INXS Sign Global Publishing Deal With Universal; Biopic, Musical 'On the Way'
Music by the Australian band, whose frontman Michael Hutchence died in 1997, is still in demand 25 years after breakout album, "Kick."
This article originally appeared on billboard.biz.
INXS might have called time on their touring career, but the Australian hitmakers are still in demand.
Universal Music Publishing Group has signed a global publishing agreement with the surviving INXS members -- Tim, Andrew and Jon Farriss, Kirk Pengilly and Garry Gary Beers -- for the band's core catalog of music.
UMPG previously published INXS' early material through a prior deal, though the new pact brings essentially all of their music under one publishing roof for the first time.
At their peak in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the alternative rockers enjoyed a period of superstardom and were regularly in the conversation of ranking the "biggest bands on the planet." But all that came crashing down in 1997, when the group lost its charismatic singer of 20 years, Michael Hutchence, who was just 37. The surviving bandmembers pushed on, but the second part of INXS' career would never reach the same heights.
The new publishing pact is the start of a whole new wave of activity for the band, explains Chris Murphy, INXS' creative director and global strategist. "The new TV miniseries about the band's untold story, which will debut in the first quarter of 2014, is just the beginning," explains Murphy. "Films, the 'ultimate' documentary, and a musical are all on the way."
Originally formed in 1977 in the Western Australian capital of Perth, INXS' body of work has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide, scored six U.K. top 10 albums and five U.S. top 20 albums.
Their biggest commercial success came in 1987, when INXS released Kick, an album which sold more than 10 million copies and yielded the tracks "Need You Tonight," "Devil Inside," "New Sensation," "Never Tear Us Apart" and "Mystify." "Need you Tonight" topped the Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at No. 2 in Britain, and its accompanying video went on to win five MTV Awards. In 1991, INXS won the BRIT Award for best international group.
Late last year, the band announced the end of road; INXS wouldn't tour anymore.
"INXS is simply one of the greatest rock bands of all time, and we couldn't be more thrilled to bring their core catalog and all of their hits to UMPG worldwide," said Zach Horowitz, chairman and CEO, UMPG. "We're particularly excited to work with the group and their visionary creative consultant, Chris Murphy, in finding new and innovative ways to take their music to the next level -- including the upcoming TV miniseries about their career, movies, and theatrical plays. We're looking forward to connecting new generations of fans with the band's timeless music."
INXS has "become a music brand that breaks media and entertainment barriers on all fronts," said Murphy. "Zach Horowitz 'got it' from my very first meeting with him, and his passion for INXS' music was undeniable. We're over the moon that we'll be working with him and the outstanding UMPG team to write the next chapter in the band's illustrious history.
Universal Music Group and INXS in 2011 forged a long-term agreement to revamp and re-release the group's catalog. This year marks the 25th anniversary of Kick, their biggest album. The band recently released a massive box set, titled "The Kick 25th Anniversary Edition," which includes a wealth of outtakes and additional songs from the sessions as well as a DVD with documentary and live footage.
UMPG also publishes the rights of Hutchence's songs written on the band's first four albums. The two-part Hutchence biopic, Never Tear Us Apart, will air next year on Australia's free-to-air television, the commercial broadcaster Seven Network revealed this week.