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The 15 Best Australian Bands of All Time

the best Australian bands of all time
Image by Johnny Csunyo on Unsplash.

Last updated on March 19th, 2023 at 09:40 pm

Australia is located halfway around the world from most other countries, but that doesn’t mean it is small. In fact, Australia is one of the biggest countries in the world! Therefore, it should come as no surprise that they are the origin of many of the world’s greatest bands.

But who are the best Australian bands of all time? We’ve made a list based on overall popularity, record sales, and perceived talent. So read on to discover the 15 best Australian bands of all time

The Best Australian Bands of All Time


15. The Presets

While Australia experienced most of its music success in the 1980s and 1990s, The Presets have set an all-new precedence for EDM music when they formed their group in 2003.

While they originally toured with Daft Punk, The Presets have gone on to collect several awards for songs of their own, as well as one Album of the Year title for “Apocalypso” in 2008.

Related: The 22 Best EDM Songs


14. Crowded House

Crowded House is a rock band that was formed in Melbourne in 1985.

Although they have reunited and disbanded many times over the years (and had many lineup changes), they are considered one of the best Australian bands of all time.

Their biggest hits include “Fall at Your Feet,” “Weather with You,” and “Distant Sun,” which topped charts in Australia and around the world.


13. Cold Chisel

Formed in Adelaide in 1973, Cold Chisel should probably be higher up on the list of the best Australian bands, but they’ve broken up and reformed so many times that many of their original fanbase has moved on.

Regardless, they’ve released several famous tracks known around the world, such as “Khe Sanh” and “Getting Back Together.”


12. Savage Garden

Known for their slightly cheesy pop songs, Savage Garden is a team of two Aussies (Darren Hayes and Daniel Jones) and is often considered the most successful duo to hail from the country.

They’re so successful that they’re actually one of the only Australian groups to not have just one but two songs reach #1 on the US charts.

Related: 19 Best Pop Songs for Your Playlist


11. Powderfinger

Powderfinger is rated one of the best Australian bands of all time, mostly because of their widespread radio success back in the day.

Formed in Brisbane in 1989, the group officially broke up in 2010 but managed to amass millions of fans during its 21-year career.


10. The Church

Formed in Sydney in 1980, The Church quickly reached mass acclaim thanks to its unique and psychedelic sound.

Known for songs like “The Unguarded Moment” and “Under the Milky Way,” they are still active today, although their group has lost some of the original members over the years.


9. You Am I

The 80s was a great period for Australian music and gave birth to many of the best Australian bands of all time. You Am I is the next notable band on the list, which was formed in 1989 in Sydney.

Considered to be a power pop band, their songs have often graced the top charts, and their album Hi Fi Way was voted the eighth best Australian album of all time.


8. Silver Chair

In the 1990s, as grunge became more popular, Silverchair rose to prominence across the country.

Formed in Newcastle in 1992, Silverchair officially went into “hibernation” in 2011, but they’ve gone on hiatus only to come back in the past, so some fans are hopeful.


7. Midnight Oil

Midnight Oil is one of the most recognizable on this list, mostly known for their hit, “Beds are Burning,” which was written about the Aboriginal people in Australia.

Formed in 1972 in Sydney, the band broke up in 2002 only to pick back up in 2016.

The band went on tour as recently as 2022(their supposed last tour), which is surprising when you consider the bassist, Bones Hillman, died in 2020 of cancer.


6. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Known around the world for their many award-winning songs, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds was formed in Melbourne in 1983.

Perhaps most widely known for their song “O Children,” which made it into Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, the list of awards for their songs is immense, definitely making them one of the best Australian bands of all time.

Related: 21 Best Movie Theme Songs of All Time


5. Howling Bells

One of the newer bands on the list, Howling Bells, formed in 2004 in Sydney.

Their most famous album is Heartstrings which highlights their unique musical mixture, which includes aspects of both the rock and country genres.


4. Empire of the Sun

Empire of the Sun is an electronic music duo formed by two members of other bands.

Comprised of Luke Steele and Nick Littlemore, this duo has brought home many awards in the US, UK, and Australia.

Their most famous song, “Walking on a Dream,” has won both song of the year as well as Dance work of the year, as this band is known for their unique stage presence.



A list of the best Australian bands of all time would be incomplete without INXS.

This band is easily one of the greatest bands of all time, even though they have been disbanded for years.

Their most famous works include “What You Need,” “Need You Tonight,” “Devil Inside,” and “New Sensation,” and their list of awards is immense.


2. The Bee Gees

You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone on this earth who hasn’t heard the song “Stayin’ Alive” by The Bee Gees.

Known around the world for their disco music, The Bee Gees are also known as a music legend.

While they have since retired, people around the world continue to listen to their music, and there was even a show in Las Vegas for a while based on this iconic group.

Related: The 30 Best 70s Songs: Classic Rock, Punk, Disco, and Some Serious Wild Cards


1. AC/DC

Other than The Bee Gees, AC/DC is probably the best Australian band of all time.

Formed in 1973 in Sydney, this band has taken the world by storm. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003 and have released more chart-topping hits than any other band on this list.

Their name is now synonymous with the genre of rock and roll, and they continue to write and produce albums to this day, with their latest album, Power Up, having been released in 2020.

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Written by Hope Davis

Long-time music lover Hope became a full-time writer in 2020 after being laid off from her regular job due to COVID-19. She now spends her time traveling the world to see her favorite bands while writing about them!


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