Jimmy Barnes extends Australian chart record with ‘Blue Christmas’

It’s shaping up to be one Jimmy Barnes Christmas in Australia as the legendary rocker scores another No. 1, this time with a collection of holiday classics.

Barnes’ Blue Christmas (via Liberation/Universal) blasts to the top of ARIA chartfor his 15Th leader, extending his all-time lead in that category.

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Blue Christmas is the 20thTh solo studio album for Barnesy, as he is affectionately known in these parts. It adds to his collection of leaders, which include Bodyswerve (1984), For the working class man (1985), The heart of freight trains (1987), Child storming (1988), Two fires (1990), Soul deep (1991), Hits (1996), Double happiness (2005), Rhythm And The Blues (2009), 30:30 Hindsight (2014), soul searching (2016), My criminal record (2019), Flesh and blood (2021) and Soul Deep 30an anniversary edition which landed at No. 1 in June.

Including his five leaders with Cold Chisel, Barnes boasts an unprecedented 20 No.1s, comfortably eclipsing the Beatles (with 14), Madonna (12), Eminem and U2 (11).

If laughter is the best medicine, a no. 1 album definitely has some healing powers. Barnes received his latest honor just days after he scrapped a tour planned for the coming months when surgeons broke the news that he will need back and hip surgery. He is expected to make a full recovery and return to the road again in the second half of 2023.

“This is a great Christmas present and I am grateful to receive it. It has been a hard week as I have withdrawn from the summer tour to undergo surgery, he says in a statement.

“I’d like to say that the warm reception to this album has put a spring in my step, but that would be a medical miracle right now. Instead, I just want to say thank you to everyone who continues to listen to my new music and thank all the people behind the scenes for their help. I wish everyone a happy holiday and can’t wait to get back on stage next year.”

The “Working Class Man” singer is twice inducted into ARIA Hall of Famefirst with Cold Chisel (in 1993), and again as a solo artist (2005), and is the first Australian solo act to have a No. 1 album in each decade since the 1980s.

Blue Christmas is Barnes’ fifth consecutive solo chart topper in Australia, unseating Taylor Swift. Midnights after five weeks at the helm.

Barnes’ Pre-Christmas Gift is one of several current titles influencing both ARIA charts. AndreaMatteo and Virginia Bocelli’s A family Christmas (Decca/Universal) lifts 16-9 on the latest album survey, published in Dec. 2, while Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” (Columbia/Sony) is on the verge of another appearance in the singles chart’s top 10, at 50-11. Further down the singles list, Wham’s 80s classic “Last Christmas” (Sony) returns at No. 30.

After a musical greeting to the seekers‘ deceased singer Judith Durham at the ARIA Awards 2022, the folk-pop outfit carry me (Decca/Universal) returns to the top row. The album, which celebrates its 60thTh anniversary, falls in at No. 10 on the ARIA chart. Durham died Aug. 5 after suffering complications from a long-standing lung disease, aged 79.

Finally, Taylor Swift’s “Anti-Hero” (Universal) refuses to budge from the top spot on ARIA Singles Chartwhile Lil Uzi Vert grabs the week’s highest debuting single with “Just Wanna Rock” (Atlantic/Warner), new at No. 39.

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