INXS were a rock band that came into existence in the Australia of the late 1970s. For two decades, their vocalist was Michael Hutchence, whose efforts contributed a great deal to the band’s international success from the mid 1980s to the early 1990s. Unfortunately, he passed away in November of 1997. INXS continued on until 2012 with various vocalists. In fact, they even managed to release a couple more studio albums in 2005 and 2010. However, INXS never managed to reclaim those heights. Still, the band should be remembered, not least because they managed to sell more than 75 million records on a worldwide basis.
12. Original Sin
Original Sin is rather unusual. It was INXS’ last studio album. However, Original Sin didn’t have original material. Instead, the release consisted of earlier INXS songs, each of which was covered by a different guest singer. As such, it occupies the lowest position on this list.
11. Elegantly Wasted
Elegantly Wasted was the last studio album that INXS released while Hutchence was still the vocalist. Unfortunately, it was clear that the band had passed its prime by that point in time. To a lot of people, Elegantly Wasted was a failed attempt at recapturing the magic of Kick, not least because it lacked the energy needed to do so.
In 2005, the remaining members of INXS carried out a search for a new vocalist, thus resulting in the reality TV show called Rockstar: INXS. This resulted in J.D. Fortune becoming the victor. After which, the new INXS recorded a studio album called Switch, which tends to be considered a failed attempt at emulating its Hutchence-era incarnation. Still, this is one case in which inconsistency worked out for the release. Most of it wasn’t very good. However, there were one or two highlights.
9. Underneath the Colours
Some bands break into the popular consciousness with their first release. In contrast, other bands built up their reputation over time. INXS is an excellent example of the latter. This can be seen by their second studio album Underneath the Colours, which was far from being the band’s height but was nonetheless a clear improvement on its predecessor in every single respect.
Speaking of which, INXS would be the band’s self-titled debut, thus making it the immediate predecessor to Underneath the Colours. Strictly speaking, it isn’t as good as the latter. However, it is nonetheless interesting because it contains hints of what was to come, meaning that it can be considered a promise of potential that would eventually be fulfilled.
7. Full Moon, Dirty Hearts
Full Moon, Dirty Hearts came out at a time when alt rock had emerged. As a result, it is perhaps unsurprising that INXS would seek to incorporate some of that sound for their own. Unfortunately, Full Moon, Dirty Hearts didn’t manage to pull that off as well as it could have. This is particularly true because it sacrificed some of the band’s own signature sound in the process, meaning that it isn’t capable of competing with the band’s better releases.
6. Welcome to Wherever You Are
Welcome to Wherever You Are was released just a short while before Full Moon, Dirty Hearts. Due to this, it was made with a lot of the same considerations in mind. INXS was fortunate in that their attempt to keep up with the times worked better with this studio album than with its immediate successor. It still lost some of the band’s characteristic sound, but its resulting sound was better.
5. Shabooh Shoobah
Shabooh Shoobah isn’t the point when INXS became international superstars. However, it was a clear step towards that direction. After all, Shabooh Shoobah was the first time that an INXS studio album had been released worldwide, thus enabling the band to get a fair amount of international interest for the first time.
4. The Swing
By the time that The Swing had come out in 1984, it was clear that INXS was poised on the verge of incredible success. Every single one of the factors that would make them international superstars had been brought into existence. What remained was piecing them together in a way that would appeal to the market. The Swing wasn’t quite there yet, but The Swing made it very clear that its follow-up was one to keep a watchful eye out for.
3. Listen Like Thieves
For proof, consider how Listen Like Thieves is widely considered to be INXS’ international breakthrough. After all, it hit the number 11 position in the United States, the number 50 position in the United Kingdom, and the number 24 position in Canada. As such, Listen Like Thieves was heard by a lot of people outside of Australia. This was a success in its own right. Moreover, this built up a receptive following for the even more successful releases to come.
X was named thus because it came out in 1990, which was ten years after the release of INXS’ self-titled debut in 1980. It was much the same as its immediate predecessor Kick. However, that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing considering that Kick can be considered the epitome of INXS as a band. Unfortunately, X was also the band’s last true commercial success because of changing musical tastes as well as not so successful attempts at keeping up with those changing musical tastes.
Naturally, Kick would be INXS’ number one studio album, not least because it was INXS’ best-selling studio album as well. Its predecessors had laid out the foundation. Thanks to that, Kick was able to bring INXS to the heights where they would remain for the next few years.