Monday, November 01, 2010

INXS To Release Tribute Album With Guest Vocalists

INXS will release a tribute album, Original Sin, in November (Nov. 5 in Australia, Nov. 30 in Canada), with a few tracks having other musicians such as Rob Thomas, Pat Monahan and Ben Harper on lead vocals and John Mayer on guitar.

This is the tracklist for the Canadian version of Original Sin:
1. Drum Opera (Jon Farriss/INXS)
2. Mediate (Featuring Tricky)
3. Original Sin (Featuring Rob Thomas & introducing DJ Yalediys)
4. Never Tear Us Apart (Featuring Ben Harper and Mylene Farmer)
5. Beautiful Girl (Featuring Pat Monahan)
6. New Sensation (Featuring Deborah de Corral)
7. Just Keep Walking (Featuring Dan Sultan)
8. Mystify (INXS Featuring Loane with special guitar performances by John Mayer & Kirk Pengilly)
9. To Look At You (Featuring Kav Temperley)
10. KICK (Featuring Nikka Costa)
11. Don’t Change (INXS)
12. The Stairs (Featuring JD Fortune)

A couple of interesting omissions/swaps here. It was previously reported that Brandon Flowers was singing "Beautiful Girl" (Pat Monahan now is) and Ben Harper was doing "Devil Inside", and that Rob Thomas recorded "Never Tear Us Apart" (now sung by Ben Harper) and "Need You Tonight". So Brandon Flowers is out altogether, as is Vanessa Amorosi. And "Need You Tonight" didn't make it either.

I'm not feeling the "Never Tear Us Apart" swap. I know this whole album is about reinventing/reinterpreting INXS's great songs, but this is the one song that I feel like you shouldn't really reinvent. It's too iconic. And too brilliant. I've heard two different versions of Ben Harper doing this song, and I'm not sure which one made the album - it might be this one since it's listed on the album as being with Mylene Farmer. But there's an exclusive audio preview with just Ben Harper that was posted on INXS's website. I prefer the solo one to the duet one between the two, but I'd really prefer if they had left Rob Thomas on it. He sang it with INXS live (VIDEO), and he stayed pretty true to the original.

One song that I've heard that retains the INXS sound is the last track, "The Stairs" with JD Fortune, who won Rock Star: INXS back in 2005 to become the band's lead singer. JD recorded an album with INXS, Switch, and toured with the band for a couple of years. There were stories about him being kicked out, but it appears as if that whole issue was based on miscommunication, and JD has been performing with the band again (at the Olympics and the AFL Grand Final, among other places) and will be touring with them next year in Australia. I'm glad. I always thought JD was the one most "right for our band, INXS". He may have been portrayed as a bit of a reality villain on the show, but I don't think anyone there wanted to be INXS's lead singer half as much as he did, and he clearly loved the band and their music. Plus, there's no denying that his voice fits INXS like a glove. It's eerily similar to the late Michael Hutchence, and I've always thought that he did so much justice to their old songs.

"The Stairs" is another song that JD did justice to. I'll admit that my first introduction to this song is with JD's vocals, as they sang this in their encore in concert. I had never heard it prior to that, and I immediately fell in love with it. In this new recording, JD still stays pretty true to the song, except that he gives it a more modern twist with a spoken word section towards the end. It's a really cool touch. The song is already out on Canadian iTunes and has been released to rock radio.

The other song that has been sent out to radio (CHR/HAC) is Rob Thomas' "Original Sin", which is also available now on Canadian iTunes. It's, um, different. I'm not quite sure how to feel about this one. It has this Euro-dance beat to it, and I don't really equate Rob Thomas with that kind of music. You can listen to the song at the link in the track list. There's also an edit out on YouTube that someone did that's a little bit better. 

Original Sin should be out in the U.S. on Jan. 11, 2011.


Heather said...

What a GREAT blog!!!

I couldn't agree more! JD Fortune is an incredible talent, and since I got my copy of "The Stairs" from Itunes Canada, I can't stop listening to it!

Fantastic! What a great read this was! Thanx!

aussiefan448 said...

Great to see the facts getting out about this album finally! JD's version of The Stairs is magnificent! I agree totally that it pays lovely homage to the original, yet blazes it's own sort of trail.

Looking very much forward to what INXS brings forth in the future, and also anxiously awaiting JD Fortune's solo work. It is brilliant! Stay Tuned!

Chicago Kat said...

This is a fantastic blog. Thank you! I agree with your views from start to finish. JD's rendition of "The Stairs" is so well-done. It honors the original version of the song, as put forth by Michael Hutchence and Andrew Farriss, yet it offers JD's fresh slant on this classic piece. I admit that I too have listened to it countless times already. Well-done JD and INXS!

calgal32 said...

Thanks so much for this blog which accurately clarifies the status of JD and INXS. They are indeed back together and have performed together at a few concerts including the Vancouver Olympics.

I also love JD's version of The Stairs and have downloaded it from iTunes Canada. Have listened to it many, many times. Hope everyone else gets to hear it soon.

phyljo said...

I really appreciate your perspective and thank you so much for brunging together some of the pieces that were missed by some of the media! JD's version of THE STAIRS is absolutely beautiful. JD's voice, the arrangement, the orchestration... it is harmony.
Again, thanks so much for sharing your view and bringing together the pieces of the story.

Nancy said...

Thank you so much for this great blog. I totaly agree with your opinion about the new version of "The Stairs". It is a powerful and passionate rendition of a beautiful song. JD Fortune's vocals really help to elevate the song, and the spoken word section really drives home the meaning of the wonderful lyrics.

Denise said...

JD FORTUNE's rendition of THE STAIRS on "Original Sin" by INXS is Phenomenal!! I love love love his powerful spoken word style on part of this track! Just the latest example of why he is the HOTTEST F'N SAUCE !!!!!

"L" said...

Thanks for your blog!I love the musical artistry of JD Fortune,especially his solo work on "The Death Of A Motivational Speaker".It's spectacular!I'm also a huge INXS fan for a long time now!I was stoked when JD joined INXS years ago...perfect fit!Love their music!I'm very excited about the release of "Original Sin" by INXS this month! My favorite song is "The Stairs" featuring JD Fortune and INXS,it's phenomenal! I love the original version of "The Stairs" with Michael Hutchence singing as well! JD and INXS have raised this song to another amazing level!Check out Canadian iTunes for your copy of this awesome song today!Here is a link to view JD and INXS in the studio recording "The Stairs" and the new "Original Sin" album.

Lynn said...

Great blog! Love JD's rendition of The Stairs, so passionate and intense! Especially love the spoken word part at the end - just phenomenal!

Natalie said...

Thanks for the great blog!
JD's rendition of 'The Stairs' is definitely a highlight on this album. As echoed in the blog and in above comments JD has ABSOFUCKINLUTELY done justice to the song, it is a poweful and passionate rendition of a beautiful sung written by Andrew and Michael but beautifully sung by JD. Love the spoken word!

Honeypot said...

"THE STAIRS" featuring JD Fortune is AMAZING!
I couldn't agree more with the author's statements!

Check out JD in studio on youtube.

Search JD Fortune "The Stairs" if the web addy didn't work.