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Aussie artists
Welcome to Living in the Land of Oz

Howzat! Archive - January 3rd 2018

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GOODBYE TO 2017
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. For every good news story in 2017, there was a downer. Midnight Oil came back, but too many legends died. Lots of Aussie albums topped the charts, but not one Australian song went to number one. The Australian Music Vault opened, but several key venues closed. The Community Cup sold out, but some streakers were arrested. Here are some highlights – and lowlights – from the 2017 year in Australian music:

READ ABOUT IT
It was a stellar year for Australian music books. Releasing books this year: The Angels, Greg Arnold, Jimmy Barnes, Beeb Birtles, Dave Graney, Mark Holden, Fiona Horne, Tex Perkins, Tim Rogers, Rob Snarski and Mick Thomas. And the marvellous Melbourne Books published a superb coffee table book on the Sunbury Festival. But the highlight for Howzat! was the great Ian McFarlane issuing the second edition of his magnum opus The Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. Essential.


ROCK IN PEACE
It was a devastating year for the Young family – and for Australian music. Songwriter, producer and Easybeats guitarist George Young died in October; less than a month later, we lost his younger brother, AC/DC’s Malcolm Young. We also said goodbye to Dr G Yunupingu, record producer Tony Cohen, Simon Holmes from The Hummingbirds, The Australian’s Iain Shedden, Mi-Sex guitarist Kevin Stanton, Dynamic Hepnotics drummer Robbie Souter, and recording engineer John French. And we farewelled the Caravan Club, the Flying Saucer Club, Bella Union, the Greyhound and the ABC studios where Countdown was filmed. The legendary St Kilda scene is really suffering – the rumoured return of the Espy (believed to be November next year) can’t come quickly enough. 

CHART WATCH
And we thought 2016 was bad. Just 12 Australian singles reached the Top 10 in 2016. How low can you go? Well, in 2017, just four homegrown hits cracked the ARIA Top 10, and not one Australian song hit number one. An unbelievably bad result. The highest-charting homegrown hit was Amy Shark’s Adore, which peaked at three. Overall, just 23 Australian singles made the Top 40 – for the entire year. But the story was more positive on the album charts, with nine Australian albums hitting number one, 62 local albums reaching the Top 10, and 145 making the Top 40. When it comes to the charts, Boom Crash Opera explained it perfectly: These here are crazy times.

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