OK, for a famous pub quiz win, who was the first Australian act to have a No. 1 single in the U.K.? Think hard.
If you said Men At Work, you go home a loser. Kylie Minogue? Close, but no. INXS? They didn’t hit the top of the singles chart (but they had one album, Welcome To Wherever You Are, go to the summit). The answer is the Seekers, the folk-rock stars who hit the top twice, first with “I’ll Never Find Another You” in 1965 and “The Carnival is Over” in the same year (arguably their best known song “Georgy Girl” peaked at No. 3 in 1967).
Chart geeks and parochial Aussie music fans can rest easy after the Official U.K. Charts Company published a “definitive” list of No. 1s from the land Down Under.
Since the first singles survey was published 1952, 31 songs by Australian acts have reached the top. Just like the Great Southern Land itself, the lineup of Aussie chart beasts reads like a mixed bag, from novelty songs (“Shaddap Your Face”), to pop and rock, house, a touch of hip-hop, Eurovision (Gina G’s “Ooh Aah… Just A Little Bit”) and a unique spoken-word mantra (movie director Baz Luhrmann’s “Everybody’s Free”).
ARIA wiped him from its Hall of Fame, but the history books still recognise Rolf Harris as the first solo male Australia artist to land a No. 1 single in the U.K., which he did at the turn of the ‘70s with “Two Little Boys.”