Jimmy Barnes

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Deemed as Australia’s most successful rock & roll singer, Jimmy Barnes has certainly got some stories to tell.

Jimmy’s life has been a wild ride which has seen him reach unbelievable highs and plummet to devastating lows, which in turn forced him to wrestle his own demons. As the lead singer of Cold Chisel, Jimmy was the lead vocalist of the most esteemed rock band in Australia.

When Cold Chisel went their separate ways, Jimmy Barnes wasted no time with his music, and within a month he began touring with a newly formed band. Not long after, he released his initial solo album, Bodyswerve, which hit the charts at number 1.

In 1987 Jimmy released his next album Freight Train Heart which also debuted at number 1. He was in the country when the monumental tour ‘Australian Made” took place, and he recorded the song “Good Times” with INXS. Unsurprisingly, the single was a smash hit in the Australian charts and also reached the Top 40 in the US and made it to the Top 10 in the UK.

1990 saw Jimmy release another number 1 album, Two Fires, which was his most refined set yet. Later that same year Jimmy also went on to record a soul classics album, with producer Don Gehman. The album Soul Deep, was massively successful with sales reaching almost a million copies to date.

Jimmy’s 1993 album, Heat, saw him return to his hard rock roots which was a hit with the fans. That very same year Jimmy teamed up with former Cold Chisel bandmate Don Walker with an acoustic version of Stone Cold, one of the many songs that made it to the collection of collaborations and acoustic duets on the unplugged album Flesh and Wood.

In 1998 Jimmy was involved in the reforming of Cold Chisel which was as much of a reconciliation as it was performing tours, live shows and also recording music.

Jimmy’s next album, Love and Fear, saw a release of many of the demons which had plagued him for numerous years. He faced up to some of the tough personal battles that he had managed to avoid by being away touring, and years of drinking and drug taking. He released another album Soul Deeper, which was a collection of southern style music which had more of a blues feel about it than the previous album Soul Deep. “When I made Psyclone and Love and Fear I was at the height of my alcoholism and addiction,” he recalls. “I was literally staring into the abyss.” 2002 saw the start of Jimmy’s long and hard journey to sobriety.

In July 2005, Jimmy’s fifteenth number one album, Double Happiness, was released and debuted at number 1 on the ARIA charts. This was the first number 1 album in nearly a decade. Double Happiness produced a succession of radio hits and went Double Platinum, with the album also being re-released as a CD/DVD package. It was also released as a karaoke version which was a combination of Jimmy’s hits, minus the lyrics, and a collection of hysterical videos. This was the start of a new chapter for Jimmy.

Jimmy Barnes was inducted into the prestigious ARIA Hall of Fame in October 2005 for his solo music career. Coupled with Cold Chisel’s 1993 induction, the iconic Australian music artist has been inducted twice.

Liberation music celebrated Jimmy’s 50th birthday by putting together a collation of his solo work, along with some never before seen studio recordings and live performances, into a boxed set entitled ’50’.

In early 2007, Jimmy Barnes underwent open heart surgery to fix a congenital heart defect. His recovery involved many months of much-needed bed rest, but proving that you can’t keep a good man down, Jimmy used this time to start writing for Out In The Blue, his 14th solo album which also went Platinum.

2009 saw Jimmy rack up his 9th number 1 solo album, The Rhythm and The Blues, which was the prequel to Soul Deep and unsurprisingly went Platinum too.

Jimmy released another rock album in 2010, entitled Rage And Ruin which was again produced by Don Gehman. This brought his solo album tally to 16.

Barnes released a new album, 30:30 Hindsight, in August 2014. This was an anniversary album which celebrated 30 years since his debut solo album Bodyswerve started topping the charts. This album also debuted at number 1 in Australia and became Jimmy’s 10th number 1 solo album.

In August 2015, Jimmy’s Best of the Soul Years compilation was released, bringing together a mix of R&B classics and soul hits from his three soul albums; Soul Deep, Soul Deeper and The Rhythm and the Blues, with the addition of two new tracks.

There is still plenty to look forward to from the Australian rock legend, with a long-awaited Cold Chisel tour and a new album of solo covers which is due to be released in 2016.

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