Jimmy Barnes was born April, 28 1956 in Glasgow, Scotland. His original name was 'James Dixon Swan' and his father was a featherweight boxing champion in Glasgow. In 1961/62 his family moved to Australia. After playing in a school band (he replaced Bon Scott
(who joined AC/DC
) as lead vocalist in the band Fraternity. Then, aged 16 and a half, he joined 'Cold Chisel' in 1973. First they played the pubs of Adelaide, then the pubs of Australia and before getting a record contract in 1976. Now, 'Cold Chisel' are Australian history - one of the best bands Australia ever had. They split up in 1983 because they thought they weren't playing good music anymore and they didn't want to rip their fans off with another album.
Jimmy started his solo career and his first album Bodyswerve
, produced by Mark Opitz, was published in 1984. It included the hit singles No Second Price
and went straight to number one in the Australian album chart. In 1985 Jimmy recorded a few new songs and recut some of the tracks from Bodyswerve
for his American debut of the For The Working Man
album. The title track was used for Ron Howard's
movie Gung Ho
, the album was mixed for American audience and recorded with American musicians. It sold very well in Australia (several times platinum, one of the biggest selling albums down under). In America it didn't sell at all.
Jimmy left his wild years behind when he left 'Cold Chisel' and married Jane Mahoney (he says she saved his life). He became a responsible family man and in his life there was no place for rock star nonsense. He recorded two songs (Good Times
, Laying Down The Law
) together with INXS
for the The Lost Boys
soundtrack and in 1988 his first live album Barnestorming
was published (it sold several times platinum down under). Then, in 1990, he recorded Two Fires
, his fourth studio album. In 1991 he recorded a cover album containing his favourite soul cs (Soul Deep)
and in 1992 he went into a studio together with Tina Turner
and Diesel to record a great new version of The Best
In 1993 Heat
was another brilliant Barnes album that went straight to the number one of the Australian album chart. An acoustic album, called Flesh And Wood
, was recorded in the same year. On this record Barnes was supported by The Badloves, Joe Cocker
, Ross Wilson
, Tommy Emmanuel, Diesel, Don Walker
, Deborah Conway
and Archie Roach.
Jimmy Barnes is an Australian folk hero, he is the 'working class man' and if you ever have the chance to see him live, you'll understand why. Rock music is his profession and Jimmy gives his best. He lived in France for a while but returned to Australia. A "best of" including a bonus album full of rare stuff was released in October 1996 and in December 1998, Jimmy toured with some good old "friends" of the 'Chisel' days.