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Cold Chisel

Cold Chisel are the classic Australian pub rock band, playing a tough breed of rock and blues inspired by '70s bands like Free, Deep Purple, and Led Zeppelin, but characterized by the storytelling skills of their main songwriter, Don Walker, whose personal influences came from Bob Dylan. Between 1978 and 1983, Cold Chisel ruled as Australia's most popular band on record and on-stage. They sold over six million records in Australia alone, most of that number after their 1983 breakup and 1998 reunion.

They came together in Adelaide during September 1973 on the initiative of guitarist/singer Ian Moss. In the beginning, the band used a different name for every performance. After they used the name of the Don Walker song "Cold Chisel" for one particular performance, that name stuck. Keyboard player Walker gradually came up with a strong catalog of songs to match the group's tough rock reputation on-stage, centered mainly on their raw-voiced, vodka-swilling, dripping-with-sweat singer Jimmy Barnes. Bass player Phil Small replaced original member Les Kaczmarek in 1975, and at the start of 1977, Cold Chisel resettled in Sydney hoping to land the record contract that had alluded them for more than a year.

In the era of Fleetwood Mac, ELO, and the Eagles, Cold Chisel's sound was not deemed commercial. However WEA Records took the chance and their self-titled first album was released in April 1978 without setting the world on fire. The first single, "Khe Sahn," about an Australian Vietnam veteran, was banned from airplay over part of the lyric. It has since become one of the most played classic rock tracks on Australian radio. The second album saw Cold Chisel enter the Top Ten, less raw than the band on-stage, but concentrating on the songs. Filled with localized lyric references, Breakfast at Sweethearts earned the band its first platinum record. June 1980's East album took the band over the top, tougher than Breakfast at Sweethearts but still stacked with strong songs, this time with other bandmembers joining in the songwriting, and guitarist Ian Moss taking lead vocals on two songs with his strong soul voice. They followed East with the number one live album Swingshift while supporting the U.S. release of East with tours across the country. The next album was aimed at the world market, but its title said how out of place they felt. They called it Circus Animals. Tours of Europe and the U.K. followed.

Disillusionment set in when the band's music failed to find favor in America, adding to the internal tensions created by various members' songwriting ambitions and singer Jimmy Barnes' volatile personality. On innumerable occasions throughout the band's lifespan, he had quit the band and rejoined. But now, after ten years together, Cold Chisel decided to call it quits with a farewell tour ending at the Sydney Entertainment Centre in December 1983. Barnes immediately launched an incredibly successful solo career, accumulating seven Australian number one albums. Guitarist Ian Moss took five years off before releasing a number one album of his own, reuniting him with the songs of Don Walker. Walker started his own low-key recording and performing career, forging relationships with a varied assortment of Australian music-makers, both rock and country. Drummer Steve Prestwich joined Little River Band for two years. Throughout the rest of the '80s and into the '90s, Cold Chisel albums kept selling and fans vainly hoped for a reunion.

Then, after almost two years of secret discussions and jam sessions, a reunion album and tour were assembled in 1998. The Last Wave of Summer topped the album chart in Australia, and the band played to sold-out arenas across the country. They released a live music soundtrack to a documentary about the tour titled Last Stand less than a year later. Over the next decade, Cold Chisel regrouped for touring and a few one-off shows, then in 2010 Moss revealed that they were working on a new album. Sadly, Prestwich died early the next year after brain surgery for a tumor. The group enlisted Charley Drayton (the Divinyls, the Cult) to play drums and hit the road again beginning in 2011, releasing the album No Plans, which featured the drumming of both Prestwich and Drayton, in the spring of 2012. The album reached number two in Australia. A series of successful album reissues, compilations, and high-drawing tours led to an eighth studio album, The Perfect Crime, in the fall of 2015. ~ Ed Nimmervoll
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Best Of Cold Chisel

1. Standing On The Outside

2. Rising Sun

3. You Got Nothing I Want

4. No Sense

6. Breakfast At Sweethearts

7. My Baby

8. Bow River

10. Cheap Wine

11. Forever Now

12. Saturday Night

13. Flame Trees

14. Merry-Go-Round

15. Star Hotel

16. Goodbye (Astrid Goodbye) (live)

17. When The War Is Over

18. Khe Sanh

x

Track List: Circus Animals

1. You Got Nothing I Want

2. Bow River

3. Forever Now

4. Taipan

5. Houndog

6. Wild Colonial Boy

7. No Good For You

8. Numbers Fall

9. When The War Is Over

10. Letter To Alan

x

Track List: East

1. Standing On The Outside

2. Never Before

3. Choirgirl

4. Rising Sun

5. My Baby

6. Tomorrow

7. Cheap Wine

8. Best Kept Lies

9. Ita

10. Star Hotel

11. Four Walls

12. My Turn To Cry

14. Hands Out Of My Pocket

x

Track List: Breakfast At Sweethearts

1. Conversations

2. Merry-Go-Round

3. Dresden

4. Goodbye (Astrid Goodbye)

5. Plaza

6. Shipping Steel

7. I'm Gonna Roll Ya

8. Showtime

9. Breakfast At Sweethearts

10. The Door

11. It Ain't Wrong

12. Mona And The Preacher

13. Metho Blues

x

Track List: Cold Chisel (Remastered)

1. Juliet

2. Khe Sanh

3. Home And Broken Hearted

4. One Long Day

5. Northbound

6. Rosaline

7. Daskarzine

8. Just How Many Times

x

Track List: No Plans

1. No Plans

2. Everybody

3. All For You

4. Hq454 Monroe

5. Dead And Laid To Rest

6. Missing A Girl

7. Too Late

8. I Gotta Get Back On The Road

9. Our Old Flame

10. This Day

11. Summer Moon

12. The Horizon

13. I Got Things To Do (Steve Vocal)

x

Track List: Ringside

1. Home And Broken Hearted (Live)

2. The Things I Love In You (Live)

3. Cheap Wine (Live)

4. Rosaline (Live)

5. Breakfast At Sweethearts (Live)

6. My Baby (Live)

7. Houndog (Live)

8. Plaza (Live)

9. Fallen Angel (Live)

10. Shipping Steel (Live)

11. The Last Wave Of Summer (Live)

12. Pretty Little Thing (Live)

13. Merry-Go-Round (Live)

14. Forever Now (Live)

15. Khe Sanh (Live)

16. Cry Me A River (Live)

17. Four Walls (Live)

18. Lovelight (Live)

19. When The War Is Over (Live)

20. All I Wanna Do (Steve Vocal) (Live)

21. Big River (Live)

22. Painted Doll (Live)

23. Saturday Night (Live)

24. You Got Nothing I Want (Live)

25. Rising Sun (Live)

26. Flame Trees (Live)

27. Bow River (Live)

28. Water Into Wine (Live)

29. F-111 (Live)

30. Sunshine (Live)

31. Goodbye (Astrid Goodbye) (Live)

32. All I Wanna Do (Jimmy Vocal) (Live)

x

Track List: The Last Wave Of Summer

1. Mr. Crown Prosecutor

2. The Things I Love In You

3. Baby's On Fire

4. This Time Round

5. Bal-A-Versailles

6. Yakuza Girls

7. Once Around The Sun

8. Somewhere In The Silence

9. By My Side

10. Water Into Wine

11. Never Stop Loving You

12. Red Sand

13. Angel In My Room

14. Pretty Little Thing

15. Someone Caught My Eye

16. He Can't Believe It's Over

17. Way Down

18. This Big Old Car

19. So Hard

20. The Last Wave Of Summer

x

Track List: The Perfect Crime (Deluxe)

1. Alone For You

2. The Backroom

3. All Hell Broke Lucy

4. The Perfect Crime

5. Long Dark Road

6. Four In The Morning

7. The Mansions

8. The Toast Of Paris

9. Shoot The Moon

10. Mexican Wedding

11. Get Lucky

12. Bus Station

13. Lost

14. Romantic Lies

15. Blue Flame

Comments

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Barnsey- goosebumps!! !
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love my chisel even since i was 13, 31 years ago and never ever tire hearing flame trees or any cold chisel, ian moss or jimmy barnes
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Cold chisel is the best ever
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I've been to see you play in sydney
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Jimmy banes ROCK BEST BAND IN AUSTRALIA ...KIND REGARDS BERT��������
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Great bamd
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Loved chisel back in my young days. ..still love them now
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Love the Chisels
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Some of the best songs I know
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dstoddartrlc 8 4
Love cold ones while listening to cold yay ya
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They arent stupid there is only one jimmy barnes
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My older brother turned me on to Jimmy Barnes 20 years ago. Working class hero!! I just stumbled across Cold Chisel and two songs in particular "flame trees" and "all for you"...... Wow i'm blown away.,.. I had no idea
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larry_the_lo b s t e r
Bow River live rocks!
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I'm fairly new to COLD CHISEL and JIMMY BARNES .I've only known them for about 10+yrs and I really feel bad for the rest of the country who doesn't know them . They REALLY don't know what theyre missing.
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Saw them several times in the 80's. they absolutely ROCK
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A trueiy bad a** rock band !!!!!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
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Love this band, flame tree is another great song.
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andrew.calde r 8
They are reforming for a Australia/NZ tour in late 2011. Everyone in Australia has heard of Cold Chisel. But the rest of the world missed out, in general. Time to rediscover the greatest Aussie rock band ever (apologies to AC/DC - Chisel is a different kind of beast). Great melodies, insightful lyrics, virtuoso guitar playing by Ian Moss. Look up their live album "Barking Spiders Live" for a taste of what a great live band these folks are.
Report as inappropriate
sesquized
I have a copy of a self-titled LP "Cold Chisel" dated 1987. It also mentions "You're 13, you're beautiful and you're mine" <1978>; "Swingshift" <1981> and "Twentieth Century" <1984>. The first 3 are live, but it isn't clear whether Twentieth Century is live (my guess is not)

- Bill
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thay are stupid
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GREAT BAND!!! Give them a listen!
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The Aussie super group!

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