Wild-child, rock star, soul man, statesman – Jimmy Barnes has covered some ground to become an Australian icon.
You can’t talk Australian music without mentioning Jimmy Barnes. As front-man for the legendary Cold Chisel, he tore through the Australian music scene in the 70s and 80s, then went on to do the same as a solo artist.
In a career that spans four decades, it’s easy to lose sight of just how incredible his achievements are. How is this for a taster? Across his recorded output, Jimmy has had 14 Top 40 albums with Cold Chisel and 13 charting solo albums – including nine Number Ones – and holds the record for the most hit albums of any Australian artist. In the live arena, Cold Chisel’s farewell tour, The Last Stand, is still the highest grossing concert series by an Australian band ever.
In 1984, within a year of the last Cold Chisel show, Jimmy released his first solo album “Bodyswerve”. This was followed a year later with “For the Working Class Man” – a seven times platinum record whose title track became Jimmy’s signature song. “Freight Train Heart”, released in 1987 gave him his first Number One single with “Too Much Ain’t Enough Love”. His first five solo albums were multi-platinum sellers, which all debuted at Number One, culminating in the 1991 release “Soul Deep”, which sold a staggering nine times platinum. All in all, Jimmy has sold over three million solo albums and a further three million with Cold Chisel.
Throughout his career, Jimmy has been a passionate supporter of Australian music and has championed many up and coming musicians. He has worked with some of the country’s leading entertainers, including INXS, Diesel, Kasey Chambers, John Farnham and Archie Roach, to name a few.
Since 2000, Jimmy has continued to record and tour, hitting the Number One spot again with “Double Happiness” in 2005 and “The Rhythm and The Blues” in 2008. He’s expanded his career into television and is the public face of a number of fundraising campaigns and charity.
Just to confirm his unique status, Jimmy has been inducted into the Aria Hall of fame twice – once with Cold Chisel in 1993 and then as a solo artist in 2005.