Midnight Oil - the album thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by mark winstanley, May 20, 2018.

  1. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    So while I'm on a theme here (Australian Bands) I'm going to run through some Midnight oil albums. The Oils were a big part of eighties rock music in Australia and deserve a little attention.
    Tomorrow morning I will start with their debut album. Whatever you do hold out to 10,9,8,7..... an absolute masterpiece.

    [June 23, 2018 moderator edit: For convenience of browsing, @mark winstanley created the following thread index. For convenience of scrolling, I put it in a quote box]
  2. John Buchanan

    John Buchanan I'm just a headphone kind of fellow. Mysphere 3.2.

    Before you start, Mark, I'd like to suggest getting hold of the original CD pressings on CD - the remasters have squashed up dynamics.
  3. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    i don't have the remasters mate
  4. John Buchanan

    John Buchanan I'm just a headphone kind of fellow. Mysphere 3.2.

  5. eelkiller

    eelkiller Technically right but still wrong

    I think we can discuss an artists’ discography without worrying about the dynamic range numbers. ;)
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  6. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    probably more fortunate lol i've had these since the eighties. i loved 10-1 but oils on water is what sold me on the band
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  7. soundphile

    soundphile Active Member

    This comment is very early, but I'd suggest any (even casual) Midnight Oil fans seek the Japan or Austria original pressing of "Diesel and Dust" CD. It's a slightly different mastering than the USA version, and adds "Gunbarrel Highway".
    Japan 25•8P, CDCBS4600052 and Austria CDCBS-460005 are identical pressings of this mastering. The USA version is ~2dB more compressed in comparison; most evident on the drums.

    Also, there is a pressing of 10,9,8... that is messed up. Same catalog # CK 38996, but the matrix has a "1A' in it, and there's CMU P 29 on the hub. It's dull and weird compared to the DIDP-070944-6 matrix CD.
    I'd be surprised even in the realm of "personal preference" if anyone preferred this disc. (I've found several "CMU" hub CDs with weird issues... is this a "thing"?)

    Hope this helps.
  8. Kingsley Fats

    Kingsley Fats Forum Resident

    I wasn't aware that they were so popular with fans of yodeling & The Sound of Music that they had CD's pressed in Austria. Yah.
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  9. OptimisticGoat

    OptimisticGoat Everybody's escapegoat....

    It was a purchase order mistake back in the day. They were meant to be local....
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  10. Kingsley Fats

    Kingsley Fats Forum Resident

    Damn despatch never get the orders correct.
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  11. "Edelweiss in the Back of Beyond"... ;)
  12. Thoughtships

    Thoughtships Forum Resident

    Devon, UK
    I'm in on this thread. Brilliant band.
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  13. Paul Middleton

    Paul Middleton Forum Resident

    Great stuff, Mark! And yes, the original CDs are definitely the way to go if you don't have the original vinyl releases. They should be pretty easy to source.
  14. Paul Middleton

    Paul Middleton Forum Resident

    I love everything from their first 5 albums and as much a masterpiece as 10 to 1 is, I've gotta say that Red Sails In The Sunset from 1984 is every bit a masterpiece. Perhaps more so.
  15. Martgrol

    Martgrol Forum Resident

    Potsdam, Germany
    10 to 1 is indeed a masterpiece and may be my favourite (non-metal) album of the 80s. I feel the rest of their albums isn't of the same caliber.
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  16. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    i have to agree
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  17. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    to me 10-1 and red sails are the high point in their career .... although diesel and dust and blue sky mine were probably the biggest sellers
  18. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Midnight Oil
    Midnight Oil

    Midnight Oil at Vieilles Charrues Festival, 2017
    Background information
    Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
    Genres Alternative rock, hard rock, new wave[1] (early)
    Years active 1976–2002, 2016–2017
    (reunions: 2005, 2009)
    Labels Powderworks, Columbia
    Associated acts Rock Island Line, Farm, Huntress, Facts, Ross Ryan Band, Ghostwriters, Present History
    Website www.midnightoil.com
    Members Peter Garrett
    Rob Hirst
    Jim Moginie
    Martin Rotsey
    Bones Hillman
    Past members Andrew James
    Peter Gifford
    Midnight Oil (known informally as "The Oils") are an Australian rock band composed of Peter Garrett (vocals, harmonica), Rob Hirst (drums), Jim Moginie (guitar, keyboard), Martin Rotsey (guitar) and Bones Hillman (bass guitar). The group was formed in Sydney in 1972 by Hirst, Moginie and original bassist Andrew James as Farm: they enlisted Garrett the following year, changed their name in 1976, and hired Rotsey a year later (the rotating cast of bass players also included Peter Gifford).

    Midnight Oil issued their self-titled debut album in 1978 and quickly gained a cult following in their homeland. The band became a mainstream act in Australasia with the release of 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 (1982) – which spawned the singles "Power and the Passion" and "US Forces" – and also began to attract an audience in the United States. They achieved their first Australian number one album in 1984 with Red Sails in the Sunset, and topped their native country's singles chart for six weeks with the EP Species Deceases (1985).

    The group garnered worldwide attention with 1987 album Diesel and Dust and its singles, "Beds Are Burning" and "The Dead Heart", both of which illuminated the plight of indigenous Australians. Midnight Oil had further success with Blue Sky Mining (1990) and Earth and Sun and Moon (1993) – each buoyed by an international hit single in "Blue Sky Mine" and "Truganini", respectively – and remained a formidable album chart presence in Australia until their 2002 disbandment. The group held concerts sporadically during the remainder of the 2000s, and announced a full-scale reformation in 2016.

    The band's music often broaches political subjects, and they have lent their support to multiple left-wing causes. They have won eleven Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Awards, and were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2006. Midnight Oil's legacy has grown since the late 1970s, with the group being cited as an influence, and their songs covered, by numerous popular artists. Aside from their studio output, the band are celebrated for their energetic live performances, which showcase the frenetic dancing of Garrett.

    While vocalist Peter Garrett was studying at Australian National University in Canberra,[2] he answered an advertisement for a spot in Farm,[3][4] and by 1975 the band was touring the east coast of Australia.[2] By late 1976, Garrett moved to Sydney to complete his law degree,[2][4] and Farm changed its name to Midnight Oil by drawing the name out of a hat.[5]

    Important to their development was manager Gary Morris, who successfully negotiated favourable contracts with tour promoters and record companies and frustrated rock journalists.[2][4][need quotation to verify] Guitarist Martin Rotsey joined in 1977[6] and Midnight Oil, with Morris, established their own record label, Powderworks,[6]which released their debut eponymous album in November 1978, and their first single "Run by Night" followed in December.[2][4] Founding bass guitarist James, forced to leave due to illness in 1980, was replaced by Peter Gifford. Gifford was himself replaced by Bones Hillman in 1987.[2][6][4] Through a long and distinguished career, the band became known for its driving hard-rock sound, intense live performances and political activism, particularly in aid of anti-nuclear, environmentalist and indigenous causes.[7]

    Midnight Oil's albums which peaked in the Australian Top Ten were:[8][9]

    Australian Top Ten singles were:[8][9]

    Aside from chart success, both "Power and the Passion" and "Beds Are Burning" were listed by Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) in the Top 30 best Australian songs of all time in 2001,[10] a chart in which Midnight Oil are the only artists to feature twice. In December 2002 Garrett announced that he would seek to further his political career and Midnight Oil disbanded. But they would reform for two warm-up shows in Canberra leading up to their performance at one of the "Sound Relief" charity concerts, in honour of the victims of the 2009 "Black Saturday" fires in Victoria and floods in Queensland.

    In 2010, their album Diesel and Dust ranked no. 1 in the book The 100 Best Australian Albums by Toby Creswell, Craig Mathieson and John O'Donnell.

    The Oils were different. From the very start they were singing about different topics than most bands and very completely uncaring about what anybody thought about it. Their singer was a very tall guy with a completely bald head who danced like he was being electrocuted. Rob Hurst was a powerhouse drummer who would probably be one of the best rock drummers Australia had produced. Rotsey and Moginie were a pair of great guitarists that gave the Oils a diverse guitar sound and Moginie also played some keyboards giving them an even broader availability of sounds. It took a little bit of time for the band to work their way into the mainstream although Run By Night was a cult classic song for many years. The band are definitely worth exploring if you are unfamiliar with them.

    Try and stay with us on the songs, but please add anything you can about the band, the songs or any experiences you have had. Cheers guys.
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  19. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Midnight Oil 1978
    Midnight Oil is the debut album by Australian hard rock band Midnight Oil which was recorded in 1977 and released in November 1978 on the band's independent Powderworks label. It reached the top 50 on the Australian Kent Music ReportAlbums Chart. The album was later distributed by CBS Records and issued as a CD. The LP has a blue cover, however, the CD has a black cover.[1] Because of the blue cover, the former version is often referred to, by fans, as the "blue album"[2] or "the Blue Meanie". The lead single, "Run By Night", became the band's first minor hit in Australia and appeared on the Kent Music Report Singles Chart Top 100.[3] It also had a video clip.

    Midnight Oil was the debut album by the Australian hard rock group of the same name.[5] In late 1976, the line-up of Peter Garrett on vocals and synthesiser, Rob Hirst on drums, Andrew James on bass guitar and Jim Moginie on keyboards and lead guitar were performing together in Sydney as the progressive and surf rock group, Farm.[5] They changed their name to Midnight Oil and began to develop an aggressive, punk-hard rock sound for their pub rock audiences.[6][7] Guitarist Martin Rotsey joined in 1977[6] and Midnight Oil, with their manager Gary Morris, established their own record label Powderworks.[6]

    In June 1978 they entered the Alberts Studio in Sydney with producer Keith Walker, from local radio station 2JJ, to record their debut eponymous album, Midnight Oil, which was released by Powderworks in November 1978 and peaked at No. 43 on the Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart.[3] Midnight Oil's first single "Run by Night" followed in December,[5][7] but had very little chart success peaking at No. 100 on the related singles chart.[3]

    The band built a dedicated fan base, initially restricted to Sydney, which was extended to other Australian cities through constant touring – performing some 200 gigs in their first year.[7] They became known for their furious live performances, which featured the two guitarists Moginie and Rotsey, the drumming and vocals of Hirst and the presence of the towering, bald Garrett as lead singer.[5][7][8] The Midnight Oil LP disappointed some critics as it did not capture their powerful live performances, with undemanding playing and Garrett’s vocals sounding stilted.

    I'll be honest and say that I went back to this album much later in life. I had always loved Run By Night but had never gotten around to buying the album. It took me a while to get used to Peter Garret's vocals, but it was worth the effort once I did.


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  20. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    The album starts off strongly with Powderworks which is an Aussie name for a munitions factory. As would become typical this song was an attack on Australia's polititians, which ironically years later Peter Garret would become. A solid rock song highlighted by some great guitar work.

    There's a **** storm a'coming
    I feel it coming soon
    There's a time and a place
    And a moment in space
    When the fat boys call the tune
    There's a bubble a bouncing
    And it's bouncing my way
    There's two sticks in the powderworks
    I think it's gonna blow today
    There's a **** storm a'coming
    Somebody's claiming some i.o.u.'s
    Because the animal's back
    With the man intact
    They had a gun at my head
    And a knife at my back
    Don't wind me up too tight
    I've been had by the balls all my life
    I'm in no mood now
    To stop dead and talk it over
    I don't need no fire and brimstone warning
    I've been a long time punching bag
    I won't run no race where there ain't no prize
    Take a look at my face
    Can't you see this ain't no lies
    There's a hit storm a coming
    They're getting in for one free bite
    I was taken by surprise
    By the glint in the eyes of a sweet campaign
    Smelling strongly of lies
    You're the original Mr. Clean
    But the closeups make you look awful mean
    You're just a con man raving saying nothing new
  21. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Head Over Heals
    You can hear the band searching here, searching for the sound that they would become. The band took a while to figure out the studio, but when they did they literally took on the world. For a band so unique sounding they had incredible success in Australia and overseas. This song, these days, sounds very unlike the Midnight oil we are used to, I mean it is a love song for goodness sake ... They aren't attacking anyone or anything lol

    I'm head over heels
    You know how it feels to be in love
    I'm head over heels
    Holding back the chills in love
    I think I like the sound we're chasing
    I'm giving it all and you're reciprocating
    I'm head over heels
    Turning back the wheels of love
    We're stealing the show
    You're stealing my money and love
    You're all the same you part-time lovers
    When it starts to rain
    You're hiding under the covers
    It just don't add up
    This summer fever
    She turns the truth
    And I don't believe her
    Stories flying, love is dying
    In the end I can't understand her lying
  22. John Buchanan

    John Buchanan I'm just a headphone kind of fellow. Mysphere 3.2.

    I think there's room for both.
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  23. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    This song is driven along by the bass and drums. It's a good song, but I'm not sure that it quite works. Nice lead break again.

    It's 2am in Town Hall Station
    Black walls and sleeping drunks
    Are bad companions
    Ice is there
    Fear is there
    Everyone is nowhere there's too much of nothing
    Take me away
    It' 9am in Town Hall Station
    Flashing faces and grey herds no comparison
    So sorry
    So straight
    Everyone is nowhere there's too much of nothing
    Take me away
    It's 2 am...
  24. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Used and Abused
    This song works better, being more simplistic it gives the song more chance with an inexperienced band in the studio.

    I was taken downtown for my part in the demonstration
    I was used and abused with the light in my eye at the station
    I said
    No no You got the wrong man
    No no Don't pick on me again
    No no I'm going home to my
    Family and friends
    I'm too busy making a living to make any money
    And the living ain't easy and the money disappears in a hurry, now
    I said
    No no I should, ve stayed at school
    No no They're treating me so cruel
    No no I'm breaking all the rules
    Breaking all the rules
    No no
    I was talking to the man he said we're gonna make a deal
    I was fooled into thinking the paper in my pocket was real
    I said
    No no You've been taken again
    No no You're losing all your friends
    No no It's just a matter of sense
    It's just a matter of sense
  25. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Surfing With a Spoon
    Another song that works well. Nice keyboard intro that slides into a nice arpeggiated guitar riff. One of the strongest songs on the album to me.

    Well you knew from the start
    That a one way loving wouldn't last
    You think I'm moving slowly girl
    i tell you, you're moving way too fast
    Working in the city from 9 to 5
    Traffic on the highway gonna blow my mind
    Surfing with a spoon all the rest of the time
    Oh yeah, all the rest of time
    You better find your way without me
    'Cause I'm heading for the coast in june
    Don't talk about me when I'm gone
    You know I couldn't leave too soon
    I'm back in town, you're still around
    I guess I'll have to stay away
    I'm going up north where the weather's fine
    And I'm living it from day to day

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