Australia's favourite Rock & Roll singer
Jimmy Barnes has been there, done that, and now he’s glad to be back. Australia’s favourite rock and roll singer for more than three decades, in the 70’s, 80’s he was the loudest, wildest and most popular rock and roll star in the country. In the 90’s Jimmy reached mega stardom with back to back #1 albums in both soul and rock genres.
Jimmy Barnes is the heart and the soul of Australian rock and roll. His nickname, “Barnesy”, conjures up thoughts of rock music at an ear-splitting volume, and of soul standards given a unique reading. Jimmy has been through it all, and literally lived to tell the tales. He has sold more records in Australia than any other local rock & roll artist. He has enjoyed seventeen #1 albums here – more than The Beatles – and for over 40 years he has delivered some of our most intense and iconic live performances. He is truly in a league of his own.
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Jimmy Barnes’ soaring career began when aged just 16, he played his second gig as lead singer of the band that was to become Cold Chisel, on the back of a truck one hot Saturday at Gawler Raceway in Adelaide, South Australia. A couple of years later, the band attracted such crowds that fans drive a ute through the back of Larg’s Pier Hotel just to get in. By 1978, Cold Chisel was a nasty rock and roll band reputed for tearing up pubs in Sydney and Melbourne.
Cold Chisel’s first single Khe Sanh was banned from commercial radio. Despite this, fans flocked to see them, knowing that when they bought a ticket at the door, all best were off – with Jimmy out font slugging spirits and using his voice to duel with the soaring guitar lines from Ian Moss, Cold Chisel delivered like rock & roll is supposed to and rarely does.
Cold Chisel came to an end in December 1983 with the largest concert tour ever undertaken by an Australian band – a record that still stands over twenty years on.
Within a month of the band finishing, Jimmy Barnes was on the road again with a new band and ten months on from that in October, 1984, he released his first solo album, Bodyswerve.
Jimmy Barnes teamed up with INXS and Divinyls, Models, the Saints and Triffids for the massive National Tour, Australian Made. To celebrate Australian Made, Jimmy and INXS recorded an Easybeats song, Good Times, which topped the Australian charts, was included on the soundtrack to the film Lost Boys and subsequently became a Top 40 in the US and Top 10 in the UK. Jimmy went on to produce several more albums, fifteen of which reached #1 status.
Jimmy moved to France for three years where he toured Europe and produced the album Psyclone. On moving back to Australia in the late nineties, he participated in the reformation of Cold Chisel.
In 2002, Jimmy started on the hard road to sobriety. A side project with friends from different corners of the world resulted in the heavy metal combo Living Loud and a self titled album in 2004. That same year he assembled duets he’d recorded over time and wrote some new songs, which were released together in 2005 on the album Double Happiness which was to hit #1 on the Aria Charts, becoming his fifteenth number one album but the first ion almost a decade.
In 2005, Jimmy Barnes was inducted into the Aria Hall of Fame in his own right (Cold Chisel had already been inducted in 1993).
In the 21st Century, Jimmy almost lost everything, including his sanity and his life. Staring at death in the operating room in 2007 was his catalyst for change.
Following open heart surgery he was forced to endure several months of bed rest, sober and straight. The result was a steady stream of songs that lead to the release of the album Out in the Blue.
Now Jimmy Barnes is back with songs that are more pure, honest and melodic than ever before.
Flesh And Blood, Jimmy’s twentieth studio album, will be released on 2 July 2021.
Borne out of the literally hundreds of live-at-home performances that comforted many during the isolation that was 2020, the ten brand new recordings on Flesh And Blood feature multiple contributions from Jimmy’s extended family including his son Jackie on drums, his daughters Mahalia, Eliza-Jane and Elly-May all contributing vocals, as does Jackie and granddaughter, Tyra Harrison. His son-in-law, Ben Rodgers, engineered the album, played bass and collaborated with Jimmy’s nephew, renowned photographer Jesse Lizotte, on the album cover, plus he and Jane also duet together on the American classic Love Hurts.
In support of the Flesh And Blood album release, Jimmy will be taking the family on the road on the Flesh And Blood Tour in July, 2021.
Never one to slow down, Jimmy also has two new books slated for release in 2021 – a children’s book Rosie the Rhinoceros in October and a cookbook with Jane in November titled Where The River Bends.