7: Khe Sanh – Cold Chisel


Entered ChartsAugust 2011 *
Entry Point
Highest Chart40
Weeks In:

Hard to believe that this song – arguably one the Chisels’ most recognisable tunes – did not make the national charts when it was released in 1978. Written by Don Walker, it is now seen as quintessential Australian pub rock – try finding a Cold Chisel gig where the punters would be happy to not have it included in the playlist.

Because it directly referred to sex and drugs, Australian censors applied a rating that called the song “unsuitable for airplay” which is likely to be the primary reason that it didn’t make the charts at that time (it peaked at number 41). Despite that, in 2001 the members of APRA voted it to be the 8th greatest Australian song of all time.

In 2011, the song found its way into the ARIA charts, achieving a peak of number 40, providing its highest chart placement. Quite amazing the number 7 song in a 1970s countdown first official chart placement occurred 33 years after the song’s release.

* This song peaked at number 41 when it was first released in the 1970s and therefore, officially didn’t make the national top 40 at that time. It subsequently reached number 40 in 2011 upon re-release.