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Thread: Midnight Oil. Any fans here?

  1. #1
    Member StevegSr's Avatar
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    Midnight Oil. Any fans here?

    A six foot four inch slightly spastic bald lead singer fronting a socially conscious band from down under. I throw them in with the REM crowd but to me they're the real deal. Any fans here of the Oils?
    To be or not to be? That is the point. - Harry Nilsson.

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    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    Love 'em.

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    I think you'll find a few Oils fans here. I am one, though in the beginning it took me a little while to get into them. Garrett's strident delivery took some getting used to.

    I'd recommend any or all of the four albums that seem to define their golden period:

    10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1
    Red Sails in the Sunset
    Diesel and Dust
    Blue Sky Mining

    I used to think that Diesel and Dust was the clear winner, but now I rate those four practically neck and neck; Red Sails perhaps trails the pack, though it does have a few great songs including the stunning "Jimmy Sharman's Boxers." (For those who don't know, it's about men hitting one another with their fists, not about underpants.)

    ---------------------------------------

    Peter Garrett's autobiographical book "Big Blue Sky" has just hit the stands. It has been getting lukewarm reviews.

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    Member frinspar's Avatar
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    Only album I've ever heard and still have is Diesel and Dust. It's a good one.

  5. #5
    Member dropforge's Avatar
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    These guys put out some really good albums. Way better than a band like R.E.M.!

  6. #6
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    I only know that one hit, but I have a friend who's very into them (if that counts).

    BTW, I need to get a gift for this friend - do they have any notable recent releases (could be good reissues or boxed set or the like, or a DVD) that someone who's not totally up on them might not have? He's into them, but I don't think he buys much music these days, so probably only has older stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    I only know that one hit, but I have a friend who's very into them (if that counts).

    BTW, I need to get a gift for this friend - do they have any notable recent releases (could be good reissues or boxed set or the like, or a DVD) that someone who's not totally up on them might not have? He's into them, but I don't think he buys much music these days, so probably only has older stuff.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midnight_Oil_discography

    There are several video albums, but I haven't seen any of them to comment on the quality.

  8. #8
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    Great band, wish I could have seen them live. I've got a couple live ROIOs that are incendiary.

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    Member Oreb's Avatar
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    At their best they were incredible. I'm not sure their studio stuff ever really captured that - but certainly Head Injuries and the EP Bird Noises came close.

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    Big fan here. They hit it big in the U.S. with “Diesel And Dust”. “Blue Sky Mining” was also pretty big and then they fell off the radar pretty quickly. I saw them live on the “Blue Sky Mining” tour and they were fantastic.

  11. #11
    facetious maximus Yves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post

    BTW, I need to get a gift for this friend - do they have any notable recent releases (could be good reissues or boxed set or the like, or a DVD) that someone who's not totally up on them might not have? He's into them, but I don't think he buys much music these days, so probably only has older stuff.
    Might I suggest the "Best Of Both Worlds" DVD? It contains 2 live sets on 1 DVD disc + a CD of one of those shows. Both pre-date the Diesel & Dust era. One of the shows (Oils On Water) was for a popular Sydney radio station that promoted local Aussie talent back in the day. It's flimed right in the Sydney harbour in front of a small audience ( I believe they were all contest winners).

    EDIT: Jerjo posted a track from the DVD above....
    "Corn Flakes pissed in. You ranted. Mission accomplished. Thread closed."

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  12. #12
    I love political punky stuff, and Midnight Oil was one of the best. Even their hits like "Forgotten Years" and "Dead Heart" are brilliant, and when you get into their deeper catalogue with songs like "Read About It" and "Stars of Warburton" -- well, whoa. They aren't the technical wonders we're used to discussing on this forum, but they were actually pretty good on their instruments, with real musicality and some lovely tunes among the whamwham.
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    I think I've only ever heard a couple of songs. Are they the "while are beds are burning" band ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterG View Post
    I think I've only ever heard a couple of songs. Are they the "while are beds are burning" band ?
    Yes, that was their biggest hit (at least in the U.S.)

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    This wonderful surf instrumental will probably come as a surprise to those who have not heard it before. This was actually the first I heard from Midnight Oil, but is in no way typical of their music.


  16. #16
    The Oils have long been one of my favorite bands ever since buying Red Sails in the Sunset at Magnolia Thunderpussy on the Ohio State campus nearly 30 years ago. 10-1 belongs in the library of every proggie, let alone rock fan.

    Check out The Break, a surf/spacerock band with Hirst, Rotsey, and Moginie from Midnight Oil with Brian Ritchie of the Violent Femmes on bass. Moginie's Color Wheel project is something worthy of exploration by prog fans. It's an interesting "guitar orchestra" project.
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    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    Blue Sky Mine is an all-time fave song of mine. It's a rare occasion I listen to that song and not hit replay.
    Digital playback brought high fidelity to the masses and audiophiles will never forgive it for that

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3LockBox View Post
    Blue Sky Mine is an all-time fave song of mine. It's a rare occasion I listen to that song and not hit replay.
    That whole album is outstanding.

  19. #19
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    My brother was into them back in the day and I liked them too. I'm not sure if he is still a fan. I heard some of their stuff through him which I liked quite a bit. I remember back around 94 or so I bought their latest album along with Yes's "talk" on cd at a record store. I don't remember the name of it but it was something like "earth and sun and the moon." I remember liking it but I suppose it's not considered one of their best. I remember liking "red sails in the sunset" which I had on cassette at one point and also "diesel and dust" which my brother had. Very good band.

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    ^^^ Earth and Sun and Moon has Truganini, which is a great song, but I don't consider the album as good as the few that preceded it - none of the other songs really grabbed me. Same for Redneck Wonderland and Capricornia.

    I had a feeling that after Blue Sky Mining they were making a conscious effort to return to their early pub rock sound, but I preferred them when they were a little bit arty.

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    facetious maximus Yves's Avatar
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    I consider Earth & Sun & Moon to be almost on par with their previous 2, but it was the last of their really good albums, imo....
    "Corn Flakes pissed in. You ranted. Mission accomplished. Thread closed."

    -Cozy 3:16-

  22. #22
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yves View Post
    I consider Earth & Sun & Moon to be almost on par with their previous 2,
    Yep, agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yves View Post
    but it was the last of their really good albums, imo....
    Nope, don't agree. Breathe doesn't measure up, but Redneck Wonderland was great, and it's fusing of the Oils style with Electronica shouldn't have worked, but it did. Capricornia was a bit of a step down, but still a good album, imo.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob_32_116 View Post
    ^^^ Earth and Sun and Moon has Truganini, which is a great song, but I don't consider the album as good as the few that preceded it - none of the other songs really grabbed me. Same for Redneck Wonderland and Capricornia.

    I had a feeling that after Blue Sky Mining they were making a conscious effort to return to their early pub rock sound, but I preferred them when they were a little bit arty.
    Blue Sky Mining is my favourite of theirs, too, and one of the albums that has lasted twenty years of listening extremely well. Earth and Sun and Moon was disappointing coming after that, but it's not completely without merit. In addition to ”Truganini”, I also like the title track, ”In the Valley” and ”Now or Never Land”. True, they seemed to have gone for a much grittier sound for the rest of their career – though I think Capricornia was a bit easier on the ear than the almost industrial tones of the two studio albums before it. I remember Garrett saying as much on MTV when Earth was released. But weren't they essentially saying the same thing when Species Deceases EP came out? That it was a reaction to ”overreliance on technology” on their previous albums?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sturgeon's Lawyer
    I love political punky stuff, and Midnight Oil was one of the best. Even their hits like "Forgotten Years" and "Dead Heart" are brilliant, and when you get into their deeper catalogue with songs like "Read About It" and "Stars of Warburton" -- well, whoa. They aren't the technical wonders we're used to discussing on this forum, but they were actually pretty good on their instruments, with real musicality and some lovely tunes among the whamwham.
    I understand the group dabbled in progressive rock during their early Farm days. They certainly had musicality and interesting arrangements and ideas that keep me coming back (rather than the ”punky” stuff) in addition to ear for catchy choruses. There are the obvious borderline-prog pieces like the two-part ”Scream in Blue” (with the fantastic emotional crescendo in the final verse) and ”Shipyards of New Zealand”. But in addition, there are things like the use of synth and sudden contrasts on ”Section 5” and ”Koala Sprint”; the ”mounting industrial hysteria” sound of ”Jimmy Sharman's Boxers” and ”Mountains of Burma”; the horns from hell during the playout of ”Power & The Passion”; the twilight tango-rock of ”Bells and Horns in the Back of Beyond”; and the way ”Antarctica”, yet another simple tune as such, gathers urgency with string and brass arrangements and then crashes into that hymn-like coda of piano and humming. Even ”Only the Strong”, a tune I'm not that fond of, has that sting-in-the-tail coda, where it goes into that uplifting acoustic-heavy gallop after there minutes of angsting and ”whamwham”.

    And yes, "Stars of Warburton": the middle section is a real lift up and really catchy.
    Last edited by Kai; 12-18-2015 at 12:19 PM.

  24. #24
    facetious maximus Yves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moecurlythanu View Post
    Yep, agree.



    Nope, don't agree. Breathe doesn't measure up, but Redneck Wonderland was great, and it's fusing of the Oils style with Electronica shouldn't have worked, but it did. Capricornia was a bit of a step down, but still a good album, imo.
    Truth is, I stopped at "Breathe". Your description for the one after does not sound too appealing to me
    "Corn Flakes pissed in. You ranted. Mission accomplished. Thread closed."

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    There are so many great songs in their catalogue, but I'd like to mention just one more: "Bedlam Bridge" from Blue Sky Mining.

    I have tried unsuccessfully to discover the full meaning of the lyrics to this song. There is, or was, a Bedlam Bridge in the UK, and I think in mediaeval times it was some kind of toll post. The song, however, was apparently written in and inspired by New York City. Whatever the significance of the lyrics, the song has to me an air of intrigue and mystery that is unusual for this band.
    Last edited by bob_32_116; 12-18-2015 at 01:31 PM.

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