Once Upon a Time in the Top Spot: INXS, WELCOME TO WHEREVER YOU ARE

Thursday, August 15, 2019
welcome to wherever you are

27 years ago today, INXS may not have known wherever they were, but they knew where their eighth studio album was: sitting atop the UK Albums chart.

Co-produced by Mark Optiz and the band, WELCOME TO WHEREVER YOU ARE came together within the walls of Rhinoceros Recordings in Sydney, Australia, and whether you want to call it a reaction to the rise of grunge or simply an instance of a band wanting to try something different, the end result was definitely more raw than anything INXS had ever offered up. Admittedly, the absence of producer Chris Thomas, who had helmed their previous two albums, KICK and X, automatically meant that the band was going to end up with something that sounded less slick, but Optiz – who’d also produced SHABOOH SHOOBAH – actively assisted the band in their desire to experiment with their music.

Both Q Magazine and The Independent named WELCOME TO WHEREVER YOU ARE one of the top 10 albums of 1992, with the latter publication calling it “their best record by some distance, bristling with pop hooks applied in odd directions.” Clearly, UK consumers agreed, given the chart placement of the LP, but Americans were not so easily swayed: the album stalled at #16, and while it did go platinum, its sales were in no way comparable to its predecessor.

That said, WELCOME TO WHEREVER YOU ARE holds up incredibly well, so if you haven’t listened to it recently, consider this the perfect excuse to change that situation.