It seems rather shocking and surprising that Australia, for all of its influence on American pop and rock music, has so few acts inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame . While there are several worthy candidates from Australia for this honor, today I would like to look at a band that was considered to be among the best bands of the 1980’s, and one which has remained a vital act despite the death of its lead singer and creative inspiration, Michael Hutchence, shortly after the release of their 1997 album “Elegantly Wasted.” They were a band that partied hard and struggled with “the devil inside,” perhaps unsuccessfully, but blending hard rock and surprisingly artistic music gave the band a series of powerful hit singles as well as immensely successful albums in the United States as well as the UK and their native Australia. If the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame wants to better honor successful and immensely talented bands from outside the US and UK, INXS is definitely a worthy band for that.
The Influence Of INXS
The influence of INXS rests on several pillars. For one, the band has an impressive amount of hit singles and album sales since starting in 1977, which will be discussed shortly. They are still one of the most successful Australian acts in the United States in terms of record sales at over 15 million copies. Additionally, the band carried the torch for Australian and New Zealand acts, helping start the careers of the Models and Jenny Morris, showing that the band certainly had some worthy coattails . Their work remains popular today, and the band was able to find success with soundtrack singles, a reality tv search for a replacement lead singer that led to an additional top 40 hit with JD Fortune as the lead vocalist, and several hit singles in collaboration with dance pop acts and guest vocalists. The result is a picture of a band which honed its chops in Australia as a rock act before making it to the United States and doing a great job there. If the band might not have lived up to the hype of being the best band around, they certainly are a band worthy of being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Why INXS Belongs In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame
The most obvious case for induction for INXS is in their hit singles and albums in the United States, especially between 1982 and 1992, but even after that into the 2000’s. Throughout their career in the United States INXS had three multi-platinum albums, four additional platinum albums, and two additional gold albums so far. They had 1 #1 hit, “Need You Tonight,” six additional top ten hits, “What You Need,” “Devil Inside,” “New Sensation,” “Never Tear Us Apart,” “Suicide Blonde,” and “Disappear.” Besides this, the band has had three additional top 40 hits including comeback single “Dirty Vegas” and the beautiful “Not Enough Time ,” which was certainly true for the band’s longtime lead singer. This is a body of work that stands up well to this day, with gorgeous songs, beautiful music videos, and memories of successful tours and compilation albums as well as an impressive body of studio albums that remains well-regarded to this day even long after the band’s peak.
Why INXS Isn’t In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame
Unfortunately, the rock & roll of the 1980’s has not been well regarded by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame . Given that is when the band was most popular, it would made sense that this neglected era would see one of its most notable rock acts neglected as well. It is also possible that the band’s commercial peak is a bit shorter than the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame would want, but if the band was able to come up with another hit album with some hit singles, or if the band became recognized as an inspiration for a generation of contemporary rock & roll artists, it is quite possible that the band could see a critical reappraisal that would greatly improve their reputation. Among fans, of course, their reputation is solid, but among critics it could definitely use some improvement.
Verdict: Ask yourself, do you think that you would want to hear the band’s excellent top 10 hits and various other singles and album tracks on a jukebox in Cleveland? Do you think that they deserve recognition for their success as well as the quality of their music? If so, then you agree with me that yes, they belong in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
 See, for example:
Love your articles! You should make a list of newly and future eligible acts who might have the best chance of getting inducted their first year into the HOF a decade from now in your opinion. Here’s how I could see it happening:
2019: Dave Matthews Band
2020: Notorious BIG
2021: Foo Fighters and Jay-Z
2023: None (Nobody from this year)
2025: The White Stripes
2026: Linkin Park
2027: None (Nobody from this year)
2028: Maroon 5
2029: Amy Winehouse
That sounds like a good idea. If you’re looking at both popularity and influence, most of yours seem like obvious picks, but this is the RRHOF we are talking about. 😀 I think I will approach this as a “Freshman of the Year” category as a yearly post.
Correction: “…despite the death of its lead singer and creative inspiration, Michael Hutchence, shortly before the release of their 1997 album “Elegantly Wasted.” He committed suicide in November of 1997. EW was released in April of 1997.
Thanks for the heads up; I’ll make that correction. I was thinking more that the death prevented adequate promotion of the album rather than the creation of the album.
I say let them in did you listen to radio from 1980_2010? Come on now how ridiculous. Plz
It is pretty ridiculous, I agree, and more ridiculous that they are not more often mentioned.
Hello rock n roll hall of fame people – INXS – are u kidding ??!? It’s time!
Yeah, I know.
No doubter. Carried the 80’s like no other. Adding unbelievable horns to rock & roll that is beyond what any nominees this year can even come close too. What a joke!
They did a great job in the 1980’s and their music has definitely endured in terms of its quality and sound. It baffles me why they haven’t been inducted for so long.
Thank you for writing this…I couldn’t agree more. INXS’ music is timeless, and Michael Hutchence’s lyrics and themes are still relevant today. They are absolutely deserving of nomination and induction into the RRHOF.
I’ve actually founded a campaign/petition for their induction. If you would be interested in signing & sharing (I’d be most appreciative)… https://www.change.org/p/induct-inxs?redirect=false
Thanks for sharing; I will sign that particular campaign :).
Being a huge fan of INXS, this is a great article. INXS deserve this honor. Thank You for putting this out & sharing. ❤ #INDUCTINXS #MichaelHutchence
You’re very welcome; I might do a career retrospective of their discography at some point as well :D.