Unheard Michael Hutchence Recordings Set For New INXS 'Mystify' Documentary, Soundtrack

Michael Putland/Getty Images
Michael Hutchence of INXS photographed in London in 1990. 

Two previously unheard Michael Hutchence recordings are set to appear on the soundtrack to Mystify, a new full-length documentary film which traces the life and career of the late INXS frontman. 

Mystify, which takes its name from the fifth and final single from INXS’s hit 1987 album, Kick, will premiere at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival in April, and is helmed by Richard Lowenstein, who directed more than a dozen of the band’s early music videos, including “Burn for You" (1984), "What You Need" (1985), "Listen Like Thieves" (1986), "Need You Tonight"/"Mediate" (1987) and "Never Tear Us Apart" (1988).

Its accompanying soundtrack will “showcase the musical talents of Michael’s song writing and velvet lyrics,” reads a statement issued Thursday by the Aussie new wave band’s label home, Petrol Records. It will “weave recently discovered, and never-before heard, covers performed by Michael, with the much loved INXS classics that led the evolution of the music industry so many years ago,” the message continues. 

The release date, tracklist and artwork for the soundtrack has yet to be revealed. 

On making the announcement, Chris Murphy, chairman and founder of Petrol Records, and creative director and global strategist for INXS explains: “Their legacy is growing every day, and a new generation of fans from around the world are discovering INXS through streaming. We are entering an exciting period of rediscovery of their legacy and a reassessment of their place in music history.”

News of a fresh documentary project and soundtrack follows the 20th anniversary of Hutchence’s untimely death, on Nov. 22, 1997, aged 37. 

Though INXS has welcomed a string of singers into the band over the past two decades, the classic lineup remains unbeatable. A two-part Australia-made docuseries, Never Tear Us Apart, from 2014, breathed new life into the group's career and saw INXS' catalogue return to the top of the charts in their homeland, breaking records along the way

Murphy adds: “There will be many insights revealed about Michael’s life and his music, which will create interesting conversations. Movies like Bohemian Rhapsody and A Star Is Born remind us of the extraordinary contributions that are made to popular culture when movies and music are creatively intertwined, and I am proud to say Mystify will be another great example.”

It’s a busy time for Murphy and Petrol as the veteran entrepreneur continues his work on the INXS X Building, a gallery of the band’s memorabilia in northern New South Wales. The initiative, according to Petrol, will also be an incubator for new talent, start-ups and established businesses within the arts and technology sectors.

Last year, Giles Martin came on board as creative director, a new role that handed creative reins to the British-born producer, composer and arranger on all audio aspects of INXS’ plans, including musicals and movies and the reissue of their studio albums. Those LPs will be repackaged, remixed and expanded for release through Universal Music Group (UMG) in partnership with Petrol Records.