Singer Jon English's greatest chart successes may have come during the 1970s, but his career has continued strongly, encompassing rock music, stage musicals, television, and cabaret. He originally fronted the dance band Sebastian Hardie until January 1972, when he joined the Australian stage production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Jesus Christ Superstar. He stayed on for 705 performances between May 1972 and February 1974 and appeared on the Original Cast album of 1972. He also sang with studio band Duck, appeared on the soundtrack to the rock opera Ned Kelly, and released his debut album, Wine Dark Sea. English's next album, It's All a Game yielded his first hit single, "Turn the Page," which peaked at number seven in Australia in February 1975. He then joined a new production of Jesus Christ Superstar and released his third album, Hollywood Seven. Minutes to Midnight followed and English toured with his recently formed Jon English Band. His next album, Words Are Not Enough, scored hits with "Words Are Not Enough," which peaked at number five in July 1978 and "Nights in Paradise" which peaked at number 21 in October.
English then starred in the TV mini-series Against the Wind and composed, produced, and recorded the soundtrack album with Mario Millo. The single "Six Ribbons" was the best-selling male pop single of 1979 and peaked at number five in January. English won Best New Talent at the 1979 Logie Awards and Against the Wind later became a hit TV series in Scandinavia and the U.K.
A compilation, English History, peaked at number four in August 1979, and English toured Australia and overseas with his new band Baxter Funt. Two albums followed: Calm Before the Storm in 1980 and Inroads in 1981. English then undertook a sold-out tour of Scandinavia. The single, "Against the Wind," had gone to number one in Sweden and the soundtrack Against the Wind peaked at number two and sold over 100,000 copies.
A live double album, Beating the Boards, was released in 1982, followed by Jokers and Queens, a mini-album with Marcia Hines. Some People was his next solo outing in 1983 and a duet with Renee Gayer, "Every Beat of My Heart," was released in 1984. In the same year, English joined the stage production The Pirates of Penzance as the Pirate King. Several stage musicals followed over the next decade, including Rasputin, The Mikado, and H.M.S. Pinafore. Several singles were released during this stint as was the album Dark Horses in 1987.
In 1990, English released another album, Always the Busker. An adaption of Homer's Iliad was released by WEA in the same year under the title of Paris, a collaboration between English and producer David McKay that won the 1990 Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA) Award for Best Original Soundtrack or Cast Recording. In 1993, English performed in the popular TV series All Together Now as Bobby Rivers, a washed-up rock relic, which aptly captured English's comic talents. "All Together Now" was released as a single, as was the Best of Jon English 20th Anniversary Album in the same year.