We have an admittedly small music industry here in Australia, but we still manage to pump out an impressive number of bands, artists, and music. Our industry is just like the colossal US industry, only on a much smaller scale.
We have all the same hallmarks as the Stateside music scene, including things like one-hit wonders and genre fads. We also have a whole lot of great music, too, perhaps even more than the yanks do, if we’re talking per capita numbers.
In the interests of nostalgia and reflecting on some of the bands, artists, and songs that got lost in our small but prolific little music scene, we present 14 more Aussie hit songs you’ve probably forgotten but will definitely remember.
In the mood for a little more nostalgia? Check out part one of this feature right here.
Deadstar – ‘Deeper Water’
While they’ve largely been forgotten, Deadstar were actually something of a supergroup, featuring members of legendary Australian bands like Crowded House and Hunters & Collectors, as well as Caroline Kennedy-McCracken, who’d previously played in The Plums.
Kisschasy – ‘Do Dos & Whoa Ohs’
Melbourne outfit Kisschasy were like the gateway drug that got a generation of high-schoolers hooked on harder stuff like My Chemical Romance and Alexisonfire. Say what you want about them, you can’t deny their songs were incredibly infectious.
B.Z. (feat. Joanne) – ‘Jackie’
According to Wikipedia, this was “the highest selling single in Australia by an Australian artist during the 12-month period of eligibility for the 1999 ARIA Music Awards”. We can only assume this had everything to do with the high-production music video.
Gina G – ‘Ooh Aah… Just A Little Bit’
Despite being an Australian singer, Gina G actually represented the United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest in Oslo 1996 with this dance pop hit. As far as we’re concerned, that makes her a traitor. But then, how was she to know Australia would one day be competing at Eurovision?
Ratcat – ‘Don’t Go Now’
If you watch the video for ‘Don’t Go Now’ with the sound off, you’d be forgiven for assuming the band are some kind of rockabilly throwback in the style of the Stray Cats. But the band’s steez was a punky form of power pop that yielded the group their fair share of chart hits.
Euphoria – ‘Love You Right’
In the early ’90s, cheesy dance pop from Europe was more or less dominating the charts over here. It mostly consisted of high-energy beats, piano chords, and a female vocalist chanting the same hook over and over. Apparently, Australia wasn’t content to just sit around and let Europe out-suck us.
28 Days – ‘Rip It Up’
28 Days were kind of like Australia’s answer to Limp Bizkit only with a slightly punkier edge and way more bogan. ‘Rip It Up’ was the group’s only flirtation with the pop charts, but it’ll still open a pit up at any house party you attend.
Pauline Pantsdown – ‘I Don’t Like It’
After finding surprise success with the cut-together ‘Back Door Man’, Pauline Pantsdown decided to capitalise on her 15 minutes of fame by releasing ‘I Don’t Like It’, a novelty hit which once again lampooned the rightfully maligned political figure Pauline Hanson.
Happyland – ‘Don’t You Know Who I Am’
Happyland was a one-off project comprised of Spiderbait’s bassist/vocalist Janet English and her boyfriend at the time, Quan Yeomans of Regurgitator. Originally named ‘The Shits’, the band gained notoriety for featuring members of two of Australia’s biggest bands and for performing in fluffy animal costumes.
The Tenants – ‘You Shit Me To Tears’
Whilst many of the songs on this list are probably best left forgotten and are cheesy and/or downright crappy for us to rip on, we really don’t have anything bad to say about this punky, ska-ish number, which almost topped the Hottest 100.
Sister2Sister – ‘What’s A Girl To Do’
Sister2Sister, or S2S if you’re texting and need to save time, were what we listened to before The Veronicas came around. Christine and Sharon Muscat got their big break after they came to the attention of Tina Arena, who saw them perform at the Variety Club Heart Awards.
Paul Mac – ‘Just The Thing’
Paul Mac had already established his name in the world of Australian dance music as a member of Itch-E and Scratch-E, but it was this surprise solo hit that made him more of a household name. Soulful and grand, this was what we thought of as an Aussie dance banger back in the day.
Holly Valance – ‘Kiss Kiss’
Holly Valance was one of a spate of Australian soap opera stars to try her hand at a pop career at the time. We guess the producers of these shows figured it had been a while since ‘The Loco-Motion’ and it was time to reap a few more breakout stars.
Joel Turner – ‘These Kids’
Joel Turner first found fame after he gave us one of the most memorable Australian Idol auditions ever. He wasn’t much of a singer, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t vocally gifted. The beatboxer later had a hit in this heartfelt tale of a couple of downtrodden kids.