Whoever said nostalgia ain't what it used to be obviously wasn't a music fan. The wave of nostalgia for the late Michael Hutchence which broke over the nation in February after the TV mini-series INXS: Never Tear Us Apart was watched by more than 4 million people has also made the band's greatest hits easily the biggest-selling album of the year.
The Very Best by INXS topped the mid-year album chart released by the Australia Recording Industry Association. The album was originally released in 2011 but was number one for seven weeks this year and has now gone triple platinum.
INXS's last number one studio album was X in late 1990. The band split in 2012, 15 years after Hutchence died.
Revival: The original INXS band with Michael Hutchence.
ARIA does not release the actual numbers of records sold, but a spokesperson said INXS placed well ahead of the second-placed Frozen soundtrack, sales of which were surely driven by the Oscar-winning song Let It Go by Idina Menzel.
INXS's Kick was also the 39th biggest-selling record.
Nostalgia was sprinkled throughout the top 50 albums, with 64-year-old Bruce Springsteen's High Hopes the 10th biggest seller (putting the Boss ahead of pop queen Beyonce), Michael Jackson's Xscape (23rd), Australian Crawl's Greatest Hits (41st), plus old-school croons from Robbie Williams, Russell Morris, Michael Buble (who had two albums) and Harrison Craig also featuring. Dolly Parton, Abba, Fleetwood Mac and Cliff Richard hovered just outside the top 50.
No. 1 on the album charts: The Very Best by INXS. Photo: Anthony Johnson
Four Australian acts had songs in the top 10 of the mid-year top 100 singles: Young Brisbane band Sheppard were the best-placed locals with Geronimo (the third biggest-selling single so far this year), Justice Crew's record-breaking Que Sera (fifth), Sia's Chandelier (eighth) and 5 Seconds of Summer's She Looks So Perfect (10th).
Pharrell Williams's ubiquitous Happy was the best-selling single of the year so far, ahead of the more mournful Say Something, by A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera.
Curiously, the biggest song of the summer in the US, Fancy, sung by Australian rapper Iggy Azalea (with Charli XCX) came only 13th so far this year in her home country. Her song Problem (with Ariana Grande) came 20th, despite spending several weeks in the US top five.
Best-selling single of 2014: Happy by Pharrell Williams. Photo: James Brickwood
Her debut album The New Classic fared worse, coming only 40th (compared to its US high point of number three), suggesting Azalea's move to Miami at the age of 16 was a prescient decision.
Overall, 24 singles and 35 albums by Australian artists appeared in the top 100s, which was an increase on this point in the year in 2013.
ARIA chief executive Dan Rosen said: ''The year to date has been remarkable for the success of Australian artists both here and across the globe. It has been a while since we have seen this many Australian artists rise to the top-end of the charts, in particular on the Singles Chart. It is definitely a very exciting time for Australian music fans to cheer on and support our local artists.''