she paved the way for strong, sexy, outspoken women. Best remembered as the lead singer of the ARIA Hall of Fame inductee, Divinyls; last month she was named one of Australia’s top ten singers of all time. Chrissy expressed hope that her worldwide hit ‘I Touch Myself’ would be utilized to remind all women to perform annual breast examinations. Chrissy was a true pioneer and a treasure to all whose lives her music and spirit touched".

The band Divinyls began in 1980 and continued in various forms until 2009.  They had 2 no.1 singles in Australia – 'Pleasure & Pain' in 1985 and 'I Touch Myself' in 1991 (which  also went to no.4 in USA and no.10 in the UK).  Other hits included 'Boys In Town', 'Science Fiction', 'Only Lonely' and 'Good Die Young'.

Known for their live shows Divinyls started around the same time as INXS in 1980 and even played many pub shows in Australia together.  They also both shared the stage on Day 1 of the massive US '83 festival in California in May 1983.  And then toured together during the hughly successful 'Australian Made' tour around Australia in December 1986 / January 1987.  Chrissy Amphlett often mentioned in interviews that Michael Hutchence was a good friend.

Farewell Chrissy…thanks for three decades of great Aussie rock music.  You will always be remembered as a pioneer in rock music for women in Australia.

Watch video footage taken from 'Australian Made: The Movie' of Michael Hutchence & Chrissy Amphlett interviewed together in January 1987:

Australia Post Issues New INXS Stamp: Australian Legends Of Music Series

Saturday, January 26th, 2013
Australian Legends Of Music issued January 18th, 2013
The 2013 Australia Post Legends Award honours five individuals and five groups that have made significant and lasting contributions to popular music in this country.  Over several decades, all have been important in moulding Australian cultural identity through music.
The popular success of singers John Farnham, Paul Kelly, Kylie Minogue, Olivia Newton-John, and groups INXS, AC/DC, Cold Chisel, Men At Work and the Seekers has secured the standing of Australian music both nationally and internationally.  Producer Ian 'Molly' Meldrum has always been a undefatigable champion of Australian music.  Together, these Australian Legends of Music are integral to our understanding and appreciation of what it is to be Australian.
The INXS stamp features the cover of their 1985 album 'Listen Like Thieves'.  At the time INXS were the most popular band in Australia, but this is the album that broke the band into the international market with the top 5 U.S.A. single 'What You Need', and uniquely Australian videos such as 'Kiss The Dirt' set in the Australian desert (Moon Plains in Sth Australia).
Stamp Collecting:
Booklet (contains 10 x 60c stamps)
First Day Cover Envelope
Postcard with stamp (issued in pack of 10 with other artists)
Stamp Pack

INXS Chequebook

Prestige Booklet

INXS / Paul Kelly Gutter Strip
Rock Australia 80's & 90's issued March 20th, 2001
Rock Australia takes us from the pub rock era of the late 70's to the dance and studio music of the 1990's.
This stamp series gives recognition of Australian music's role in our culture.  From the hard rock to the pure pop, the ten hit songs in Rock Australia highlight the diversity of the Australian contemporary music scene.  Some are seriously personal, and others just madcap fun.  All songs featured were great hits that found their way into the hearts of the music-loving public.  Each of them said something about us, and told the rest of the world this is what popular culture sounds like, and it has an Australian accent.
The songs of the era that are celebrated on each stamp are:
Khe Sanh (1978) – Cold Chisel
Down Under (1981) – Men At Work
Power and the Passion (1983) – Midnight Oil
Original Sin (1984) – INXS
You're The Voice (1986) – John Farnham
Don't Dream It's Over (1986) – Crowded House
Treaty (1991) – Yothu Yindi
Tomorrow (1994) – Silverchair
Confide In Me (1994) – Kylie Minogue
Truly Madly Deeply (1997) – Savage Garden
Stamp Collecting
First Day Cover (Traditional Gummed Stamps)
First Day Cover (Self-Adhesive Stamps)
First Day Cover (Alpha Picture Cover 1)
First Day Cover (Alpha Picture Cover 2)
Postcard with stamp (issued in packs of 10 with other artists)
Stamp Sheetlet Pack
Booklet (10 x 45c stamps)
Roll of 100 x 45c stamps
Collectors Pack (16 self-adhesive stamps + 3 message labels)
Rock Australia: the 80's & 90's (28 page book written by Glenn A. Baker)
Rock Australia 17-track CD (Australia Post / Mushroom Marketing)
Australian Stamp Bulletin issue no.259 March – May 2001

Remembering Michael Hutchence on his 53rd Birthday (Jan 22nd, 2013)

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

Today, January 22nd, 2013 marks what would have been Michael's 53rd birthday.

We would like fans and friends from all over the world to join us in remembering the remarkable life of Michael Hutchence.

Leave your own birthday message to Michael in the comments below, or on the Official Michael Hutchence facebook page (

Please take a moment today to remember what Michael meant to you, listen to his music or watch his many videos.  For thousands of people around the world Michael wrote and sung songs that were the soundtrack of their lives.

For generations growing up in the 80's and 90's Michael was a unique talent and the consummate Rockstar who was adored all around the world.  We all miss you!

Happy 53rd Birthday Hutch!!

15 Years Ago Today – Michael Hutchence 22/01/1960 – 22/11/1997

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

Today we all remember Michael who left us 15 years ago.  As the years go by, his music and memory still brings happiness to tens of thousands of people around the world.

He is so very missed, there is just no one like him left in the music industry. He was one of the last great rock stars of our time. A legend alongside the likes of John Lennon, Mick Jagger and Jim Morrison. 

Michael lives on in his legacy he left us. Thanks to his many fans who still carry the torch and support Michael.  And to all the Michael Hutchence groups on facebook who discuss and remember Michael each day thanks for your dedication.
Our love goes out to Michael's family & friends.  
The remaining members of INXS announced their retirement from touring this month after 35 years.  In the very early days when Michael started performing, as the band's final good bye each night MIchael would say "Koo-Moo-Loo-Mayo Yong Style", which didn't actually mean anything but it created mystery about him even back then. 

Even to this day even though he's not here, people are stlll interested in his life and there is still that aura of mystery about the great Michael Hutchence.

Wishing you peace & happiness Michael.  We will never forget you!

Press Release: The Remaining INXS Members Retire From Touring After 35 years

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012



Perth, Western Australia, November 11: It ended fittingly where it began 35 years, in Perth, when INXS drummer Jon Farriss declared to a 15,000+ capacity house on the opening weekend of the brand new Perth Arena and the final night of t

he Matchbox Twenty / INXS Australian tour that from this point INXS would bring down the curtain as a live touring
band. In a fitting homage to the band, Matchbox Twenty’s Rob Thomas joined the band (INXS) and vocalist Ciaran Gribbin on stage and performed INXS’s signature closer, Don’t Change, in the band’s encore.

The remaining band members of INXS, Tim, Andrew and Jon Farriss, Kirk Pengilly and Garry Beers issued this statement.

“We understand that this must come as a blow to everybody, but all things must eventually come to an end. We have been performing as a band for 35 years, it’s time to step away from the touring arena”

“Our music will of course live on and we will always be a part of that.”

“We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to all the friends and family that have supported us throughout our extensive career. Our lives have been enriched by having you all as a part of the journey”

INXS forged their reputation as one of the world’s greatest live bands, relentlessly touring the US, Europe, South America, and the Far East constantly throughout the 80’s and early 90’s, fuelled by the success of records such as Listen Like Thieves, Kick, X, and Welcome To Wherever You Are.

That hard earned and hard won live reputation took INXS to the very pinnacle of the live world touring circuit with such memorable performances headlining iconic venues across the world ….. in the UK [Wembley Stadium 80,000], the US [Texas Stadium 60,000] and Rio De Janeiro [ Rock in Rio 120,000].

But with the high, came a bitter and cruel blow .. the loss of their charismatic and irreplaceable front man Michael Hutchence in November 1997

‘It’s been 35 years for INXS as a live touring band and unbelievably it’s been 15 years ago since we lost Michael’ said Jon Farriss.

We lived for each other in the trenches and we loved each other. It was the six of us against the world and then suddenly and inexplicably we were but five. We were lost right at the moment we were on top.’

The band struggled to deal with the enormity of it all and the easy solution was to just call it a day.

‘We never took a soft option, it was the adversity, the challenge and the struggle that forged us into the live working band we became. And this was as big as it could possibly get when it came to a challenge’ said Andrew Farriss, ‘and in the end we decided for a whole bunch of reasons to march forward. To us there was no other option . families always move forward’.

The bands manager Chris Murphy said, ‘They believed unconditionally in each other, and they also believed unconditionally in the music. People fade, sometimes way too early ….. that is life whether we like it or not.’

To live to 80 plus is a life well lived. To lose Michael so young was a tragedy for all of us. But with this band, their legacy, their music was just so damn good, it was always destined to live beyond all of us.

The last 3 years has seen a resurgence of INXS with their songs being hammered on radio and a rise in audience numbers with the live show. The song ‘Original Sin’, with Rob Thomas on vocals, reached number 1 on the Billboard dance charts.

As Jon Farriss says, ‘INXS’ touring days could never last forever. We wanted it to end on a high. And it has’

End statement…

30th Anniversary Of ‘Shabooh Shoobah’ Album!

Sunday, October 21st, 2012


30th Anniversary Of 'Shabooh Shoobah'

By Matthew Marsland.
   October 2012:

This month marks 30 years since INXS's third studio album 'Shabooh Shoobah' was first released in Australia by WEA.  The album reached #5 on the Australian album chart and stayed in the charts for 94 weeks!


The One Thing
To Look At You
Spy Of Love
Soul Mistake
Here Comes
Black And White
Golden Playpen
Jan's Song
Old World, New World
Don't Change

  INXS presented with 'Gold' albums in Australia for 'Shabooh Shoobah'

Even though ‘Shabooh Shoobah’ wasn’t released until October 1982, it was back in January 1982 the band decided to record a new song ‘The One Thing’ with producer Mark Opitz at Paradise Studios.  The band then road tested the song live playing it at the Double J Youth Refuge concert at Wanda Beach in January 1982.  (You can hear this early live version on ‘Stay Young 1979-1982 The Complete Deluxe Years’ 2-cd set released in 2002 by Raven Records in Australia).

The song turned out so well that the band hired Mark Opitz to produce three more songs.  But Manager Chris Murphy wasn’t convinced Opitz could produce an entire album slick enough to hook an international audience.  So on April 21st, Michael Hutchence, Andrew Farriss and Kirk Pengilly then flew to England and America to meet with prospective producers.

They took the bands demos they had recorded with Opitz, but every producer told them not to mess with what they already had.  U.S. Engineer Bob Clearmountain (who would later work with INXS on 'KICK’, ‘Welcome To Wherever You Are’ & 'Full Moon Dirty Hearts') advised them to go back to Australia and record the whole album with Mark Opitz.

Mark had already produced bands such as AC/DC, Cold Chisel and The Angels which had big guitar and drum beats.  With ‘Shabooh Shoobah’ the band felt like they had finally developed a style and their own unique sound a mixture of funk and ‘rock n’ roll.  You could hear it beginning on the previous album in songs like the title track ‘Underneath The Colours’ and with ‘Shoobah Shoobah’ they got a sound that made them sound different to the other bands in Australia at the time.

“I think ‘The One Thing’ was the first time we actually got that style, that groove” – (Michael Hutchence).

It was amid the new solid rhythm section from Garry and Jon, Andrew’s pure synth keyboards, Tim’s lead guitar and Kirk’s sax, that Michael Hutchence too found his style, a sultry, sexy and slightly on edge vocal.

The band took ‘The One Thing’ and played it to WEA executives and a deal with WEA Australia was struck almost immediately.  The rest of ‘Shabooh Shoobah’ was then recorded at Rhinoceros Studios beginning on June 15th. 

WEA Test Pressing for 'Shabooh Shoobah' dated 9/9/1982

So where does the phrase ‘Shabooh Shoobah’ come from?  It came about in the early stages of recording the track ‘Spy Of Love’ which was written by Michael Hutchence & Tim Farriss.  Tim began singing the phrase as a rhythmic chant as the band played.  Even once Michael had written lyrics, the phrase stuck in the bands minds and it became the album title.

“They had all these really strict rules about their music.  They were very determined to be different from all the four-on-the-floor pub rock bands, and they’d always be saying things like ‘We don’t do guitar solos’ – (Producer Mark Opitz)

In July, 1982 the first single ‘The One Thing’ was released in Australia and reached #14 on the charts.  The video clip was directed by Soren Jensen and became INXS’s passport to break into America.

Over in America a new TV channel MTV had just launched and the New Wave era was kicking in.  At first the band didn’t think MTV was such a big deal, as they had already made video clips since 1980 and Australia had TV shows like ’Countdown’ where a band would perform and create little performance clips.

MTV America put ‘The One Thing’ video into heavy rotation on the new channel and the song cracked the US top 40 peaking at #30 on the charts.    

  'The One Thing' sheet music

The video saw the band around a long banquet table with food, wine and a assortment of beautiful models including Michael’s girlfriend Michele Bennett.  The food orgy sees everyone tearing meat from bone, lustily feed each other, toss dishes and devour figs.  The Spanish hat Michael wore in the video clip belonged to his mum Patricia.Meanwhile back in Australia the band travelled to Adelaide to shoot more videos with director Scott Hicks, who would later win an Academy Award for his film ‘Shine’ in 1996.

Michael had go to know him as earlier that year Hicks had directed an Australia film ‘Freedom’ which Michael performed on 2 songs for the soundtrack with Don Walker (Cold Chisel) – ‘Speed Kills’ & ‘Forest Theme’.

It was originally planned that the band would travel with Hicks into the desert north of the city to shoot but bad weather changed their plans.  They ended up shooting videos for ‘Don’t Change’ and ‘To Look At You’.  But because ‘Spy Of Love’ was a band favourite off the album they shot a video for that track too, even when it wasn’t planned to be released as a single.

The 2nd single ‘Don’t Change’ was released in Australia and reached #15 on the charts.

'Don't Change' 1983 U.S. Tour Shirt
With two top 20 hits and a mammoth 78-date Australian tour titled ‘Una Brilliante Banda De Musica Amenizara Espectaculo’, INXS was fast becoming one of the biggest bands in Australia with a big live following.

Atco Records Managing Director Reen Nalli saw the band play in Sylvania (NSW) on October 23d and was very impressed, so in January 1983 INXS signed to Atco Records (Atlantic) for North America.

Sylvania Gig poster 23rd October, 1982

By the time the band arrived in LA in March 1983 for their first U.S. dates, they already had an American record deal and a top 30 U.S. hit with ‘The One Thing’.   

The bands first U.S. performance was at ‘The Spirit Club’ in San Diego which attracted just 24 people!  However the band then commenced a string of support tours for Adam and the Ants, The Kinks, The Stray Cats, Men At Work and The GoGos for most of the year, often getting better reviews and crowd reaction than the headline acts.  INXS blew them all off the stage.  Nearly every band INXS supported between 1983 – 1986 ended up breaking up!

A very important person in INXS’s American success was their co-manager at the time & tour manager Gary Grant.  He relocated permanently to New York to ensure a continual presence in the northern hemisphere.  He was on the spot actually travelling with the band across America.

Atco Records USA Promo Photo 1983

INXS earning priceless exposure through constant touring using days off between their support slots to do their own gigs in smaller clubs.

“That’s how we really broke into the American market, apart from the opening gigs on big tours, we always booked a few weeks of dates in smaller venues at the start and end of those support tours” – (Gary Grant)

So Americans would see the band in big venues as an opening band, and then they could experience INXS on a more intimate level in the clubs.

The 3rd single from ‘Shabooh Shoobah’ was ‘To Look At You’ which reached #36 in Australia.  This was the first INXS single to have different formats.  You could buy a single 7” or the Ltd Edition double pack 7”.  The track was also released in U.S. as a single but failed to chart.

'To Look At You' sheet music

In May 1983 the band performed 4 songs at the massive U.S. Festival to 250,000 people on Day 1 (New Wave day) alongside other acts such as U2 and The Clash.  That experience was pretty nerve racking for your first U.S. tour to play in front of that many people, as remember Michael was only 23 years old at that stage.  The songs performed were ‘The One Thing’, ‘To Look At You’, Don’t Change’ and ‘Old World, New World’.
 Massive crowd of 250,000 at U.S. Festival in 1983

The bands gig at Magic Mountain on August 5th was recorded for TV by Starfire Productions, and also recorded by Westwood One for radio broadcast.  The tracks performed on the TV special were:

Soul Mistake
Here Comes
Jan’s Song
To Look At You
Roller Skating
Old World, New World
Just Keep Walking
In Vain
The One Thing
Spy Of Love
The Loved One
Black And White
Don’t Change
Golden Playpen
Stay Young

This concert from Magic Mountain 1983 is a common bootleg DVD amongst fans, and in the early 90’s was also released on the factory pressed bootleg CD titled ‘ Don’t Look At Me’.

Magic Mountain 1983 was recorded for U.S. TV

A couple of live tracks from Magic Mountain ended up appearing as b-sides on the next album for the ‘Original Sin’ single.  ‘Black & White’ was remixed and an extended version was released as the lead track on the ‘Dance’ EP 12” in Australia and ‘Dekadance’ EP in America and Canada.  We will have a closer look at these releases in another story.

College radio was playing a big part in the bands success in America too as well, building a young dedicated fan base who would attend the shows and request the songs on radio.
'Touring Through Texas' Shirt Michael Hutchence wore at Magic Mountain gig 1983

The artwork concept for ‘Shabooh Shoobah’ was by Grant Matthews and Michael Hutchence and features a whippet dog.  The inside of the cover features the band members wrapped in just a sheet.

So at a time when fashion was a big part of the New Wave era, INXS had an album design that was the complete opposite.  They represented no fashion with the nude photo, the title ‘Shabooh Shoobah’ no one knew what it meant, a dog on the cover instead of the band, and American’s were still struggling to even pronounce the bands name!  But it worked they were unique and not doing the same as all the other bands at the time.

'Shabooh Shoobah' Bandanas U.S. Tour 1983

“Shabooh Shoobah’ I listen to that album, I couldn’t really do that with the other albums, I really listen to it comfortably…” - (Michael Hutchence, 1985)
B-sides on singles from the ‘Shabooh Shoobah’ era included – ‘Space Shuttle’, ‘Phantim Of The Opera’, ‘The Sax Thing’, ‘Go West’, ‘Long In Tooth’ and ‘You Never Used To Cry’.

Three tracks from ‘Shabooh Shoobah’ – ('The One Thing', 'To Look At You' and 'Soul Mistake') also appeared in the U.S. movie ‘Reckless’ starring Daryl Hannah and Aidan Quinn during 1984.

An interesting fact is that the lyric “Here’s Comes God’s Top Ten” from the ‘Shabooh Shoobah’ track ‘Here Comes’ would later be used by Andrew Farriss as the title of the track about Michael Hutchence featured on 2005’s ‘Switch’ Album.  The song featured vocals from Rockstar INXS winner JD Fortune and 4th placed Suzie McNeil.

30 years on and tracks from ‘Shabooh Shoobah’ still stand up today, with ‘Don’t Change’ often covered by many bands over the last couple of decades.  ‘Shabooh Shoobah’ established the bands style of funk and rock which would serve them well on the huge selling albums to follow.

(All INXS / Michael Hutchence Memorabilia from Matthew Marsland's personal collection).










‘Welcome To Wherever You Are’ 20th Anniversary Today!

Friday, August 3rd, 2012




August 3rd, 2012:
Today marks 20 years since ‘Welcome To Wherever You Are’ was first released in Australia!

The album has sold over 2 million copies worldwide and debuted at #1 in the UK, which at the time was the first Australia band to do so since AC/DC’s ‘Back In Black’ way back in 1980.  The album also reached #1 in Sweden, #2 in Australia and Switzerland, #3 in Norway and #16 in the U.S.

The idea for ‘WTWYA’ was that it would be a studio only album.  As the band thought since they had toured so hard for so many years that they wanted to record more studio albums rather than spending months and months on the road.  This gave the band the chance to experiment with different sounds, and as a result the album was a major departure from the slickness of the previous ‘Kick’ and ‘X’ albums.

Instead of having Chris Thomas produce the album they went back to Mark Opitz who had produced ‘Shabooh Shoobah’ 10 years prior.  ‘WTWYA’ contained the 64 piece Australian Concert  Orchestra on ‘Baby Don’t Cry’ and ‘Men And Women’, while Far East sounds were used on ‘Questions’, the album had a very different sound to the slickness and polish of their Chris Thomas albums.  Again Michael and Andrew wrote all the songs.

“The album is very much Andrew, Michael, and myself”, Mark Opitz says.  “We didn’t have everyone’s minds on the job because some of them were going through significant things in their personal lives”.

Michael and the band often commented in interviews that ‘WTWYA’ was their favourite album, even more so than ‘Kick’.  And the critics also loved the album with UK’s Q magazine giving the album a 4-star review.  “A far more engaging and heartfelt collection than anything the group has put out in recent memory… It rocks”. 

However the album which should be regarded as one of INXS’s masterpieces, often doesn’t get the credit it deserved.  There was a number of reason why the album didn’t sell as well as the reviews would have had you believe.

East West Australian Record Company Promo Doormat

Firstly, the band didn’t tour the album which in the past was the bands main weapon to blow people away with their live performances on stage.  And when the band did finally tour the following year in small pubs a lot of the songs from ‘WYWYA’ were not suited to the small venues and not included in the set list.  The hits like Baby Don’t Cry’, ‘Not Enough Time’ were hardly ever performed live, ‘Beautiful Girl’ was only 2 years later in Sth America when they did play some larger venues.  While tracks such as ‘Strange Desire’, ‘Back On Line’, ‘Questions’ and Men and Women’ were never performed live. 

In hindsight, even though they were some of the best live shows the band did, the band should not have taken their small pub tour around the world.  They should have just done it as an Australian warm up tour as they had done in the past.  Playing small venues by choice killed the band.  Americans especially just didn’t understand it.  The previous tour the band had sold out venues like Wembley Stadium and Madison Square Gardens, then the next time they tour is in 800 people capacity clubs!  Americans saw it as a sign of failure that the band was playing small venues.  Many fans couldn’t get tickets to see their favourite band as they would sell out within minutes of going on sale, so many fans were lost because of that.

While INXS’s peers like U2 got bigger with their concerts by doing their Zoo TV tour, INXS should have done a similar thing.  The songs from ‘WTWYA’ suited the large entertainment centre environment, they could have even toured with an orchestra to recreate the songs.  They were also known for their state of the art video clips, so they could have easily done a large concert tour to blow people's minds just as U2 did the same year.

It’s quite simple really, most people who attend a concert will either have the latest album, or go buy it after seeing the great live show.  So if you play to 20,000 each night, and not 800 you are going to sell many more albums playing larger venues!  Promoters in US and Atlantic Records hated the fact INXS were choosing play small venues.  And the following year they lost their record contract in US.

Re-released 'Welcome To Wherever You Are' Australian CD with different cover

The album also suffered due to hardly any promotion and it’s artwork.  Previous INXS album’s designed by Nick Egan such as ‘Kick’, “X’ and ‘Live Baby Live’ has strong designs easily to identify as INXS albums in stores.  But for ‘WTWYA’ they didn’t go with Nick Egan and tried to be too arty and it just didn’t work.  Firstly the title in too wordy and long not simple and quick like ‘Kick’ and ‘X’.  And the album covers and single covers the fans hated, and the public just didn’t know they were INXS cds in stores.  The record company in Australia even had to re-print the album cover so it was reversed so their was a band shot in the desert on the cover a few months after the albums release!  The following year Michael was presenting an Award at the ARIA Awards with Jenny Morris, and he looked at the nominations envelope which had a weird design, and joked to Jenny “That would make a good album cover”.

The 3 different covers for WTWYA vinyl, cd and cassette releases.

Each format of WTWYA had a different cover, the cd featured the Artane Boys Band from Ireland which Larry Mullen Jr from U2 was a member of.  While the Vinyl LP featured a sailor, and the cassette a picture of boy scouts.  There was also a bit of a backlash in Australia about the photo shoot inside the cd with the band matching wearing suits with frilly shirts, some sections of the music media who live in the pub rock era, had a problem with the band trying to be fashion icons rather than rock musicians.

The album didn’t get the promotion previous INXS albums had recieved.  The bands manager at the time Chris Murphy was spending more time trying to find “the next INXS” who would be successful overseas.  Thinking INXS were now an established act worldwide, he could spend time with his RooArt label with bands like Ratcat, The Screaming Jets and You Am I.  But INXS needed promotion at this time more than ever!

French Press Kit Cover Photo

The band had a huge backlash in the media against them earlier in the year because of The Concert For Life’ which actually forced ‘WTWYA’ to be delayed a few months.  As well as Molly Meldrum the year before heavily critising ‘Live Baby Live’ on 'Hey Hey It’s Saturday'.. 

Australia had very few music tv shows to promote the band as well, MTV Australia shut down towards the end of 1992 who had been big supporters of the band in the past.  So the band decided to do a TV promo tour of UK and Europe instead where they had many music tv shows such as Top Of The Pops.  So the sales of ‘WTWYA’ reflected the promotion, the album did well in UK and Europe, but poorly in Australia and US.

There was also a change in direction forthe video clips for ‘WTWYA’.  After going with Richard Lowenstein for the first single ‘Heaven Sent’, the band decided to experiment with some other directors.  Michael was a big fan of Baillie Walshs videos and they got him to direct ‘Taste It’.  The song however was banned for been too risque.

 'Taste It' Atlantic Records Promo Chocolate Bar

Another interesting video from the album was for ‘Beautiful Girl’ directed by Mark Pellington.  It tackled the issue of anorexia and bulimia and sent a powerful message.  The video clip was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1993.

Sega even released a video game titled ‘INXS: Make My Video’ which allowed you to direct your own video clip for 3 video clips from ‘WTWYA’ – ‘Heaven Sent’, “Not Enough Time’ and ‘Baby Don’t Cry’.

Welcome To Wherever You Are Design VIP Area Pass

In 2002, which was the 10th anniversary of ‘WTWYA’ the bands US record company Rhino re-issued the album with 5 bonus tracks.  This cd is still available to purchase in US stores or by import in other countries.  The bonus tracks are:
- The Answer
-Wishing Well (Version 2)
- All Around (Version 2)
- The Indian Song
- Heaven Sent (Waltz Version)

'Welcome To Wherever You Are' UK Promo Interview Disc

Here are Michael Hutchence’s comments on each track from ‘WTWYA’ from 1992…

“We just wanted to have something completely out of our usual style, and we really love the sounds of Indian music.”

Heaven Sent:
“This started off as a balad, hard to believe.  The band came in and just kept speeding it up and making it heavier and heavier because the chords really suited it.  It’s a good vehicle for the band to rock a lot more.”

“It ended up being more about this guy, a crazed journalist not wanting to leave a scene he was reporting from in the Persian Gulf War.  I mean, these people were standing there with gas masks on, reporting history as it happened.  I don’t think it has been done before, quite like that.  And then the ads would come in between, ‘Buy this and that,’ Weird stuff.”

Taste It:
“It’s about the devil and the angel, and choice, I guess.  With all the things in life – not just sexual – it depends on how you choose the path you take, where it leads you, and whether it was wise to take it or not.  Because the paths are always there and you have to confront that choice.  It’s a big question.”

Not Enough Time:
“The song is basically a love song.  I like it.”

All Around:
“It’s a song about change, I guess, and how things go in cycles.  It’s about cycles repeating themselves but yet how they change slightly, how they mutate each time around.”

Baby Don’t Cry:
“It’s strange, because we used a sixty four piece orchestra.  It was all done live by the way, with us and the orchestra in the studio at the same time.  It was a lot of fun.”

Beautiful Girl:
“In Australia, you technically can’t be homeless, because we have systems to support people.  But there are still a lot of runaways in the area where I live in Sydney (when I’m there).  They’re real normal kids who get into prostitution and drugs and it’s a real mess.  Because they’re so naive.  I mean, these aren’t city street kids, which is a whole different breed.”

Wishing Well:
“It’s really out there for us.  It’s musically very free-form and so are the vocals.  It just slips around and then it goes off to somewhere else completely.  It just happened in the studio.  Lyrically, I guess it’s in the same sort of category as Marvin Gaye’s ‘Sexual Healing.’  There’s a sexual cauldron going on.”

Back On Line:
“I never really sat down and attempted to be a real singer.’ I don’t want to know what I’m doing in other words.  I just try to sit down  and work things out to see if they make some musical sense to somebody.  So if my vocal ‘snakes around,’ that’s good… This song is about putting something right when you know you should and facing yourself period, which is hard to do sometimes.”

Strange Desire:
“Actually, it was kind of inspired by how we really are, in some ways, a victim of our own biology, or biologies. With the world becoming more sophisticated, we tend to not realize how instinctual we are. So it’s about somebody being overpowered by their own instincts.”

Men And Women:
“It’s a sad song in a way, about the – I don’t know, just the sexual wars that go on all the time, which I don’t understand.  That is perverted to me – the situation between men and women.

All Memorabilia from Matthew Marsland's Personal Collection.