ARTIST: Midnight Oil
TITLE: Essential Oils
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
CHART ACTION: None in the US
SINGLES: Several of the songs not listed were singles in Australia and NZ. Charting in the US and UK: The Dead Heart (#53 US, #11 Mainstream, #62 UK), Beds Are Burning (#17 US, #6 Mainstream, #6 UK), Dreamworld (#37 Mainstream., #16 Modern) Blue Sky Mine (#47 US, #1 Mainstream, #1 Modern, #66 UK), Forgotten Years (#11 Mainstream, #1 Modern, #97 UK), King of the Mountain (#20 Mainstream, #3 Modern), Truganini (#10 Mainstream, #4 Modern, #29 UK), My Country (#66 UK), In the Valley (#60 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: The above probably covers it.
LINEUP: Peter Garrett, Jim Moginie, Martin Rotsey, Rob Hurst. Andrew James was the original bassist. Peter Gilford replaced him for a few years and Bones Hillman replaced him.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Australia’s best band ever? Maybe! They’ve been at it since 1976 in one form or another with the same four core members since 1977. They are highly political, tremendous live, and always seem to evolve their sound.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: A band that’s been around since the mid-70s (and are back and touring again) had to sound stale at some point, right? No, not Midnight Oil. They always pushed their music forward – from a punk-ish roar to experimenting with electronics and distortion. But they are always determined to make an impact both politically and socially.
This collection grabs tracks from each studio album and even Eps. By their second album, they were tight and fierce as any band going, and that never really changed as they moved forward. Always political, and always advocating for social change (and Peter Garrett isn’t their sole lyricist, in case you were wondering), Midnight Oil became the conscious of the Australian rock world – all while delivering great and challenging music and killer live shows.
They split up when Peter Garrett got more involved in Australian politics, but have reunited and have toured around with much of the same fire and fury as they had before. This is an essential collection for an essential band.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: “The Dead Heart” is their highest charting single in Australia, at #$
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.
GRADE A+: It’s an essential compilation that will make you want to dive in for their entire catalog.