When you think of Australia, you think of things like shrimp on the barby, the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and kangaroos. But you also think of great musical artists, in particular the likes of INXS and AC/DC. But there is more to the nation than that, and this list is proof that Australia can churn out hooky songs as fast as it can churn out Vegemite.
“Anything Can Happen,” Finn Brothers (Everyone Is Here)
Really now, could Neil and Tim Finn put anything out there that even remotely sucks? Not a chance.
“Are You Gonna Be My Girl?,” Jet (Get
Everyone knows this song from the iTunes commercial. If that’s what it takes to launch a great band these days, so be it. But these guys rock with such a passion that iTunes merely sped up the band’s inevitable success.
“Hell’s Bells,” AC/DC (Back in Black)
The guitar riff that kicks off this track is becoming one of those recurring anthems at sports arenas to fire up the home team. But mostly, the song is one of this legendary band’s most kickass tracks.
“I Got You,” Split Enz (True Colours)
Split Enz was one of the first bands of the so-called “new wave” movement. In this song, the crunchy Fender guitars and cheesy synthesizer parts go together in a way you wouldn’t necessarily expect – sort of like peanut butter on cheese crackers.
“The Night Owls,” Little River Band (Time
A fixture on the soft rock circuit in the ‘70s and ‘80s, the Little River Band proved that they could also bring the rock when they wanted to with this song.
“Once in a Lifetime,” Keith Urban (Love,
Pain & the Whole Crazy Thing)
From an album that came out while Urban was in rehab in late 2006, this opening track sets the tone for what is Urban’s best effort to date, drunk or not.
“Overkill,” Men at Work (Cargo)
These quirky dudes burst onto the scene in the infant days of MTV with songs like “Who Can It Be Now?” and “Down Under.” But this single from their follow up album is about as close to perfecting the art of writing a pop song as you can get.
“Jimmy,” The Living End (Modern Artillery)
Some Aussies and Brits can hide their accent when they sing. Not lead singer Chris Cheney of the Living End. The fact that you can make out his accent probably means that you couldn’t understand a bloody word he’s saying when he speaks.
“Turn and Run,” Neil Finn (One All)
Did Neil Finn actually make this list three times? Well, I defy anyone to tell me why he doesn’t deserve it.
“To The Moon and Back,” Savage Garden (Savage
Okay, this is one of those electro pop bands like Erasure that, if you listen to them and like them, people immediately question your sexual orientation. Well, I like women and I like this song. And my tastes have no problem co-existing.
“Don’t Change,” INXS (Shabooh Shoobah)
I know I’ve said this before but it bears repeating. This band was so far ahead of its time, and they flat-out fucking rocked.
“Reptile,” The Church (Starfish)
This was the album that put the Church on the map, though they were never exactly a household name. But those of you that, um, worshiped these guys in the ‘80s will instantly recognize this song.
“Songbird,” Bernard Fanning (Tea & Sympathy)
Powderfinger front man Bernard Fanning released his first solo effort in 2006 and “Fanning” is both close alphabetically to “Finn” as Bernard is musically to Neil and Tim. Okay, that might be a stretch, but it’s damn good.
“Pleasure and Pain,” The Divinyls (What
Every guy with even the slightest bit of testosterone will picture busty lead singer Christina Amphlett at the mention of this band. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
“Everybody’s Laughing,” Alex Lloyd (Watching
I’m going to reference the Finn brothers a fifth time, because Alex Lloyd has elements of Crowded House in his music. But he also grew up idolizing the Beatles. Need I say that his stuff is really good?