The Brag Media
News October 27, 2015

TMN RETROSPECTIVE REPORT: Three Newcastle teens invade the US – 1995

TMN celebrates two decades in this ever-shifting music industry by taking a look back at the key moments – both triumphant and tumultuous – in the Australian music business.


“So this young guy from Silverchair looks like my dead husband Kurt and sings like Eddie Vedder. How lame,” yelled Courtney Love from the stage at 1995’s Big Day Out – possibly unaware of Daniel Johns’ tender age. It was clear by this point, with the young Newcastle band riding high off the back of two hit singles, that they were set for international success. By that year’s end, their debut single Tomorrow was the most-played track on US modern rock radio that year.

SBS and Triple J discovered the prodigious but disarmingly normal 15-year-olds in 1994, when they took out the proto- Unearthed competition, Pick Me – recording the single Tomorrow at Triple J’s Sydney studio. A bidding war ensued, with Sony’s freshly-launched subsidiary Murmur Records – ostensibly an independent label, but with the reach and resources of a major – winning out. John Watson, the A&R manager who signed the band, soon left the label to take on management. The very same version of Tomorrow the trio recorded as part of their prize pack went to #1 in October 1994, and sat there for six weeks. The band’s debut album fared even better, being the first Australian record since INXS in the ‘80s to hit the US Top 10, selling three million copies. At home the album took out five ARIA awards (the band have since won 21 in total) and debuted at #1, the first of their five studio albums to do so.

Our year on year reports are published courtesy of the Australian Music Industry Quarterly magazine. For your free copy click here

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