News October 27, 2015

INXS mini-series hits Latin America

After successful broadcasts in Australia, New Zealand and the United States, the INXS mini series Never Tear Us Apart premiered in Latin America last night.

It will run for four weeks on satellite network DIRECTV and is expected to cause the same record-buying frenzy which followed screening in Australia and New Zealand.

South America was a huge market for INXS, with Argentina and Brazil ranking among their biggest bases. They first toured South America in 1986 after the success of Listen Like Thieves, and returned seven more times playing in stadiums to 50,000 fans. Their 1984 hit, produced by Nile Rodgers, Original Sin, topped the charts in Argentina.

They needed armed guards because assassinations and kidnappings of foreigners were rife, and Kirk Pengilly confessed he sometimes found it difficult to play because of the half-naked women in the front row. Michael Hutchence’s antics in South America included disappearing for 36 hours with some local women, hitting a policeman with his mic stand who was brutalising rioting fans, and snorting a whole bag of cocaine when customs men with sniffer dogs unexpectedly boarded their private plane when it arrived at one of the cities.

In January 1991 INXS played Rock In Rio II alongside Prince, Guns ’n’ Roses and George Michael, to which 670,000 tickets were sold.

Never Tear Us Apart screened last month in the United States on the Showtime channel. Ratings figures were not available.

In Australia, where it screened as a two-part series, the first part had a total audience of 2.243 million metro viewers (factoring in delayed views) and the second had 2.579 million including regional viewers. The Very Best and Kick went to #1 and #2, and six other INXS albums entered the ARIA Top 20.

In New Zealand where it aired over two nights on TV3 in August, the series topped the ratings. An average of 220,000 fans tuned in for both nights, particularly in the 25 to 54 age group. The Very Best went to #1, their first chart topper there since 1987.

It is all part of their one-time manager-turned-creative director Christopher M. Murphy’s strategy to rebuild value to their back catalogue. It is doubtful INXS will tour again or record another album, but Murphy is working on a number of projects to keep up interest in their old hits. These include a film based around their songs and a 10-album deluxe box set called All The Voices.

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