INXS- Kick- Andrew Farriss, Kirk Pengilly, the late Michael Hutchence

With the focus each week  In the Studio on getting the stories behind history’s greatest rock albums, we write and talk about the best days of the best bands, so by definition it is usually a positive experience. Since the Fall 1987 INXS album Kick  is not only one of the biggest sellers of the entire 1980s decade (estimated at more than ten million in the U.S. alone), but highly acclaimed to boot ( a bullish four Top Ten U.S. singles including “New Sensation”,”Devil Inside”,”Never Tear Us Apart”, & the #1 “Need You Tonight“) and five MTV Video Music awards, what’s not to love?

Yet as my interviews with keyboard player/songwriter Andrew Farriss, older brother lead guitarist Tim Farriss, sax player/rhythm guitarist Kirk Pengilly, and archival interviews with lead singer/songwriter Michael Hutchence were all being integrated with the surprisingly timeless joyous musical performances on Kick, it was impossible to ignore a sense of melancholy that I just could not shake. It is quite understandable, really, because to revel in the peak of this literal band of brothers Tim, Andrew, and drummer Jon Farriss from the remote (even by Australian standards) city of Perth is to look unblinkingly at just how much they, and we, lost with the death by misadventure of Michael Hutchence. The only bigger tragedy would be if the world simply forgot altogether.- Redbeard