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News July 2, 2020

Yothu Yindi’s ‘Treaty’ rules new publicly-voted poll of the NT’s all-time greats

Yothu Yindi’s ‘Treaty’ rules new publicly-voted poll of the NT’s all-time greats

Yothu Yindi’s enduring hit ‘Treaty’ comes out on top of a new publicly-voted poll of the Northern Territory’s all-time greats.

Almost 30 years after it first hit the airwaves, ‘Treaty’ is No. 1 on the Territory Sounds Countdown, organised by trade body MusicNT and counted down on Territory Day (July 1).

Both the East Arnhem community of Yirrkala and Central Desert community of Papunya figure highly in the poll, with Warumpi Band’s ‘My Island Home’ and ‘Blackfella, Whitefella’ coming in No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, and Yothu Yindi’s ‘Djapana (Sunset Dreaming)’ taking out the No. 4 spot.

Milingimbi rapper and 2019 Young Australian of the Year Baker Boy sees his 2017 single ‘Marryuna’ featuring Yirrmal complete the top 5.

Watch Yothu Yindi’s ‘Treaty’:

‘Marryuna’ came in at No. 17 on Triple J’s Hottest 100 poll in January 2018, making Baker Boy (real name Danzal Baker) the-then second highest ever ranking Indigenous artist in Hottest 100 history, after A.B. Original’s ‘January 26′ went in at No. 16 in the 2016 countdown (Gamilaraay singer and songwriter Thelma Plum beat them all with ‘Better In Blak,’ which dropped in at No. 9 in the 2019 countdown).

The Top 40 “reminds us of how NT songs have such a key place in the national soundtrack and have defined movements, been rallying cries and celebrate place and time like no other scene in the country,” comments MusicNT executive director Mark Smith.

“We loved listening to the tracks on Territory Day this year, and what we think should be every year.”

Watch Yothu Yindi’s ‘Treaty’ (radio mix):

Minister for Tourism, Sport and Culture, Lauren Moss agreed. “The NT government supported this countdown to promote Territory musicians,” Minister Moss said in a statement, “and the top 40 shows the breadth of talent we have here.”

With ‘Treaty,’ Yothu Yindi took contemporary Aboriginal music to the world.

The NT band played their signature song in New York in 1992 to help launch the United Nations’ “International Year of the World’s Indigenous People.”

The track twice charted in the U.K. (in 1992 and in 2000) and cracked the Billboard charts.

Today, ‘Treaty’ is widely considered one of Australia’s most important works. In 1992, it went on to win song of the year at the ARIA Awards. A decade later, when APRA published its Top 30 Australian songs to celebrate its 75th anniversary, ‘Treaty’ was among them.

And in 2009 ‘Treaty’ was added to the National Film and Sound Archive’s Sounds of Australia registry.

Yothu Yindi were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2012.

More than 2,000 votes were cast on the NT poll, which broadcast live on Territory Day via ABC Local RadioTEABBACAAMA Radio8CCCGove FM8KTR and PAW Radio.

Check out the Territory Sounds Countdown Top 40 below:

  1. Treaty – Yothu Yindi
  2. My Island Home – Warumpi Band
  3. Blackfella, Whitefella – Warumpi Band
  4. Djapana (Sunset Dreaming) – Yothu Yindi
  5. Marryuna (feat. Yirrmal) – Baker Boy
  6. Raining on the Rock – John Williamson & Warren H Williams
  7. This Town – David Garnham & The Reasons to Live
  8. Bapa – Dr G Yunupingu
  9. Arafura Pearl – Ali Mills
  10. Black Boy – Coloured Stone
  11. Territory Time – Tom Curtain
  12. More Wine Waiter Please – The Poor
  13. Man of War – The Poor
  14. Dirty Money – The Poor
  15. Cool as Hell – Baker Boy
  16. Budju – Pole Top Rescue
  17. Parlingarri- B2m
  18. Got Some Bloody Good Drinker in the Northern Territory – Ted Egan
  19. Cloud 9 (feat. Kian) – Baker Boy
  20. Return of the King Hit – Emerald Sun
  21. Mr La Di Da Di – Baker Boy
  22. Little Things – Jessica Mauboy
  23. Dancing in the Moonlight – Coloured Stone
  24. Feeling Good – Emerald Sun
  25. Smack Bang! – Tom Curtain
  26. Speak Up (feat. Sara Storer) – Tom Curtain
  27. Meditjin (feat. JessB) – Baker Boy
  28. Where Da F*ck Is D-Town? – Emerald Sun
  29. Never Never Land (feat. Luke O’Shea) – Tom Curtain
  30. Love Inside a Jar – David Garnham & The Reasons to Live
  31. Tell Someone Who Cares – The Poor
  32. Hair of the Dog – The Poor
  33. Black Smoke – Emily Wurramara
  34. We Got Love – Jessica Mauboy
  35. Poison – The Poor
  36. The Hunter – Lonely Boys
  37. Ain’t on a Chain – The Poor
  38. Tucker’s Daughter – Ian Moss
  39. Roper River – Tom Curtain
  40. Soap – Draft Day

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.

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