Midnight Oil was an AustralianHard Rock / Alternative Rock band. They were formed in the early 1970s as Farm, releasing their first album (after becoming Midnight Oil) in 1978. They soon went on to become one of the most popular bands in Australia, with one album staying on the Australian charts for nearly two years. Outside Australia and New Zealand, they are known for one or two songs at most (usually "Beds Are Burning"). They parted ways in 2002, but reunited in 2005 and 2009 for benefit concerts.Most of their songs focus heavily on social criticism/commentary, with a leftist point of view - they support environmentalism and worker's rights and are opposed to colonialism. The band's lead singer, Peter Garrett, was Australia's Minister for the Environment, Heritage, and the Arts. He'd run for office before, though, during his tenure with the band.Lineup (1987-2002note this is the lineup for both reunions):
Peter Garrett: Lead vocals, harmonica, and sometimes synthesizer during the band's days as Farm (1975-2002)
Determinator: A common theme in several songs is not giving up in the face of greatest adversity.
Epic Rocking: Nothing Lost Nothing Gained, Jimmy Sharman's Boxers
Fake-Out Fade-Out: "Read About it". It doesn't fade as such, but appears to end. Then, after quite a long pause, comes back with a reprise of the first verse.
Also completely inverted with "Somebody's Trying to Tell Me Something" at the end of the same album. The original vinyl record ended with a run-out groove so that the final note and lyric ("down") was held indefinitely until the listener pulled the needle off the record. On the CD version, it runs for about 40 seconds and makes the listener simply think that something's wrong with their player, up until the Letting the Air out of the Band moment occurs.
Old Shame: It wasn't that old by the time they broke up in 2002, but drummer Rob Hirst hates their 1996 album Breathe, mostly because he didn't have any involvement in the songwriting. It was poorly received by the fans, too. It at least boasts a strong single in "Surf's Up Tonight", but even that was too poppy for some purists.
Averted by their older material in general, as they were known to play a decent amount of it live and occasionally break out even the most obscure of their early songs that they may not have played in many years.
Capricornia: "Capricornia" (title track. To be pronounced "cap-ree-corn-ya")
Flat Chat : Comes from a word in the song "Power and the Passion" which is on this collection. "flat chat, Pine Gap, in every home a big mac and no one goes out back, that's that"
Viewers Are Geniuses: Especially to non-Australians, a lot of references in their songs come off as pretty obscure or highbrow.
"Above we dream in Andropovosphere" ("Whoah") "Phar Lap floating in a jar" ("Minutes to Midnight") "Set up those gunsights in H.G. Wells' backyard" (also "Minutes to Midnight") "L. Ron Hubbard can't save your life, Superboy takes a plutonium wife" ("U.S. Forces") "There's no one on the Reeperbahn" ("Mountains of Burma") "The triumphalist and narcissist are joined ear and hip and phone, they're worshipping their chrome" ("Blot")