Saturday, 30 July 2005

Forgotten Band in Comeback Shambles Shock

In terms of money raked in and international success INXS were probably the biggest Australian band of the last 25 years. Whether they were any good or not is up to you to decide, but I’m sure whatever decision we come to will hardly trouble it’s remaining members who are, as we speak, probably rolling around in a vault somewhere throwing piles of money in the air a’la Scrooge McDuck. 

Not content with coining in on sales revenue and royalties in the years since Michael Hutchence passed away they decided to go on touring with guest vocalists the quality and calibre of Terrance Trent D’Arby, shortly after he had lost the plot and began trading under the name Sanandra Maitreya, and “that guy who sang Hot Chilli Woman”.  A decision I’m sure their bank manager was wildly celebrating given the millions of dollars flying around for big acts touring the US and Europe. Sadly for INXS the general reaction in the US was (or more accurately would have been) “what does a Noiseworks make, and who is Sandra Maitreya?”

So what did they do? The sensible thing and release 200 different greatest hits albums, DVD’s and approved remixes? Well, yes they did. But they also noticed that reality television had gone off the charts, that the entire world seemingly stopped as one everytime an American Idol contestant was eliminated, and that there were new and exciting ways for a band to milk the public, even eight years after it’s only “celebrity” element had died. Enter, to a public rapidly losing interest, Rockstar INXS. The concept, for those who haven’t been assaulted by it yet, is your standard Popstars farce but with the added bonus of ending up as the frontman of “one of the world’s biggest bands” if you win. Not sure who the big band are, given that INXS haven’t had a colossal hit album in fifteen years, but you get the chance to be their lead singer too. So far, so rancid.

Now, at this point I would like to include a disclaimer and state that this post is not a giant “how shit were they?” like everything else on here. In fact I quite liked INXS in their day and have more than one of their albums. I’ve even got love for Elegantly Wasted, an album that even All Music Guide - the best chance any band have of a 5 star review - only give it **. But who wants to see them go down like this? We all know exactly what’s going to happen of course - they’ll release an album with whichever guy they pick (no chance a woman is going to win it is there?) and it’ll sell twice as much as anything else they’ve ever done despite being complete slop that Creed would have turned back, they’ll tour and sell out arenas across the world and everyone will be talkin’ INXS. Then the next fad will come along (and personally I vote for a TV contest to pick two new random lasses for The Human League, and an immediate release of “Don’t You Want Me” part three) and the entire enterprise will die in the arse with force. No great loss for the original members, who will be lying poolside drinking cocktails nonetheless. Our lucky contest winner, on the other hand, probably won’t be writing any of the songs for the album and will tour as lead singer on a salary. When it all collapses (again) he’ll be left in reality TV hell doing game shows with Vanilla Ice and eventually attempting to one up Hutchence he will die in bed with a hooker.

And isn’t it getting a huuuuuge push? Usually people without Pay-TV can easily avoid over-hyped shows by sticking to the usual channels and their policy of burying every award winning American show at 2.30am (see, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Six Feet Under, West Wing etc..) so they can put more “World’s Worst Babysitters” shows on. This time Foxtel have decided that not only are they going to beat us to death with it but they’ve shelled out god knows how much money to stick posters up, advertise on trams and buses, and most worryingly buy every an entire round of the rotating advertising shit on the boundary line at Telstra Dome. They really want you to watch this show, and they want you to sign up to Foxtel to do it. NOW! How much did it cost them in the first place? I don’t see any buses driving past and ordering me to sign up and watch Fox Footy’s “White Line Fever” with Clinton Grybas.

Sure, the whole concept is less sleazy than the 13 singles - count them - that 2pac has “released” since he carked it but it’s pretty rank. I’ve never actually met an INXS purist that I could ask for an opinion (please note: for this purpose purist is defined as somebody who not only knows all the albums in order but also why Gary Gary Beers has such a farcical name) but surely they’re not getting into this. And is it a step up or a step down from Judas Priest hiring somebody out of a tribute band when they were without a lead singer. SMS a) for “No, it’s ten times worse” and b) for “It’s not nearly as bad, and this post has gone on just about long enough”. Remember, your vote counts.

There’s even forums, and as usual they’re populated by mad stalking lunatics. Here’s some wild discussion and debate,
I honestly believe that JD paid someone to pretend to be his sister to take away from his pitiful performance. Hmmmm…..
I also must say that the beginning of the song sounded like a really really bad elvis impersonation.,

Your response Ms. Teeny Bopper?,

Given that JD was supposedly living out of his car, and that contact with the outside world is limited, with what would JD pay someone off and how? His car? His good looks?
He’s driven and competitive but he’s no “Johnny Fairplay” from Survivor.
Me thinks you are just being a crass sh** disturber. :^)

I’ll take INXS 1980-1997 if it’s all the same with you. Everything else is yours.