Today is the 15th anniversary of the death of one Australia’s greatest front men, Michael Hutchence.
Michael Hutchence was the lead singer and a song writer in INXS. As a kid, I was first exposed to INXS’ music via the song ‘Original Sin’. The guitar riff in that song got me hooked and I’ve been a fan ever since. In 1988, I heard ‘Need You Tonight’ for the first time and I just loved the production on that song. However, when I listened to ‘New Sensation’ for the first time I was absolutely blown away. I loved the guitar parts, the sax solo was great but Michael Hutchence’s vocal on that song was amazing. I also loved the video clip for that song because it really showed how good Michael Hutchence was as a performer.
In 1989, Michael Hutchence was in a side music project called Max Q. I also enjoyed his work with Max Q. From memory they released two great singles. One was called ‘Sometimes’ and the other song was called ‘Way of The World’. I don’t know if these songs had chart success but ‘Way of the World’ gets played regularly on my IPod.
In 1990 INXS released the X album and I spent a summer listening to that album. The guitar part in ‘Suicide Blonde’ was so funky but again Michael Hutchence’s vocals on that song and others such as ‘The Stairs’ were great. In 1991, I went to my first and only INXS concert. They were an awesome band and Michael Hutchence lived up to his reputation as a great front man. In the 1990s, INXS released several great albums. One of my all time favourite songs is ‘Baby Don’t Cry’ from their album ‘Welcome To Wherever You Are’. Even though Michael Hutchence didn’t write this song, I really enjoyed his vocals on this song. If you get a chance, check out the video clip for that song.
In 1996 while I was working in the music business, I was invited to attend the ARIA Awards. On that night INXS performed and sadly (I think) it was the last time INXS performed with Michael Hutchence on Australian TV. Nevertheless, it was a great night for me not only for attending the ARIA Awards but also to see INXS perform live.
A year later, I was having lunch and my Dad told me that he had just heard on the radio that Michael Hutchence had passed away in Sydney. I couldn’t believe it. I waited for the next News report and sure enough I heard the sad report for myself. I was shocked and felt really sad. That evening I watched the News on TV and Michael Hutchence’s death was the main story. I remember going out with friends that night and we couldn’t stop talking about Michael Hutchence. Generally, we felt down and felt that his death was a huge loss to the world of music. I watched the live telecast of Michael Hutchence’s funeral on TV. I felt sorry for his partner Paula Yates, I felt sorry for his parents but I especially felt sorry for his daughter Tiger Lily. I also felt sad for the guys in INXS because they had lost one of their best friends.
Michael Hutchence was a fantastic performer with a great voice. One of the really cool things that Michael Hutchence and INXS did was to show aspiring musicians in Australia that if you worked hard, wrote great songs and had a bit of good luck on your side you could make it at an international level.
If you want to learn more about Michael Hutchence and INXS check out the following:
INXS: Story to Story: The Official Autobiography
Burn: The life and times of Michael Hutchence and INXS
Live Baby Live
By STEVE YANKO
About the Author
Steve Yanko is a Music Teacher, Musician, Song Writer & Consultant who loves working in the world of music.
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