Saturday, May 4, 2013

Midnight Oil - The Dead Heart

In 1986, Midnight Oil embarked on the Blackfella/Whitefella Tour with the Warumpi Band and Gondwanaland (both Aboriginal rock bands).  The resulting experience of playing before some of the most remote and impoverished Aboriginal communities in Australia led to the 1987 concept album Diesel and Dust.

In retrospect, the tour and resulting LP were a logical continuation of the path that Midnight Oil had blazed since their 1978 debut album.  The band was known for their progressive political views; they were one of the first Australian political rock bands.  Led by the tall, bald Peter Garrett, Midnight Oil looked and sounded unlike other bands and built a loyal following through the 1980's.

The Diesel and Dust album is generally regarded as Midnight Oil's finest effort.  Rolling Stone ranked it as the 13th best album of the 1980's, and it routinely shows up at or near the top of many lists of the best Australian albums ever.  The album was also a huge success, reaching #21 in the U.S. (it was the band's second of four consecutive #1 albums in Australia).

While "Beds Are Burning" was the biggest U.S. hit from the LP, we went with "The Dead Heart," a haunting pop song written from the Aboriginal point of view.  It was a #4 hit in Australia  but did not break the top 40 in the U.S., peaking at  #53.

Midnight Oil disbanded in 2002, as Peter Garrett wanted to devote more time to his political career, although they have re-formed from time to time since then.  Garrett has been a Labour MP (Member of Parliament)  since 2004.

Cool trivia fact:  Midnight Oil is a U.S. one hit wonder, as only "Beds Are Burning" (#17) broke the top 40.


  1. That is a Wonderful pick
    Thanks again for the reminders
    What a great site
    The archives are just a visual/audio GO TO
    And You Keep Adding On
    Love It

    1. Thanks, Sam, glad that you liked it.