Originally named Orange, Cold Chisel formed in Adelaide in 1973 as a heavy-metal cover-band comprising bassist Les Kaczmarek, keyboard player Don Walker, guitarist Ian Moss and drummer Steve Prestwich. Seventeen-year-old singer Jimmy Barnes joined in December 1973, taking leave from the band in 1975 for a brief stint as Bon Scott's replacement in Fraternity.
The group changed its name several times before settling on Cold Chisel in 1974 after writing a song with that title. Barnes' relationship with other band members was volatile; as a Scot he often came to blows with Liverpool-born Prestwich and he left the band several times. During these periods Moss would handle vocals until Barnes returned. Walker soon emerged as Cold Chisel's primary songwriter. Walker spent 1974 in Armidale, completing his studies, and in 1975 Kaczmarek left the band and was replaced by Phil Small. Barnes' older brother John Swan was a member of Cold Chisel around this time, providing backing vocals and percussion but after several violent incidents he was fired.
In May 1976, Cold Chisel relocated to Melbourne but found little success, moving on to Sydney in November. Six months later, in May 1977, Barnes announced he would quit Cold Chisel in order to join Swan in Feather, a hard-rocking blues band that had evolved from an earlier group called Blackfeather. A farewell performance in Sydney went so well that the singer changed his mind. The following month the Warner Music Group picked up Cold Chisel.
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