I saw a poster today advertising INXS for some early 2011 dates and it got the old brain thinking. In the humble opinion of the Rockbrat, there are many rock n roll bands who really should call it a day. Many of them I am a fan of, but in my opinion some are no longer viable and well past their use-by-date. Let’s kick off with one of the most famous bands to emerge from Sydney. In the years 1977-1997 they pretty much conquered the world – though if you told me that when I first heard ‘Simple Simon’ back in 1980 I would not have believed you – it was non-sensical rubbish. So why then are INXS still around in 2010 ? Hutchence died in 1997 for heaven sake. It sure couldn’t be for money – as their was enough 80’s success (30 million album sales – most in the ‘Before Download’ era) to keep their bank accounts well stocked. Though as I write this – they are currently being sued over royalties – so maybe that’s why they are back on the road ! It’s a fact of life that a vocalist – usually the focal point of a rock band – is difficult to replace – especially someone as charismatic as Hutchence. A guitar player can often be replaced with a minimum of fuss, but not so with a lead singer. Can you image if the Stones had’ve tried to replace Jagger ? Queen – in my opinion should never have reformed with the legendary Paul Rogers. As no one can fill Mercury’s shoes. AC/DC are one of the most notable exceptions to my argument – with Brian Johnson effectively carving out his own niche with the boys since 1980. The decision to carry on without Hutchence would’ve been an agonising one I imagine. But how many vocalists did they use ? Terence Trent D’arby, Jon Stevens, Suze De Marchi – before eventually settling on JD Fortune (bizarrely billed as ‘special guest’ on the poster ?). He may be a good replacement with amazing vocals, but is anyone listening? Are the kids today interested in INXS ? I personally do not know of anyone who purchased that 2005 album ‘Switch’ – though it achieved sales of 1 million. Reviewer Matt Collar hit the nail on the head when he wrote “For all intents and purposes, the death of Australian rock band INXS’ lead singer, Michael Hutchence, in 1997 ended the band’s career.” Maybe they just should’ve changed the band name ? Before you e-mail me with your rant saying how dare I slag off your band etc etc’ why not step outside your fan zone for 10 minutes and look constructively at the argument I’ve presented here. You are welcome to post a reply to this post as well…Bands like ABBA called it quits when their time was up – and I admire their decision not to reform and re-record. It’s a shame many others don’t follow suit.