Just Because You Have a Single Called Don’t Change Doesn’t Mean You Shouldn’t, INXS

INXS INXS are back. Again.

They've had huge amounts of success throughout their career, which began way back in Sydney, Australia back in 1977. After a string of fairly successful albums in the early 80s, the band hit the bigs with their 1987 album, Kick. In all, INXS has worldwide sales topping 30 million units.  

Jump ahead to November 22, 1997, when INXS frontman Michael Hutchence is found dead from an apparent suicide.  This is when the world of INXS starts to get…weird?

The remaining members of the band (the Farriss brothers-Jon on drums, Tim on guitar and Andrew on keyboards, guitar & songwriting duties), bassist Gary Garry Beers and saxman/guitarist Kirk Pengilly decided to carry on without Hutchence. What resulted was a mixed bag of singers attempting to fill the shoes of one of the most popular frontmen of the 80s, a not-so enviable task.

Of the singers that have made a pit stop in the INXS camp, Terence Trent D'arby is probably the best known, having had his own slice of success as a solo artist. From there most people probably remember Canadian JD Fortune, who 'earned' the job after being chosen by the band during the reality series Rockstar: INXS in 2005. Fortune lasted  for an album, and since then has been an on again, off again member of the group.

Which leads us to the November 2010 release of a covers album by the band, Original Sin, which features a little vocal help from an assortment of music types, including Ben Harper, Rob Thomas, Tricky, and the already mentioned JD Fortune. 

Which leads me to wonder: why?  INXS has spent over ten years refusing to let the INXS name fade away gracefully.  Instead, they've hopped from singer to singer, gone the reality TV route, and now are left promoting old material re-done with a white washed finish on it. I loved INXS in their heyday, but after hearing their newest release today, the Kirk Pengilly/Andrew Farriss sung cover of Don't Change, originally released by the band with Hutchence on vocals on 1982's Shabooh Shoobah, I can safely say it's time for what's left of INXS to call it a day. I've said it before, and I'll say it again as well-the remaining members of the band are all sporting some serious porn industry worthy facial hair. They kinda creep me out, quite frankly. Regardless, I was sitting on the fence when I originally listened to the song, but when Pengilly started the Kenny G flavoured sax solo towards the end of the tune I had my answer. Stop. 

I'll post the new video for Don't Change, along with a version from what the band once was back in the early 80s, and I'll let you decide for yourself. 

Don't Change, INXS, 2010


Don't Change, INXS, 1982


About Jay Moon

Freelance writer guy. My ears love music. I'm a transplant recipient (October/2015), so I also give talks to the masses about that entire experience.

Posted on March 3, 2011, in Music and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Great one Jay!
    I loved INXS in the 80’s too (one of the bands that may have ‘saved’ that decade).
    I really enjoyed the Rockstar INXS show, and thought that JD was a good addition to the band.
    And then came the drama.
    Was he fired?
    Did he quit?
    Was it just a one album deal?
    Despite the enjoyment from the JD version of INXS, I think retirement may have been the wiser choice.

  2. Thanks, Rob!
    The JD/INXS story is worth a post or two all on its own. I remember hearing two years ago that INXS had sacked him for ‘personal reasons’, meaning he probably had a raging drug problem. From what I gather now he’s back in the band, for the time being.

  1. Pingback: You May Want to Spit That Out: That’s Funky Awesome Joins the Funny Aftertaste Podcast « thatsfunkyawesome

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