The Best Australian Bands, Ranked

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Who are the best Australian bands? The best bands from Australia you'll find on this list come from a variety of different musical genres, including rock, pop, metal, electronic, jam, punk, and acoustic. Sometimes known as "Oz Rock," rock n' roll has prevailed in Australia for the past 50 years.  

Three distinct types of rock made their way to the outback between 1955 - 1975. The first wave in the '50s was influenced by both American and British music. Most of the tunes in this era were fairly clean-cut acts, and often appeared on Bandstand. However, the Beatles swooped in shortly after and changed everything. With them came other pop acts, such as The BeeGees and The Easybeats. The third wave occurred in the early '70s, and influenced a new style of rock called "pub rock." The most famous pub rock band to come out of this decade was of course, AC/DC.  

Music lovers who are looking for new music to listen to can use this list of talented Australian musicians to discover some great new bands and artists. Vote up the best Australian bands based on the quality of their music rather than just their popularity or fame.

Most divisive: Savage Garden
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  • AC/DC
    1
    6,496 votes

    A powerhouse in the rock world, this legendary band from Sydney is known for their high-energy performances, distinctive heavy sound, and unforgettable tunes. With an impressive career spanning nearly five decades, they've sold over 200 million records worldwide, solidifying their position as one of the best Australian bands of all time. Their uncanny ability to combine hard-hitting riffs with catchy melodies and in-your-face lyrics has garnered them a massive following and influence, not only in rock but pop culture as a whole.

  • INXS
    2
    5,470 votes

    Hailing from Sydney, this iconic band exploded onto the scene in the late '70s, captivating audiences around the world with their unique blend of rock, pop, and New Wave. They consistently pushed boundaries and experimented with their sound, earning them respect within the industry, as well as multiple chart-topping hits and record sales exceeding 70 million worldwide. Known for their dynamic stage presence and unparalleled musicality, they remain a significant influence and staple in Australian music history.

  • Midnight Oil
    3
    4,734 votes

    Renowned for their potent mix of rock, punk, and new wave, this politically charged band from Sydney became an essential part of Australia's cultural fabric in the '80s and '90s. Their powerful messages of social justice, indigenous rights, and environmentalism resonated with fans across the globe, showcasing the depth of their songwriting and the strength of their convictions. With a relentless work ethic, they produced an illustrious career that included numerous chart successes and a lasting impact on generations of musicians to come.

  • Crowded House
    4
    3,604 votes

    Formed in Melbourne in the mid-'80s, this powerhouse band created a lasting legacy in the world of alternative rock with their evocative lyrics, intricate harmonies, and infectious melodies. Their masterful blending of pop, rock, and folk elements led to numerous chart successes and a devoted fanbase, both in Australia and internationally. Known for their emotive live performances, they remain a beloved and influential group in the annals of Australian music.

  • Powderfinger
    5
    2,510 votes

    With origins in Brisbane, this alternative rock band captured audiences' hearts across Australia and beyond throughout the '90s and 2000s with their introspective lyrics, anthemic choruses, and dramatic guitar-driven soundscapes. Their numerous accolades, including multiple ARIA awards and millions of records sold, attest to their widespread impact and appeal. As one of Australia's most successful and respected rock bands, their legacy remains an essential piece of the nation's musical tapestry.

  • The Angels
    6
    2,678 votes

    Heralding from Adelaide, this hard-rocking band commanded attention with their pounding rhythms, razor-sharp guitar riffs, and distinctive vocals during the '70s and '80s. As pioneers of the Australian pub rock scene, they played a significant role in shaping the nation's musical landscape and paved the way for future generations of local musicians. With a career spanning four decades and 13 studio albums, their enduring influence and popularity among rock enthusiasts are undeniable.