Whether you’re trying to diversify your music taste or are simply obsessed with the land down under, look no further than the 21 best Australian bands of all time. Not only are these groups groundbreaking, but they’ll also quickly become your next favorite artist. Check out the most iconic Australian bands throughout history:
We couldn’t start this list off in any other way. Since 1973, this band has shaped rock and roll and music history in its entirety. It was formed in Sydney, Australia, and has been inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2003. The cool, crisp, and clean sounds that AC/DC creates make it an obvious choice for no. 1 on this list and no. 1 in our hearts.
2. Bee Gees
We are more than stayin’ alive for this iconic Australian band that left its mark in music beginning in the 1960s. Their groovy rock music earned them a spot in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. Bee Gees created some of the most popular songs in all of music history, and they deserve all of that recognition and so much more. This band’s sound takes us back to the better days and reinforces that quality music never goes out of style.
3. Midnight Oil
This Australian rock band began in 1972, so you know it’s a classic. They’re a crowd favorite, and we can’t help but jam out to some of our favorite rock songs from them. While Midnight Oil has the classic hard rock aspect to it, their lyrics also have depth and wisdom to them that will draw you and all of their listeners in.
Known as one of the greatest bands of all time, INXS was formed by the Farriss Brothers in 1977 and remains a solid and timeless group, even ten years after they disbanded.
5. Cold Chisel
Sometimes, we need a good old-fashioned pub rock band, and Cold Chisel more than delivers on this front. This music always makes us feel something, and the rhythms cannot be rivaled.
6. Crowded House
There are some bands whose beautiful music never fails to move us, and Crowded House is one of our favorites. The Australian rock group’s songs always sound like coming home and give us a feeling of hope at the end of the day.
7. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
You know a band is high quality when their work is in the Harry Potter movies. The haunting Australian rock group, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, has a depth to their melody and lyrics that many hard rock artists don’t usually show, but that allows for a strong connection between the band and their fans. Their songs are definitely great to jam out to in the autumn months.
8. The Presets
A more modern band for those of us who don’t necessarily love the oldies, The Presets will fill your EDM needs. The best way we can describe this Australian group’s sound is ‘happy.’ The beats are clean, the sound is wonderful, and nearly every song is going on our getting-ready playlists.
This band led to many sexual awakenings all around the world. The classic soft rock group’s songs are sung by the sultry yet angelic voice of Chrissy Amphlett whose haunting vocals will leave you breathless in all the best ways.
Moody, grunge, alternative, hard rock, and more describe this 1990s Australian band. While their singer went through his fair share of trauma, the music they made will always be iconic, and it will always be cathartic for us.
11. The Easybeats
The classics stay the classics for a reason. This Beatles-esque band got its start in 1964 in Sydney, Australia, and is still considered one of the most important rock bands in their country’s history. Listening to this group’s music is pure nostalgia and a burst of serotonin every time you turn them on.
12. You Am I
We love the soft rock sounds this song brings to us. There are some bands whose music just cuts right into our soul, whether that’s because of their lyrics, tempo, or overall vibe. Sometimes, we need to listen to tracks that mean something and touch our souls in the only way music can. And everything about this group does that for us. You Am I reaches out to its listeners and almost holds them in a way only music can.
13. Little River Band
Little River Band’s heartwarming song, Reminiscing, might be our new addition to our favorite wedding songs. This Australian band had their fair share of record labels and was even nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance. Their sound and lyrics are sure to make you smile and reminisce with all of us.
Slightly psychedelic, completely entrancing, and utterly intoxicating—everything a solid rock band ought to be! Powderfinger was one of the most radio-popular groups of their time, and their music remains just as captivating as it was back then. If you need a hard rock band to jam out to on tough days or you just need some quality rock music, check these guys out.
15. The Church
Take. Us. To. THIS Church. The iconic Australian band was a part of the initial new neo-psychedelic phase in music. While many would equate their sound to indie rock today, there is a level of entrancement that accompanies the lyrics and sound that still draws people in today. The group’s music is very close to folk sound, so it’s no wonder they chose the name church for the band, as their quality almost worships music history.
16. Savage Garden
Who doesn’t love a slightly cheesy pop duo band? Savage Garden is one of the only two Australian groups to have ever released two no. 1 singles in the U.S., making them their country’s most well-known and successful duo. The two bandmates, Darren Hayes and Daniel Jones, have made a name for themselves and sealed their legacy and fame.
For all of you who don’t feel like you belong in this century, this Australian band might have the perfect soundtrack for your life. The classic and groovy rock group was formed in the 1970s and has a distinct flare for the odd yet funky clean sound of that time.
18. The Saints
If you’re in need of a classic, true-blue rock band sound, The Saints are a perfect choice. The Australian rock group began in 1973 and helped bring rock and roll to Brisbane and beyond. Their sound encapsulates the iconic rock and roll vibe that cannot be bottled up or replicated anymore, and they still remain an iconic piece of music history.
19. Tame Impala
Can Tame Impala’s music be the soundtrack of our lives? Thank you very much. But seriously, this band’s psychedelic sound entrances its listeners and keeps them listening. The group is relatively new, but they still maintain an ageless and slightly classic sound, as is the case with most of the bands on this list. The quality of their music and lyrics and the strong beginnings of their songs, especially The Less I Know The Better has earned them multiple record labels and recognition.
20. The Living End
In our opinion, there will never be enough punk rock bands that truly know how to make brilliant music. The Living End made a name for itself in Australian music history by fitting that tall order. Formed in 1994, the alternative and indie group created a sound and an identity for itself. The members are wholly passionate about their music, and it shows in every single song they create.
We all need a little eighties soft rock in our life, and the Icehouse provides that and more. The Australian rock band was first formed in 1977 and was defined by its more pub-rock style of music. As the group grew and morphed into the modern-day music scene, their sound became more synth-pop. But even though they adapted to the times, that doesn’t mean their style or the quality of their music changed at all.
As the Head Editor and Writer at Music Grotto, Liam helps write and edit content produced from professional music/media journalists and other contributing writers. He works closely with journalists and other staff to format and publish music content for the Music Grotto website. Liam is also the founding member of Music Grotto and is passionate in disseminating editorial content to its readers.
Liam’s lifelong love for music makes his role at Music Grotto such a rewarding one. He loves researching, writing and editing music content for Music Grotto.