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2001 APRA Awards

The final list: APRA'S Ten best Australian Songs

Press release: 28 May 2001

"Friday on My Mind" has been on the minds of Australians since 1967, earning itself the number one position on APRA's list of Ten Best Australian Songs.

The Harry Vanda/George Young composition was honoured at the 2001 APRA Music Awards in Sydney tonight, with an electrifying performance of the song by You Am I featuring special guest guitarist, Harry Vanda himself.

After weeks of speculation, APRA revealed the ten best and most significant Australian songs of the past 75 years at tonight's Awards ceremony, which featured an extraordinary, poignant and sometimes humorous retrospective of classic Australian music.

Voted by 100 distinguished Australian writers, musicians, critics and broadcasters, the complete APRA Top 30 list was compiled to celebrate APRA's 75th anniversary, and to honour the songwriters who have provided the soundtrack for generations of Australians. While numbers 11-30 were announced earlier this month, APRA saved details of the big ten until tonight's celebrations. Originally immortalised by Vanda and Young's 1960s group The Easybeats, "Friday on My Mind" was subsequently covered by David Bowie. Tonight's rocking version capped off APRA's biggest Awards night ever.

Ross Wilson was on hand to sing the number 2 song, "Eagle Rock," which he penned for his group Daddy Cool and made a hit in 1971.

A video tribute to the number 3 song, Midnight Oil's classic "Beds Are Burning," was introduced by Senator Aden Ridgeway, Australian Democrats Deputy Parliamentary Leader and spokesperson for Reconciliation.

Veteran country singer Slim Dusty gave a spirited live performance of the number 5 song, "Pub With No Beer," written by Gordon Parsons in 1958. Parsons, who died in 1990, was represented tonight by his wife, Jeanette Parsons.

Tex Perkins performed the number 6 song, "The Loved One"; Jodi Phillis, ex-Clouds singer, delivered a tender rendition of Neil Finn's "Don't Dream It's Over," which came in at number 7; and ex-Reels front man Dave Mason came out of musical retirement to sing the number 10 song, his 1981 composition, "Quasimodo's Dream."

Tributes were also made to the number 4 song, Colin Hay and Ron Strykert's defining Men At Work hit, "Down Under," and the number 8 and 9 songs, "Khe Sanh," written by Cold Chisel's Don Walker and AC/DC's "It's a Long Way to the Top."

At the conclusion of the evening, Harry Vanda was joined on stage by other writers of the Ten Best Songs - Ross Wilson; Peter Garrett, Rob Hirst and James Moginie (Midnight Oil); Robert Lovett (The Loved Ones); Don Walker and Dave Mason - to receive awards from APRA.

The full list of APRA's Ten Best Australian songs follows.


Song Performer/s

Writer/s and Publisher


Friday on My Mind
The Easybeats

Writers: Harry Vanda, George Young
Publisher: J Albert & Son Pty Ltd


Eagle Rock
Daddy Cool

Writer: Ross Wilson
Publisher: Mushroom Music Pty Ltd


Beds are Burning
Midnight Oil

Writers: Rob Hirst, James Moginie, Peter Garrett
Publisher: Sony Music Publishing Australia


Down Under
Men at Work

Writers: Colin Hay, Ron Strykert
Publisher: EMI Songs Australia Pty Ltd


Pub With No Beer
Slim Dusty

Writer: Gordon Parsons
Publishers: EMI Music Publishing Australia Pty Ltd


The Loved One
The Loved Ones

Writers: Ian Clyne, Gerry Humphreys, Robert Lovett
Publisher: Mushroom Music Pty Ltd


Don't Dream It's Over
Crowded House

Writer: Neil Finn
Publisher: Mushroom Music Pty Ltd


Khe Sanh
Cold Chisel

Writer: Don Walker
Publisher: Rondor Music Australia Pty Ltd


It's A Long Way To The Top

Writers: Ronald Scott, Angus Young, Malcolm Young
Publisher: J Albert & Son Pty Ltd


Quasimodo's Dream
The Reels

Writer: Dave Mason
Publisher: Festival Music Pty Ltd