(Source The Age)

TALK about Opportunity. Three years after releasing his major-label debut, former rugby player turned smouldering troubadour Pete Murray has produced the most played song on Australian radio in 2006.Opportunity, the third single from Murray’s second album, See The Sun, beat hits from Nickelback, Santana and James Blunt to take the title.Radio airplay helps drive sales and Murray’s continued success on commercial radio has helped him sell more than 700,000 copies of his first two albums in Australia.

Australian acts held half the slots in the year’s airplay top 10.

Shannon Noll had two tracks and Eskimo Joe and Youth Group one each. Noll also had a third track, Lift, at No. 22.

Murray had three other tracks in the top 100 for the year: Better Days at 19, Class A at 70 and George’s Helper at 90.

The singer-songwriter spent much of 2006 touring Europe, Russia and Britain. He recently returned from a British tour with Richard Ashcroft, former frontman of the Verve.

Of the top 100 acts on Australian radio, 34 were by local performers.

Some of the international acts to receive a stamp of approval from Australian radio programmers were English rockers Coldplay, Californian quartet the Red Hot Chili Peppers, British indie-rockers Snow Patrol, American popster Pink and former American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson.

The 2005 Australian Idol winner, Kate DeAraugo, could only muster a slot at No. 55.

DeAraugo, Noll and former contestant Ricki-Lee (who came in at 92 with Sunshine) were the only former Idol-related performers to make the chart.

Bernard Fanning’s solo material featured prominently. The ARIA award-winning Powderfinger frontman scored, with Wish You Well and Songbird coming in at 13 and 16 respectively.

Precocious Queensland twins the Veronicas had three entries on the chart, as did New Zealand trio Evermore, now based in Sydney.

There were some surprises. Melbourne rockers Jet managed only a disappointing No. 64 with their comeback single Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is.

Robbie Williams had three entries in the upper levels of the chart, yet all came from his 2005 album Intensive Care, not last year’s album, Rudebox.


1. Opportunity Pete Murray 2. Far Away Nickelback 3. Just Feel Better Santana 4. Wiseman James Blunt 5. Savin’ Me Nickelback 6. Shine Shannon Noll 7. Black Fingernails, Red Wine Eskimo Joe 8. Forever Young Youth Group 9. Now I Run Shannon Noll 10.Talk Coldplay