INXS recruit guest vocalists for new album

Tue Mar 15, 2011 2:31pm EDT
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By Dean Goodman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Thirteen years after the premature death of their frontman, Australian rockers INXS still have not settled on a full-fledged replacement.

But the five members of the most successful homegrown rock act from Down Under are working with an assortment of singers in the meantime.

In the first few years after Michael Hutchence accidentally hanged himself in a Sydney hotel room in 1997, they teamed with the likes of Terence Trent D'Arby and local heroes Jimmy Barnes and Jon Stevens for various shows.

Then they went the American reality-TV show route, ending up with an unknown Canadian, J.D. Fortune, who remains their first choice on the concert circuit.

They have just activated another back-up plan, recruiting a host of international names for a new album boasting sharply reworked versions of their classic songs.

"Original Sin," named after their breakthrough hit single, features Matchbox 20 frontman Rob Thomas on the title track. Other collaborators include Train singer Pat Monahan, roots rocker Ben Harper and trip-hop star Tricky.

It marks the band's first album since "Switch," the 2005 release on which Fortune made his debut after he won "Rock Star: INXS." The band's album sales had been on the wane before Hutchence's death, and "Switch" failed to arrest the decline.

Their compatriots, AC/DC, had much better luck after original singer Bon Scott died in 1980. A few weeks later they also recruited an unknown, Brian Johnson, and endure to this day as a stadium-filling behemoth.   Continued...

<p>Three members of the Australian band INXS (L-R) Kirk Pengilly, Tim Farriss and J. D. Fortune accept the Excellence in Entertainment Award they received at the Penfolds Icon Gala Dinner during G' Day LA Australia Week 2006 in Hollywood January 14, 2006. REUTERS/Fred Prouser</p>