Thursday, October 28, 2010

AC/DC: “Back In Black” named #2 Australian album

Bring on the debates: there’s another “Best Albums” list.

“The Top 100 Best Australian Albums” is a new book by three Aussie music industry vets: Toby Creswell and Craig Mathieson, two of Australia's most respected rock journalists, and John O'Donnell, the record industry head who signed Silverchair.

Covering music from the past 50 years, it’s reportedly the first time a list like this has made it into book form.

"Toby and I have been having this argument between ourselves for 22 years," O’Donnell told the Sydney Morning Herald. "And Craig joined in on the argument about 15 years ago. We just thought it was time we shared it with everyone else.”

"I think Australian contemporary music deserves to be celebrated more than it has been. I think we have a body of work that warrants it," O'Donnell told The Age.

"One thing I would say about lists,"
added Creswell, “is that they are moveable and plastic feasts. This isn't Moses coming down with 10 commandments, it's three music fans. Having said that, I think we paid our dues and these are informed opinions."

So, how does it shape up?

Naturally, like all countries, there are artists who made an impact at home but never really caught on abroad; this explains the bands you’ve never heard of…but don’t let that turn you off looking into them further, because you might find something you like.

In terms of international status, Midnight Oil comes in the top spot with 1988’s “Diesel and Dust,” which produced “Beds Are Burning,” “The Dead Heart” and “Dreamworld,” among others.

"When I was 14, I didn't know what was going on with Midnight Oil's "10 to 1" but it was apparent a lot of switches had been tripped in my brain," says Mathieson. “People often spoke of Australia being an alien place and that album is alien as well. Is it more Australian now? I think so."

O'Donnell agrees but adds: “I really don't think it matters. I can argue that the Avalanches' "Since I Left You" could have come from anywhere on this planet, or more precisely nowhere on this planet. And I don't think Sarah Blasko's album "As Day Follows Night" (#19) comes from anywhere other than her heart.”

International superstars AC/DC hit #2 with “Back In Black,” while “Highway To Hell” shows up in 50th spot.

Beyond that, you can expect multiple entries from big names like INXS (11,56) and Crowded House (3, 71), as well as doubles from Cold Chisel (4, 53), You Am I (8, 55), the Go-Betweens (12, 87), Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (26, 83), Paul Kelly (7, 66), the Saints (20, 41), and The Church (33, 77).

My Aussie faves, The Hoodoo Gurus, show up twice…with their 1983 debut, “Stoneage Romeos” at #28, and the follow-up, 1985’s “Mars Need Guitars” at #60. I recommend any Gurus to anyone at anytime, and have since I first played them in college radio, when those albums were new releases.

Let the debates begin…

The Top 100 Best Australian Albums

01. Midnight Oil - Diesel and Dust
02. AC/DC - Back in Black
03. Crowded House - Woodface
04. Cold Chisel - Circus Animals
05. The Triffids - Born Sandy Devotional
06. Easybeats - The Best Of
07. Paul Kelly and the Coloured Girls - Gossip
08. You Am I - Hi Fi Way
09. Skyhooks - Living in the 70's
10. Avalanches - Since I Left You
11. INXS - Kick
12. Go-Betweens - 16 Lovers Lane
13. Radio Birdman - Radio Appears
14. Daddy Cool - Daddy Who? Daddy Cool!
15. Richard Clapton - Goodbye Tiger
16. Bee Gees - Best of
17. The Birthday Party - Junkyard
18. Hunters & Collectors - Human Frailty
19. Sarah Blasko - As Day Follows Night
20. The Saints - I'm Stranded
21. Drones – Gala Mill
22. Split Enz – True Colours
23. Midnight Oil – 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1
24. Slim Dusty - The Very Best of
25. Silverchair – Neon Ballroom
26. Nick Cave Bad Seeds – The Boatman’s Call
27. Regurgitator – Unit
28. Hoodoo Gurus – Stoneage Romeos
29. Empire of the Sun – Walking on a Dream
30. Gurrumul – Gurrumul
31. Kasey Chambers – Barricades & Brickwall
32. Johnny O’Keefe – The Wild One
33. The Church – Starfish
34. The Reels – Quasimodo’s Dream
35. Master’s Apprentices – Master's Apprentices
36. Savage Garden – Savage Garden
37. Sunnyboys – Sunnyboys
38. Kev Carmody & Various Artists – Cannot Buy My Soul
39. Something For Kate – Echolalia
40. Stephen Cummings – Lovetown
41. The Saints – Prehistoric Sounds
42. Australian Crawl – The Boys Light Up
43. Powderfinger – Odyssey No. 5
44. Mental as Anything – Cats & Dogs
45. Eddy Current Suppression Ring – Rush To Relax
46. Models – Pleasure of Your Company
47. Augie March – Moo, You Bloody Choir
48. The Missing Links – The Missing Links
49. Ed Kuepper – Honey Steel's Gold
50. AC/DC – Highway to Hell
51. The Sports – Don’t Throw Stones
52. The Seekers – Greatest Hits
53. Cold Chisel – East
54. Underground Lovers – Leaves Me Blind
55. You Am I – Hourly, Daily
56. INXS – The Swing
57. The Living End – The Living End
58. Jimmy Barnes – For the Working Class Man
59. Russell Morris – Wings of an Eagle
60. Hoodoo Gurus – Mars Needs Guitars
61. The Presets – Apocalypso
62. The Dingoes – The Dingoes
63. The Cruel Sea – The Honeymoon is Over
64. The Angels – Face to Face
65. The Hummingbirds – loveBUZZ
66. Paul Kelly – Foggy Highway
67. Chain – Towards the Blues
68. Dragon – O Zambesi
69. Billy Thorpe & the Aztecs – Live at Sunbury
70. The Scientists – Blood Red River
71. Crowded House – Temple of Low Men
72. Died Pretty – Doughboy Hollow
73. Axiom – Fool’s Gold
74. Bob Evans – Suburban Songbook
75. Dirty 3 – Oceans Songs
76. Renee Geyer – Ready to Deal
77. The Church – The Blurred Crusade
78. The Vines – Highly Evolved
79. John Farnham – Whispering Jack
80. The Loved Ones – Magic Box
81. Sleepy Jackson – Lovers
82. Bliss N Eso – Flying Colours
83. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Tender Prey
84. Tex, Don + Charlie – Sad But True
85. Icehouse – Flowers
86. Missy Higgins – The Sound of White
87. Go-Betweens – Before Hollywood
88. Normie Rowe – Ain’t Necessarily So
89. Jet – Get Born
90. Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band - Smoke Dreams
91. Ben Lee – Awake is the New Sleep
92. Rose Tattoo – Rose Tattoo
93. I’m Talking – Bear Witness
94. X – X-Aspirations
95. Beaches – Beaches
96. Baby Animals – Baby Animals
97. Bernard Fanning - Tea & Sympathy
98. Kylie Minogue – Fever
99. Men at Work – Business As Usual
100. Morning of the Earth – Soundtrack

Midnight Midnight Oil

Midnight Oil – Beds Are Burning (1988)


AC/DC – Back In Black (1980)


Hoodoo Hoodoo Gurus

Hoodoo Gurus – Bittersweet (1985)


Hoodoo Gurus – Like Wow–Wipeout (1985)