kylienickcave_gallery-edited down.jpg
Kylie Minogue and Nick Cave celebrate Australia Day

On January 26, the world celebrates Australia Day . We suspect there will be more than a


The Ten Greatest Aussie Rock Songs

kylienickcave_gallery-edited down.jpg
Kylie Minogue and Nick Cave celebrate Australia Day

On January 26, the world celebrates Australia Day. We suspect there will be more than a few Australian transplants roaming the streets of Seattle today drunk off of pride and Fosters Lager. In honor of the only country we can think of with its own international holiday, we celebrate ten essentials Aussie classics that every rock fan should own:

1. The Living End, "Prisoner of Society"

The Living End is Australia's greatest punk-rock band and "Prisoner

of Society" was the best-selling Aussie single of the '90s. People like

to make cracks about Australia's convict history, but that's where they

get their rebellious nature--and "Prisoner" embodies that spirit

perfectly. (The Living End, 1998)

2. The Church, "Under the Milky Way"

Prog-rockers driven by guitarist Marty Wilson-Piper's 12-string

Rickenbacker, the Church's "Under the Milky Way" remains one of the

best Australian songs recorded after 1980. (Starfish, 1988)

3. Men at Work, "Down Under"

"Down Under," a slightly reggae-infused pop song about an Australian

world-traveler extolling the virtues of his home country (like Vegemite

sandwiches), has become a source of patriotic pride for Aussies. Aside from being one of the few songs that novices to Australian music culture recognize instantly, it's also an '80s music staple. (Business as Usual, 1982)

4. AC/DC, "It's a Long Way to the Top"

Not just the greatest Australian rock band of all time, but one of the greatest in the world. (High Voltage, 1975)

5. Kasey Chambers, "The Captain"

Chambers melds her experiences on the empty Nullarbor Plain in south-central Australia, her love of Lucinda Williams, and personal struggles with family, lovers and celebrity into unforgettable alt-country tracks that linger long after a first listen. (The Captain, 2000)

6. The Easybeats, "Friday on My Mind"

The greatest Australian pop band of the '60s, and the first to score an international hit with "Friday on My Mind." (Friday on My Mind, 1967)

7. The Vines, "Get Free"

Earlier this decade, post-grunge garage rockers the Vines, along with acts like the White Stripes and the Strokes, reminded the world that rock still, you know, rocks. (Highly Evolved, 2002)

8. INXS, "Original Sin"

One of Australia's biggest rock exports, scoring numerous international hits in the '80s and '90s, such as "Devil Inside" and "New Sensation." But it was "Original Sin" that launched them into the Aussie rock scene stratosphere. (The Swing, 1984)

9. Hunters and Collectors,"Throw Your Arms Around Me"

The '80s pub band infamous for its raucous performances and inviting fans onstage to join in the percussive mayhem. (Human Frailty, 1986)

10. Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue, "Where the Wild Roses Grow"

Cave is a snarling, growling tall-tale teller of ballads and frenetic rock with morals implicit in every dark thought he has about death, religion and violence. Minogue is as big as Madonna to the Aussies and Brits, notorious for her dance-friendly, frustratingly infectious pop numbers. In 1996, the two teamed up for this haunting tale of love and murder. (Murder Ballads, 1996)

--Cole Haddon

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