INXS 1991 Wembley Concert Film Coming to Theaters

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INXS’s legendary 1991 Wembley Stadium concert is coming to theaters for the first time. The show, INXS Live Baby Live, has been fully restored from the original 35mm print to create a new widescreen 4K Ultra HD version, and the film also now includes a previously unseen “lost” track and a brand new Dolby Atmos audio mix by the band’s executive music producer Giles Martin and Sam Okell, created at Abbey Road Studios.

The concert film is not to be confused with the upcoming release of the new documentary, Mystify: Michael Hutchence, from director Richard Lowenstein, which arrives on Jan. 7, 2020.

INXS Live Baby Live will be in theaters in Australia and New Zealand from November 14, North and South America from December 9, and internationally from November 27. Check for local listings.

Watch the trailer of a band at its peak

Originally formed in 1977, INXS‘ career spans 40+ years, during which they have sold over 50 million records worldwide, including #1 albums in four different continents.

1991 had been a spectacular year for INXS. Their album X had been on the charts for eight months, going double platinum in the U.S. and platinum in the U.K. The band won two Brit Awards, played a record-breaking run of shows in Australia, headlined Rock In Rio, and a sold-out U.S. tour. Then came July 13, 1991.

A photo from the 1991 Wembley Stadium concert, via INXS’s Facebook page

Five years and a day since the band supported Queen at Wembley Stadium, INXS headlined their own show at the famed venue to a sell-out crowd of more than 73,000 fans with support from Jellyfish, Roachford, Jesus Jones, Deborah Harry, and the Hothouse Flowers. The event, called “Summer XS,” was immortalized in the best-selling long-form video, Live Baby Live, directed by David Mallet, and partly by the album of the same name.

From the September 24 announcement: 28 years later, the film has been restored over a six-month period from the original 35mm negative to 4K Ultra HD for the widescreen, which was created by going through the film shot-by-shot and repositioning every one to get the best out of the frame. The audio is now presented in full Dolby Atmos. The restoration process unveiled a “lost” performance which was not included in the original releases – “Lately” from the X album.

INXS’ long-time manager Chris M. Murphy had spent a decade scouring the world trying to locate the original 35mm film cans to produce this result. The missing canisters were ultimately found in Australia.

Murphy said: “When you’re working on a project for so long, there’s the fear ‘What’s everyone going to think?’ That turns into astonishment. Watching it back Michael is better than even I thought he was – how he managed the stage. His voice became more powerful as the gig went along. It was extraordinary to watch – the crowd and band were as one.”

INXS’ Tim Farriss said: “We were just six blokes from Australia that treated Wembley Stadium like just another pub gig, we went it in with a PA and a few lights and played our asses off. No ego ramps, no back-up singers, no props, no grand pianos etc, just the six of us….and the audience went nuts! That’s all we needed!”

On returning to the original live multi-tracks to create the new Dolby Atmos mix, Giles Martin said “This new mix of Live Baby Live captures one of the biggest global sensations at the height of their powers. The sheer scale of seeing an audience moving as one to the music is mesmerizing. Working on the film took me back to a time where an audience completely connects with a band without holding up any phones, and the energy in the stadium is mind blowing.”

[In 2018, Martin reached an agreement to provide a creative overview on all audio aspects of upcoming INXS developments, including the reimagining of the band’s catalog through “a dynamic and entirely unique live theatre show” and their forthcoming repackaged, remixed and expanded studio albums, to be released via Universal Music Group in partnership with Petrol Records.]

The recording of the legendary Wembley show almost didn’t happen. With only days to go before the band were due to play the stadium, Murphy came up with the plan.

Murphy rallied all of his contacts in London to raise the money to film the Wembley show. Director David Mallet, who had worked with Pink Floyd and David Bowie, accepted the task but needed 17 cameras and a helicopter for the shoot.

A special edition of the Live Baby Live Wembley 1991 soundtrack will be announced in the coming weeks.

Watch the trailer for the 2019 documentary film, Mystify: Michael Hutchence

Related: Our story on the band’s 1987 smash album, Kick

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