This year marks the 40th anniversary of ‘Great Southern Land’ by Icehouse.
Over the past four decades, ‘Great Southern Land’ has become an integral thread in the Australian cultural fabric, cementing Iva Davies as one of our greatest songwriters.
‘Great Southern Land’ was released on 30 August 1982 as the lead single for the band’s sophomore album ‘Primitive Man’.
It was written by Iva Davies in response to Men At Work’s 1981 hit ‘Down Under’, which Davies thought presented a distorted vision of Australia with its cliches about drinking beer and Vegemite sandwiches.
In contrast, ‘Great Southern Land’ is an homage to the vast beauty of the Australian landscape and the complex history of its people.
For many, it is the unofficial Australian National Anthem and remains one of the greatest Australian songs of all time.
‘Great Southern Land’ has had a profound impact on the Australian cultural psyche, a sonic reminder of our connection to an ancient land and the history it contains.
The song’s historical, cultural and aesthetic significance was recognised by the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia when it was curated as part of the NFSA’s Sounds of Australia 2014 collection.
And, in September of this year, The National Museum of Australia in Canberra named its new gallery development after the song.
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of ‘Great Southern Land’, Iva Davies is hitting the road with Icehouse for a concert series in November, with shows in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney.