Most Successful Australian Bands

Most Successful Australian Bands

For a taste of home for all you Aussies Abroad and some bragging rights on some of our homegrown talent we take a look at some of the most successful Australian bands. Australia has koalas with chlamydia, more Kangaroos than people, endless supply of beaches and on top of all this we have some pretty damn good rock bands too. Now there are many Australian bands that are worthy of mention but we are going to look at the four most successful Australian Bands. By the way, this is just our opinion, so if you disagree then get vocal in the comments section below.

Drum Roll Please….

#4 Cold Chisel

Front man Jimmy Barnes fronts this classic Australian pub rock band. Barnes (Barnsey for short) is actually a Scot and was one of the founding members of Chisel when he was 19 year’s old. The band was formed back in 1973 in Adelaide as a heavy metal cover band. If you have never given Cold Chisel a go, then do it. Start with the album the best of Cold Chisel and listen to some classic Australian rock anthems that highlight the working class life of Australians.

Most Successful Australian Bands
The Early Days

Our Favorite Top 10 Tunes

  1. Saturday Night
  2. Breakfast At Sweethearts
  3. Khe Sanh
  4. Bow River
  5. Choir Girl
  6. Cheap Wine
  7. Flame Trees
  8. My Baby
  9. When The Is Over
  10. Star Hotel

 #3 Midnight Oil

Number three for our most successful Australian bands is Midnight Oil, also informally known as the Oils. Lead by front man Peter Garrett, the Oils had a tumultuous relationship with the traditional rock media and developed a strong street cred. Best known for alternative hard rock, their music was very politically orientated which was a new concept in the Australian music scene at the time. The Oils held a strong following in Sydney’s Northern Beaches and Bondi Beach and I remember seeing them in 1991 with my older brother, they had god like cult status around their fans and lead man Peter Garrett was a sight to behold with his tall frame, shaved head and unique stage presence. Peter Garrett later became the Minister For The Environment, Heritage and Arts under Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and was member of the Australian Labour Party from 2004 to 2013. Wow! That’s an impressive career.

Our Favorite Top 10 Tunes

  1. Power And Passion
  2. US Forces
  3. Read About It
  4. Blue Sky Mine
  5. Short Memory
  6. Beds Are Burning
  7. Back On The Borderline
  8. The Dead Heart
  9. Forgotten Years
  10. Dreamworld

 #3 INXS

We choose INXS, lead by charismatic front man Michael Hutchence, as Australia’s second most successful band. INXS also started off as a cover band playing pubs in Western Australia. Initially known for their new wave/pop style, the band later developed a harder pub rock style. INXS actually played support for Midnight Oil in the late 70s and it was a member of the Oils that came up with the name INXS. They initially hit the Australian charts in the early 1980s but they would achieve international success with a series of hit records in the 80s and 90s. Successful albums include Listen Like Thieves, Kicks and X. Sadly, Hutchence was found dead in a Sydney Hotel Suite in 1997. Several guest front men appeared with the band since including Jimmy Barnes, Terence Trent D’arby and Jon Stevens. INXS sold over 50 million records worldwide.       

Most Successful Australian Bands
Kick Album Cover

Our Favorite Top 10 Tunes

  1. Never Tear Us Apart
  2. Need You Tonight
  3. What You Need
  4. Suicide Blonde
  5. Don’t Change
  6. New Sensation
  7. Afterglow
  8. Original Sin
  9. Devil Inside
  10. Listen Like Thieves

 #1 AC/DC

ACDC is not only one of the most successful Australian bands but they are one of the worlds most successful bands. They have sold over 200 Million albums worldwide which puts them on the list of best-selling music artists. The band colloquially known as “Acca Dacca” in Australia started in 1973 at a New year’s eve gig at the Bond Lifesaver Club. They originally had a glam rock image and then later pursued a harder blues rock sound, they are also considered a heavy metal band. Lead guitarist Angus Young wears his signature school uniform that is synonymous will the bands image and its glam rock routes. By October 1974, the band was enjoying success will the album High Voltage with legendary front man Bon Scot.

International success came between 1976 and 1980 but the band briefly considered quitting after the tragic death of Bon Scot. Brian Johnson later replaced Scot and completed the album Back in Black. The album reached number 1 in the UK and number 4 in the US.

Over the year’s the band has had its ups and downs but they still tour worldwide to sellout stadiums. As of April 2016 Axl Rose of Guns ‘n’ Roses joined the band after Johnson suffered hearing issues.

ACDC is the Fifth best-selling band in US history and 10th best artist. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003. They have been touring for over 40 Years.         

Most Successful Australian Bands
Brian Johnson & Angus Young

Our Favorite Top 10 Tunes 

  1. Highway To Hell
  2. Thunderstruck
  3. Its A Long Way To The Top
  4. T.N.T
  5. Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
  6. Back In Black
  7. You Shook Me All Night Long
  8. Hells Bells
  9. Shoot To Thrill
  10. Whole Lotta Rosie

 There you have It

There are so many more successful Australian bands, far too many to mention. If you haven’t listened to Cold Chisel, Midnight Oil, INXS or ACDC I suggest you get acquainted. Go on! Be an Aussie and listen to some of the best pub music ever. If you have any disagreements, question or comments then get vocal in comments section below.

See ya!

4 Replies to “Most Successful Australian Bands”

  1. Dave,
    I will admit that I am only familiar with 3 out of 4 of your selections for most successful Australian bands. I do recall my sister being “in love” with Michael Hutchence. Hard to believe it’s been 20 years already. I will have to go look into Cold Chisel. My nephew is 11 and he’s beginning to enjoy the AC/DC scene. I think shows like Supernatural are helping with that. Which of these 4 are your favorite?

    1. Hi Neil, yeah Cold Chisel get overlooked too often. Give them a go you’ll love them. They are my favorite. Thanks for your comment.

  2. These are all bands I really like. Especially no 1 on your list AC/DC. It is my all time favorite band and I have seen them twice. Once in 1996 in Belgium and 2010 in Sweden where I now live (been to Australia three times)
    The Easybeats with Angus and Malcolm Youngs older brother George Young are good too.
    I have never heard nr 4 on your list, Cold Chisel so I think I will listen to them, I suspect this is something I am going to like as well. Australia does have some good rockbands can you suggest another good bands from Australia?

    1. Hi Jojo. A lot of people haven’t heard of Cold Chisel but i’m sure you will recognize some of their songs. Aussie rock classics. Thanks for dropping by. 

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