The unstoppable Hillsong Worship has scored its latest number one album with Open Heaven/River Wild, an album recorded during the Hillsong Conference in Sydney this July.

Triple J’s Like a Version Volume 11 showed that it’s got really staying power after holding steady at number two this week, despite strong competition from new albums from Demi Lovato, Jamie Lawson, and Pentatonix.

These strong debuts have pushed last week’s number one, Limit of Love by Boy & Bear, down to number seven, just ahead of Cold Chisel’s The Perfect Crime.

There are no Aussies on the singles charts, but hopefully as X Factor mania heats up that will change.

Here are all this week’s top tens.

Top 10 Albums
1. Open Heaven/River Wild – Hillsong Worship
2. Triple J Like a Version Vol. 11 – Various
3. Confident – Demi Lovato
4. Jamie LawsonJamie Lawson
5. PentatonixPentatonix
6. 1989Taylor Smith
7. Limit of Love – Boy & Bear
8. The Perfect CrimeCold Chisel
9. Beauty Behind the MadnessThe Weeknd
10. X – Ed Sheeran

Top 10 Singles
1. “Downtown” – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Eric Nally, Melle Mel, Kool Moe Dee & Grandmaster Caz
2. “Hotline Bling” – Drake
3. “The Hills” – The Weeknd
4. “Perfect” – One Direction
5. “What Do You Mean?” – Justin Bieber
6. “Sugar” – Robin Schulz feat. Francesco Yates
7. “Dessert” – Dawin
8. “On My Mind” – Ellie Goulding
9. “Lay It All On Me” – Rudimental feat. Ed Sheeran
10. “Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself” – Jess Glynne

Boy & Bear’s Limit of Love has become the tenth Aussie album to top the charts this year. The achievement is the latest in a dream run for the Sydney indie-folk band, who also hit number one with their last album Harlequin Dream and number two with their debut, Moonfire.

Boy & Bear’s success has pushed Triple J’s Like a Version Volume 11 down to number two this week. Last week’s second-place getters Cold Chisel have to be content with a fall to number four, as Selena Gomez has charted at number three with her latest effort Revival. Parkway Drive have also slipped a few spots this week to land at number seven with Ire.

Hats off to Cyrus Villanueva, who sits at number six on the singles charts with his cover of “Wicked Game.” This strong showing, well above any of the other X Factor efforts makes me think my husband might be right in believing Cyrus has this competition in the bag. Personally I’m pinning my hopes on Matt & Jess, so we’ll see.

Here’s what’s charting in the top 10s this week.

Top 10 Albums
1. Limit of Love – Boy & Bear
2. Triple J Like a Version Vol. 11 – Various
3. Revival – Selena Gomez
4. The Perfect Crime – Cold Chisel
5. If I Should Go Before YouCity & Colour
6. 1989Taylor Smith
7. IreParkway Drive
8. I’ll Take EverythingJames Blunt
9. Beauty Behind the MadnessThe Weeknd
10. I Cry When I Laugh – Jess Glynne

Top 10 Singles
1. “Downtown” – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Eric Nally, Melle Mel, Kool Moe Dee & Grandmaster Caz
2. “What Do You Mean?” – Justin Bieber
3. “On My Mind” – Ellie Goulding
4. “Sugar” – Robin Schulz feat. Francesco Yates
5. “Hotline Bling” – Drake
6. “Wicked Game” – Cyrus Villanueva
7. “Lay It All On Me” – Rudimental feat. Ed Sheeran
8. “Dessert” – Dawin
9. “Locked Away” – R. City feat. Adam Levine
10. “The Hills” – The Weeknd

I was sure that Cold Chisel would take out the top spot on the ARIA charts this week, but another Aussie release has swooped in and overshadowed these local legends. Chisel had to be content with The Perfect Crime charting at number two after Triple J Like a Version Vol. 11 claimed the top spot. Last week’s number one, Ire by Parkway Drive, fell to number three. How good is it to see three local releases at the top of the albums charts?

Jessica Mauboy is the lone Aussie on the top 10 singles charts. Her latest track “This Ain’t Love” climbed three spots to sit at number five this week.

Here are this week’s top 10s.

Top 10 Albums
1. Triple J Like a Version Vol. 11 – Various
2. The Perfect Crime – Cold Chisel
3. Ire – Parkway Drive
4. We Are the GenerationRudimental
5. I’ll Take Everything – James Blunt
6. Get UpBryan Adams
7. Silence in the SnowTrivium
8. 1989Taylor Smith
9. Beauty Behind the MadnessThe Weeknd
10. Stories – Avicii

Top 10 Singles
1. “Downtown” – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Eric Nally, Melle Mel, Kool Moe Dee & Grandmaster Caz
2. “What Do You Mean?” – Justin Bieber
3. “On My Mind” – Elly Goulding
4. “Sugar” – Robin Schulz feat. Francesco Yates
5. “This Ain’t Love” – Jessica Mauboy
6. “Hotline Bling” – Drake
7. “Locked Away” – R. City feat. Adam Levine
8. “Hula Hoop” – Omi
9. “Wildest Dreams” – Taylor Swift
10. “The Fix” – Nelly feat. Jeremih

Most of us weren’t lucky enough to score tickets to Cold Chisel’s upcoming show at the Hordern Pavilion, but we don’t have to miss out. The show will be beamed to cinemas around Australia live on April 18.

Fans can see the performance as it unfolds in high definition with Dolby 5.1 sound. Given that the Hordern’s a bit of a shed, I wouldn’t be surprised if it sounds better at the movies! The band promises to play tracks from their brand new album No Plans as well as a healthy arsenal of their hits.

“We’re really proud of this new album and want as many people to hear it as possible”, explained Chisel frontman Jimmy Barnes. “The idea of having this gig beamed out to Cinemas seemed like a great way of getting people to hear a few of the new songs live as well as all the ones they know. We’ve played a lot of gigs around Australia over the last 35 years but this will be the first time we’ve played in over 100 places on the same night!”

Tickets are on sale now through CinemaLive for $39.50. That’s a bit of a bargain as they come bundled with a copy of No Plans. Will you be tuning in?

Image used with permission from Stephen Green Consulting

Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you probably know that Cold Chisel have been hard at work preparing their first new studio album in 14 years. However you might not know that the band got the touring bug during last year’s massive Light the Nitro run, and are planning shows to launch No Plans.

No Plans features 13 songs, including last year’s single “All For You” and “I Got Things to Do” penned by the band’s late drummer Steve Prestwich. The album also features Steve’s last recorded performances. Its title comes from the important lesson the band has learned in the wake of Steve’s untimely death.

“In late 2009 the five of us made plans to record together again and do a tour,” said frontman Jimmy Barnes. “After lots of twists and turns that’s exactly what we’ve ended up doing but due to Steve’s passing those plans changed a lot along the way. The last two years have reminded all of us that sometimes life deals up things you don’t expect. You can’t take anything or anyone for granted. Sometimes it’s best to have no plans.”

Cold Chisel will launch No Plans at Bluesfest on April 5 before is hits stores the next day. Following that, Chisel will play some very special “one night only” album launch shows. After last year’s big arenas, the smaller venues will allow the band to better connect with the fans that have supported them through the years. Tickets for these shows go on sale on March 19, but if you want to get a jump on the competition sign up to the Cold Chisel mailing list for pre-sale information.

See Cold Chisel supporting the release of No Plans at the following shows

5 April 2012 – Bluesfest @ Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, Byron Bay
7 April 2012 – Sandalford Estate, Swan Valley
12 April 2012 – Festival Hall, Melbourne
18 April 2012 – Hordern Pavilion, Sydney

Image used with permission from Warner Music Australia

I’ve only just returned from some well earned time away from the office, so this week’s chart report is coming to you a bit late. I was happy to arrive home to see Reece Mastin’s still hanging on to his spot on the top of the ARIA singles charts with “Good Night.” While the album’s dropped slightly to number three, it’s still an amazing effort over this competitive Christmas period.

Guy Sebastian is also continuing to hold his own. His summery single “Don’t Worry Be Happy” remains steady at number six.

Cold Chisel’s best of is the only other Aussie release sitting in the top 10 albums chart. It’s slipped slightly to the number 10 position, which is probably to be expected since their tour is done and dusted.

Click below for this week’s top ARIA 10 charts.

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After last week’s stumble Reece Mastin is back on top of the ARIA singles charts with “Good Night.” Only Michael Buble could keep Reece out of the top spot on the album charts, but I’m sure he’s more than happy with a number two debut. It’s tough to compete with a Christmas album at this time of year!

Guy Sebastian’s also holding steady on the singles charts with “Don’t Worry Be Happy.” It’s at number six this week.

Cold Chisel’s tour has seen their latest best of album reenter the charts at number eight. Triple J’s Like a Version 7 has also reentered the top 10 this week. How exciting to see more local releases occupying those top spots!

Click below for this week’s ARIA top ten.

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The last time I saw Jimmy Barnes he was stripping things back with an acoustic show at the most intimate of venues, Lizotte’s on the Central Coast. Just a few short months later I witnessed a show that couldn’t have been more different. He was back with his Cold Chisel band mates and playing it loud in Newcastle great big shed, the Entertainment Center. While I appreciated the quietness of the first gig, there’s something about seeing a Chisel show that can’t be beat.

Before the rock veterans graced the stage we were treated by a set by The Break. Psychedelic surf music is an unusual entrée for some pub rock, but the skill of these musicians made it a tasty treat. The Break features members of Midnight Oil who spoke fondly of their love of our city. That sort of flattery helped win over the crowd, who listened attentively to the drum-heavy instrumental tracks.

While the crowd appreciated The Break, the excitement went up a notch when Cold Chisel took to the stage. It was sad at first to look out and see someone else sitting in Steve Prestwich’s chair, but new drummer Charley Drayton settled into his very big shoes. He slotted in seamlessly, helping original members Jimmy Barnes, Ian Moss, Phil Small, and Don Walker belt out hit after hit. We knew the lyrics to all the songs and sang along enthusiastically.

While I appreciated the loud rock numbers, the moments when the band stripped things back were real highlights. A pared back version of “When the War Is Over” was a fitting tribute to the late Steve Prestwich. I also appreciated the reggae-tinged take on “Breakfast at Sweethearts,” one of my personal favourites that wasn’t played the last time I saw them live. I’m also not sure anything can beat singing along to numbers like “Khe Sahn” and “Flame Trees.”

It wasn’t a perfect show. Jimmy’s voice seemed to be showing the strain from all that touring, especially during the ballads. The mix also wasn’t quite right, with Don Walker’s keys dominating at times they should have been more subtle, particularly in the stripped back moments.

But even these minor niggles couldn’t detract from seeing the band that I believe are the greatest Australia’s ever produced. It’s amazing to have them back in business.

Image source: own photos

Reece Mastin has shaken off The X Factor Australia curse and zoomed into the Australian singles charts with a number 1 debut. “Good Night” outsold all the other songs this week, and is hopefully the first of many milestones for the talented teen.

Rewind one year and the best Altiyan Childs could muster was a number 8 position for “Somewhere in the World.” I’d argue that Altiyan’s song was much stronger, but clearly Sony knows what the single buying population wants.
Reece’s X Factor mentor Guy Sebastian isn’t doing too badly either. His single “Don’t Worry Be Happy” is sitting pretty at number 7. It’s not a cover of the Bobby McFerrin smash, but it’s every bit as catchy.

Aussies aren’t exactly taking the singles charts by storm, but it’s been some time since I’ve seen two local acts in the top 10. Hopefully with the ARIAs reminding us of all the great Australian talent around, we’ll see more songs cracking the top 10 in the coming weeks.

The same goes for the albums chart, which is also dominated by international acts. The best we could muster is Triple J’s Like a Version 7 sitting at number eight. Cold Chisel’s tour has also inspired fans to invest in the new best of disc. It’s sitting at number 10 on the charts.

Click below for this week’s ARIA top 10.
Read the rest of this entry…

A good eight months have gone by since Stonefield turned my head with their rocking debut single “Through the Clover.” I waited for these young Aussie sisters to blow up, and waited, and waited. Patience is a virtue, as they say though, and it seems all that waiting is finally about to pay off.

After spending rocking Glastonbury, the girls are back with a brand new single “Black Water Rising” and a national tour in the works. It’s also been announced that after these shows wrap up they’ll warm up the stage for the legendary Cold Chisel.

It’s taken some time, but Stonefield are bound to hit those dizzy heights I predicted. If you want to see them before everyone else catches on make sure you head to one of the following shows.

25 August 2011 – Fowlers, Adelaide
26 August 2011 – The Villa ‘Speakeasy’ Perth
28 August 2011 – Hyperfest, Perth (All ages)
1 September 2011 – The Bended Elbow, Geelong
2 September 2011 – East Brunswick Club, Melbourne
3 September 2011 – The Karova Lounge, Ballarat
9 September 2011 – New York Hotel, Launceston
10 September 2011 – Republic Bar, Hobart
10 September 2011 – The Grand Poobah, Hobart (Underage event)
15 September 2011 – The Beach Hotel, Byron Bay
16 September 2011 – Food & Wine Festival, Toowoomba
17 September 2011 – Powerhouse, Brisbane (All ages)
17 September 2011 – The Zoo, Brisbane
22 September 2011 – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
23 September 2011 – The Great Northern Hotel, Newcastle