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2012 Reissue wish list / Day 3 / INXS Welcome To Wherever You Are

INXS / Welcome To Wherever You Are / 20th Anniversary EditionAlthough 1987’s Kick could be a likely contender for a 25th Anniversary Edition in 2012 (a two disc deluxe was released in 2002) INXS’s 1992 Album, Welcome To Wherever You Are is my preferred choice for reissue next year.

Kick was a great album, but very much a Faith, or Born In The USA, a runaway train of an album. After experiencing some diminishing returns with the more-of-the-same follow-up X (1990), they wisely decided that a new approach was needed for the next album.

With a new producer, Mark Opitz, on board and the sound of Achtung Baby ringing in their ears, INXS were about to produce their most adventurous, and creatively successful album of their career.

Like U2 with Achtung Baby (an easy, but appropriate comparison), Welcome To Wherever You Are was an attempt to deconstruct the band’s sound, and rebuild what INXS had to offer, as something fresh, new, and exciting. Bored of stadium rock, the new album would contain pulsing beats from the dancefloor, clever use of percussion, horns and orchestration and even some eastern influences thrown in for good measure.

The willingness to change the sound and production of their music was always going to make for interesting listening, but the real success of Welcome To Wherever You Are lies with the quality of the songs. The album really doesn’t contain a weak track and is sequenced brilliantly from the curveball opener that is the sitar and tabla-backed Questions, to the chilly finale of Men and Women.

Taste It, Communication, Not Enough Time, Baby Don’t Cry… so many incredible songs, but each with their own identity and sound, from the classic, breezy pop of Beautiful Girl to the only real ‘rock’ moment, Heaven Sent. Everything is performed with such conviction and nothing is predictable or pedestrian. There are delights and surprises all over the record and it is no exaggeration to claim this is one of the very best rock/pop albums of the 1990s, it really is that good.

One wishes this album had been a cheeky follow-up to Kick, because INXS had the world at their feet at that point. Instead, five years down the line, and a moderately successful follow-up in between, their audience had shrunk somewhat, and, particularly in the US, they simply failed to ‘get’ Welcome To Wherever You Are. Grunge ruled, and the album was probably in the wrong place at the wrong time with its adventurous sonic textures and ‘anything goes’ attitude. The band also chose not to tour the album, feeling as if they needed a break after some punishing schedules from the previous two records. Probably costly, in terms of US promotion and exposure.

In Europe, and particularly the UK, things were quite different. Not only did Welcome To Wherever You Are top the UK album chart, but such was the popularity of the record that five singles were released from it.

The singles kept the album in the charts, and provided fans with many extra tracks on the various formats.

In fact the singles provided 20 non-album tracks including remixes, instrumentals and b-sides. Add to that 5 bonus tracks appended to the 2002 reissue (only one of which is common to both) and that gives you 24 non-album tracks available for a deluxe release. And these are only the tracks we know about.

With this in mind, a deluxe Welcome To Wherever You Are could easily run to 3CDs worth of audio material. Throw in a DVD with promo videos, TV appearances and a documentary and you have what could be a very comprehensive 20th anniversary edition of this superb record.

ALBUM: Welcome To Wherever You Are by INXS
ANNIVERSARY: 20th
WHY REISSUE?: Under appreciated masterpiece, massive amount of non-album material out-of-print

Tomorrow> Day 4> Kate Bush: The Dreaming 

Click below for list of all non-album tracks from Welcome To Wherever You Are

Heaven Sent [CD Single]

  • 1. It Aint Easy
  • 2. 11th Revolution
  • 3. Deepest Red [also on US Not Enough Time]

Heaven Sent [12” Pic Disc]

  • 4. Heaven Sent (Gliding Version)

Baby Don’t Cry [CD Single]

  • 5. Questions Instrumental (Also on US Taste It)
  • 6. Ptar Speaks
  • 7. Baby Don’t Cry (Vocal & Orchestra Mix)

Not Enough Time [CD Single]

  • 8. Not Enough Time (Barcelona LP Fade)
  • 9. Firma Terror

Taste It [CD Single #1]

  • 10. Taste It (12” Youth 12” Mix)
  • 11. Not Enough Time (Ralphi Rosario Mix)
  • 12. Light The Planet

Taste It [CD Single #2]

  • 13. Youth Acapella Mix

Beautiful Girl [CD Single #1]

  • 14. Strange Desire (Original Recording)
  • 15.  In My Living Room [also on US Not Enough Time]
  • 16. Ashtar Speaks

Beautiful Girl [CD Single #2 – Ltd Box]

  • 17. Wishing Well Instrumental
  • 18. Beautiful Girl (Mendelsohn Mix)
  • 19. Underneath The Colours (Chicken Mix)

The Strangest Party (These Are The Times) – Greatest Hits single from 1994

  • 20. Wishing Well (Courier Extended Mix)

2002 Welcome To Wherever You Are Reissue Bonus Tracks

  • 21. The Answer – 4:53
  • 22. Wishing Well (Alternate version) – 3:30
  • 23. All Around (Alternate version) – 3:25
  • 24. The Indian Song – 4:50

Heaven Sent (Waltz version) is also on this reissue but is probably the same as ‘Gliding version’ from Heaven Sent 12” Pic Disc so not counted amongst the 24 bonus tracks (anyone care to confirm this?).

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12 responses to 2012 Reissue wish list / Day 3 / INXS Welcome To Wherever You Are

  1. Steve Marine says:

    I would greatly prefer their album “The Swing” to get the deluxe treatment. I think that album is criminally underrated.

  2. James says:

    All their albums were recently remastered and sound superb. No bonus tracks though. A deluxe issue of Kick is in the works even though it has been reissued on numerous occasions.
    For me, Welcome To Wherever You are was the start of the decline. Couldn’t get into it. A couple of good songs and a whole load of unstructured meanderings.
    Mark Opitz was hardly a new producer. He produced Shabooh Shoobah from 83.

  3. Tuco says:

    Thank you so much for this article. I have long felt Welcome To Wherever You Are is the real INXS masterpiece from their catalog for exactly the same reasons listed here, including the frustration with my fellow Americans that it never got the attention it deserved. INXS isn’t one of my all-time favorite bands, but Welcome To Wherever You Are is one of my all-time favorite albums. A deluxe reissue would be most, well, welcome!

  4. frank says:

    This reminded me of a post over at the New Wave Outpost discussing the recent remasters. Someone quoted an article from Music Week (sorry, I can’t find a link for it there) that states that Kick will be released in Super Deluxe to be followed by (another) career spanning box set by the end of 2012…

    http://www.nwoutpost.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=30939

  5. Gareth says:

    ‘WTWYA’ is their best album in my opinion (and 4 or 5 of their albums are easily in my top 30). I’d like to see all their albums get this treatment as the bsides (mostly solo tracks by band members) reveal another side to them. Some of the remixes are very good too. A live album from the ‘Get Out of the House’ tour would be a welcome addition to the package too (the ‘Live Baby Live’ album was disappointing as some tracks had already been released as bsides). That tour premiered tracks from ‘Full Moon, Dirty Hearts’ and caught them at their best. A deluxe of ‘Full Moon…’ could include the video album too (similar to ‘Savage’). And how about a new release of ‘Listen Like Thieves’ with the almost-released tracks ‘DLT’ and ‘Tell Me’ now included? I’ve never come across them.

  6. Neil says:

    It was remastered back in 2002 with 5 bonus tracks only in America though but it is very easy to pick up. X also also got the deluxe treatment back then as well but that is a lot harder to pick up and expensive. I imagine what everybody wants now is a box set myself included that includes all the b sides, remixes and rare tracks. I see no point in this rumoured deluxe edition of Kick as we had one back in 2005.

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  10. Kick says:

    Welcome to Wherever You Are is a bit of a weird album, but it’s also my fave. It perhaps misses what some of the other INXS albums have, but has a heck of a lot that the other albums are missing.

    Andrew Farris wrote and played most of the stuff on WTWYA. The fact that the band didn’t tour live on this perhaps indicates a general tiredness certainly in Hutchence, as he seemed more willing to be creative with voice rather than simply cruise over the top of a melody with assertive presence.

    Lyrically as well more obscure than the natural, pardon the phrase.. grab the groin of the Kick album (chorus of Taste It aside).

    I guess it has a lot in common with the Opitz produced album Shabooh Shoobah, and had similar sales figures to it in the US. Very textured, and many shades of gray with thin yet bright colors interspersed through the sonic field.

    Communication is the stand out track and they currently play that live (2012).

    And it’s well known the band also thought it was their best album, and perhaps unfairly they thought X was their worst.

  11. Craig says:

    I love Inxs and also think WTWYA is their best overall album but I think Kick had the better singles. I received my Kick 25th Anniversary Edition Deluxe Set yesterday and although it’s not bad it is definitely a missed opportunity especially the dvd which only has about 60 minutes of video on it!

    There is so much live stuff out there from the Kick era, to not put ANY of it on the dvd is a bit of a rip off in my opinion. Have we got to wait for the 30th Anniversary Edition to get more stuff! None of the live songs originally listed have made it onto the dvd!

  12. Stephen says:

    A very late answer to a very important question (just read this article now). I can confirm that the two versions of Heaven Sent are completly different. The Waltz version has both Andrew and Michael on co-lead vocals. The Gliding verion is only Andrew on vocals. Both are wildly different from the final album version.
    Maybe next year for the deluxe edition???

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