Standing at the Limit of an Endless Ocean
December 5, 2021 7:25 PM   Subscribe

Rolling Stone Australia has released its list of the 200 Greatest Australian Albums of All Time.

It feels like its been a little while since Metafilter discussed a pop cultural listing.

The list stretches from 1965 to 2021, and the magazine claims to have drawn on more than 800 industry figures, journalists, producers and artists to compile the final list based on the cultural and critical impact of each record.

Jump to the top 20.

For those who just want the list without the commentary:
1 AC/DC Back in Black
2 INXS Kick
3 John Farnham Whispering Jack
4 Cold Chisel East
5 Midnight Oil Diesel and Dust
6 Silverchair Frogstomp
7 Crowded House Crowded House
8 The Avalanches Since I Left You
9 Savage Garden Savage Garden
10 Kylie Minogue Fever
11 You Am I Hourly, Daily
12 Tame Impala Currents
13 Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds Murder Ballads
14 Regurgitator Unit
15 The Go-Betweens 16 Lovers Lane
16 Powderfinger Odyssey Number Five
17 5 Seconds of Summer 5 Seconds of Summer
18 Powderfinger Internationalist
19 Midnight Oil 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
20 Dr G. Yunupingu Gurrumul
21 Sia 1000 Forms of Fear
22 Silverchair Diorama
23 The Saints (I'm) Stranded
24 The Whitlams Eternal Nightcap
25 Hoodoo Gurus Stoneage Romeos
26 Skyhooks Living in The 70's
27 Midnight Oil Blue Sky Mining
28 Flowers Icehouse
29 AC/DC Highway to Hell
30 Jet Get Born
31 Flume Flume
32 INXS The Swing
33 Paul Kelly Post
34 Dirty Three Ocean Songs
35 Archie Roach Charcoal Lane
36 Rowland S Howard Teenage Snuff Film
37 The Living End The Living End
38 Crowded House Woodface
39 Paul Kelly and The Messengers Gossip
40 Wolfmother Wolfmother
41 Eddy Current Suppression Ring Primary Colours
42 Cold Chisel Circus Animals
43 The Presets Apocalypso
44 The Triffids Born Sandy Devotional
45 Kasey Chambers Barricades & Brickwalls
46 Silverchair Freak Show
47 Hilltop Hoods The Hard Road
48 Gotye Like Drawing Blood
49 Jimmy Barnes Soul Deep
50 The Church Starfish
51 Radio Birdman Radios Appear
52 Powderfinger Vulture Street
53 Killing Heidi Reflector
54 The John Butler Trio Grand National
55 Something for Kate Echolalia
56 Grinspoon New Detention
57 Hoodoo Gurus Mars Needs Guitars!
58 Divinyls What A Life!
59 Jimmy Barnes For the Working Class Man
60 AC/DC Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
61 Cut Copy In Ghost Colours
62 A.B. Original Reclaim Australia
63 Men At Work Business As Usual
64 Tame Impala InnerSpeaker
65 The Drones Wait Long By The River and The Bodies of Your Enemies Will Float By
66 Silverchair Neon Ballroom
67 Eskimo Joe Black Fingernails, Red Wine
68 The Loved Ones Magic Box
69 Hunters & Collectors Human Frailty
70 Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds The Boatman's Call
71 Icehouse Man of Colours
72 Spiderbait Ivy and The Big Apples
73 The Birthday Party Junkyard
74 TISM Machiavelli and The Four Seasons
75 You Am I Hi Fi Way
76 Jebediah Slightly Odway
77 Regurgitator Tu-Plang
78 Billy Thorpe and The Aztecs Live! At Sunbury
79 Missy Higgins The Sound of White
80 King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard Nonagon Infinity
81 Sunnyboys Sunnyboys
82 The Missing Links The Missing Links
83 The Beasts of Bourbon The Low Road
84 Crowded House Temple of Low Men
85 Parkway DriveHorizons
86 Kasey Chambers The Captain
87 Vance Joy Dream Your Life Away
88 Paul Dempsey Everything Is True
89 Gang of Youths The Positions
90 Hilltop Hoods The Calling
91 Gotye Making Mirrors
92 Australian Crawl The Boys Light Up
93 Empire of The Sun Walking on A Dream
94 Custard Loverama
95 Ben Lee Awake Is the New Sleep
96 Died Pretty Doughboy Hollow
97 Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds Ghosteen
98 Augie March Moo, You Bloody Choir
99 The Kid LAROI F*CK LOVE
100 Sampa the Great The Return
101 The Whitlams Love This City
102 TISM Great Truckin' Songs of The Renaissance
103 Paul Kelly and The Messengers Under the Sun
104 Magic Dirt Friends in Danger
105 Sarah Blasko What the Sea Wants, the Sea Will Have
106 Grinspoon Guide to Better Living
107 The Cruel Sea The Honeymoon Is Over
108 The Fauves Future Spa
109 Flume Skin
110 Sarah Blasko As Day Follows Night
111 Delta Goodrem Innocent Eyes
112 Yothu Yindi Tribal Voice
113 The Easybeats It's 2 Easy
114 Courtney Barnett Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
115 The Vines Highly Evolved
116 Dirty Three Horse Stories
117 The Go-Betweens Before Hollywood
118 The Cat Empire The Cat Empire
119 Tame Impala Lonerism
120 Tina Arena Don't Ask
121 Gang of Youths Go Farther in Lightness
122 RFS DU SOL Bloom
123 The Mark of Cain Ill at Ease
124 The Avalanches Wildflower
125 Something for Kate Beautiful Sharks
126 Frente!Marvin the Album
127 Pendulum Immersion
128 Baby Animals Baby Animals
129 Hiatus KaiyoteTawk Tomahawk
130 Tash Sultana Flow State
131 Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds Skeleton Tree
132 Bernard Fanning Tea & Sympathy
133 Silverchair Young Modern
134 Angus & Julia Stone Down the Way
135 The Angels Face to Face
136 AC/DC Powerage
137 Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds Tender Prey
138 Sia We Are Born
139 Adalita Adalita
140 Royal Headache High
141 Pete Murray Feeler
142 Boy & Bear Moonfire
143 Frenzal Rhomb A Man's Not a Camel
144 The Masters Apprentices The Masters Apprentices
145 Thelma Plum Better in Blak
146 The Scientists Blood Red River
147 The Saints Prehistoric Sounds
148 Ratcat Blind Love
149 Sampa the Great Birds and The BEE9
150 The Cat Empire Two Shoes
151 CloudsPenny Century
152 The Living End State of Emergency
153 Died Pretty Free Dirt
154 The Hummingbirds loveBUZZ
155 The Drones Gala Mill
156 Tex, Don & Charlie Sad, But True
157 Sticky Fingers Land of Pleasure
158 Keith Urban Golden Road
159 Art of Fighting Wires
160 Rose Tattoo Rose Tattoo
161 ModelsThe Pleasure of Your Company...
162 I'm Talking Bear Witness
163 Guy Sebastian Armageddon
164 Chet Faker Built on Glass
165 PNAU PNAU
166 The Superjesus Sumo
167 Children Collide The Long Now
168 Amy Shark Love Monster
169 Troye Sivan Bloom
170 Josh Pyke Memories & Dust
171 The Sports Don't Throw Stones
172 Violent Soho Hungry Ghost
173 Bliss n Eso Flying Colours
174 The John Butler Trio Sunrise Over Sea
175 Machine Gun Fellatio Paging Mr. Strike
176 X X-Aspirations
177 Richard Clapton Goodbye Tiger
178 The Panics Cruel Guards
179 The Temper Trap Conditions
180 George Polyserena
181 RVG A Quality of Mercy
182 Mental As Anything Cats & Dogs
183 Renée Geyer Ready to Deal
184 The Reels Quasimodo's Dream
185 Karnivool Themata
186 Iggy Azalea The New Classic
187 The Dingoes The Dingoes
188 Private Function St. Anger
189 Normie Rowe & The Playboys It Ain't Necessarily So But It Is... Normie Rowe
190 Flight Facilities Down to Earth
191 GerlingWhen Young Terrorists Chase the Sun
192 Dr G. Yunupingu Djarimirri (Child of The Rainbow)
193 Stephen Cummings Lovetown
194 Daddy Cool Daddy Who? Daddy Cool
195 The Amity Affliction Let the Ocean Take Me
196 Dean Lewis A Place We Knew
197 Chain Toward the Blues
198 Lime Cordiale 14 Steps to A Better You
199 I Killed the Prom Queen Music for The Recently Deceased
200 The Teskey Brothers Run Home Slow

Don't like that list? Try Creswell, Mathieson and O'Donnell's 110 Best Australian Albums, as compiled in 2017.
posted by jjderooy (77 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
I really wish Courtney Barnett were waaaaay higher.
posted by glaucon at 7:51 PM on December 5, 2021 [8 favorites]


more Ed Kuepper
posted by ovvl at 8:00 PM on December 5, 2021 [2 favorites]


What, no Real Life?
posted by microscone at 8:01 PM on December 5, 2021 [2 favorites]


That sure is an Australian list. Not being Australian, I had to go all the way to 137 (counting from the bottom) before I got to an album I've actually owned.
posted by feckless at 8:02 PM on December 5, 2021


I Cmd-F'd 'severed heads' even though I should have known better.
posted by mikelynch at 8:04 PM on December 5, 2021 [6 favorites]


Ctrl–f 'Black Sorrows'
Ctrl–f 'Vika and Linda'

[raises an eyebrow, extremely gen X-ly]
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 8:05 PM on December 5, 2021 [6 favorites]


Happy to see the Presets tho. They're on my very short list of bands that went from "opening band, who are these weirdos, surely this will be dreadful" to "this is the best thing I've ever heard, who are these weirdos, we're buying all their albums" one song into their set.
posted by feckless at 8:06 PM on December 5, 2021 [1 favorite]


Ctrl-F "The Chats"
posted by ivan ivanych samovar at 8:09 PM on December 5, 2021 [4 favorites]


I'm only familiar with about 3/4 of the artists and 18 of the top 20. It's pretty hard to argue with a list that includes a higher proportion of all Australian albums over that period than I think is ideal and maybe a top 100 list would have been easier to consider for a non-expert such as me (which I guess the list isn't intended for). I would have put The Teskey Brothers in a top 100, but the experts only have them at 200. Other than that, it's a list that could be the starting point for a pretty awesome party playlist.
posted by dg at 8:10 PM on December 5, 2021


I would further propose, in deadly earnest, that while definitely famous and influential, AC/DC are only the second most famous and influential Australian band of all time, behind The Wiggles.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 8:15 PM on December 5, 2021 [6 favorites]


Karnivool, yes; Themata, no; #185, come ON man!

Sound Awake.
posted by jmfitch at 8:23 PM on December 5, 2021 [1 favorite]


Ctrl-F Darren Hanlon

In view of the season, here's "Spend Christmas Day with Me" (or evidently Dec. 19 if you're in Melbourne)
posted by Wobbuffet at 8:30 PM on December 5, 2021 [1 favorite]


Ironically the song referenced in the title, Icehouse's "Great Southern Land" (which I love) is not actually in the Icehouse albums listed. Makes me nostalgic for the 5 years I lived there....
posted by microscone at 8:34 PM on December 5, 2021 [4 favorites]


Not having the Bee Gees, even in the bottom of the list, is some bullshit. At least the second list will allow for their sixties greatest hits album. Someone at Oz RS is still defiantly sporting a very tattered "Disco Sux" T-shirt.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:58 PM on December 5, 2021 [11 favorites]


We were about to go to sleep, but now we are just repeatedly screaming "fuck OFF" at our screens as we go through this.
posted by retrograde at 9:29 PM on December 5, 2021 [4 favorites]


Needs more Go-Betweens & the Church, and they really should have found room for the Cannanes.
And the Lucksmiths. And the Cat’s Miaow and Sugargliders and Autohaze and the Someloves and the Crystal Set and Pop Singles and Sleepy Township and…
posted by otters walk among us at 10:22 PM on December 5, 2021 [6 favorites]




Interesting that H+Cs so far down the list.
Also reminds me how long it has been since I lived in Australia and listened to Triple J as there were bands on the top 20 who I had not heard. But overall an okay list.
posted by Megami at 11:10 PM on December 5, 2021 [1 favorite]


Did Sugargliders ever release an album? I only had EPs and singles.
posted by pompomtom at 11:32 PM on December 5, 2021


I'm shocked that Diesel and Dust isn't number one, and Highway to Hell is better than Back in Black, plus AC/DC still had their original singer for that album.
posted by Beholder at 12:03 AM on December 6, 2021 [3 favorites]


Ctrl+F Dick Diver

I don't hope for anybody to agree with me but I'd put The Ocean Party's The Oddfellow's Hall on this list

but most importantly, Jet's Get Born, which nobody has listened to since it was released or could name a single song off except if, and I don't know why you would, they cast their mind back to the interminable, demoralising political gridlock of the Howard years and heard Are You Gonna Be My Girl wafting out of a radio, higher than both the Dirty Three's turbulent Ocean Songs and and Eddy Current's immortal and unflawed Primary Colours? this is an outrage
posted by trotzdem_kunst at 12:50 AM on December 6, 2021 [3 favorites]


No love for Craig McLachlan & Check 1 2? Or Daryl Braithwaite?
posted by acb at 2:39 AM on December 6, 2021


I'm not even a fan of The Bee Gees and I'm surprised by their absence here. And I'm personally disappointed by the absence of feedtime's first album, though I'll admit it's a kind of harsh that doesn't sit well with many people.

Other than that I guess I'm surprised by how many of these I've heard, considering I've never actively sought out Aussie music.
posted by ardgedee at 3:52 AM on December 6, 2021 [4 favorites]


I listened to "Starfish" like a week or two ago, and still here plenty of these albums coming into my headphones.

(But am I properly appreciating great music, or stuck on the tracks of my youth? Doesn't matter!)
posted by wenestvedt at 3:53 AM on December 6, 2021 [1 favorite]


I'm glad I went through page by page before checking this thread and seeing the whole list at once, it made it more dramatic. I kept notes [as a Gen Xer who left Oz in 2001 but has kept up with later music]...

So I get to 120-101 and am thinking, "Still no Hoodoo Gurus, still no Oils, still no Crowded House, still no You Am I," so this is either looking promising or exasperating... oh look, here's "The Honeymoon is Over" by the Cruel Sea at 107, an amazing album, so the rest must be pretty shit-hot. Hang on, TISM at 102 over the Cruel Sea? Over the Clouds' "Penny Century" way back at 151?

Crowded House at 84, and it's the difficult second album - interesting. You Am I at 75, "Hi Fi Way", at the time considered their best... hmmm. TISM again at 74, over "Hi Fi Way"? Ooh, Icehouse at 71, and not their best either. Men at Work at 63, and it is their best.. okay. Cut Copy at 61: it's fine, but no better than some we've already seen.

Divinyls at 58, "What a Life": fair, because that implies their best is still up there [Note: It wasn't]. Hoodoo Gurus at 57, not their best yet. First Powderfinger sighting at 52, so "Internationalist" must be right up there [It was]. The Church's "Starfish" at 50, so I guess that's it for them. Getting surprisingly invested in this... Cold Chisel at 42, which can't be the only one of theirs. There isn't going to be room for all of my favourite Oz albums in the forty-odd remaining.

"Woodface" at 38. Okay, so Crowded House's debut will be top twenty if not ten, and they aren't rating their excellent fourth album "Together Alone".

INXS's "The Swing" at 33 - man, that's the first INXS as well, so where are the rest? And where's Midnight Oil?

Flowers' "Icehouse" at 28: that's more like it, and that must mean "Primitive Man" is still to come [Nope]. Midnight Oil's "Blue Sky Mining" at 27: great album but not their biggest landmark, so they must have at least three to come [Nope, only two].

"Stoneage Romeos" at 25? The top 24 had better be stellar. Number 24 isn't better than that! I mean, it's fine, but come on.

Sia at 21: fair enough, a great pop album.

"10, 9, 8..." at 19. Ooookay I suppose. "Internationalist" at 18. "Hourly Daily" at 11. Okay. Kylie at 10 seems fair. Skipping lightly past Savage Garden... Avalanches at 8. Crowded House's debut at 7. Never got into Silverchair myself, but RS loved "Frogstomp" at the time, so 6 is understandable. "Diesel and Dust" only at 5? Chisel, yep. Farnsey - yeah, I guess it would be. "Kick", obvious in hindsight. AC/DC, ditto.

No Midnight Juggernauts' "Dystopia", no Underground Lovers' "Rushall Station" or "Leaves Me Blind", only one Angels album so no "Two Minute Warning", no "Desperate" by the Divinyls, no "Red Sails in the Sunset" or "Redneck Wonderland" by the Oils.

All in all, a combination of the obvious and the baffling. Your usual RS list, then.
posted by rory at 4:23 AM on December 6, 2021 [8 favorites]


Some meat'n'potatoes Aussie Rock as is to be expected, leavened with some JJJ OzGrunge, occasionally scraping the bottom of the barrel to dredge up some filler (George? Really?) and throwing in the entire back-catalogue of various bands (I mean, Tame Impala are good but they're not that good) as if there were nothing else out there.

Some acts missing in action: Gersey, The Paradise Motel, Ninetynine, Montero, Architecture In Helsinki, Underground Lovers, Boxcar, The Lucksmiths. Any of those would, in a just universe, fit above, say, the blue-singlet-and-rat-tail-mullet bodgie-revivalism of Eddy Current Suppression Ring
posted by acb at 4:32 AM on December 6, 2021 [2 favorites]


I'm not even a fan of The Bee Gees and I'm surprised by their absence here.

I see your point, but the Gibb brothers were already on a boat back to England at the time they first had an Australian hit, and their Australian-recorded albums were hardly as impactful as what was to come, so it doesn't seem entirely unreasonable. There's no way you'd call "Saturday Night Fever" an Australian album, for example. I don't know if I'd call them an English band either: they're an international band, really.

In the same way, I can forgive the complete absence of Split Enz, even though they recorded many of their albums in Australia and were huge there, because they were a New Zealand band. (But then, this is a list of Australian albums... in which case, Time and Tide should be top five, Rolling Stone. Named "Best Australian Album" at the 1982 Countdown Music Awards, yet. None more Gen-X-iconic!)
posted by rory at 4:39 AM on December 6, 2021 [3 favorites]


The Simpletons.
posted by nickmark at 5:05 AM on December 6, 2021 [1 favorite]


Ranking Siverchair anywhere near the top makes this list immediate nonsense.
posted by aspersioncast at 5:17 AM on December 6, 2021 [4 favorites]


I'm just happy that Tame Impala "Currents" is in the Top 20. One of my favorites and a really brilliant album.
posted by packfan88c at 5:17 AM on December 6, 2021


> I can forgive the complete absence of Split Enz, even though they recorded many of their albums in Australia and were huge there, because they were a New Zealand band.

Heh. I was scratching my head over why Crowded House was on the list at all because I'd assumed they were a New Zealand band. A quick check of Wikipedia set me straight, saying they started in Melbourne and they're all Australian aside from the Finn bros. Since Wikipedia is the repository of all human knowledge I'll have to concede that one.
posted by ardgedee at 5:28 AM on December 6, 2021 [2 favorites]


Good to see Rolling Stone is consistent across continents. Gonna get banned from every bar forever but AC/DC just aren’t very good. Silverchair have some truly great records; Frogstomp, which is the second CD I ever bought, at the tender age of 12 (i.e. three years younger than they were when they cut it) is certainly not one of them. Lol The Vines.

I am embarrassed to admit that my mind is blanking on other Australian musicians that should be on this list but aren’t, so I guess I just have to say New Zealand > Australia in the music department.
posted by sinfony at 6:07 AM on December 6, 2021 [1 favorite]


How are The Easybeats only at 113? And how are The Fauves in there at all when it's missing Do-Re-Mi and Wa Wa Nee. It's like pop doesn't exist. I mean, I'm not expecting to see Indecent Obsession or Girlfriend on the list, but it's like they just used the Hottest 100 from the 90s and early 2000s and added stuff from there because you can't tell me there were more than 3 decent songs on The Vines Highly Evolved.
posted by Kris10_b at 6:14 AM on December 6, 2021 [1 favorite]


[coffee kicks in] Portal! Total bullshit list without Portal! [thank god, kept up the shtick, family honor saved]
posted by sinfony at 6:17 AM on December 6, 2021 [2 favorites]


Not to mention The Rockmelons, one of the few Australian bands to touch Black American music styles before the inner-city-hipster laptop-R&B trend of the past decade or two.
posted by acb at 6:40 AM on December 6, 2021 [3 favorites]


Ctrl-F "The Chats"

You should have added a link to : The Chats to complete the idea.
posted by The_Vegetables at 7:25 AM on December 6, 2021


Pleased to see Ratcat, but I remember them for that song [Live recording, does not include the part that makes you cry] off the Tingles part of that album. I'll never forget the night Will Pendarvis played it on 99x and reduced a room of us to tears. Called the station over and over to get him to to play it again the next night.
posted by ob1quixote at 7:39 AM on December 6, 2021


Nick Cave appears on that list seven times, and I can't decide if that's too many or not enough.
posted by box at 7:48 AM on December 6, 2021 [3 favorites]


No Snog, no Soma, no Black Lung...

Nope.
posted by ChrisR at 7:53 AM on December 6, 2021 [2 favorites]


Nick Cave appears on that list seven times, and I can't decide if that's too many or not enough.

This feels like a truest statement I've ever heard anyone make about anything.
posted by thivaia at 7:59 AM on December 6, 2021


Jet's Get Born, which nobody has listened to since it was released or could name a single song off

And Wolfmother, which I think of as “that one 70s hard rock revival band” is kind of shockingly high.
posted by atoxyl at 8:27 AM on December 6, 2021 [2 favorites]


Wow, if Lovers by The Sleepy Jackson isn't even in the top 200, Australian music must be a lot better than I gave it credit for. Or the list is total nonsense.
posted by mokey at 8:36 AM on December 6, 2021



Not having the Bee Gees, even in the bottom of the list, is some bullshit.


Agree. That's totally insane. Are they considered a British band or something? I can't think of any other reason.

Also, AC/CD owns the top ten.
posted by Liquidwolf at 8:48 AM on December 6, 2021 [1 favorite]


What? No Flash and the Pan? Easybeats doesn’t count.
posted by njohnson23 at 8:53 AM on December 6, 2021


Gonna get banned from every bar forever but AC/DC just aren’t very good.

Though I'm hardly an in depth expert on Australian rock, I'm having a hard time taking a list seriously that doesn't have MORE AC/DC closer to the top (particularly from the Bon Scott era). Similar I suppose to a Canadian list that wasn't top heavy with Neil Young -- it's just not a fair reflection of any reality I've known, and I've known a few.

What I would love to hear is some deep cut recommendations for all the listed albums (ie: most of them) that I've either A. never heard, or B. only known a hit or two. Because if Australia is anything like Canada (my base), there's a pile of entirely worthy sounds that just never got heard in the Americas, often as not because there just wasn't enough payola on offer.
posted by philip-random at 9:27 AM on December 6, 2021 [2 favorites]


The Bee Gees don’t make it on to the 200 honourable mentions, either.
posted by zamboni at 9:37 AM on December 6, 2021


No Max Q? Shame.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 9:49 AM on December 6, 2021 [2 favorites]


I think a new MeFi project could be crowdsourcing a better list of best Australian albums, with more Lucksmiths and less AC/DC.
posted by pulposus at 9:54 AM on December 6, 2021 [3 favorites]


Men at Work reached this Canadian kid in Africa in the mid-80s. On a purely personal level I'm having a hard time reconciling their absence from the top 20, but I suppose that's just a me-thing. I don't care what anyone says, that band smokes a lot of shit on the list.
posted by elkevelvet at 10:12 AM on December 6, 2021 [2 favorites]


Crowded House is more New Zealand than Australian.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:15 AM on December 6, 2021 [2 favorites]


Fun fact: all of The Go-Betweens' albums before 16 Lovers Lane have consecutive Ls in the title: Send Me a Lullaby, Before Hollywood, Spring Hill Fair, Liberty Belle and the Black Diamond Express, and Tallulah.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:25 AM on December 6, 2021 [3 favorites]


Crowded House at 84, and it's the difficult second album - interesting.

Crowded House - Crowded House is #7! They made the top 10. I think Together Alone is their best album though.
posted by subdee at 10:40 AM on December 6, 2021


While I might have included more Whitlams, I acknowledge that is probably favoritism.
posted by tavella at 11:19 AM on December 6, 2021 [1 favorite]


Justice for This Island by Eurogliders!
posted by yellowcandy at 11:35 AM on December 6, 2021


Little River Band and Olivia Newton-John are other glaring omissions from the 70s, if going by record sales.
posted by mubba at 12:17 PM on December 6, 2021 [4 favorites]


Wolfmother, which I think of as “that one 70s hard rock revival band” is kind of shockingly high.

I guess King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard have done themselves a disservice with the name and releasing a billion albums every year because it’s not hard for me to choose which of these two is the better neo-psych band.
posted by atoxyl at 12:56 PM on December 6, 2021 [2 favorites]



And Wolfmother, which I think of as “that one 70s hard rock revival band” is kind of shockingly high.


More like a generic version of the many other bands who were doing 70s rock revival much better in the 90/2000s.
posted by Liquidwolf at 1:09 PM on December 6, 2021


And, eponymously enough, many had "wolf" in their names, because wolves were cool.

(There's a wave of hard-edged electro-rock from that era which I file under the made-up genre name "wolfdisco"; IIRC, Midnight Juggernauts are one aforementioned member.)
posted by acb at 1:53 PM on December 6, 2021


The most Australian thing ever: is looking to overseas opinion to be told how much our own cultural products are derivative and Bad. It is a tradition passed down from generation to generation, cringe handed on through the eras.

Here's Mike Patton on Wolfmother.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 1:54 PM on December 6, 2021 [2 favorites]


But Silverchair is terrible.
posted by goatdog at 4:05 PM on December 6, 2021


Echolalia is a good record but Beautiful Sharks is pretty much the definitive Something For Kate album. And I probably would have included Dead Can Dance just to get Dead Can Dance on the list, even though they pissed off to London about ten minutes after forming.
posted by turbid dahlia at 4:20 PM on December 6, 2021


For me at least, this is a handy list for some things I'll need to revisit.

I think Back in Black deserves its place at the top. While sales aren't everything when its comes to 'greatness', it's the globe's biggest selling Australian album. I continue to find Cold Chisel over-rated. Silverchair belong on the list, but not so high.

There's some real rock-critic obscurities in the list - but then they've probably gotten in on a couple of mentions from the judges. But, as noted above, in terms of influence such a list should probably include something from the Wiggles, the Seekers, the Little River Band, the Eurogliders and Olivia Newton-John. And the 12th Man.
posted by jjderooy at 4:30 PM on December 6, 2021


How is there no Alex Lahey.
posted by curious nu at 7:28 PM on December 6, 2021


And where is Wendy Matthews? Emigre, Lily, and The Witness Tree would all be in my personal list.

Gobsmacked by no Black Sorrows. Hold On To Me was my favourite record of the 80s (and Vika and Linda are still the reason that I watch reruns of Rockwiz.)
posted by ademack at 8:20 PM on December 6, 2021 [2 favorites]


What I would love to hear is some deep cut recommendations for all the listed albums (ie: most of them) that I've either A. never heard, or B. only known a hit or two.

Here's a good non-single track from each of the albums mentioned in my post above apart from the well-known top ten (and TISM, who aren't my thing):

151 Clouds, "Fear the Moon", Penny Century
107 The Cruel Sea, "Orleans Stomp", The Honeymoon Is Over
84 Crowded House, "In the Lowlands", Temple of Low Men (tricky, it had six singles)
75 You Am I, "Ain't Gone and Open", Hi Fi Way
71 Icehouse, "Girl in the Moon", Man of Colours (again, five singles made this one hard)
63 Men at Work, "Underground", Business as Usual
61 Cut Copy, "Feel the Love", In Ghost Colours
58 Divinyls, "Old Radios", What a Life! (wasn't on the butchered US release)
57 Hoodoo Gurus, "She", Mars Needs Guitars!
52 Powderfinger, "Pockets", Vulture Street
50 The Church, "Spark", Starfish
42 Cold Chisel, "Bow River", Circus Animals
38 Crowded House, "How Will You Go", Woodface
32 INXS, "Johnson's Aeroplane", The Swing
28 Flowers, "Sister", Icehouse
27 Midnight Oil, "Mountains of Burma", Blue Sky Mining
25 Hoodoo Gurus, "(Let's All) Turn On", Stoneage Romeos
24 The Whitlams, "Up Against the Wall", Eternal Nightcap
21 Sia, "Burn the Pages", 1000 Forms of Fear
19 Midnight Oil, "Only the Strong", 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
18 Powderfinger, "Belter", Internationalist
11 You Am I, "Hourly, Daily", Hourly, Daily
posted by rory at 1:37 AM on December 7, 2021 [4 favorites]


I've enjoyed this list as an expat Aussie in Europe, agree with some of the choices, and find some of the others blaaaah, but 5 Silverchair albums? fuck that shit, these people's priorities are different to mine.

(On a personal note, I saw Silverchair play on a Sunday afternoon at a pub in Wooloongabba when they were aged around 15, and I was not-even-slightly-whelmed. I only remember it because a few years later they were famous, and nobody I knew had any idea why.)

(Another personal note: a lot could be written about the impact of Ratcat with their first EP "Tingles". Said release really made waves in an entire generation of teenagers. Probably too time-specific for an all-time list, though. Hence the above comment about that other mob.)
posted by illongruci at 5:49 AM on December 7, 2021


Here's a good non-single track from each of the albums mentioned in my post above apart from the well-known top ten (and TISM, who aren't my thing):

Nice list, I got something out of that too, thankyou. I will continue to champion TISM, but I'll agree they are a matter of taste. One more for Rory's list:

74 TISM "Ol Man River", Machiavelli and The Four Seasons
posted by illongruci at 6:01 AM on December 7, 2021 [3 favorites]


The dads have spoken, this is the daddest best album list I've seen in a long time
posted by dis_integration at 6:49 AM on December 7, 2021 [2 favorites]


Savage Garden??? and no SMUDGE? Terrible list.
posted by elmono at 8:42 AM on December 7, 2021


It's good to know that my first thought was "maybe I have underestimated how good Silverchair was?" but then Metafilter set me straight.
posted by AzraelBrown at 9:01 AM on December 7, 2021 [2 favorites]


getao I think based on that Tiny Desk Concert video that Warren Ellis' high kicks should have made this list in and of themselves. I remember the first time I saw the Dirty Three live I expected to be bored but it was absolutely one of the most riveting shows I've ever been to. Also, holy shit Jim White's drumming.
posted by deadbilly at 3:06 PM on December 7, 2021


You should have added a link to The Chats to complete the idea.

Can't a chap ever go on smoko around here?
posted by ivan ivanych samovar at 5:26 PM on December 7, 2021 [1 favorite]


Celibate Rifles, Exploding White Mice, Seminal Rats, and really Radios Appear should have been top 5 at least.
posted by whuppy at 7:58 AM on December 8, 2021


thank you, illongruci, for the non-singles.

On the Silverchair tip, I recall on first hearing/seeing them (it was a video) that they were competent albeit generic. Not bad for fifteen year olds but not really suggesting they had anything unique to offer beyond being extra young. And then I more or less forgot about them. I suppose if I was in Australia, that would not have been an option.
posted by philip-random at 11:10 AM on December 8, 2021


Do-Re-Mi, Domestic Harmony. If there's a single song that can take me home to 1985, it's Man Overboard.
posted by rdc at 4:57 PM on December 8, 2021


I'm not going into detail - I prefer to spare you that - of why Severed Heads isn't on the list. It's too horrible. So horrible that when Bernard Spilsbury examined the residual shambles of the list, he said it was more gruesome than anything even he had ever seen. That, from a great pathologist with unique experience, constitutes a warning not to be ignored.
posted by Sutekh at 2:46 PM on December 9, 2021 [2 favorites]


I am so confused by Savage Garden, especially if they bump out Sis by so much.
posted by jojobobo at 12:59 PM on December 10, 2021


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