Like Wow, Wipeout: Aus Artists Struggle In 2022 ARIA Charts

5 January 2023 | 11:46 am | Jeff Jenkins

Just five Australian singles made the Top 10 for the whole of 2022.

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Things were bad in 2021. They got worse in 2022.

Like wow, wipeout. That’s the Aussie singles story on the ARIA charts for the past year. 

Just 20 homegrown hits cracked the Top 40 in 2022 – even worse than 2021 (23) and 2020 (26). 

Only five Australian singles made the Top 10, with two topping the charts: The Kid LAROI’s Stay – which spent 14 weeks at number one in 2021 and a further three weeks on top in 2022 – and Japanese-Aussie artist Joji, whose Glimpse Of Us spent one week on top. (Joji, real name George Miller, was born in Japan. His father is Australian, and ARIA cheekily classifies him as an Aussie artist.) One also featured Justin Bieber and two were covers.

Thirteen Aussie albums reached the summit (compared to 14 in 2021); just one – Daniel JohnsFutureNever – spent two weeks on top.

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FutureNever was also the only chart-topping Aussie album that didn’t enter the charts at number one (aside from the reissued Paul Kelly’s Christmas Train, which hit number one in 2022 after peaking at two in 2021). FutureNever debuted at two, ascending to number one in its third week. It then returned to the top spot in its 14th week on the charts.

In other chart highlights, The Wiggles scored their first number one album, ReWiggled, and Jimmy Barnes had two chart-toppers – Soul Deep 30 and Blue Christmas, the first time he’s had two solo number one albums in the same year. Barnesy has now had a remarkable 20 number one albums (15 solo, five with Cold Chisel). Only four of the thirteen Australian #1s were from artists that are less than a decade old.

Overall, 56 Australian albums hit the Top 10 in 2022 (down from 64 in 2021, and 72 in 2020) and 97 made the Top 40 (down from 127 in 2021, and 131 in 2020).

On the end of year ARIA Charts, just four Australian songs made the Top 50 singles including two from The Kid LAROI (who went to the US to be signed), Joji (Australian on a technicality) and Luude, whose remake of Men At Work's Down Under charted in the UK before it was embraced locally. 

The Albums Chart was the same with only four Australian entries in the Top 50 and three of those were outside the Top 40. The Kid LAROI, Daniel Johns, Spacey Jane and The Very Best of INXS were the only four Australian albums to make the Top 50.

Head back thirty years to 1992 and it was a very different story. The end-of-year Albums Chart saw the top four albums all homegrown (Jesus Christ Superstar, Baby Animals, Jimmy Barnes and Diesel) and thirteen albums in the Top 50. The singles chart had fifteen local entries. What has happened over the ensuing thirty years is a tale of technology, business and culture colliding to marginalise Australian music.

Whatever way you spin it, it’s a sorry tale.

What can be done?

When Midnight Oil’s Resist debuted at number one, the band issued a statement lamenting the fact that they and INXS were among only five Aussie acts in that week’s Top 40.

“What year is it again?” they pointedly asked.

“Clearly the federal government needs to introduce better local content rules – and better enforcement of those rules – across all platforms, to make sure the next generation of local artists get a fair go.”

The Aussie albums that topped the charts in 2022

Huskii – Antihero 
Midnight Oil – Resist 
Gang of Youths – angel in realtime.
The Wiggles – ReWiggled 
Northlane – Obsidian 
Daniel Johns – FutureNever 
Jimmy Barnes – Soul Deep 30 
Spacey Jane – Here Comes Everybody 
Parkway Drive – Darker Still 
Meg Mac – Matter of Time 
5 Seconds of Summer – 5SOS5
Jimmy Barnes – Blue Christmas
Paul Kelly – Paul Kelly’s Christmas Train

The Aussie singles that made the Top 10 in 2022

The Kid Laroi & Justin Bieber – Stay (#1 for 3 weeks)
Joji – Glimpse of Us (#1, one week)
The Wiggles – Elephant (#10)
Luude featuring Colin Hay – Down Under (#10)
The Kid Laroi – Thousand Miles (#4)