The story of INXS can’t be told in numbers alone, but the results are certainly impressive.
Consider their four billion global streams and more than 60 million album units shifted (and counting)
Want more? About 1.6 million Australians choose to listen to the legendary New Wave band each month, according to Universal Music Australia president Sean Warner. Not bad for a country of 25 million.
“We know that one in three people who stream INXS now weren’t even born when Kick was released,” he says. And, powered by syncs, most of the core audience is now born post-2000.
The original fanbase has stayed with the band, a new generation has come along for the ride, and, with London, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo. Los Angeles and Mexico City among the hotspots for INXS catalogue, it’s a truly “global phenomenon,” Warner explains.
Those numbers aren’t the core message of Calling All Nations. The new 400-plus INXS book is a “love letter,” created through stories and pictures from the group’s global fanbase, and from the surviving bandmates.
Calling All Nations, a partnership between Petrol Records, UMe, uDiscover Music, and This Day In Music Books, is a time capsule, a detailed history of a tightly-wound team of firebrands from Australia whose songs and style took them to the very top.
In celebration of KICK's 36th anniversary, we want to know: share your favorite memories of this album below! pic.twitter.com/QgTWLhcuk0
— INXS (@INXS) October 11, 2023
On Tuesday, October 17th, the surviving band members – Garry Gary Beers, Kirk Pengilly and brothers Andrew, Jon and Tim Farriss – reunited for the first time in more than six years.
The long overdue catchup, first at Sydney’s Intercontinental Hotel, then for a lunch and award presentation at O Bar & Dining, was more like a family gathering. Stories flew about partying with Freddie Mercury, U2, the Gallagher brothers. Good times, some not so good.
The contents of the book, however, are as evocative as any rock ‘n’ roll story.
“What was really significant from a writing perspective, is when you start hearing that people got married or buried, or lost their virginity, to the music,” says Andrew Farriss. “The births, deaths and marriages part of it is kind of sobering as you go along.”
Calling All Nations is available via INXS.com in three formats — the standard First Edition hardback book, a limited-edition Deluxe boxset, and an extremely limited-edition Super Deluxe box, hand-signed by the members of INXS.
“It’s a really interesting way of looking at (the journey) through the fan’s eyes,” says Jon Farriss. “As a concept, it’s really clever.”
The tome is one of several new projects, including the 30th anniversary edition of Full Moon Dirty Hearts, for which Giles Martin has created an exclusive, immersive audio edition, set for release November 2nd.
And there’s the rollout of part 2 in All Juiced Up, a collection of nine limited-edition coloured vinyl 12” records featuring remixes of classic INXS songs, from “Need You Tonight” to “Listen Like Thieves,” “New Sensation” and more.
The last time this family gathered was in 2017, for their 40th anniversary celebration when they were honoured at the State Theatre masquerade party for 50 million global record sales. Since then, a member has left the family in former manager and creative director Chris Murphy, who died in 2021, aged 66.
“He was a seventh brother,” notes Pengilly, describing a combination of tenacity, ideas and with an appetite for knowledge and doing the “dirty work.”
— Lars Brandle (@larsbrandle) October 17, 2023
Frontman Michael Hutchence died in 1997, aged 37, creating a wound that could never heal. After running with a range of singers, INXS retired from touring in 2012. They’ve stuck to their word.
Beers still misses it, Pengilly, not so much. Tim Farriss’ injured hand will always trouble his guitar playing.
Playing is “kind of healing for us. It’s been a major part of our lives since we were in high school together,” says Beers, who recently unveiled his own range of GGB bass guitars. “So going out and playing to me is, I do, I really miss playing. I live in L.A. and I play as much as I can with mates over there. I’ve got a new band, but I really miss playing with these guys.”
Adds Tim Farriss, “By playing music that we’ve had played with Michael, in an odd sense, kept him alive with us.”
Later, INXS was presented with awards recognising four billion global streams, each framed with striking Indigenous artwork. “I think this is my favorite award ever,” comments Pengilly. It’s not the only award coming their way. Earlier this week, the band’s 2011 Very Best Of career retrospective was accredited seven-times platinum, doing so in its 581st week in the top 100 on the ARIA Chart — a full 11 years on the chart.