Top Ten Australian Songs of 1966

Australia, as an English-speaking country heavily influenced by its ties to Britain, was culturally well placed to contribute to the mid-60s music scene, and Australian artists had their share of success. This was limited, however, by the 'tyranny of distance'. There are not many major cities in Australia, and these are separated from each other by hundreds or even thousands of miles, making touring an expensive proposition for small bands. This reduced opportunities for record sales and gigging outside regional scenes. The limited reach of local radio stations also meant that music charts centred around individual cities, with a national record sales chart only coming into being in October 1966.

Just as the Beatles had to leave Liverpool to conquer a bigger market, local groups that enjoyed big success in Australia invariably had to head to Britain if they fancied their chances of international fame. Unfortunately, it did not work for some, with much-loved acts such as the Twilights and Normie Rowe failing to crack the British market. Even the Easybeats, after some initial success, had to return with a sense of failure. No doubt the biggest Australian act was the Seekers, who enjoyed a string of big hits in Britain during 1965-67. As the Seekers' career waned, the Anglo-Australian Bee Gees started their own remarkable career.

The Australian music scene was often not as 'Australian' as it seemed anyway. Some of the more successful acts (Bee Gees, Twilights, Easybeats) were actually comprised of young immigrants from Britain or Europe. The biggest female star in Australia in 1966 was Lynne Randell, who was born in Liverpool, UK.

Here are ten notable Australian songs of 1966, listed in alphabetical order:
  1. Ever Lovin’ Man (The Loved Ones)
  2. Friday on My Mind (The Easybeats) 
  3. Georgy Girl (The Seekers)
  4. Going Out of my Head (Lynn Randelle)
  5. Morningtown Ride (The Seekers)
  6. Needle in a Haystack (The Twilights)
  7. Sorry (The Easybeats)
  8. Spicks and Specks (The Bee Gees)
  9. The Loved One (The Loved Ones)
  10. Women (Make You Feel Alright) (The Easybeats)