Friday, October 24, 2008

Number 437 - Midnight Oil


Number 437

Midnight Oil

"King Of The Mountain"

(1990)
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Genre: Rock
NZ's King of the Mountain
"Sir Edmund Percival Hillary, KG, ONZ, KBE (20 July 1919 – 11 January 2008) was a New Zealand mountaineer and explorer. On 29 May 1953 at the age of 33, he and Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers known to have reached the summit of Mount Everest. They were part of the ninth British expedition to Everest, led by John Hunt". Well that's the official version anyway. To many New Zealanders Sir Ed was more than just a face on a Five Dollar Bill, he was New Zealands favourite son. It will take centuries before anyone in this country can replace his legend. What i particularly admired in this man was his "Kiwiness" attitude, for when Ed Hillary accomplished his amazing world feat, he said to a fellow companion coming down the mountain " We knocked the bastard off". You just cannot get more Kiwi than that!
Whats your exuse?
Australia's Midnight Oil brought a new sense of political and social immediacy to pop music: not only did incendiary hits like "Beds Are Burning" and "Blue Sky Mine" bring global attention to the plight of, respectively, aboriginal settlers and impoverished workers, but the group also put its money where its mouth was -- in addition to mounting benefit performances for groups like Greenpeace and Save the Whales, frontman Peter Garrett even ran for the Australian Senate on the Nuclear Disarmament Party ticket.
your beds are burning
The band formed in Sydney in 1971 as Farm, and originally comprised guitarists Jim Moginie and Martin Rotsey, drummer Rob Hirst and bassist Andrew "Bear" James; Garrett, a law student known for his seven-foot-tall stature and shaven head, assumed vocal duties in 1975, and the group soon rechristened itself Midnight Oil. After months of sporadic gigs, they began making the rounds to area record companies; following a string of rejections, the group formed its own label, Powderworks, and issued their self-titled debut -- a taut, impassioned collection of guitar rock which quickly established the Midnight Oil sound -- in 1978.
Hall of fame? You betcha!
With 1981's Place Without a Postcard (recorded with producer Glyn Johns), Midnight Oil achieved platinum status on the strength of the smash "Armistice Day," which won the group an American deal with Columbia Records. Their follow-up, 1983's 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, spent over two years in the Australian Top 40; after 1984's Red Sails in the Sunset, Garrett made his run at Senate, losing by only a narrow margin. Participation in the Artists United Against Apartheid project followed, leading directly into Midnight Oil's increased interest in the battles of Australia's aboriginal settlers and a tour, dubbed "Black Fella White Fella," with the aborigine group the Warumpi Band.
Peter Garrett muso
The aborigines' plight came to the fore on 1987's Diesel and Dust, the Oils' breakthrough record; sparked by the hit single "Beds Are Burning," the album reached the U.S. Top 20 and made the band a household commodity. After bassist Dwayne "Bones" Hillman (ex-Swingers) replaced Gifford, Midnight Oil returned with 1990's Blue Sky Mining, which they followed with a concert outside of the Exxon corporation's Manhattan offices in protest the company's handling of the Alaskan oil spill. (A film of the performance titled Black Rain Falls was later released, with profits going to Greenpeace.) The album Earth and Sun and Moon appeared in 1993, followed three years later by Breathe. Midnight Oil next resurfaced in 1998 with Redneck Wonderland. The Real Thing, only available in Australia, followed in 2001. It was a solid collection of new songs and live tracks from Midnight Oil's magnificent run at the Metro Theatre in Sydney. Capricornia, issued on Liquid 8 in spring 2002, marked the band's 14th album of their career. In December, Peter Garrett announced his split from the band after 25 years. Garrett, who left Midnight Oil on good terms, wished to pursue other challenges. ~ [Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide]

Blue Sky Mining trivia

Peter Garrett politician
Blue Sky Mining is an album by Midnight Oil that was released in 1990 under the Columbia Records label. It received high ratings from critics. A limited release of the record featured clear blue vinyl. The title track reached #1 on the Modern Rock Tracks. The album was more defiant and outspoken, the single "Blue Sky Mine" describes asbestos exposure in the Wittenoom mine tragedy. It peaked at #8 on the ARIA singles charts, top 15 in Norway and Switzerland, #47 on Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on both their Mainstream and Modern Rock Tracks charts, and appeared on the UK charts. At the 1991 ARIA Awards ceremony, Midnight Oil won 'Best Group' and an 'Outstanding Achievement Award' and 'Best Cover Art', 'Best Video' and 'Album of the Year' for Blue Sky Mining. Gary Morris, accepting awards for Midnight Oil, was criticised for a speech lasting 20 minutes. ~ [Source: Wikipedia]
For the Swingers see Number 474
What does Rolling Stone think about Midnight Oil?
The formula is quite simple: You hit the big beat with a big stick and score big points with big guitars and a big mouth. Indignant rage is the coin of the realm; dignified outrage is usually the whine of the tired and tiresome. In the best rock & roll, especially the protest kind, subtlety doesn't count. Blue Sky Mining is the exception that defies and redefines the rule. As immediate in its topicality and unflinching in its message as any other Midnight Oil record, the album is a stunning issue-driven document of fear, anger and commitment delivered with artful musical restraint and tempered vocal fury. It's a new strategy for this Aussie band – and Blue Sky Mining is all the more compelling for it.
Blue Sky Mining is a dark album for hard times, an album of desperate measures set to music unmistakably charged with fighting spirit and a bold unpredictability. And while the Oils may not rail as long and loud on record as they used to, they've never pretended that volume and vitriol alone can win this kind of war. "Don't talk in maybes/Don't talk in hasbeens/Sing it like it should be," Garrett declares at one point in the solidarity call "One Country." On Blue Sky Mining, Midnight Oil sings it like it is. You should listen in kind. ~ [Source: RS 572 - David Fricke]
Rolling Stone magazine deemed their '437th Song of all Time' was "Love Me Tender" by Elvis Presley. Elvis Presley has appeared in The Definitive 1000 @ #443, #501, #840
Other songs with reference to Midnight Oil #719
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (Too political for us....) and the Album ranked at (.... now about that Obama article we wrote)
This song has a crowbarred rating of 77.5 out of 108 pts
Search Artist here:1-2-3-A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P-Q-R-S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z
underlay trademe

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