Excellent Australians

The best music from Down Under, not counting Kylie

Australian rock band AC/DC in New York, 1979. Credit: Michael Putland/Getty

The Easybeats
This quintet of immigrants from Holland, England and Scotland was Australia's answer to both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, packing white R&B frenzy into knockout pop songs, mostly written by the group's own Lennon and McCartney, guitarists Harry Vanda and George Young.
Greatest moment: "Friday on My Mind" (1967)

Under the early studio guidance of Vanda and Young, this heavy-rock institution — founded in 1973 by George Young's pint-size brothers, guitarists Angus and Malcolm — conquered the world with Chuck Berry chord changes fired up with Aussie-pub-brawl snarl and the wolf-in-heat charm of Bon Scott.
Essential boogie: Highway to Hell(1979)

The Saints
The Saints went into a Brisbane studio in June 1976 — the same month the Ramones' first LP came out — and cut the fierce, fast"(I'm) Stranded," the song that jump-started Australia's punk revolt, and one of the best singles of that era from any continent. 
Killer album: (I'm) Stranded (1977)

Midnight Oil
In 1986, the Oils — Australia's answer to the Clash — went on a tour of aboriginal settlements in the red deserts and wetlands of the Northern Territory. The result was 1987's Diesel and Dust, a dynamic collection of songs about the magnificent emptiness of central Australia and the endangered culture of its indigenous people.
Biggest U.S. hit: "Beds Are Burning" (1988)

The Birthday Party
In their gothic-fire prime in early-1980s London, they were one of rock's most amazing live bands, wrapping Nick Cave's vocal sacrilege in magnificent chaos.
Finest noiseLive 1981-1982 (1999)