No tale of the Aussie music scene in the ’00s is complete without a mention of The John Butler Trio.

Formed in the ’90s while frontman John Butler was busking on the streets of Fremantle, The John Butler Trio released their first album in 1998, before rising to fame with Three in 2001 and winning an ARIA award in the process.

Since then, they’ve been an integral part of the Australian music scene, headlining festivals, appearing in the Aussie charts, and soundtracking the lives of numerous eager fans over the years.

To celebrate one of the most iconic Aussie music careers of the last few decades, we’ve decided to take a look back at their ten most successful tracks. Using the band’s placings in triple j’s Hottest 100, we’ve compiled a list of the band’s biggest tracks, according to the music-loving public.

10. ‘One Way Road’

Hottest 100 Rank: 39
Release Date: November 22nd, 2009
ARIA Chart Peak: 15

Following the massive success of 2007’s Grand National, expectations were high for the John Butler Trio. Returning with April Uprising in 2010, this barely bothered the group one bit, delivering the exceptional ‘One Way Road’ as the lead single and proving that catchy choruses and eclectic instrumentation was still their bread and butter.

9. ‘Take’

Hottest 100 Rank: 29
Release Date: April 18th, 2001
ARIA Chart Peak: N/A

Never released as a single, ‘Take’ was a firm favourite for fans of The John Butler Trio’s Three album. A lengthy jam featuring lyrics that supposedly touches upon themes of domestic violence, ‘Take’ proves that few musicians put as much soul and emotion into a tune like John Butler.

8. ‘Home Is Where The Heart Is’

Hottest 100 Rank: 27
Release Date: July 19th, 2002
ARIA Chart Peak: N/A

The sole studio track from 2003’s Living 2001–2002, you can be forgiven for not being too familiar with this one. However, with themes of immigration and xenophobia, both the topic and the song’s performance resonated with fans all over, turning this into one of their most important tracks.

7. ‘Treat Yo Mama’

Hottest 100 Rank: 25
Release Date: March 8th, 2004
ARIA Chart Peak: N/A

Also never released as a single, ‘Treat Yo Mama’ opens Sunrise Over Sea with an exceptional piece of slide guitar, quickly descending into lyrics about treating mother Earth with respect and decency. Featuring a stunning chorus (and one of the few times the words “South Australia” are actually sung with enthusiasm), ‘Treat Yo Mama’ definitely go overlooked back in 2004.

6. ‘Used To Get High’

Hottest 100 Rank: 22
Release Date: March 26th, 2007
ARIA Chart Peak: N/A

One of the finest songs from 2007’s Grand National, ‘Used To Get High’ targeted the topic of cheap thrills with a bouncy song that helped wake a few listeners up to the world at large. While it never hit the ARIA charts, it managed to hit the respectable #22 in that year’s Hottest 100.

5. ‘Funky Tonight’

Hottest 100 Rank: 12
Release Date: December 9th, 2006
ARIA Chart Peak: 15 (Live Version: 11)

The first taster of Grand National, ‘Funky Tonight’ was indeed a funky little number that helped prove The John Butler Trio were more than just a roots-based act, they were a roots-based act who could craft an amazing chorus against some stunning fingerpicking.

While the original version of the track hit #15 on the charts, a live version from the ARIAs (performed with Keith Urban, no less), ranked four placed higher.

4. ‘Zebra’

Hottest 100 Rank: 8
Release Date: November 16th, 2003
ARIA Chart Peak: 22

Often touted as the band’s breakout hit, ‘Zebra’ is an infectious tune whose simplistic riff, contradictory lyrics, and iconic singalong chorus managed to help bring The John Butler Trio out of the underground and into the mainstream.

3. ‘Something’s Gotta Give’

Hottest 100 Rank: 7
Release Date: October 10th, 2004
ARIA Chart Peak: 47

Released as a standalone single and found on reissues of Sunrise Over Sea, ‘Something’s Gotta Give’ was something of a stopgap track that went far beyond its intended fame. Another topical track about the world itself, the tune’s socially-conscious message, iconic video, and catchy chorus turned this into their second top ten placing in the Hottest 100.

2. ‘Betterman’

Hottest 100 Rank: 5
Release Date: April 18th, 2001
ARIA Chart Peak: N/A

Ask any fan of the Hottest 100, and they’ll tell you that hitting #5 in your first year is an amazing feat. The lead track from 2001’s Three, ‘Betterman’ is a stunning tune that helped introduce triple j listeners to the majesty of John Butler, his impeccable guitar playing, emotional lyrics, and the band’s mesmerising playing. Put it all together, and you’ve got a track that will live on for decades.

1. ‘Better Than’

Hottest 100 Rank: 4
Release Date: March 26th, 2007
ARIA Chart Peak: 16

Turns out that ‘Better Than’ is in fact better than all the other John Butler Trio tracks, hitting #4 in the 2007 Hottest 100, and giving the band their highest placing to date.

Featuring some memorable banjo work and a gorgeous chorus, the tune’s memorable message and bittersweet delivery is one for the ages, going on to become one of the band’s most beloved and popular songs. Let’s face it, it’s easy to see why.