During their time together, Powderfinger became one of the most successful Australian bands of the last 30 years, scoring multiple #1 albums on the ARIA Charts and taking out a plethora of ARIA Awards trophies.
Formed in Brisbane in 1989, Powderfinger originally started life as a covers band before developing their own material. Their debut self-titled EP came out on the band’s own label in 1992. Follow-up EP Transfusion came along the next year.
1994 saw Powderfinger’s debut album Parables For Wooden Ears released; it just missed out on a place in the ARIA Top 50, peaking at #51.
Following another EP, 1995’s Mr Kneebone, second album Double Allergic was released in the spring of 1996. It peaked at #4 on the ARIA Albums Chart and included their first Top 50 singles: ‘Pick You Up’ (#23 Jun. ’96), ‘D.A.F.’ (#39 Aug. ‘96) and ‘Living Type’ (#42 Jan. ’97).
‘Pick You Up’ earned their band their first three ARIA Awards nominations, receiving nods for Song Of The Year, Single Of The Year and Engineer Of The Year in 1996. The band also made their ARIAs debut that year performing the song.
At the 1999 ARIAs, the band were nominated for five awards, this time taking out four of them: Album Of The Year, Best Rock Album, Record Of The Year and Best Cover Art. As well as performing ‘Passenger’, the band provided one of the night’s most memorable moments, when they hit back at comments from guest presenter Harry Connick Jr about Best Male Artist winner Tim Rogers.
The ‘Passenger’ single gave the band three nominations in 2000, though they missed out on adding to their win tally.
Returning in 2000 with Odyssey Number Five, Powderfinger again debuted at #1 on the Albums Chart. This time, they managed to spend a total of three weeks at the top with their fourth studio album. The record spawned the band’s first Top Ten single, ‘My Happiness’ (#4 Aug. ’00), as well as ‘Like A Dog’ (#40 Jan. ’01) and ‘The Metre’ (#31 Sept. ’01).
Come the 2001 ARIAs, the band were nominated for eight ARIAs. Of those, they ended up taking out six categories, including Album Of The Year, Best Rock Album, Best Group and Highest Selling Album.
Vulture Street, Powderfinger’s fifth album, came in 2003. Once again it was a #1 debut for the band, spending three straight weeks at the top of the chart. It also gave them their second Top Ten single: ‘On My Mind’ (#9 Jun. ’03). Other singles from Vulture Street included ‘Love Your Way’ (#37 Sept. ’03) and ‘Sunsets’ (#11 Jan. ’04).
The band earned seven nominations at the 2003 ARIAs, of which they won four: Album Of The Year, Best Rock Album, Best Group and Best Cover Art.
In the second half of 2004, Powderfinger released live album These Days: Powderfinger Live (#2 Sept. ’04) and the compilation Fingerprints: The Best Of (#2 Nov. ’04).
In 2004/05, the band undertook a hiatus, with members pursuing other projects. Most notably, front man Bernard Fanning released his debut solo album, Tea And Sympathy (#1 Nov. ’05). The album won four ARIAs from seven nominations at the 2006 ceremony.
Returning in 2007 with their sixth studio album, Dream Days at the Hotel Existence, Powderfinger took out their fourth #1 album. The album featured their third and final Top Ten single, ‘Lost And Running’ (#5 May. ’07), as well as ‘I Don’t Remember’ (#42 Sept. ’07). The band were nominated for five ARIAs in 2007, winning Best Cover Art.
Between August and October 2007, Powderfinger co-headlined the Across The Great Divide tour with Silverchair, playing 34 shows in 26 towns and cities around Australia. A concert DVD from the tour won Best Music DVD in 2008.
Powderfinger released their final studio album, Golden Rule, in November 2009. Like their four previous studio releases, it went straight into the Albums Chart at #1. Two singles from the album charted: ‘All Of The Dreamers’ (#23 Oct. ’09) and ‘Burn Your Name’ (#45 Apr. ’10).
At the 2010 ARIAs, the band were nominated for five awards. They took out Most Popular Australian Album and Most Popular Australian Artist, new categories that year. The 2010 ceremony also saw Powderfinger make their final live appearance on Australian TV, when they performed ‘Burn Your Name’.
A week after their ARIAs appearance, Powderfinger played their final show, performing in front of 10000 hometown fans at Brisbane’s Riverstage.
Powderfinger ended their 21-year run with five #1 albums on the ARIA Charts and 18 ARIAs from 47 nominations.
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