Sunday, March 10, 2013

They did want to be the one..Midnight Oil


NOW to say that I keep my music and politics as far apart as humanly possible is a given, I'm a firm believer in entertaining, not preaching when it comes to muso's, whether this makes me weird or not..well...I dont give a......

So now, your probably wondering were the hell, I have time for a band like the Oils, and your right, Peter Garretts politicking onstage, whether it comes from a good place or not, I found it all a bit unnecessary...BUT F**k me if they aint a rockin band..

It would be fair to say, that I have a few of their tunes on my mp3 gizmo...these tunes may or may not include classics along the lines of ....Blue Sky Mine, Bus to Bondi, King of the Mountain, U.S Forces and Power and the all time fave Oily tune is "Hercules"..get into it , a true Aussie classic

The band members are pretty shit hot muso's, I must admit, Rob Hirst is an absolute thunderous drummer, Bones I'm sure has killed a bass amp or 3 in his day, Rotsey is a highly underated axe man and Garrett cant dance, but that never stopped him

Midnight Oil, also known as "The Oils" to fans, started in '72, originally performing as Farm with drummer Rob Hirst, and  bass guitarist Andrew James and keyboard player/lead guitarist Jim Moginie.

Vocalist Peter Garrett was studying at Australian National University in Canberra and he answered an advertisement for a singer/synth player spot in Farm  and by 1975 the band was touring the east coast.

 By late 1976, Garrett moved to Sydney to complete his law degree,and Farm changed its name to Midnight Oil by drawing the name out of a hat....also in the hat were the names Televison and Southern Cross, but Midnight Oil was the winner.

One major player of importantance to their development was manager Gary Morris who was able to negotiate favourable contracts with tour promoters and record companies and frustrate rock Bruce Elder, who Morris BANNED due to his lopsided reviews, I remember Elders stuff, I dont like the bloke, cudo's to Gary then

 Guitarist Martin Rotsey joined in 1977 and Midnight Oil and with Morris, established their own record label Powderworks, which released their debut album in November 1978, and their first single "Run by Night" followed in December.

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.

The Oil’s albums which roared to the top in the Australian charts were 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Red Sails in the Sunset, Species Deceases, Diesel and Dust, Blue Sky Mining, Scream in Blue (Live), Earth and Sun and Moon, Breathe, 20,000 Watt R.S.L., Redneck Wonderland, The Real Thing, Capricornia and Flat Chat....a pretty impressive run by anyone's standards

With  Australian Top Ten singles "Power and the Passion", "The Dead Heart", "Beds Are Burning" and "Blue Sky Mine". 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


Sometime late in 2002, Garrett's urge to shake up Canberra took full control and he announced that he was going full time into federal politics and Midnight Oil disbanded. 

But the boys 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 "Black Saturday" fires and the "Queensland floods..I got the dvds of the Sound Wave shows and Garrett was on fire , Hirst was denting his drum rims and the band in general were rocking

Midnight Oil won eleven Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Awards during its career, including induction into the Hall of Fame in 2006. At the induction, ARIA chairman Denis Handlin described Midnight Oil as true legends that always led by example in a uniquely Australian way with music that is powerful, uncompromising, inspiring, entertaining and enduring.


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

1978: Midnight Oil
1979: Head Injuries
1981: Place without a Postcard
1982: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
1984: Red Sails in the Sunset
1987: Diesel and Dust
1990: Blue Sky Mining
1993: Earth and Sun and Moon
1996: Breathe
1998: Redneck Wonderland
2002: Capricornia

Oil soaked rockers
Peter Garrett – lead vocals, harmonica (1976–2002)
Rob Hirst – drums, vocals (1976–2002)
Jim Moginie – lead guitars, keyboards (1976–2002)
Martin Rotsey – lead guitars (1976–2002)
Andrew James – bass guitar (1976–1980)
Peter Gifford – bass guitar, vocals (1980–1987)
Bones Hillman – bass guitar, vocals (1987–2002)

Other personnel
Gary Morris – manager (1976–2002)

Touring personnel
Charlie MacMahon – didgeridoo (1984, 1986)
Gladdie Reed – trombone (1985–90)
Chris Abrahams – keyboards (1993–94, 2000)



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