Michael Hutchence fans have mourned the Australian star of internationally acclaimed rock group INXS for almost eight years now, following the death of the lead singer in November, 1997.
Michael Hutchence initially rose to fame with Australian rock group INXS before moving to a solo career. As Rolling Stone reported, Michael Hutchence had become obsessed with a breakaway British band, Black Grape, so when it was time for him to begin work on his solo album, Michael Hutchence reached out to Danny Saber, who was the producer for Black Grape. In a recent interview, Danny Saber spoke about Michael Hutchence’s fondness for Black Grape, and especially their debut single “It’s Great When You’re Straight… Yeah”.
“Bono told me they could always hear him cranking Black Grape coming up the hill. They knew it was him from three miles away.”
Michael Hutchence and Danny Saber, together with Gang of Four‘s Andy Gill, began working on Michael Hutchence’s self-titled solo album. The album was almost ready for release in late 1997, but the plans were halted when Michael Hutchence tragically passed away in November, 1997. Danny Saber spoke about why it took so long for Michael Hutchence’s solo album to be released following his death.
“It was pretty much done when he died. It just needed to be mixed. It took about a year before I could even listen to it or think about it.”
Even following the eventual release of the self-titled Michael Hutchence album, Danny Saber took another few years before he was ready to pour through Michael Hutchence’s other recordings. In amongst them, he found a demo for a song called “Friction,” which had come out of a writing session all those years ago.
“It was a fully formed song and it was all laid out. I just came back and tried to make it into something. Sonically, I know Michael would have loved it.”
The newly released Michael Hutchence song can be streamed for free, or can be downloaded along with the purchase of a QR code-enabled t-shirt.
As Icon vs Icon reported, this new single is the first Michael Hutchence solo recording to be released in fifteen years.
Danny Saber also commented on Michael Hutchence’s reputation in the music industry, and the doors that were opened to him simply by his association with Michael Hutchence.
“When it comes to being a frontman, there was nobody better at it than him. When I was working on his solo record, I met Jagger through him and I met Bono through him. The fact that I was working with Michael gave me so much credibility with them. They all watched him, especially Bono. He sort of got written off into this tabloid-y guy, and it’s not quite right.”
He also commented that he hoped the release of this new song, almost eight years after Michael Hutchence’s death, will lead to a renewed interest in Michael Hutchence and his work.
For Michael Hutchence fans, we have unearthed footage of Michael Hutchence’s final rehearsal with INXS, recorded on November 21, 1997. Michael Hutchence passed away in a Sydney hotel room the very next day: November 22, 1997.
[Photo: Getty Images]