Jimmy Barnes tops the ARIA Albums chart to claim new solo record
In what was one of the most contentious weeks of the year for album sales, Australia’s most-loved working class hero has again debuted on top of the ARIA Albums Chart.
Jimmy Barnes and his team at Mushroom-owned label Bloodlines can head into the weekend with gusto. My Criminal Record not only hit the coveted top spot, but cracked a monumental milestone.
Barnes has now officially topped the albums chart 12 times as a solo artist, or 16 if you count the four Cold Chisel chart-toppers.
That’s more than any other artist since ARIA began compiling the charts in June 1988, surpassing Madonna and U2 who both have 11 #1 albums on the pop charts.
That’s one for the history books, folks.
A gruelling promo schedule kicked into overdrive last week when sales of the Rocketman soundtrack and a surprise EP from pop rebel Miley Cyrus joined the party like a wrecking ball.
But Jimmy Barnes, his manager John Watson and publicist Rina Ferris, wanted no second prize.
Television appearances aplenty, meet and greets at shopping centres, an impressive social media campaign and 95 media interviews proved just enough to accomplish the historical result.
My Criminal Record becomes the fourth #1 album from an Australian act in 2019, joining Hilltop Hoods (The Great Expanse), Dean Lewis (A Place We Knew) and Conrad Sewell (Life). Barnes’ last #1 LP was Soul Searchin’ in 2016.
“There will never be another artist in Australia like Jimmy Barnes,” affirms Mushroom maestro Michael Gudinski. “Sixteen number one albums is simply an incredible achievement and My Criminal Record is, in my opinion, some of the best work of Jimmy’s illustrious career.”
Even Beatlemania has proved no match for Barnes during the screamers solo career. In September 2009, he outsold all re-released and remastered Beatles albums with LP The Rhythm and The Blues and remains the biggest-selling rock act of all time in Australia.
Music fans can be fickle, but unlike many of his contemporaries, the Barnes fanbase has steadily grown with each album.
One insider told TMN on Saturday that major record company executives have been known to reschedule “sure-thing releases from international acts” to avoid the ‘Barnes effect’, and the independent machine that powers it.
Bloodlines boss Warren Costello embarked on “a quick lap of the map” with Barnes and a box of black Sharpies this week for three last-minute appearances at shopping malls in Victoria, Canberra and Adelaide. Each one a major event, drawing big crowds of adoring fans, all clutching a CD ready for signature.
“I honestly think we will end up dropping five or six singles from this album,” Costello tells TMN, “not because we can, but more importantly, because they are there.”
The 63-year-old rocker broke familiar ground last week when ‘Shutting Down Your Town’ arrived on the TMN Hot 100 at #97, marking his first appearance as a solo artist on the official airplay chart in 12 years.
Written by Troy Cassar-Daley after he read Barnes’ best-selling autobiography, the new Aussie anthem leapt 17 spots this week to #74 thanks to commercial radio support from 92.5 GOLD FM Gold Coast, Mix 94.5 Adelaide and the national Triple M Network.
“Having this music strike a chord with people, therefore, feels particularly good,” says Barnes.
“I’m grateful to everyone who’s continued to support me over the years and I’m looking forward to screaming my thanks in person when I get back out on the road shortly.”
View this week’s charts on the official ARIA website.