There are numerous fans of rock music in both Australia and New Zealand. Each year thousands of music lovers visit the numerous music festivals that are held on the continent. Bands that tour from America and Europe are always well supported with venues being sold out. With so much interest in the music genre it is hardly surprising that several top acts have emerged from the region over the years. One of the most popular rock bands in recent years has been ACDC who were formed in 1973 by the brothers Angus and Malcolm Young.
The group had achieved moderate success until in 1980 they released the album “Back in Black” in memory of their late lead singer Ben Scott who had tragically passed away earlier in the same year. The album achieved phenomenal success going on to become the second best-selling album of all time. From this point on the band has moved on to become one of the leading rock acts in the world. They have sold over 200 million records and are currently the 13th top record selling act of all time. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003.
Also during the 1970s another band who achieved both success in Australia and the United States were the Little River Band. They formed in Melbourne in 1975 and still perform today. In their time together 30 separate musicians have been part of the group but none of the original line up play today. They have produced many albums and have sold over 30 million records around the world. Their two most successful albums ”Diamantina Cocktail” and “First Under the Wire” both reached number 2 in the Australian charts.
INXS formed in Sydney in 1977 and started off as a new wave band with Michael Hutchence leading the band for the next twenty years. Their peak period of success occurred during the late 1980s and early 1990s with the release of the albums “Listen Like Thieves”, “X” and “Kick”. The release of hit singles brought the group international fame. The group has sold more than 55 million records, but has never fully recovered from the death of Michael Hutchence who was found hanged in a hotel room in 1977. The lead singer was also the group’s lyricist, and was famed as living the rock and roll life style.
Crowded House were formed in Melbourne in 1985 and were composed of a mixture of Australians and New Zealanders. The group achieved instant success with their self-titled debut album which reached Number 12 in the US album charts and was also a success in both Britain and Europe. The group has carried on producing successful albums and has sold more than 10 million albums world-wide. Founder member Neil Finn was awarded the OBE for his services to New Zealand music and previously to Crowded House had fronted the group Split Endz with his brother Tim.
One of the biggest hit singles in the UK in 1981 was “Down Under” by the Australian band, Men at Work. In the States they became the first Australian artist to achieve a simultaneous number 1 hit single and number 1 hit album. The album “Business as Usual” was also number 1 in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. They followed this up with “Cargo” which reached number 3 in the States and number 8 in the UK. They received a Grammy Award for best new artist in 1983 and have managed to sell over 30 million albums around the world. The amount of rock groups that have emerged from Australasia may not have been that great in number, yet those who have emerged have made a great impact on the international rock scene.