INXS are the hottest thing in Australia, again. The homegrown hitmakers opened at No. 1 on the latest ARIA albums chart and have three in the top 20 and a swag of re-entries to the singles chart, thanks largely to the power of the small screen.
INXS’ “The Very Best” compilation opened at No. 1 on the new sales chart when it was published Sunday, holding off recordings from John Butler Trio (“Flesh & Blood”) and Bruce Springsteen (“High Hopes”), as the buzz from Network 7’s heavily promoted “INXS: Never Tear Us Apart” mini-series converted into music sales.
The chart spikes follow last Sunday’s blockbuster ratings, when the biopic’s first two-hour episode grabbed a national TV audience of 2.881 million (Australia has a population of 23 million) and outshone coverage of the Winter Olympics and a documentary on convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby.
“The Very Best” is one of six INXS albums in the current top 100 and it becomes the band’s fourth chart-topping set in Australia, following “The Swing” (April 1984), “Listen Like Thieves” (Oct. 1985) and “X” (Oct. 1990). The greatest hits set has now had 27 non-consecutive weeks on the chart.
The new wave group also grabs the No. 7 spot with “Kick” (its 74th non-consecutive week in the chart) and “Live At Wembley Stadium 1991” opens at No. 17, its first week on the chart.
The title track from the mini-series leads six INXS singles in the top 100. “Never Tear Us Apart” is at No. 16 this week — just two spots down from its peak position of No. 14. “Need You Tonight” is the band’s next-best, at No. 33.
Ratings for this Sunday night’s finale were solid, but down on the previous episode. The second part of the telemovie, which tracked the global rise and fall of the Michael Hutchence-led rock group, dropped to 1.768 million. Those ratings were good enough for second spot behind “My Kitchen Rules,” also on the free-to-air Seven Network, and the result should ensure INXS makes another impressive showing on this coming week’s ARIA charts.
While the TV show has thrust INXS back into the spotlight, not everyone is happy with the tale it told. The program depicted Hutchence — who died in 1997 — as hot-headed, and prone to fits of rage. The frontman’s half-sister Tina has accused its writers of “trashing” his family and she describes the show as “a soap opera.”
Tina Hutchence told commercial radio station Nova 100 she was “angry and sad for Michael because [the film is a] complete fabrication of our family.”
The surviving members of INXS announced in Nov. 2012 they were calling time on a career that had lasted 35 years and 11 studio albums, including six that sold platinum or better in the U.S.