Jimmy Barnes Makes Australian Chart History With 'My Criminal Record'

Photo credit: Gary Heery
Jimmy Barnes

Jimmy Barnes is a living legend in Australia, a two-time ARIA Hall of Famer who led the storied rock act Cold Chisel and never missed a beat with his solo career, which continues to go strong.

Barnesy, as he’s affectionately known, is now also a history-maker in these parts, his new LP My Criminal Record bowing atop the latest national albums survey, for his 12th solo No. 1. 

With My Criminal Record, released May 31 through Bloodlines, a label of Michael Gudinski’s Mushroom Group, Barnes snags the record for most No. 1s since the ARIA Charts were launched in 1983.

"I’m looking forward to screaming my thanks in person to you all when I get back out on the road shortly," Barnes tweeted after ARIA published its charts on the weekend.

Barnes previously held the record jointly with Madonna and U2, with 11. The Scotland-born singer also has four chart-leaders with Cold Chisel, who were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 1993; Barnes was inducted as a solo artist during a ceremony in 2005.

ARIA CEO Dan Rosen paid tribute to Barnes and his achievement. “To have so much chart success over so many years is a testament to Jimmy's enduring appeal to Australian music fans from all walks of life and across multiple generations,” comments Rosen in a statement. “He is truly a legend of our industry and of our country.”

My Criminal Record is Barnes’ first album of original material since Rage And Ruin, which hit No. 3 in September 2010, and his first of originals to reach the summit since Two Fires did so in September 1990. The new set also leads ARIA’s Vinyl Albums tally.

“There will never be another artist in Australia like Jimmy Barnes,” comments Gudinski in a statement. “Sixteen No. 1 albums is simply an incredible achievement and My Criminal Record is, in my opinion, some of the best work of Jimmy’s illustrious career.”

My Criminal Record holds off some tough competition on this week’s ARIA Albums Chart, as Billie Eilish’s When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? dips 1-2, Elton John’s Diamonds rises 8-3, Pink’s former leader Hurts 2B Human falls 2-4 and Susan Boyle celebrates her first decade in the record business with Ten, a new collection of classics and new cuts which arrives at No. 5.

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Also new to the national albums chart this week is Miley Cyrus' She Is Coming, the first of three, six-track EPs. It’s new at No. 10. Miley’s most recent full-length album, Younger Now, peaked at No. 2 on the chart in October 2017.

London grime authority Skepta banks his second chart entry with Ignorance Is Bliss, new at no. 15. Ignorance is the followup to 2016’s Konnichiwa, which  reached No. 13. 

On this week’s ARIA Singles Chart, Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” locks down a seventh week at No. 1, while Katy Perry has the week’s highest debut as “Never Really Over” starts at No. 7. It’s the U.S. pop star’s 13th top ten on the ARIA Singles Chart.

Perry’s last track to impact the survey was “Swish Swish,” which managed a best of No. 22 in July 2017, and her last appearance in the top tier came in February 2017 when “Chained To The Rhythm” reached No. 4.