Welcome to Wherever You Are

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For Bon Jovi single of the same name, see Welcome to Wherever You Are (song). For the episode of The West Wing, see Welcome to Wherever You Are (The West Wing).
Welcome to Wherever You Are
Welcometowhereveryouare.jpg
Studio album by INXS
Released 3 August 1992
Recorded 1991–1992 at Rhinoceros Recordings, Sydney, Australia
Genre Alternative rock, pop rock
Length 45:49
Label Atlantic (US)
Mercury Records
East West Records
Producer Mark Opitz, INXS
INXS chronology
X
(1990)
Welcome to Wherever You Are
(1992)
Full Moon, Dirty Hearts
(1993)

Welcome to Wherever You Are is the eighth album by the Australian rock band INXS, which was released on 3 August 1992. With grunge and alternative music breaking into the mainstream, INXS tried to establish a new direction for itself, incorporating sitars, a 60-piece orchestra, and a much more "raw" sound to their music. In its four star review of the album, Q called it "... a far more engaging and heartfelt collection than anything the group has put out in recent memory ... It rocks," and listed it as one of the 50 Best Albums of 1992.

Ultimately, however, with lack of promotion by their label and the band not touring for the album (wanting a break), the record failed to match the success of INXS's two previous albums, Kick and X. Though it still reached number-one in the UK, the band's popularity soon waned. While the single "Baby Don't Cry" was a Top 20 hit in the UK, the album's biggest American hit was "Not Enough Time", which reached No. 2 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart, and stayed there for five consecutive weeks.

In 2002, a remastered version of the album was released that included five previously unreleased tracks.

Further background[edit]

The album was produced by Mark Opitz who was also behind the production of the band's third studio album, Shabooh Shoobah, which was also considered to be a change of direction for the band at the time. Opitz went on to produce the follow-up, Full Moon, Dirty Hearts a year later continuing the band's experimentation with their musical style.

Recording & production[edit]

In late 1991 INXS entered Rhinoceros studios in Sydney, Australia to begin work on their eight studio album. With no time constraints and enough money to make new studio recordings, the band members began writing new material and experimenting with new sounds. Having worked with producer Chris Thomas previously on “Listen Like Thieves”, “Kick” and “X”, they decided to work with producer Mark Opitz again who they worked with on "Shabooh Shoobah" ten years earlier. For this album INXS focused on shifting their musical direction by incorporating a much more “rawer” sound. To achieve this, a variety of techniques were used during production such as stripping down the polished sound that was present on their previous albums with Thomas. Heavier distortion was used on the guitars. Opitz and Hutchence also decided to use heavy distortion on the vocals, an experience that Hutcence enjoyed. In a 1992 radio interview promoting the release of "Welcome to Wherever You Are”, guitarist Tim Farriss recalls the same technique used in producing music in the 1960s – “Sometimes they used to mix the vocal back so the band would sound louder, punchier and harder."[1]

The album also includes the work and sound of the Australian Concert orchestra on the songs “Baby Don’t Cry” and “Men and Women”. The band recorded both tracks live in the studio with the 60-piece orchestra being conducted by Colin Piper and engineered by Neil Sandbach. For the opening track “Questions”, guitarist and saxophonist Kirk Pengilly used a brass horn to compose a Far East sound. Australian singer, Deni Hines was hired to provide backing vocals on the albums third single, "Not Enough Time” as well as “Strange Desire”. The singer would go on to marry Kirk Pengilly one year later.[2] Tim Farriss was absent during most of the recording having suffered with exostosis. Pengilly had to play most of his material. Pengilly himself was recovering from the end of a ten year relationship. Other band members were also going through eventful experiences in their lives including drummer Jon Farriss who was preparing to marry his girlfriend at the time, whom he met the previous year in Los Angeles.[3] Bassist Garry Gary Beers and his wife were awaiting the birth of their second child. In the bands autobiography – INXS: Story to Story, Mark Optiz recalls “The album is very much Andrew, Michael and myself. We didn’t have everyone’s minds on the job because some of them were going through significant things in their personal lives.”[4]

In the midst of recording, the band was approached to headline the Concert for Life, a benefit show staged in Sydney’s Centennial Park on March 28, 1992. The event was held to help raise money for the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Centre and AIDS Patient Services and Research, at St Vincent’s Hospital. More than 62,000 people attended the event with other Australian acts including Crowded House and Jimmy Barnes headlining.[5] Some members from the Australian Concert Orchestra were also present to help INXS preview their new song “Baby Don’t Cry”. The band included two more songs from the new album on their set list, “Taste It” and “All Around”. Upon returning to the studio to finish the rest of the album, the band members decided not to tour in support for "Welcome to Wherever You Are". Instead they came up with the idea of doing another studio album (Full Moon, Dirty Hearts) later in the year, then touring in support for both of them. "Welcome to Wherever You Are" is the first studio album to have all members of INXS share production credits.

Packaging[edit]

Previous designs for INXS releases including “Kick” and “X” were created by visual artist Nick Egan and included strong shots of the band, but for the release of “Welcome to Wherever You Are”, INXS wanted to go for a more artistic and creative theme. A technique known as “situation photography” was used to shoot random pictures for the albums cover art as well as the albums five singles. “Welcome to Wherever You Are” features a different album cover on each format. The most recognised cover art is the design on CD which features the Artane Boys Band from Ireland.[6] Atlantic records also released a limited edition of the album on deluxe digipak. The Vinyl edition featured a black & white picture of a sailor while the cassette cover features a group of boy scouts performing a human pyramid. The new designs were a departure from the group’s previous work with Egan. With INXS missing from the artwork and lack of promotion from the record label, some fans simply wouldn’t recognise the new album in record stores.[7] A few months after the albums release Atlantic re-released the CD edition with new artwork, this time featuring INXS. The re-printed artwork shows the band walking the desert dressed in suits. The shot was an outtake taken from the photo sessions that were included in the album sleeve. Lyrics from all twelve songs were also printed in the album sleeve.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[8]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[9]
Independent (favourable)[10]
Q 4/5 stars[11]

The album was generally positively received by the critics and fans, particularly in Europe and the UK, where it went to the top of Album charts in the UK. The Independent and Q magazine also included the album in their top 10 albums of the year of 1992.[10][11] However, Vic Garbarini, for Rolling Stone, was less positive and felt "this is music that attracts but hasn't the gravity or resonance to hold your attention ... Hutchence seems dissociated from his material, dispassionately competent ... the wealth of musical gifts on the album makes the one-dimensional delivery stand out all the more dramatically".[12]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Andrew Farriss and Michael Hutchence, except where noted. 

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Questions"   Andrew Farriss 2:19
2. "Heaven Sent"   A. Farriss 3:18
3. "Communication"     5:29
4. "Taste It"     3:27
5. "Not Enough Time"     4:26
6. "All Around"     3:30
7. "Baby Don't Cry"   A. Farriss 4:57
8. "Beautiful Girl"   A. Farriss 3:33
9. "Wishing Well"     3:40
10. "Back on Line"   Jon Farriss, Hutchence 3:24
11. "Strange Desire"     4:39
12. "Men and Women"   Hutchence 4:38

Personnel[edit]

Singles[edit]

  1. "Heaven Sent"/"It Ain't Easy" (June 1992)
  2. "Not Enough Time"/"Light the Planet" (August 1992)
  3. "Baby Don't Cry"/"Questions" (September 1992)
  4. "Taste It"/"Light the Planet" (November 1992)
  5. "Beautiful Girl"/"Strange Desire" (remix) (February 1993)

Charts[edit]

Chart (1992) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[13] 2
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[14] 18
Canadian Albums (RPM)[15] 10
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[16] 35
French Albums (SNEP)[17] 31
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[18] 8
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[19] 8
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[20] 3
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[21] 1
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[22] 2
UK Albums (OCC)[23] 1
US Billboard 200[24] 16

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[25] Gold 50,000^
Sweden (GLF)[26] Gold 50,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[27] Gold 25,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[28] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[29] Platinum 1,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ INXS 1992 Radio Interview on 102.7 WEQX
  2. ^ "Kirk Pengilly - Biography - OoCities.
  3. ^ "1992 – Jon Farriss from INXS married actress Leslie Bega. .
  4. ^ INXS: Story to Story (the official autobiography), page 208
  5. ^ "The day INXS rocked Centennial Park".
  6. ^ "Where are they now? INXS’ Artane Boys Band Cover Stars".
  7. ^ "Welcome To Wherever You Are’ 20th Anniversary Today!".
  8. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Welcome to Wherever You Are – INXS". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 10 December 2001. 
  9. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian, eds. (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. p. 406. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  10. ^ a b "Rock / Records: Going public with the personal: Andy Gill listens to INXS discovering The Beatles, and Sophie B Hawkins discovering herself". The Independent (Alexander Lebedev, Evgeny Lebedev). 6 August 1992. Retrieved 10 December 2011. 
  11. ^ a b "1992:Q Magazine Recordings of the Year". Rocklist.net (Julian White). 12 April 2011. Retrieved 10 December 2011. 
  12. ^ Garbarini, Vic (3 September 1992). "INXS: Welcome to Wherever You Are". Rolling Stone. Jann Wenner. Archived from the original on 16 June 2008. Retrieved 10 December 2011. 
  13. ^ "Australiancharts.com – INXS – Welcome to Wherever You Are". Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
  14. ^ "Austriancharts.at – INXS – Welcome to Wherever You Are" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
  15. ^ "100 Albums". RPM 56 (9). 29 August 1992. ISSN 0033-7064. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  16. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – INXS – Welcome to Wherever You Are" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
  17. ^ "Tous les "Chart Runs" des Albums classés depuis 1985 dans le Top Albums Officiel". InfoDisc. Locate INXS under the drop-down menu and click OK. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  18. ^ "Officialcharts.de – Top 100 Longplay". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
  19. ^ "Charts.org.nz – INXS – Welcome to Wherever You Are". Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
  20. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – INXS – Welcome to Wherever You Are". Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
  21. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – INXS – Welcome to Wherever You Are". Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
  22. ^ "Swisscharts.com – INXS – Welcome to Wherever You Are". Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
  23. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
  24. ^ "Welcome to Wherever You Are – INXS: Awards". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  25. ^ "Canadian album certifications – INXS – Welcome to Wherever You Are". Music Canada. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  26. ^ "Gold & Platinum 1987–1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. p. 11. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 May 2012. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  27. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (INXS; 'Welcome to Wherever You Are')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  28. ^ "British album certifications – INXS – Welcome to Wherever You Are". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 7 April 2013.  Enter Welcome to Wherever You Are in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Gold in the field By Award. Click Search
  29. ^ "American album certifications – INXS – Welcome to Wherever You Are". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 7 April 2013.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
Preceded by
The Greatest Hits: 1966–1992 by Neil Diamond
UK number one album
15 August 1992 – 21 August 1992
Succeeded by
We Can't Dance by Genesis