INXS Albums Ranked

INXS (pronounced “in excess”) were an Australian rock band, formed as The Farriss Brothers in 1977 in Sydney, New South Wales. The band’s founding members were bassist Garry Gary Beers, main composer and keyboardist Andrew Farriss, drummer Jon Farriss, guitarist Tim Farriss, lead singer and main lyricist Michael Hutchence, and guitarist and saxophonist Kirk Pengilly. For 20 years, INXS was fronted by Hutchence, whose magnetic stage presence made him the focal point of the band. Initially known for their new wave/pop style, the band later developed a harder pub rock and alternative rock style that included funk and dance elements following Hutchence’s death in November 1997, INXS made appearances with several guest singers and toured and recorded with Jon Stevens as lead singer beginning in 2002. In 2005, members of INXS participated in Rock Star: INXS, a reality television series that culminated in the selection of Canadian J.D. Fortune as their new lead singer. Irish singer-songwriter Ciaran Gribbin replaced Fortune as lead singer in 2011. During a concert on 11 November 2012, INXS stated that the performance would be their last, although they did not announce the band’s permanent retirement. INXS won six Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) awards, including three for “Best Group” in 1987, 1989 and 1992; the band was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2001. INXS has sold an estimated 60 million records worldwide making them one of Australia’s highest-selling acts. Here are all INXS albums ranked.

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10. Underneath the Colours (1981)

‘This is the band’s second studio album. It was released in 1981. It’s the band still looking for their style, their identity with the public. It’s better than the previous album. However, do not think that it is the style of “Kick” and “X” or later albums and more known. It is recommended for those who are already accustomed to the band and willing to listen to something different and raw. The title track of the album is perhaps the best. OK! “

9. Full Moon, Dirty Hearts (1993)

“Understandable that its not their most mainstream and accessible one, but honestly, if whoever doesn’t like INXS or is to compare it with other bands or under commercial values —why bother to review? // I believe that is a thoroughly enjoyable album, underrated (as stated). The more I listen to it over the years, the more I have grown fond of it. Overall, each song articulates very well with the rest, while being very strong compositions on their own. Good production; nice rhythm and very melodic. New listeners should give it a chance.”

8. INXS (1980)

‘The band could have been called INXTC at this stage, as it is very similar to XTC’s early output, which is what attracted me to this. Obviously less commercial than the INXS most people love, but to me, the band’s best stuff ended with Listen Like Thieves… But that’s only because I’m more punk-minded. INXS’s output after that is great for the majority! This album is quirky and well produced. A good find!”

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7. Elegantly Wasted (1997)

“I enjoyed this album most from all INXS’s albums…maybe because I have the patience to listen to it more than once. 🙂 No seriously, this is very good pop/rock album, lot of catchy songs (like “Elegantly Wasted” or “Girl On Fire”) and above it all Michael Hutchence’s voice so natural and powerful which you can’t hear so often, so sad this was his last album. And the biggest hit for me is definitely “I’m Just A Man”…maybe because I am just a man. 🙂 My favorite songs: Everything, Don’t Lose Your Head, I’M JUST A MAN, Girl On Fire, We Are Thrown Together”

6. Welcome to Wherever You Are (1992)

‘This is INXS’ best album of all. They experiment to almost Beatlesque standards at times, opening with the Indian-flavoured “Questions”, and incorporating strings and brass into the wonderful, rousing “Baby Don’t Cry”, while “Beautiful Girl” is deft and pretty, and “Back On Line” and “Strange Desire” are effectively haunting.  INXS has always been, rather strangely, an underrated band, even in Australia, and while they’ve done some good music before, this record has them at their pinnacle.”

5. X (1990)

‘On X, INXS stepped up their game.  More than ever, Michael Hutchence’s life was being swept away like an Aussie cyclone and road train across the Nullaballor plain/outback desert.  Meanwhile, the triple-guitar attack of the Farriss brothers-Andrew and Tim plus honored brother Kirk Pengilly mastered their game of electric Fender hopscotch while the rhythm section of Gary Beers and Jon Farriss was a blast furnace of aboriginal Aussie Fire.  By the time it’s completed, INXS WILL FOREVER mark the spot with X-be warned, X is an Aussie Record that is high-octane and burning-hot.  Michael Hutchence is gone but he is not forgotten by me.  It’s something the aborigines will understand about Australia.”

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4. Shabooh Shoobah (1982)

“Again, at least Five out of the Ten Songs on Shabooh Shoobah are Rock Classics because INXS are Forever Immortal-Michael Hutchence becomes a poet down under as he took a book of Australian Poems and set them to an Art Form called Rock & Roll in any pub that would have them.  I will always love INXS-Shabooh Shoobah will always and Forever be my Oz-Rock introduction, intuition and initiation and I am Forever grateful for that! INXS and Australia Forever!”

3. The Swing (1984)

The Swing tickles my fancy all the way to four and a half stars. Only the plodding “Face the Change” breaks the momentum, and even then it’s not that bad a song. Spawning several big hits (“Original Sin“, “Burn for You“, “I Send a Message” and “Dancing on the Jetty“) plus other non-singles that received big radio play (“Melting in the Sun”, “Johnson’s Aeroplane” and “Love Is (What I Say”) (honestly, how does a song as good as “Love Is (What I Say”) not get released as a single?), there was simply no escape from INXS in 1984!”

2. Listen Like Thieves (1985)

‘This album hits the ground running like an Olympic sprinter, but fades somewhat towards the end. Side one is flawless, but with the inclusion of the pointless instrumental “Three Sisters” and a couple of lesser lights on the b-side, the musical effort as a whole loses some steam. A huge selling album with hit single after hit single, this was, in my humble opinion, the last great INXS album. They would later go on to record Kick which was, frankly, a dull and pretentious pile of dog poo.”

1. Kick (1987)

“Without any doubt this is a big old dumb album, totally lacking in any intellect whatsoever. Thankfully that’s all part of its enduring charm. This is 80s pop rock at its best. There isn’t an ounce of fat on this record; Andrew Farris and Michael Hutchence really excelled. I won’t bother trying to identify favourites as there really is no filler, not a single duff track. In fact you can sing along with every single song – and, of course feel really stupid in the process. Strongly recommended to all curmudgeons who retain a soft spot for 1986.”