Midnight Oil this weekend, live at Glastonbury 1993 and captured for posterity by BBC Radio 1.
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. Peter Gifford served as bass player from 1980–1987.
Midnight Oil issued their self-titled debut album in 1978, and gained a cult following in their homeland despite a lack of mainstream media acceptance. The band achieved greater popularity throughout 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. Its singles “The Dead Heart” and “Beds Are Burning” illuminated the plight of indigenous Australians, with the latter charting at number one in multiple countries. Midnight Oil had continued global 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 outfit being cited as an influence, and their songs covered, by numerous popular artists. Aside from their studio output, the group are celebrated for their energetic live performances, which showcase the frenetic dancing of Garrett. Guardian writer Andrew Street described Midnight Oil as “one of Australia’s most beloved bands”.
In case you missed them during their earlier period, here’s a chance to catch-up. Click on the link and crank this one up.