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 by Hirst, Moginie and original bassist Andrew James as Farm in 1972: they enlisted Garrett the following year, changed their name in 1976, and hired Rotsey a year later (the rotating cast of bass players also included Peter Gifford).
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Midnight Oil issued their self-titled debut album in 1978 and quickly gained a cult following in their home country. The band became a mainstream concern in Australia with the release of 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 (1982) – which spawned the hits “Power and the Passion” and “US Forces” – and reinforced their standing via chart-topper Red Sails in the Sunset (1984). The group went on to garner worldwide renown with seminal record Diesel and Dust (1987) and its singles, “Beds Are Burning” and “The Dead Heart”. They enjoyed further 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 presence on the Australian albums chart until their 2002 disbandment, by which point they had sold 12 million albums worldwide. The outfit reformed in 2017.
The band’s music typically broaches political subjects, including the mistreatment of indigenous Australians and the environmental impact of nuclear power, and they have often lent their support to left-wing causes. The group 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 band 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.
Midnight Oil Backing Tracks – Beds Are Burning … Blue Sky Mine … King Of The Mountain … The Dead Heart … US Forces … Power And The Passion … Forgotten Years … Put Down That Weapon … Short Memory … Read About It … Best Of Both Worlds … Hercules … When The Generals Talk …