Jimmy Barnes Extends Australian Chart Record With ‘Blue Christmas’

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

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

Blue Christmas is the 20th solo studio album for Barnesy, as he’s affectionately known in these parts. It adds to his collection of leaders, which includes Bodyswerve (1984), For The Working Class Man (1985), Freight Train Heart (1987), Barnestorming (1988), Two Fires (1990), Soul Deep (1991), Hits (1996), Double Happiness (2005), The Rhythm And The Blues (2009), 30:30 Hindsight (2014), Soul Searchin’ (2016), My Criminal Record (2019), Flesh And Blood (2021) and Soul Deep 30, an 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 surely has some healing powers. Barnes collects his latest honor just days after he scrapped his touring scheduled for the months ahead, when surgeons gave him the news that he requires back and hip surgery. He’s expected to make a complete recovery and return to the road again in the second half of 2023.

“This is a fantastic Christmas present and I’m grateful to receive it. It’s been a rough week given that I’ve withdrawn from summer touring to have surgery,” he says in a statement.

“I’d like to say that the warm reception for this album has put a spring in my step, but that would be a medical miracle right now. Instead, I’ll just say thanks to everyone who keeps listening to my new music and thank all the people behind the scenes for their help. I wish everyone the happiest of holidays and can’t wait to get back onstage next year.”

The “Working Class Man” singer is twice inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame, first 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 every decade since the 1980s.

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

Barnes’ pre-Christmas gift is one of several timely titles impacting both ARIA Charts. Andrea, Matteo and Virginia Bocelli’s A Family Christmas (Decca/Universal) lifts 16-9 on the latest albums survey, published Dec. 2, while Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” (Columbia/Sony) is on the brink of another appearance in the singles chart top 10, vaulting 50-11. Further down the singles list, Wham’s ‘80s classic “Last Christmas” (Sony) reenters at No. 30.

Following a musical salute to the Seekers’ late singer Judith Durham at the 2022 ARIA Awards, the folk-pop outfit’s Carry Me (Decca/Universal) returns to the top tier. The album, which celebrates its 60th anniversary, drops 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 the ARIA Singles Chart, while Lil Uzi Vert snags the week’s highest debuting single with “Just Wanna Rock” (Atlantic/Warner), new at No. 39.

Lars Brandle