Don Walker is best known as being a member of Cold Chisel. The band is viewed by many to be Australia 's greatest rock band. Cold Chisel was formed in 1973/74 in Adelaide , Australia . Comprising Jimmy Barnes (lead vocals), Ian Moss (guitar, vocals), Phil Small (bass, vocals), Steve Prestwich (drums, vocals) and Don Walker (piano, organ, keyboards, vocals), they boasted a respected songwriting team, the most proficient being Don Walker, considered to be among Australia's best lyricists.
After the band broke up in 1983/84, Don Walker went on a five-year nomadic binge around the world. The influences from those years emerged on the first album from his new band "Catfish". The album was released in 1988 and entitled "Unlimited Address". The album remains a unique mixture of autobiographical torch ballads, stripper music, dance parodies and Hungarian and Russian cabaret, more a travelling burlesque show than any attempt to make it in mainstream hit-land as it existed in the 80's. The album was released without any promotional reference to Cold Chisel. It was not a commercial success, but at the same time Ian Mos´s solo career kick-started by a Top 5 hit, written by Don Walker.
The second album from "Catfish" was entitled "Ruby" and released in 1991. After the first album Don Walker returned home and explored the darker side of the farm communities in N.S.W. and Queensland where he grew up in the 50's. Outback wanderings inspired to songs like "Charleville". The song was recorded by the country legend Slim Dusty, which went to #1 on the country charts. Don was later approached by Slim Dusty with the idea of recording a duet version. The single was released in 1994 and has become a long lasting favourite on Australian country TV and radio stations. The original version, featuring Charlie Owen's guitar, was too cranky to be propelled anywhere. Jericho Road and Too Long heralded the long sparse sound of Walker's recent solo album "We're All Gunna Die", while the album closer See You Again, could have smoked the mosquitoes away from the Tex, Don and Charlie album "Sad But True"
The " Tex , Don & Charlie" album "Sad But True" was released in 1993. It began as a one-off acoustic session with Tex Perkins (frontman for The Cruel Sea, one of the few multi-platinum bands in Australia ) and Charlie Owen, and developed into a full length album. The "Sad But True" album was one of 1993's most important releases in Australia , and led to three national tours and a live album. The live album was released 1995 and entitled "Monday Morning Coming Down".
Jimmy Barne´s album "Flesh and Wood" released in 1993 featured "Don Walker" on Piano in Walker 's song "Stone Cold".
Don Walker's newest album "We're All Gunna Die" was released under his own name in 1995. "Catfish" has finally given Don Walker the confidence to use his own name. The album has a distinct sense of arrival and from the first track it is clear that he knows what he is doing, free from glamour, glitz and hype. The songs ramble from harp driven blues to simple story storytelling ballads all with Walker 's own style. His voice and wit is still as dry as a dead dingo's donger. The album was recorded In June 1994 at Electric Avenue Studios In Sydney. All songs were recorded live In the studio, from the singing through to the drums, and were nearly all naIled within three takes. Party, My Girl, the Wedding, The Good Book, I Am The King, Howl at the Moon, Carless In Isa and Three Blackbirds were all first takes, The Circus and We're All Gunna Die took a few more than the rest.
In 1995 Don Walker contributed with a version of the song "There's Gonna Be Some Rockin'" on the AC/DC alternative tribute album entitled "Fuse Box".
In 1996 the soundtrack for the film "Freedom" was re-released. The soundtrack was composed and produced by Don Walker in 1980. The original tapes were digitally re-mastered by Walker and Don Bartley at Studio 301. The film was essentially a road movie that starred John Blake and was directed by Scott Hicks who recently directed Shine. Musically, Walker assembled an interesting and varied group of musicians and singers to create an evocative soundtrack that stands alone as a musical expression. In collaboration with co-producer and guitarist Peter Walker the recording sessions comprised the rhythm section of bassist Phil Small and drummer Steve Prestwich, with Walker on keyboards and lead guitarist Ian Moss. Essentially Cold Chisel without Jimmy Barnes. Other featured players were Billy Rodgers on sax and Dave Blight on the harmonica. Vocals were handled by Walker, Michael Hutchence on "Speed Kills" and the closing "Forest Theme", (then) boy soprano Jason Currie singing the latin lyrics to "Eleuptheria", as well as Jenny Hunter Brown, Liz Waters and Miranda Brown on backing vocais.
Ian Mos´s critically acclaimed album "Petrolhead", released in 1996, was produced by Don Walker.
Cold Chisel reformed in 1996 and The Last Wave of Summer album was released in 1998. This was followed by Cold Chisel's first national tour since 1983. The band played their last show of the Last Wave of Summer tour in 1999. Since that time, Don has been busy with re releasing the Chisel back catalogue on CD and DVD and playing with Cold Chisel in the 2004 Ringside shows. Don has also been writing songs and touring Australia . A new Tex , Don and Charlie album and more Chisel gear is in the works for 2004! All the best Don. Jerome Withers