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250 Australian Rock Songs You Should Own

| 26 January 2014 | Reply

250 Australian Rock Songs You Should Own

Aussie flag guitiar

By Shane Pinnegar

Happy Australia Day – what better time to remind the world that Aussie music can rock hard, despite what you hear on the radio! The Oz Rock tradition was born in sweaty bear barns across the length and breadth of our big red land, but – as you’ll see from the list below – is as diverse as rock n’ roll itself.

I spent a fair few years travelling and living & working in other countries, and I got homesick for Aussie rock, much of which wasn’t available in foreign lands. My first selection is 15 songs which lyrically reference and represent Australia and what it means to be an Aussie. They’re not hard rock, but they make a perfect CD to keep homesickness from the door of anyone roaming far from home.

Ultimate Australiana

Yothu Yindi – Treaty
Men At Work – Down Under
Christine Anu – My Island Home
Australian Crawl – Reckless (Don’t Be So)
Gangajang – Sounds Of Then (This Is Australia)
Goanna – Solid Rock
Icehouse – Great Southern Land
Midnight Oil – Dead Heart
Slim Dusty – Pub With No Beer
The Warumpi Band – Blackfella, Whitefella
Mike Brady – Up There Cazaly
Redgum – I Was Only 19
Rolf Harris – Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport
The Triffids – Wide Open Road
Dave Warner – Suburban Boy

Next up, another 235 (that makes 250 in total, students of mathematics!) Aussie rockers which are essential for anyone starting an Australian rock collection. I’ve omitted pretty much all cover versions, and all New Zealanders – many of which are often included in lists like this (I’m classifying Crowded House, for instance, as Kiwis – even though only Neil Finn was born there. He was the creative drive of the band, though). Yeah, there are plenty of other artists listed who weren’t born in Australia, (AC/DC, Diesel, Easybeats, Billy Thorpe to name just a few), but their sound developed in this country, and we’re about the most multicultural race on the planet, so suck it up.

You should also note that since I grew up in Perth, there are probably some local legends from other parts of the country that I can’t recall or never heard that might warrant inclusion. I’ve also focussed on older songs, with very little form the past decade or so. I may do a list of newer stuff next year, if anyone reminds me…
235 Other Essential Australian Rock Songs

AC/DC – Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
AC/DC – Highway To Hell
AC/DC – It’s A Long Way To The Top
AC/DC – Thunderstruck
AC/DC – Who Made Who
AC/DC – You Shook Me All Night Long
Ammonia – Drugs
Angels, The – Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again
Angels, The – Eat City
Angels, The – No Secrets
Angels, The – Take A Long Line
Angry Anderson – Bound For Glory
Atlantics, The – Bombora
Australian Crawl – Boys Light Up
Axiom – Little Ray Of Sunshine
Baby Animals – One Word
Baby Animals – Rush You
Baby Animals – Stoopid
Badloves, The – Green Limosuine
Bamboos, The – Snuff
Barker, Nick – Time Bomb
Barker, Nick & The Reptiles – Miles To Go
Barnes, Jimmy – Working Class Man
Bee Gees – Spicks & Specks
Bengal Tigers – Cheat On You
Big Pig – Breakaway
Birthday Party, The – Nick The Stripper
Black Sorrows – Chained To The Wheel
Blackfeather – Boppin’ The Blues
Boys Next Door, The – Shivers
Celibate Rifles – Johnny
Celibate Rifles – O Salvation
Chain – Black And Blue
Chevelles, The – C’Mon Everybody
Choirboys, The – Never Gonna Die
Choirboys, The – Run To Paradise
Church, The – The Unguarded Moment
Church, The – Under The Milky Way
Clapton, Richard – Girls On The Avenue
Clapton, Richard – I Am An Island
Cold Chisel – Cheap Wine
Cold Chisel – Flame Trees
Cold Chisel – Khe Sanh
Cold Chisel – You Got Nothing I Want
Cruel Sea – Better Get A Lawyer
Cruel Sea – Black Stick
Cruel Sea, The – The Honeymoon Is Over
Daddy Cool – Eagle Rock
Daddy Cool – Come Back Again
Dave Graney – The Night Of The Wolverine
Dave Warner – A Million Miles From Home
Dave Warner – Convict Streak
Def FX – Psychoactive Summer
Def FX – Surfers Of The Mind
Def FX – Under The Blue
Destroy She Said – No Church
Diesel – Tip Of My Tongue
Diesel, Johnny & The Injectors – Cry In Shame
Dingoes, The – Way Out West
Divinyls – Boys In Town
Divinyls – I Touch Myself
Divinyls – Only Lonely
Divinyls – Pleasure & Pain
DM3 – 1x2xDevastated
Drones, The – Shark Fin Blues
Easybeats, The – Friday On My Mind
Easybeats, The – I’ll Make You Happy
Easybeats, The – Sorry
Easybeats, The – The Music Goes Round My Head
Electric Mary – Let Me Out
Eskimo Joe – Black Fingernails, Red Wine
Evans, Bob – Tomorrow
Falling Joys – Lock It
Falling Joys – Amen
Farnham, John – Age Of Reason
Farnham, John – You’re The Voice
Fauves, The – Dogs Are The Best People
Flash And The Pan – Down Among The Dead Men
Flash And The Pan – Hey St. Peter
Go Betweens, The – Cattle & Cane
Grinderman – No Pussy Blues
Grinspoon – Chemical Heart
Grinspoon – DCX3
Hard-Ons – Girl In The Sweater
Hard-Ons – Suck & Swallow
Hard-Ons – Where Did She Come From?
Hecate – By Myself
Hoodoo Gurus – 1000 Miles Away
Hoodoo Gurus – I Want You Back
Hoodoo Gurus – Like Wow, Wipeout!
Hoodoo Gurus – Miss Freelove ‘69
Hoodoo Gurus – What’s My Scene
Hunters & Collectors – Holy Grail
Hunters & Collectors – Say Goodbye
Hunters & Collectors – Throw Your Arms Around Me
Hunters & Collectors – When The River Runs Dry
Ian Moss – Tucker’s Daughter
Ice Tiger – Turn to Fantasy
Icehouse – Crazy
Icehouse – Electric Blue
INXS – Don’t Change
INXS – Never Tear Us Apart
INXS – New Sensation
Jebediah – Animal
Jebediah – Harpoon
Jet – Are You Gonna Be My Girl
Jimmy & The Boys – They Won’t Let My Girlfriend Talk To Me
Jo Jo Zep And The Falcons – Shape I’m In
John Butler Trio – Zebra
John Paul Young – Yesterday’s Hero
Johnny O’Keefe – The Wild One
Johnny O’Keefe – Shout
Kelly, Paul – Dumb Things
Kelly, Paul – How To Make Gravy
Kelly, Paul – To Her Door
Kelly, Paul & The Coloured Girls – Darling It Hurts
Killing Heidi – Weir
Kings Of The Sun – Black Leather
Kings Of The Sun – Drop The Gun
Kryptonics, The – Land That Time Forgot
Kuepper, Ed – Lah Di Doh
Lime Spiders – Just One Solution
Lime Spiders – Slave Girl
Little Birdy – Excited
Little Birdy – You’re Beautiful
Little Heroes – One Perfect Day
Little River Band – Help Is On It’s Way
Living End, The – All Tore Down
Living End, The – Prisoner Of Society
Living End, The – Who’s Gonna Save Us
Lobby Lloyd & The Coloured Balls – Working Man’s Boogie
Loved Ones, The – The Loved One
Machine Gun Fellatio – Mutha Fucker On A Motorcycle
Mantissa – Dream Alone
Masters Apprentices – Because I Love You
Masters Apprentices – Turn Up Your Radio
Mental As Anything – If You Leave Me Can I Come Too
Mental As Anything – The Nips Are Getting Bigger
Mental As Anything – Too Many Times
Merrit, Max & The Meteors – Slippin’ Away
Midnight Oil – Beds Are Burning
Midnight Oil – Blue Sky Mine
Midnight Oil – Power & The Passion
Midnight Oil – U.S. Forces
Models – I Hear Motion
Mondo Rock – Come Said The Boy
Mondo Rock – Cool World
Morris, Russell – The Real Thing
Morris, Russell – Wings Of An Eagle
Moving Pictures – What About Me?
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Do You Love Me
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Into My Arms
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Red Right Hand
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Stagger Lee
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – The Ship Song
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds & Kylie Minogue – Where The Wild Roses Grow
Noiseworks – Hot Chilli Woman
Noiseworks – No Lies
Noiseworks – Take Me Back
Painters & Dockers – Die Yuppie Die
Painters & Dockers – Nude School
Panda Band – Sleepy little Death Toll Town
Pollyanna – Lemonsuck
Poor, The – More Wine, Waiter Please
Powderfinger – My Happiness
Prawns With Horns – Born A Prawn
Radiators, The – Comin’ Home
Radiators, The – Gimme Head
Radio Birdman – Aloha Steve & Danno
Radio Birdman – New Race
Ratcat – Don’t Go Now
Ratcat – That Ain’t Bad
Rebecca’s Empire – Atomic Electric
Regurgitator – I Sucked A Lot Of Cock To Get Where I Am
Regurgitator – Kong Foo Sing
Rose Tattoo – Assault & Battery
Rose Tattoo – Bad Boy For Love
Rose Tattoo – Nice Boys
Rose Tattoo – Rock n’ Roll Outlaw
Rose Tattoo – We Can’t Be Beaten
Saints, The – I’m Stranded
Saints, The – Just Like Fire Would
Saints, The – Know Your Product
Screaming Jets – Better
Screaming Jets – Living In England
Screaming Tribesmen – I’ve Got A Feeling
Sharam, Max – Coma
Sherbet – Howzat
Silverchair – Anthem For The Year 2000
Silverchair – Tomorrow
Skyhooks – Ego Is Not A Dirty Word
Skyhooks – Living In The Seventies
Skyhooks – Women In Uniform
Skyhooks – You Just Like Me ‘Cos I’m Good In Bed
Sleepy Jackson – Miniskirt
Slim Dusty – Duncan
Something For Kate – Deja Vu
Spectrum – I’ll Be Gone
Spiderbait – Buy Me A Pony
Spiderbait – Fucken Awesome
Sports, The – Who Listens To The Radio
Springfield, Rick – Jessie’s Girl
Stems, The – For Always
Sunnyboys – Happy Man
Supernaut – I Like It Both Ways
Taylor, Matt – I Remember When I Was Young
Ted Mulry Gang – Darktown Strutters Ball
Ted Mulry Gang – Jump In My Car
Tenants, The – You Shit Me To Tears
Tex, Don & Charlie – Sitting In A Bar
Thorpe, Billy – It’s Almost Summer
Thorpe, Billy – Most People I Know Think That I’m Crazy
TISM – He’ll Never Be A (Ole Man River)
Triffids, The – Wide Open Road
Trilogy – Fight Like The Devil
Tumbleweed – Daddy Longlegs
Tumbleweed – Sundial (Mary Jane)
Uncanny X Men – Everybody Wants To Work
Uncanny X-Men – 50 Years
Vines, The – Get Free
Weddings, Parties, Anything – Father’s Day
Weddings, Parties, Anything – Monday’s Experts
Weddings, Parties, Anything – Step In, Step Out
Wells, Pete – Everything You Like Tries To Kill You
Wendy & The Rockets – Play The Game
Whitlams, The – I Make Hamburgers
Whitlams, The – No Aphrodisiac
Wright, Stevie – Black Eyed Bruiser
Wright, Stevie – Evie Pts I – III
You Am I – Adam’s Ribs
You Am I – Berlin Chair
You Am I – Cathy’s Clown
You Am I – Damage
You Am I – Heavy Heart
You Am I – Mr Milk

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