Top 10 Best Australian Bands

The Top Ten
1 AC/DC AC/DC are a Australian hard rock band, formed in November 1973 by brothers Malcolm and Angus Young, who continued as members until Malcolm's illness and departure in 2014 . They were fronted by Bon Scott until his untimely death due to alcohol poisoning in 1979, after which they hired Brian Johnson... read more

AC/DC's 1980 album "Back In Black" currently stands as the #2 all-time highest-selling album. Ever. Given that the #1 spot is occupied by an American, this is a compelling reason to argue that AC/DC is Australia's #1 band. They are also in the record books as Australia's #1 export, having never fallen into the "where are they now" category. They've never had an album that didn't produce at least two or three chart-topping hits. Furthermore, their albums have never gone out of print or become impossible to find.

Not to mention, few bands can compete with creating so many memorable and classic rock anthems and riffs. Even Deep Purple, who are renowned in their own right, only have two of those. And most people don't even recognize "Black Knight" without hearing it.

2 INXS INXS were an Australian rock and pop band, formed as The Farriss Brothers in 1977 in Sydney, New South Wales.

An absolute Aussie force to be reckoned with, and like no other, they had a "unique sound all to themselves." Rock, pop, disco, ballads - once their music "entertained your senses," it wasn't hard to thrive on Michael's highly polished vocals and the band's immense guitar riffs, drums, bass, piano/synthesizer, and saxophone.

Back in the early '80s, when the band really took off in Australia, Adelaide people were well known as the "hardest critics in Australia." When Adelaide INXS ticket sales went online, they were sold out in 25 minutes flat. Their booking promoter had to quickly organize another concert! So what I'm trying to convey here is like "many countries, nationalities, around the world" reckoned, ("they just really rocked").

3 Midnight Oil Midnight Oil are an Australian rock band, who originally performed as Farm from 1972 with drummer Rob Hirst, bass guitarist Andrew James and keyboard player/lead guitarist Jim Moginie.

I have spent countless hours reviewing Australian bands and their music to determine the greatest band of all time. Based on the number of anthem songs, charismatic lead singer, political/social influence, longevity of career, and overall number of great songs, Midnight Oil was so far ahead that I stopped looking for reasons to elevate other bands. No disrespect to all the other great bands listed here, but they're not quite as influential as Midnight Oil.

Not only the best band from Australia but also the best band of all time. Their music is the most compelling I've ever heard, even years after they officially packed it in. It never seems to age or be less than totally relevant and powerful. I couldn't pick a best album - at least six could fill that spot, and the best song? Forget it, too many to count. Greatness is not based on popularity, it's based on greatness, and Midnight Oil is the greatest.

4 Men At Work Men at Work are an Australian rock/pop band formed in Sydney. The group is most famous for their hits, "Down Under" and "Who Can It Be Now?"

All-time best Australian band ever! They made Australia visible and popular to us "Yanks" from the U.S. I absolutely loved this band and saw them twice when they came to the States. Later, I got to actually meet Colin Hay up close and in person, shake his hand, and get a photo with him! He is hilariously funny.

Totally agree that this band should be at the top of this post!

I agree with AC/DC at number 1. But Men at Work... Are you kidding me? Definitely better than Midnight Oil. Men at Work was a great band. Overkill is one of the greatest songs of all time, and everything from Business as Usual was very strong. Greg Ham's sax work is just awesome!

5 Crowded House

This is literally my favorite band of all time! I remember hearing Don't Dream It's Over on the radio when I was about 3 or 4, after Paul Hester died. Crowded House has always been with me from that point. I cannot think of anyone as consistently brilliant as Neil Finn, and I just think that both he and Tim are seriously underrated in places like the UK and the US. On a song-for-song basis, there is no band that has had so many brilliant songs. When a Crowded House best-of is released, it would probably be fairer to just re-release every album. Also, taking personal opinion aside, where's Cold Chisel? Not top 3? What?

6 Little River Band

Little River Band may not be on the pantheon of greatest Australian bands, in my opinion, but they were among one of the first Aussie bands to achieve worldwide success, along with the Bee Gees. Even though the group nowadays has little to no original Australian members left, as the band is now entirely based in the States, I like both versions of the band respectively, even though the current American version sounds inferior.

And I think Time Exposure is my favorite album from the original lineup (yeah, shocking, it's not Diamantina Cocktail, Sleeper Catcher or First Under The Wire). I would just play "The Night Owls" repeatedly and never get sick of it.

7 Cold Chisel Cold Chisel are an Australian pub rock band, which formed in Adelaide in 1973 by mainstay members Ian Moss on guitar and vocals, Steve Prestwich on drums and Don Walker on piano and keyboards.

You have Cold Chisel way down the list from their rightful place in the top 5 when they are Australian Rock Royalty. It's like listing Led Zeppelin below Oasis on a British list. I mean, what? This is a band that crosses generations with hit after hit. Even if you don't like them, you have to be impressed with the songwriting and amazing vocals of young Jimmy Barnes. This list loses all credibility with Cold Chisel down this low. Just go see a whole crowd of young kids raise their glass in the air and sing an entire Chisel song, regardless of whether they own a single album.

8 Silverchair Silverchair were an Australian rock band, which formed in 1992 as Innocent Criminals in Merewether, Newcastle with the line-up of Ben Gillies on drums, Daniel Johns on vocals and guitars, and Chris Joannou on bass guitar.

Silverchair is honestly my favorite band of all time. They have so much passion and talent and sound amazing. They seamlessly transitioned from grunge to hard rock, alternative rock, pop, and indie. They are one of the greatest bands of all time. They were 16 when they were playing on SNL and Letterman, and hold the record for the most ARIA awards. They went on to perform at big shows like Rock in Rio, Big Day Out, Rock AM Ring, MTV Music Awards, and many more. To be put on the spot and handle it so well, they're just amazing.

Silverchair is an amazing band. I could listen to all their albums all day. They have so many good songs which spread over indie, grunge, punk, rock, alternative, and pop. One of the best bands to ever come out of this country without a doubt!

9 Bee Gees The Bee Gees were a pop music group formed in 1958. Their line-up consisted of brothers Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb.

Beatles producer George Martin said the brothers Gibb have the best three-part harmony of all time! I agree with him. A career spanning five decades and being one of the top five best-selling artists of all time speaks for itself. They deserve to be right at the very top. They are simply the best!

Great music makers! Good before disco, but it was the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack that brought out my favorite Bee Gees music. Definitely one of the greatest disco groups, if not the greatest! That's when everyone dressed with style and had great dance moves.

10 Jet

Jet's latest album, Shaka Rock, is just brilliant. One of the best Australian albums of all time. Gotta love that classic type of rock! Jet are the modern-day Beatles!

Jet honestly got me back into music. Every other artist just has the same tune and melody. Jet is something you can totally rock out to. Way too underrated!

A great rock band with the unfortunate timing of being around when most people want pop or rap.

The Contenders
11 Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds are an Australian rock band formed in Melbourne in 1983 by vocalist Nick Cave, multi-instrumentalist Mick Harvey and guitarist Blixa Bargeld. The band has featured international personnel throughout its career and presently consists of Cave, violinist and multi-instrumentalist... read more

The best band in the world. Always consistent and unique, never conformist, the band has stuck to their ethics throughout a lengthy career. Brilliant musicians, and Nick remains one of the most entertaining frontmen in the history of live music. We are blessed to have such enigmatic performers.

I'm sorry, but Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds need to be in the top 10. The sophistication of their music places them above most of these bands. Into My Arms, Where the Wild Roses Grow, Are You The One That I've Been Waiting For?, Do You Love Me?, The Ship Song, The Mercy Seat, Red Right Hand - these are some of the best Australian songs ever.

12 Air Supply

Oh God, this band... This group's music gets played everywhere in the small town where I live during Valentine's Day. Even at local bars, you would hear the group's entire discography being played, especially in movies and TV shows. "All Out Of Love" can be heard in the opening of Deadpool 2.

It's a 70s/80s group that a lot of people cry along to, including me. They were kind of like an Aussie version of The Carpenters, as both specialized in sweet, tender adult contemporary, except for "Making Love Out Of Nothing At All" (my favorite song from the two), which was produced by the legendary Jim Steinman. The group's harmonies were something else, too. Overall, if you like showtune-style balladry, then this is the group for you.

13 Powderfinger

This is one of my favorite bands of all time! Every single one of their songs is brilliant and original! They are by no means your mainstream average band. They definitely retired too early because they could have easily gone on and made it big.

I love their songs even more than AC/DC, sorry to any AC/DC fans out there...

Greatest band ever, so much better than all the modern-day music and so many great songs. I went to the Sunsets Farewell Tour, where Powderfinger and Jet both played, and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Bernard Fanning is amazing.

14 Living End

How is this band not number 1? Chris Cheney is one of the best guitar players there is, and there's nobody really like them.

From great simple songs to insane ones like "Carry Me Home," The Living End has done it all! Bloody brilliant!

Chris Cheney is the most underrated guitar player I can think of.

15 Icehouse

These guys represented the '80s. Iva Davies' great voice and songwriting ability was incredible, not to mention his guitar playing. In my opinion, they are the most underrated Australian band, and their ranking at no. 38 proves it. They deserve to be at least in the top 10 and should absolutely be ahead of some of these bands which I personally haven't even heard of. People just don't respect old music!

This is a band that didn't receive the credit they deserved and still don't today. Although centered around Iva Davies, his talent and songwriting ability is among the best that Australia has to offer. Many of the higher-ranked bands on this list are there due to having one major hit. Little River Band, at number 3! People these days don't know true music. Go the Flowers!

16 Tame Impala Tame Impala is an Australian psychedelic rock band founded by Kevin Parker in 2007. The group began as a home recording project for Parker, who writes, records, performs, and produces the music.

Yank here. Elephant playing on the radio constantly exposed me to them, and listening to both albums pleasantly surprised me. Tracks like Half Full Glass of Wine, Lucidity, Apocalypse Dreams, and Mind Mischief have a gritty '70s sound that I long for. Frankly, Impala has me eager to explore Aussie rock in more detail. Looking forward to more from them in the future.

Both of their albums are absolutely incredible. They're definitely going to keep getting better and better! Already one of the top 5 Aussie bands, in my opinion.

17 Wolfmother Wolfmother are an Australian hard rock band from Sydney, New South Wales. Formed in 2000 by vocalist and guitarist Andrew Stockdale, bassist and keyboardist Chris Ross, and drummer Myles Heskett, the group currently includes Stockdale, bassist and keyboardist Ian Peres, and touring drummer Alex Carapetis... read more

Because they are one of the best Aussie bands that still have more to come. I love their songs because they are of great quality, and it doesn't matter if you are rocking out at the supermarket because you are listening to one of the greatest rock artists ever.

I think Wolfmother's debut album was better than anything AC/DC has ever made. They deserve to be much higher than 7. However, I don't think any new members will ever match the magic that the original lineup produced. I also think Airbourne should make the top ten.

18 Parkway Drive Parkway Drive is an Australian metalcore band from Byron Bay, New South Wales, formed in 2003. As of 2015, Parkway Drive has released five full-length albums, one EP, two DVDs, a split album and one book, titled Ten Years of Parkway Drive.

I think if this was a list of the most influential Australian metal bands, Parkway could reach the top 5 easily. It's because of them that any Australian metal band can have international success. Before Parkway, there were only a few Australian metal bands that could reach out of Australia, and now record labels are willing to take a risk on young Australian bands because of Parkway. Without them, we wouldn't have bands like In Hearts Wake or Northlane. Also, how many bands can you name that have never released a bad album?

19 The Seekers

Where do I even start? The Seekers were amazing. They were the first Australian group to achieve major success in the UK and US, even before the Beatles. They were also the very first artist to hit #1 in the UK with their debut single.

At one point, they were the most popular singing group in the world. When they returned to Australia in 1967 for a "homecoming" concert, over 200,000 people attended, creating a record that still stands today. When they did their farewell concert in 1968, almost 11 million people watched on TV, breaking a BBC viewership record. Impressive, to say the least.

"I'll Never Find Another You" is one of the greatest songs ever written, in my opinion. The lyrics are masterfully written, and Judith Durham's voice is just absolute gold on this song. You will never find another group like The Seekers. They definitely need to be in the top ten, not just for their contributions to Australian music, but also for their amazing discography.

20 Rose Tattoo

Yes, these guys are top 10. Angry is the only original member left.

I have been to plenty of their gigs, and Angry still sings with flat-out passion. I saw them support Guns N' Roses. Angry sang with Axl on "Nice Boys." Mate, Axl sounded like a cat in heat compared to Angry. I think they turned down Angry's mic because his voice was so strong and showed up Axl.

Rock and Roll is King.

I swear I started thinking that my browser search was not working when I did not find Rose Tattoo in the list. They are one of the most influential bands in Aussie rock history!

21 Savage Garden Savage Garden were an Australian pop duo consisting of Darren Hayes as vocalist and Daniel Jones as instrumentalist.

This band should be in places 2-3, not 13! They may be an older band, but they have great songs, such as Truly Madly Deeply and To the Moon and Back. They were very popular in 1997.

Totally agree - whoever put this band below those few at the top went wrong somewhere. This band's sound in all songs is incredible - true art in the making!

One of the best bands in Australia, with their hits To the Moon and Back, I Knew I Loved You, and Truly Madly Deeply.

22 Hoodoo Gurus

"It's a very nice band"? Dude, these guys are awesome! Every time one of their songs comes on the radio, I stop what I'm doing and listen to the song. Love their music! 21?! Really? These guys should be far higher!

Stoneage Romeos was the album that woke me up to what music was available out there. Before that, it was strictly top 40 for me, growing up in the Midwestern USA. I was lucky to see them a couple of times live. Love the Hoodoos!

I'm hurt! 39? Ouch. These rock geniuses should easily be top 10, if not top 20. Jesus Christ, not only did they make it here in Oz, they made it internationally. They are still rocking and have a huge fan base.

23 5 Seconds of Summer 5 Seconds of Summer are an Australian pop-rock band from Sydney, Australia, that formed in 2011. The group were originally YouTube celebrities, posting videos of themselves covering songs from various artists during 2011 and early 2012. They rose to international fame while touring with One Direction... read more

I don't really like this band's hits. I prefer songs that aren't hits, like Rejects which is cooler than She Looks So Perfect. This band isn't so bad. They are cool and funny. I'm 37 years old and listen to them. My son showed them to me. I think they are good. Are they bringing rock back yet? Girls should not listen just to pop songs.

They are in the pop era, bringing pop punk back. I already saw about 1,000 girls listening to All Time Low and Blink-182 because they say it is cool. They now listen to the bands who are on their t-shirts, and it's cool to see these girls listening to rock music in the pop era.

24 Divinyls

You don't know what you've got till it's gone. The Divinyls had a magical full sound, great guitar, and Chrissie's great vocals. Not to mention an awesome presence and performance on stage. What can separate the bands for me is the number of good to great songs. I can count about 15 to 20 with Divinyls but only 12 or so for AC/DC, most from Back in Black.

Chrissy Amphlett was the first real Aussie Rock Chick. She had attitude, swagger, and a voice like no other that could yodel, growl, scream, or serenade. Mark McEntee is the most eccentric Aussie rocker, and together they produced such great classic songs that have stood the test of time and will never date.

25 The Angels

Come on, guys, AC/DC are no more Australian than the Bee Gees. The Angels all live here, record here, and play here constantly. There is only one Aussie in AC/DC. They don't live here, record here, and only visit once a decade or so.

The most energetic of all bands with excellent lyrics and the best frontman of all time! Face to Face, No Exit, Darkroom, Night Attack, Skin and Bone, Howling, Red Back Fever, and heaps more great Oz rock albums.

Right up there with Angus and the boys! Got to see them back in the 80s in Calgary. Too bad the show ended early when some drunken clown threw something. Still love to crank City Out of Control the most!

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