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Jimmy Barnes
, 1986

by Jim Rolon

gelatin silver photograph, hand-coloured (sheet: 35.5 cm x 27.9 cm, image: 34.1 cm x 27.8 cm)

Jimmy Barnes (b. 1956), singer songwriter, is the former and only lead singer of the quintessential Australian pub band, Cold Chisel. Cold Chisel formed in Adelaide in 1973. After five years’ live performing the band released the strong-selling Cold Chisel (1978), following up with Breakfast at Sweethearts before hitting the mainstream with East (1980), which went triple-platinum. Two more albums were followed by a tour of the UK and the USA in late 1982, but international success eluded the band. They announced their disbandment in August 1983; a final tour was filmed as Last Stand, and their ‘last’ studio album, Twentieth Century, was released in 1984 (they reformed to make another in 1998). Their many live albums, compilations and EPs have combined to make Cold Chisel the only Australian band to have sold more records after they broke up than when they were together. After leaving Cold Chisel, Barnes became Jimmy Barnes and released six consecutive number-one albums including For the Working Class Man (1985) and Freight Train Heart (1987). In the past few years he has released his seventeenth solo album and two bestselling autobiographies, Working Class Boy (2016) and Working Class Man (2017).

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with funds provided by Wayne Williams 2012
Accession number: 2012.121