INXS was an Australian rock band from Sydney that started in a new wave/post-punk vein with two albums on Deluxe/ATCO in 1980/81. Adopting a more streamlined approach, they scored an international hit with “The One Thing” from their 1982 release Shabooh Shoobah, their first of five albums on WEA/Mercury.

In late 1985, INXS scored a huge stateside hit with “What You Need,” a pop-funk single from their fifth album, Listen Like Thieves. They consolidated their global major-league status with their 1987 release Kick, which spawned the hits “Need You Tonight,” “The Devil Inside,” “New Sensation,” and “Never Tear Us Apart.”

Members: Michael Hutchence (vocals, 1977-97), Andrew Farriss (keyboards, guitar), Tim Farriss (guitar), Kirk Pengilly (saxophone, guitar, vocals), Garry Gary Beers (bass, vocals), Jon Farriss (drums)

INXS formed through a merger of two bands, Doctor Dolphin and Guinness. Doctor Dolphin formed the prior year in Frenchs Forest, Sydney, when two classmates, keyboardist Andrew Farriss (b. 1959) and singer Michael Hutchence (1960–1997), assembled a pop band that also included bassist Gary Beers (b. 1957).

In 1977, Andrew’s older brother Tim Farriss (b. 1957) invited the three to join his band, Guinness, which grew from a six-year partnership with saxophonist Kirk Pengilly (b. 1958). With younger brother Jon Farriss (b. 1961) brought into the fold, the new sextet played its first show at Whale Beach on August 16, 1977 (the day Elvis Presley died).

After a 10-month stay in Perth during 1978, the band demoed material in Sydney as The Vegetables. They caught wind as a frequent opening act for Midnight Oil, whose manager, Gary Morris, suggested a new name for the young band: INXS (“in excess”), inspired by the phonetic acronym name of English new wavers XTC. Their first concert as INXS occurred on September 1, 1979, at the Ocean Beach Hotel in Umina, New South Wales.

By Christmas, Morris-associate Chris “CM” Murphy signed on as manager of INXS. In early 1980, he secured them a five-album deal with Sydney indie Deluxe Records.


  • INXS (1980)
  • Underneath the Colours (1981)
  • Shabooh Shoobah (1982)
  • The Swing (1984)
  • Listen Like Thieves (1985)
  • Kick (1987)
  • X (1990)


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