I start to re-upload all of them plus some new one now in January 2013. Every thing before that date as been deleted by the authority. Enjoy the music and if you like a band just buy it at your music store.
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Sunday, May 29, 2011

MARILLION / live from Loreley 1987


Live from Loreley 1987


Bit rate: avi


LINK:livefromloreley


Tracklist

1. Introduction (2:10)

2. Slainthe Mhath (4:45)
3. Assassing (6:28)
4. Script For A Jester's Tear (8:56)
5. Incubus (8:55)
6. Sugar Mice (5:46)
7. Hotel Hobbies (3:36)
8. Warm Wet Circles (5:55)
9. That Time Of The Night (The Short Straw) (4:06)
10. Kayleigh (4:30)
11. Lavender (2:24)
12. Bitter Suite (7:50)
1) Brief Encounter
2) Lost Weekend
3) Blue Angel
4) Misplaced Rendezvous
5) Windswept Thumb
13. Heart Of Lothian (3:50)
1) Wide Boys
2) Curtain Call
14. The Last Straw (5:48)
15. Incommunicado (5:18)
16. End Credits (1:13)

Playing Time: 39:45 + 47:49


Marillion

Marillion

Marillion, 2009. L-R: Ian Mosley, Pete Trewavas, Steve Hogarth, Mark Kelly, and Steve Rothery.
Background information
Origin Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, England
Genres Progressive rock, neo-progressive rock, art rock, acoustic rock, alternative rock, pop rock
Years active 1979–present
Labels EMI, Capitol, Castle, Racket Records (Intact), IRS, Caroline, Sanctuary, Velvel/Koch, Edel, Liberty, Pony Canyon
Associated acts Fish, h Natural, How We Live, The Europeans, The Wishing Tree, Arena, Iris, Ian Mosley & Ben Castle, Transatlantic, Kino
Website marillion.com
Members
Steve Hogarth (aka "h")
Steve Rothery

Pete Trewavas

Mark Kelly

Ian Mosley
Past members
Fish (Derek Dick)
Mick Pointer

Diz Minnett
Brian Jelliman
Doug 'Rastus' Irvine
Marillion are a British rock group, formed in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, England in 1979. Their recorded studio output comprises sixteen albums and is generally regarded as comprising two distinct eras, delineated by the departure of original vocalist & frontman Fish in late 1988 after their first four albums, and the subsequent arrival of replacement Steve Hogarth ("h") in early 1989. Marillion has so far released twelve albums with Hogarth. The band continues to tour internationally, and were ranked 38th in Classic Rock's "50 Best Live Acts of All Time" in 2008.


Line-up and sound changes

The core lineup of Steve Rothery (lead guitar, and the sole 'pre-Fish' original member), Pete Trewavas (bass), Mark Kelly (keyboards) and Ian Mosley (drums) has been unchanged since 1984. The band has enjoyed critical and commercial success with a string of UK Top Ten hits spanning their career, an estimated fifteen million total worldwide album sales and even an entry into the Guinness Book of World Records.
Marillion's music has changed stylistically throughout their career. The band themselves stated that each new album tends to represent a reaction to the preceding one, and for this reason their output is difficult to 'pigeonhole'. Their original sound (with Fish on vocals) is best described as guitar and keyboard led progressive rock or "neo-pop", and would be sometimes compared with Gabriel-era Genesis.
More recently, their sound has been compared, on successive albums, to that of Radiohead, Massive Attack, Keane, Crowded House, The Blue Nile and Talk Talk, although not consistently comparable sonically with any of these acts. The band themselves in 2007, tongue-in-cheek, described their own output merely as: "Songs about Death and Water since 1979..."
Marillion are widely considered within the industry to have been one of the first mainstream acts to have fully recognised and tapped the potential for commercial musicians to interact with their fans via the Internet circa 1996, and are nowadays often characterised as a rock & roll 'Web Cottage Industry'. The history of the band's use of the internet is described by Michael Lewis in the book Next: The Future Just Happened as an example of how the internet is shifting power away from established elites, such as record producers.
The band is also renowned for having an extremely dedicated following (often self-termed 'Freaks') with some fans regularly travelling significant distances to attend single gigs, driven in large part by the close fan base involvement which the band cultivate via their website, podcasts, biennial conventions and regular fanclubpublications.

History

The Fish era

 Formation and early years (1979–1982)

Marillion was formed in 1979 as Silmarillion, after J.R.R. Tolkien's book The Silmarillion, by Mick Pointer, Steve Rothery, and others. They played their first gig at Berkhamsted Civic Centre on 1 March 1980.
The band name was shortened to Marillion in 1981 to avoid potential copyright conflicts[12] at the same time as Fish and bassist Diz Minnett joined after an audition at Leyland Farm Studios in Buckinghamshire on 2 January 1981. Rothery and keyboardist Brian Jelliman completed the first line-up; the first gig with this line-up was at the Red Lion Pub in Bicester on 14 March 1981. By the end of 1981, Kelly had replaced Jelliman, with Trewavas replacing Minnett in 1982.
The early works of Marillion contained Fish's poetic and introspective lyrics melded with a complex and subtle musical tapestry to create a sound that reflected the band's influences, notably Queen, early Genesis, Pink Floyd, Van der Graaf Generator, Rush (specifically from the late 1970s), and Yes. Marillion's first recording was a demo tape produced by Les Payne in July 1981 that included early versions of "He Knows You Know", "Garden Party", and "Charting the Single".
The group attracted attention with a three-track session for the Friday Rock Show (early versions of "The Web", "Three Boats Down from The Candy", and "Forgotten Sons") and were subsequently signed by EMI. They released their first single, "Market Square Heroes", in 1982, with the epic song "Grendel" on the B-side of the 12" version. Following the single, the band released their first full-length album in 1983.

Script for a Jester's Tear and Fugazi (1983–1984)

The music on their debut album, Script for a Jester's Tear, was born out of the intensive gigging of the previous years. Although it had some progressive rock stylings, it also had a darker edge, suggested by the bedsit squalour on the album's cover. During the tour to promote Script for a Jester's Tear, Mick Pointer left the band. The second album, Fugazi, built upon the success of the first album with a more electronic sound and produced the single 'Assassing', although the band encountered numerous production problems.
Marillion then released their first live album, Real to Reel, in November 1984, featuring songs from Fugazi and Script for a Jester's Tear, as well as 'Cinderella Search' (B-side to 'Assassing'), recorded in March and July 1984.

Misplaced Childhood and international success (1985)

Marillion with Fish (1986)
Their third and commercially most successful studio album was Misplaced Childhood. With the blessing of their record company, the band was free to depart stylistically from their previous albums, in the process developing a more mainstream sound. The lead single from the album, "Kayleigh", received major promotion by EMI and gained heavy rotation on BBC Radio 1 and Independent Local Radio stations as well as television appearances, bringing the band to the attention of a much wider audience. The band were able to showcase their ability on the album to juxtapose pert pop ballads ("Kayleigh", charting at #2 in the United Kingdom, behind charity fundraiser "You'll Never Walk Alone" by The Crowd, and "Lavender", which charted at #5) with longer song cycles of lost youth, first love, drug abuse, drink, prostitution and, ultimately, rebirth and redemption, all inspired by Fish's life experiences. Following the exposure given to "Kayleigh" and its subsequent chart success, the album went to #1 in the United Kingdom, knocking Bryan Ferry off the top spot and holding off a challenge from Sting, who released his first solo album in the same week. The album came sixth in Kerrang! magazine's "Albums Of The Year" in 1985. Kayleigh also gave Marillion its sole entry on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching #74.

Clutching at Straws and the departure of Fish (1986–1988)

The fourth studio album, Clutching at Straws, shed some of its predecessor's pop stylings and retreated into a darker exploration of excess, alcoholism, and life on the road, representing the strains of constant touring that would result in the departure of Fish to pursue a solo career. It did continue the group's commercial success, however; lead single "Incommunicado" charted at #6 in the UK charts gaining the band an appearance on 'Top of the Pops'. Fish has also stated in interviews since that he believes this was the best album he made with the band. The album came sixth in Kerrang! magazine's "Albums Of The Year" in 1987. The loss of the larger-than-life Fish left a hole that would be difficult to fill. Fish explained his reasons for leaving in an interview in 2003:
"By 1987 we were over-playing live because the manager was on 20 per cent of the gross. He was making a fantastic amount of money while we were working our asses off. Then I found a bit of paper proposing an American tour. At the end of the day the band would have needed a £14,000 loan from EMI as tour support to do it. That was when I knew that, if I stayed with the band, I'd probably end up a raging alcoholic and be found overdosed and dying in a big house in Oxford with Irish wolfhounds at the bottom of my bed."
Giving the band a choice to continue with either him or the manager, the band sided with the manager and Fish left for a solo career. His last live performance with the band was at Craigtoun Country Park on 23 July 1988.After lengthy legal battles, informal contact between Fish and the other four band members apparently did not resume until 1999.
Although reportedly now on good personal terms, both camps had always made it very clear that the oft-speculated-upon reunion would never happen. However, when Fish headlined the 'Hobble on the Cobbles' free concert in Aylesbury's Market Square on 26 August 2007, the attraction of playing their debut single in its spiritual home proved strong enough to overcome any lingering bad feeling between the former band members, and Kelly, Mosley, Rothery, and Trewavas replaced Fish's backing band for an emotional encore of 'Market Square Heroes'.
In a press interview following the event, Fish denied this would lead to a full reunion, saying that: "Hogarth does a great job with the band. We forged different paths over the 19 years."

 The Steve Hogarth era

Seasons End and Holidays in Eden (1989–1991)

After the split, the band found Steve Hogarth, the former keyboardist and sometime vocalist of The Europeans. Hogarth stepped into a difficult situation, as the band had already recorded some demos of the next studio album, which eventually would have become Seasons End.
After Fish left the group (taking his lyrics with him), Hogarth set to work crafting new lyrics to existing songs with lyricist and author John Helmer. The demo sessions of the songs from Seasons End with Fish vocals and lyrics can be found on the bonus disc of the remastered version of Clutching at Straws, while the lyrics found their way into various Fish solo albums such as his first solo album, Vigil In a Wilderness of Mirrors, some snippets on his second, Internal Exile and even a line or two found its way to his third album, Suits.
Hogarth's second album with the band, Holidays In Eden, was the first he wrote in partnership with the band, and includes the song "Dry Land" which Hogarth had written and recorded in a previous project with the band How We Live. As quoted from Steve Hogarth, "Holidays in Eden was to become Marillion's “pop”est album ever, and was greeted with delight by many, and dismay by some of the hardcore fans". Despite its pop stylings, the album failed to crossover beyond the band's existing fanbase and produced no major hit singles.

 Brave, Afraid of Sunlight and split with EMI (1992–1995)

Holidays in Eden was followed by Brave, a dark and richly complex concept album that took the band 18 months to release. The album also marked the start of the band's long time relationship with producer Dave Meegan. While critically acclaimed, the album received little promotion from EMI and did poorly commercially. An independent film based on the album, which featured the band, was also released.
The next album, Afraid Of Sunlight, would be the band's last album with record label EMI. Once again, it received little promotion and no mainstream radio airplay. Despite this, although its sales were disappointing for the band, it was one of their most critically acclaimed albums and was included in Q's 50 Best Albums of 1995.One track of note on the album is Out Of This World, a song about Donald Campbell, who died while trying to set a speed record on water. The song inspired an effort to recover both Campbell's body and the "Bluebird K7," the boat which Campbell crashed in, from the water. The recovery was finally undertaken in 2001, and both Steve Hogarth and Steve Rothery were invited. In 1998, Steve Hogarth claimed this was the best album he had made with the band.

This Strange Engine, Radiation and marillion.com (1996–1999)

What followed was a string of albums and events that saw Marillion struggling to find their place in the music business. This Strange Engine was released in 1997 with little promotion from their new label Castle Records, and the band could not afford to make tour stops in the United States. Luckily, their dedicated US fan base decided to solve the problem by raising some $60,000 themselves online to give to the band to come to the US. The band's loyal fanbase (combined with the Internet) would eventually become vital to the band's existence.
The band's tenth album Radiation saw the band taking a different approach and was received by fans with mixed reactions.

marillion.com was released the following year and showed some progression in the new direction. The band were still unhappy with their record label situation. As Steve Hogarth explained:
"We'd come to the end of our record deal and there were various indie labels interested in us. But we didn't feel comfortable with any of them. We're a band with a big fanbase, but the problem is that, as a result, no-one has an incentive to market us. Record labels know they could spend a fiver on promoting our album and our fans would still go and buy it if they had to find it under a stone. And we knew what would happen if we signed to an indie label. They'd do nothing, sell the album to the fanbase and put the money in the bank.

Anoraknophobia and Marbles (2000–2006)

The band decided that they would try a radical experiment by asking their fans if they would help fund the recording of the next album by pre-ordering it before recording even started. The result was over 12,000 pre-orders which raised enough money to record and release Anoraknophobia in 2001. The band was able to strike a deal with EMI to also help distribute the album. This allowed Marillion to retain all the rights to their music while enjoying commercial distribution. By this time the band had also parted company with their long-time manager, saving 20 per cent of the band's income.
The success of Anoraknophobia allowed the band to start recording their next album, but they decided to leverage their fanbase once again to help raise money towards marketing and promotion of a new album. The band put up the album for pre-order in mid-production. This time fans responded by pre-ordering 18,000 copies.
Marbles was released in 2004 with a 2-CD version that is only available at Marillion's website - kind of a 'thank-you' gesture to the 18,000+ fans who pre-ordered it, and as even a further thanks to the fans, their names were credited in the sleeve notes (this 'thank you' to the fans also occurred with the previous album, Anoraknophobia).
Marillion in 2007, left to right: Steve Rothery, Steve Hogarth, Pete Trewavas (front row), Mark Kelly, Ian Mosley (back row)
The band’s management organised the biggest promotional schedule since they had left EMI and Steve Hogarth secured interviews with prominent broadcasters on BBC Radio, including Matthew Wright, Bob Harris, Stuart Maconie, Simon Mayo and Mark Lawson. Marbles also became the band’s most critically acclaimed album since Afraid of Sunlight, prompting many positive reviews in the press. The band released "You're Gone" as the lead single from the album. Aware that the song was unlikely to gain much mainstream radio airplay, they released it in three separate formats and encouraged fans to buy a copy of each format to get it into the UK top ten. The single reached #7, the first time a Marillion song had reached the UK top ten since "Incommunicado" in 1987 and the band‘s first chart hit since "Beautiful" in 1995. The second single from the album, "Don‘t Hurt Yourself", reached #16. Following this, they released a download-only single, "The Damage (live)", recorded at the band's sell-out gig at the London Astoria. It was the highest new entry in the new UK download chart at number 2. All of this succeeded in putting the band back in the public consciousness, making the campaign a success. Marillion continued to tour throughout 2005 playing several summer festivals and embarking on acoustic tours of both Europe and the United States, followed up by the "Not Quite Christmas Tour" of Europe throughout the end of 2005.
A new DVD, Colours and Sound, was released in Feb 2006, documenting the creation, promotion, release, and subsequent European tour in support of the album Marbles.

 Somewhere Else and Happiness is the Road (2007–2008)

April 2007 saw Marillion release their fourteenth studio album Somewhere Else, their first album in 10 years to make the UK Top #30. The success of the album was further underscored by that of the download-only single See it Like a Baby, making UK #45 (March 2007) and the traditional CD release of Thankyou Whoever You Are / Most Toys, which made UK#15 and #6 in Holland during June 2007.
Happiness Is the Road, released in October 2008, again featured a pre-order "deluxe edition" with a list of the fans who bought in advance, and a more straightforward regular release. It is another double album, with the first disc (based on a concept) slated for a wider general release in 2009, and the second (consisting of the other songs that aren't part of the theme) only available from their website. Before the album's release, on 9 September 2008, Marillion achieved a world first by pre-releasing their own album via P2P networks themselves. Upon attempting to play the downloaded files, users were shown a video from the band explaining why they had taken this route. Downloaders were then able to opt to purchase the album at a user-defined price or select to receive DRM-free files for free, in exchange for an email address. The band explained that although they did not support piracy, they realised their music would inevitably be shared in this manner anyway, and wanted to attempt to engage with p2p users and make the best of a bad situation.

 Less is More and seventeenth studio album (2009 onwards)

The band's most recent studio album (2 October 2009) is an acoustic album featuring new arrangements of previously released tracks (except one, the new track: 'It's Not Your Fault') entitled Less Is More.

Marillion in the media

By their own admission, the band have never been fashionable in the eyes of the media. On the subject of joining the band, Steve Hogarth once said: “At about the same time, Matt Johnson of The The asked me to play piano on his tour. I always say I had to make a choice between the most hip band in the world, and the least.” In the same interview, he claimed: “We’re just tired of the opinions of people who haven’t heard anything we’ve done in ten years. A lot of what’s spread about this band is laughable.”
Much of the band’s enduring and unfashionable reputation stems from their emergence in the early 1980s as the most commercially successful band of the neo-progressive rock movement, an unexpected revival of the progressive rock musical style that had fallen out of critical favour in the mid-1970s. Some early critics were quick to dismiss the band as clones of Peter Gabriel-era Genesis due to musical similarities, such as their extended songs, a prominent and Mellotron-influenced keyboard sound, vivid and fantastical lyrics and the equally vivid and fantastical artwork by Mark Wilkinson used for the sleeves of their albums and singles. Lead singer Fish was also often compared with Gabriel due to his early vocal style and theatrical stage performances, which in the early years often included wearing face paint. In fact, Marillion’s influences were more diverse than that. Fish was heavily influenced by Peter Hammill, two of guitarist Steve Rothery’s biggest influences were David Gilmour and Andrew Latimer, keyboard player Mark Kelly’s biggest inspiration was Rick Wakeman, Pete Trewavas especially loved Paul McCartney´s bass lines and Mick Pointer was fond of Neil Peart's drumming.
As Jonh Wilde summarised in Melody Maker in 1989: "At the end of a strange year for pop music, Marillion appeared in November 1982 with "Market Square Heroes". There were many strange things about 1982, but Marillion were the strangest of them all. For six years, they stood out of time. Marillion were the unhippest group going. As punk was becoming a distant echo, they appeared with a sound and an attitude that gazed back longingly to the age of Seventies pomp. When compared to Yes, Genesis and ELP, they would take it as a compliment. The Eighties have seen some odd phenomena. But none quite as odd as Marillion. Along the way, as if by glorious fluke, they turned out some singles that everybody quietly liked - "Garden Party", "Punch and Judy" and "Incommunicado". By this time, Marillion did not need the support of the hip-conscious. They were massive. Perhaps the oddest thing about Marillion was that they became one of the biggest groups of the decade. They might have been an anomaly but they were monstrously effective."
The band’s unfashionable reputation and image problem has often been mentioned in the media, even in otherwise positive reviews. In Q in 1987, David Hepworth claimed: “Marillion may represent the inelegant, unglamorous, public bar end of the current Rock Renaissance but they are no less part of it for that. Clutching at Straws suggests that they may be finally coming in from the cold.” In the same magazine in 1995, Dave Henderson wrote: “It’s not yet possible to be sacked for showing an affinity for Marillion, but has there ever been a band with a larger stigma attached?” He also claimed that if the album Afraid of Sunlight “had been made by a new, no baggage-of-the-past combo, it would be greeted with open arms, hailed as virtual genius.” In Record Collector in 2002, Tim Jones claimed they were "one of the most unfairly berated bands in Britain" and "one of its best live rock acts." In 2004, Classic Rock's Jon Hotten wrote: “That genre thing has been a bugbear of Marillion's, but it no longer seems relevant. What are Radiohead if not a progressive band?” and claimed Marillion were “making strong, singular music with the courage of their convictions, and we should treasure them more than we do.” In the Q & Mojo Classic Special Edition Pink Floyd & The Story of Prog Rock, an article on Marillion written by Mick Wall described them as “probably the most misunderstood band in the world”. In 2007, Stephen Dalton of The Times stated: “The band have just released their 14th album, Somewhere Else, which is really rather good. Containing tracks that shimmer like Coldplay, ache like Radiohead and thunder like Muse, it is better than 80 per cent of this month’s releases. But you are unlikely to hear Marillion on British radio, read about them in the music press or see them play a major festival. This is largely because Marillion have — how can we put this kindly? — an image problem. Their music is still perceived as bloated, bombastic mullet-haired prog-rock, even by people who have never heard it. In fairness, they did once release an album called Script for a Jester's Tear. But, come on, we all had bad hair days in the 1980s.”
Despite publishing a very good review for their 1995 album Afraid Of Sunlight and including it in their 50 Best Albums of 1995, Q refused to interview the band or write a feature on them. Steve Hogarth later said: “How can they say, this is an amazing record… no, we don’t want to talk to you? It’s hard to take when they say, here’s a very average record… we’ll put you on the front cover.”
In 1999, DJ Simon Mayo commented on BBC Radio 1: "Marillion ... where are they now? And who cares anyway?" Fans objecting to the comment brought the station’s computer system to a standstill with thousands of emails of complaint. Mayo subsequently apologised for his comment to keyboard player Mark Kelly when he phoned the show to take part in a quiz.
To accompany the release of Anoraknophobia in 2001, the band issued a press release asking critics to review the album in “a manner that is both accurate and fair. So, our challenge to you is to firstly listen to the album. Then write a review without using any of the following words: "Progressive rock", "Genesis", "Fish", "heavy metal", "dinosaurs", "predictable", "concept album". Because if you do, we'll know that you haven't listened to it.”
Reviewing the band’s appearance on BBC Two’s The Future Just Happened in 2001, Gareth McLean of The Guardian described the band as "once dodgy and now completely rubbish" and their fans as "slightly simple folks". He also dismissed the band’s efforts to continue their career without a label by dealing directly with their fans on the Internet, claiming: "One suspects that their decision occurred round about the time that the record industry decided to shun Marillion."
In 2004, the band were denied an appearance on the BBC's flagship chart television show Top of the Pops, despite the band's single, "You're Gone", becoming a #7 hit and the second highest new entry of the week. Following the renewed media interest in the band generated by the song, BBC presenter Jonathan Ross described the band as “a prog-rock band that sing about goblins”, to which Marillion’s manager Lucy Jordache responded: “Do you think I'd be going round with someone in a pointy hat?” Guitarist Steve Rothery commented: “We recorded Script for a Jester's Tear 22 years ago. I think that was when Ross had his own hair.”
In an interview in 2000, Hogarth expressed regret about the band retaining their name after he joined: "If we had known when I joined Marillion what we know now, we'd have changed the name and been a new band. It was a mistake to keep the name, because what it represented in the mid-Eighties is a millstone we now carry. If we'd changed it, I think we would have been better off. We would have been judged for our music. It's such a grave injustice that the media constantly calls us a 'dinosaur prog band'. They only say that out of ignorance because they haven't listened to anything we've done for the last 15 bloody years. If you hear anything we've done in the last five or six years, that description is totally irrelevant ... It's a massive frustration that no-one will play our stuff. If we send our single to Radio 1 they say: 'Sorry, we don't play music by bands who are over so-many years old...and here's the new U2 single.' I suppose it's something everyone has to cope with - every band are remembered for their big hit single, irrespective of how much they change over the years. But you can only transcend that by continuing to have hits. It's Catch 22." However, Hogarth was still able to be optimistic: "You know, at some stage, someone has to notice that we're doing interesting things. Someday someone will take a retrospective look at us and be surprised."
The band have been prepared to send up their unfashionable status, naming their 2001 album “Anoraknophobia” and printing T-shirts with the logo “Marillion: Uncool as F*ck.”
Several bandmembers are currently active in UK Music Industry Bodies - amongst them the FAC, whilst Mark Kelly was elected in Nov 2009 to both the Performer and Main Boards of the UK's PPL.

Lineup

Current Lineup:
Former members:

Discography

Studio albums






Saturday, May 21, 2011

MIDNIGHT OIL / diesel and dust





Diesel and dust


Bit rate: 128 kps


LINK: Dieselanddust



1. beds are burning

2. put down that weapon

3. dreamworld

4. arctic world

5. warakurna

6. the dead heart
 
7. whoah
 
8. bullroarer

9. sell my soul

10.sometimes

11.gunbarrel highway


Midnight Oil

Midnight Oil

Midnight Oil at Manly Leagues Club, 2005
Background information
Origin Sydney, Australia
Genres Alternative rock, rock
Years active 1971–2002, 2005, 2009
Labels Powderworks, Columbia
Associated acts Rock Island Line, Farm, Huntress, Facts, Ross Ryan Band, Ghostwriters, Present History
Website Official website
Past members
Rob Hirst
Andrew James
Jim Moginie
Peter Garrett
Martin Rotsey
Peter Gifford
Bones Hillman
Midnight Oil (also known informally as The Oils to fans), was an Australian rock band from Sydney originally performing as Farm from 1972 with drummer Rob Hirst, bass guitarist Andrew James and keyboard player/lead guitarist Jim Moginie. While vocalist Peter Garrett was studying at Australian National University in Canberra he answered an advertisement for a spot in Farm, and by 1975 the band was touring the east coast. By late 1976, Garrett moved to Sydney to complete his law degree, and Farm changed its name to Midnight Oil by drawing the name out of a hat.
Important to their development was manager Gary Morris who was able to negotiate favourable contracts with tour promoters and record companies and frustrate rock journalists. Guitarist Martin Rotsey joined in 1977 and Midnight Oil, with Morris, established their own record label Powderworks, which released their debut eponymous album in November 1978, and their first single "Run by Night" followed in December. Founding bass guitarist James, forced to leave due to illness in 1980, was replaced by Peter Gifford. Gifford was himself replaced by Bones Hillman in 1987. Through a long and distinguished career, the band became known for its driving hard-rock sound, intense live performances and political activism, particularly in aid of anti-nuclear, environmentalist and indigenous causes.
Midnight Oil’s albums which peaked in the Australian Top Ten were 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Red Sails in the Sunset, Species Deceases, Diesel and Dust, Blue Sky Mining, Scream in Blue (Live), Earth and Sun and Moon, Breathe, 20,000 Watt R.S.L., Redneck Wonderland, The Real Thing, Capricornia and Flat Chat. Australian Top Ten singles were "Power and the Passion", "The Dead Heart", "Beds Are Burning" and "Blue Sky Mine". Aside from chart success, both "Power and the Passion" and "Beds Are Burning" were listed by Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) in the Top 30 best Australian songs of all time in 2001. In December 2002, Garrett announced that he would seek to further his political career and Midnight Oil disbanded. But they would reform for two warm-up shows in Canberra leading up to their performance at one of the "Sound Relief" charity concerts, in honour of the victims of the "Black Saturday" fires and the "Queensland floods".
Midnight Oil won eleven Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Awards during its career, including induction into the Hall of Fame in 2006.At the induction, ARIA chairman Denis Handlin described Midnight Oil as true legends that always led by example in a uniquely Australian way with music that is powerful, uncompromising, inspiring, entertaining and enduring.
In 2010 their album Diesel and Dust ranked No. 1 in the book 'The 100 Best Australian Albums' by Toby Creswell, Craig Mathieson and John O'Donnell.

Farm: 1972–1976

In 1971, drummer Rob Hirst, bass guitarist Andrew James and keyboard player/lead guitarist Jim Moginie were performing together, they called themselves Farm from 1972, and played covers of Cream, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Led Zeppelin. They placed an advert for a band member and Peter Garrett (ex-Rock Island Line) became their new vocalist and synthesiser player, to play progressive rock elements of Focus, Jethro Tull and Yes as well as their own material. Garret was studying at Australian National University in Canberra, so Farm was only a part-time band, they played for the northern Sydney surfing community and by 1975 the band was touring the east coast. In late 1976, Garrett moved to Sydney to complete his Law degree, Farm then became a full-time group and so changed its name to Midnight Oil by drawing a name out of a hat leaving behind Television, Sparta and Southern Cross. Midnight Oil came from the Jimi Hendrix song "Burning of the Midnight Lamp".

1976–1981

Martin Rotsey, Midnight Oil guitarist, at the Souths Leagues Club in Brisbane, 2007
After changing its name to Midnight Oil, the group began to develop an aggressive, punk – hard rock sound for their pub rock audiences. Guitarist Martin Rotsey joined in 1977 and Midnight Oil, with their manager Gary Morris, established their own record label Powderworks. In June 1978 they entered the Alberts Studio in Sydney with producer Keith Walker, from local radio station 2JJ, to record their debut eponymous album, Midnight Oil, which was released by Powderworks in November 1978 and peaked at No. 43 on the Australian albums charts. Midnight Oil's first single "Run by Night" followed in December, but had very little chart success peaking at No. 100 on the singles charts. The band built a dedicated fan base, initially restricted to Sydney, which was extended to other Australian cities through constant touring – performing some 200 gigs in their first year. They became known for their furious live performances, which featured the two guitarists Moginie and Rotsey, the drumming and vocals of Hirst and the presence of the towering, bald Garrett as lead singer.
Midnight Oil LP disappointed some critics as it did not capture their powerful live performances, with undemanding playing and Garret’s vocals sounding stilted. Their second album Head Injuries, released on Powderworks in October 1979, was produced by former Supercharge member Leszek Karski. It mixed solid guitar rock with progressive flourishes and was an improvement by highlighting the group’s strengths and growth. It peaked at No. 36 and by mid-1980 had achieved gold status. In April 1980 founding bass guitarist Andrew James left because of ill-health and was replaced by Peter Gifford (ex-Huntress, Ross Ryan Band). Further interest in Midnight Oil was generated by the popular Bird Noises EP, also produced by Karski, which peaked at No. 28 on the Australian singles charts. One of its four tracks was the surf-instrumental "Wedding Cake Island" named after the rock outcrop in the ocean off Sydney's Coogee Beach. The band's third LP Place without a Postcard, released by CBS Records in November 1981, was recorded in Sussex with English producer Glyn Johns (The Rolling Stones, The Who). Creative tensions between the band and Johns plagued the recording and the group were not totally happy with the outcome. Johns had an arrangement with A&M Records and they asked Midnight Oil to return to the studio to record material suitable for an American single release – they refused and returned to Australia.Place without a Postcard peaked at No. 12 on the albums charts and related singles "Don’t Wanna be the One" and "Armistice Day" reached the Top 40 in Australia.

Fans, music industry, media

Driven largely by commercial pressures to stay with reliable chart-toppers and teenage pop sensations, the Australian music industry in the mid-1970s cast a dismissive eye toward most bands with an alternative outlook. Although consistently championed by Sydney alternative rock station Double Jay and its FM band successor Triple J, Midnight Oil was almost totally ignored by Australia's mainstream commercial radio stations in their early career. Manager Morris developed a reputation as one of the toughest managers and became notorious for banning critics or journalists, who were usually given free admission to concerts, for writing unfavourable reviews. Writer and critic Bruce Elder, in a mid-1980s newspaper review described their music as "narrow and xenophobic", and declared Midnight Oil were:
a kind of antipodean pub rock version of Queen [...] life-denying, sexist, secular and bigoted [...] endless touting of Australia and all things Australian
—Bruce Elder quoted in Crème de la Phlegm: Unforgettable Australian Reviews (2006), ed.:Angela Bennie. ISBN 0522852416
In retaliation, Morris banned Elder from Oils shows permanently. Elder later recanted, describing them as the only Australian band to have developed a truly Australian sound.
The frostiness of Midnight Oil's relationship with the traditional music media quickly saw the band develop a strong "street cred", and a reputation for making no compromises with the music industry. In the early 1980s the band was scheduled to appear on an episode of the all-powerful Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) TV pop show Countdown, but on the day of the show they were "bumped" from the line-up. Countdown required artists to mime their songs during 'live' performances, Midnight Oil and Morris insisted they perform completely live and have their sound engineer supervising – neither side backed down. According to Countdown producer Michael Shrimpton, the band had arrived late for rehearsal, and due to the show's very tight schedule and budget there was a strict policy that latecomers were not allowed to appear, and as such they were told they could not perform that day. In response, the group declared that they would never appear on the show, a promise they faithfully kept. Countdown presenter Molly Meldrum shaved his head bald, imitating Garrett, for its final show on 19 July 1987 and expressed regret that Midnight Oil had never appeared on the show.
Fans of the group were drawn to the band's "us and them" mindset, and fan loyalty to the Oils' ideas and music was fierce. Two venues at which they built significant fan bases from their early live performances were the Sydney northern beaches pub The Royal Antler at Narrabeen and the Bondi Lifesaver club near Sydney's Bondi Beach. Politically oriented rock of the style produced by the band was something of a new concept for the Australian music scene, and Peter Garrett quickly earned a reputation as one of the most charismatic and outspoken musicians in the country. He recalled that there were dangers in playing the pub scene:
You get booked into a pub or hotel, say in the western suburbs of Sydney. Halfway through your set, two large, drunk truck drivers decide to have a fight. They're beating each other up and careening towards the corner where the band is set up. Meanwhile, everyone else is going, 'Aaah, turn it down, I'm trying to watch TV.' Try to contemplate that as an environment to play music in every night for three years.
— Peter Garrett quoted in The Big Australian Rock Book (1985) published by Rolling Stone Magazine, ed.:Ed St John, ISBN 0959061509

Rise to fame: 1982–1985

10 to 1

Their Australian breakthrough and first international recognition came in 1982, with the release of 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, which included the singles "Power and the Passion" and "Read about It". The album peaked at No. 3 and "Power and the Passion" peaked at No. 8. The album also includes their denunciation of American military interference in foreign affairs in "US Forces" and their critique of imperialist repression in "Short Memory". 10 to 1 was recorded in London during September and produced by Englishman Nick Launay, who had previously worked with acts including The Jam, XTC, Peter Gabriel, PiL, Gang of Four and The Birthday Party. Launay worked on several other major Australian recordings in this period including INXS' The Swing, Models' The Pleasure Of Your Company and The Church's Seance.
The album remained in the Australian charts for 171 weeks, it retained their live energy but was more adventurous and radical than previous work. Their ascendancy was signalled by a series of concerts on the release of the album at Sydney's Capitol Theatre, one of which was filmed and recorded, it was released on their 2004 Best of Both Worlds DVD. The band also played their first shows outside Australia during this time, with the album being released in USA on Columbia Records where it charted in 1984 on the Billboard 200, in UK it was released on CBS.

Red Sails in the Sunset

Midnight Oil undertook more politically motivated benefit concerts, including organising the Stop the Drop Nuclear Disarmament concert in 1983 which received a United Nations Media Peace Prize. 10 to 1 was followed by Red Sails in the Sunset in October 1984, which was recorded in Japan, produced by Launay again. It peaked at No. 1 for four weeks on the Australian charts, and charted on the Billboard 200. Singles from the album were released in USA and UK but had no chart success. Whilst the album showed an over-reliance on technical wizardry, their lyrical stance was positive. The band continued to expand their sound and explore themes of politics, consumerism, militarism, the threat of nuclear war and environmental issues. The album cover by Japanese artist Tsunehisa Kimura featured a photomontage of Sydney – both city and harbour – cratered and devastated after a hypothetical nuclear attack. Live concert footage of "Short Memory" was used in the Australian independent anti-nuclear war movie One Night Stand.[21] A promotional video for "Best of Both Worlds", later on Best of Both Worlds, received airplay worldwide on cable music TV station MTV.
Garrett ran as a Nuclear Disarmament Party (NDP) candidate for a NSW seat in the Australian Senate during the December 1984 federal election, Garrett obtained 9.6% of votes but was unable to obtain the required quota of 12.5%. In April 1985, Garrett, with some 30 other members, walked out of the national conference and resigned from the NDP claiming it had been infiltrated by a Trotskyist group. Although unsuccessful in that federal election, Garrett was now a recognised public figure.

Goat Island Triple J concert

In January 1985, Midnight Oil performed Oils on the Water, a concert on Goat Island in Port Jackson to celebrate Triple J's tenth birthday, before a select audience of fans who had won tickets in a radio competition. The concert was filmed, simulcast on ABC-TV and Triple J, and released on video, which was remastered for their 2004 Best of Both Worlds DVD.

International success and activism: 1985–2002

Diesel and Dust

"Beds are Burning" single cover
In December 1985 a four-track EP Species Deceases produced with Francois Kevorkian was released by CBS/Columbia, it peaked at No. 1 on the Australian singles charts for six weeks. Species Deceases, including the track "Hercules", featured a return to their pub rock sound with hard hitting firepower. Midnight Oil spent several months in 1986 on the Blackfella/Whitefella tour of outback Australia with indigenous groups Warumpi Band and Gondwanaland, playing to remote Aboriginal communities and seeing first hand the seriousness of the issues in health and living standards. The tour was criticised by some journalists for being a one-off event instead of a long-term attempt to build bridges between communities.The band was galvanised by the experiences and made these the basis of Diesel and Dust released in 1987 which was produced by Warne Livesey. The album focused on the need for recognition by white Australia of past injustices involving the Aboriginal nation and the need for reconciliation. Peter Gifford left the band before the album's release due to extensive touring schedules, he was replaced by Bones Hillman, formerly of The Swingers.
Diesel and Dust peaked at No. 1 on the Australian albums charts for six weeks, No. 21 on the Billboard 200 charts in 1988, and No. 19 on the UK albums charts. "Beds Are Burning" was their biggest international hit single peaking at No. 6 in Australia, No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 6 on the UK singles charts. "The Dead Heart" peaked at No. 6 in Australia, it charted on the Hot 100 and in the UK. "Put Down that Weapon" also charted in Australia, while "Dreamworld" charted on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks and at No. 16 on its Modern Rock Tracks.
At the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) 1988 Awards ceremony, Midnight Oil won "Best Cover Art" for Diesel and Dust and both "Best Single" and "Best Song" for "Beds Are Burning".[10][29] A fracas developed between Morris, accepting awards for Midnight Oil, and former Countdown compere Ian Meldrum who was presenting: Meldrum objected to Morris making political commentary from the podium.
There were concerns about Diesel and Dust and Midnight Oil's attempts to express indigenous issues to white urban audiences, a question was raised, "Who holds the power to tell whose history?" The lyrics of "The Dead Heart" tell the story of colonisation from an indigenous point of view but some critics felt they reinforced the "primitive" stereotype. Use of the bullroarer was criticised as belonging to sacred rituals not rock songs. "The Dead Heart" had been written in response to a request by organisers of the 1985 ceremony to return control of Uluru to its indigenous caretakers; Midnight Oil had originally resisted adding an indigenous group to a concert bill, however the organisers insisted, arguing that the band would reach a wider audience within the predominantly Caucasian urban centres. Midnight Oil requested that all royalties from the song go to indigenous communities. In addition, two indigenous groups, Warumpi Band and Gondwanaland, toured with them.
Following the 1988 American tour in support of Diesel and Dust with Australian band Yothu Yindi, Midnight Oil launched the Burning Bridges album with various artists contributing including Paul Kelly, Scrap Metal, Coloured Stone, Hunters & Collectors, James Reyne, The Saints, Crowded House, INXS and Yothu Yindi. All sales proceeds were donated to the National Coalition of Aboriginal Organisations.
During 1989–1993 and 1998–2002 Garrett was the President of the Australian Conservation Foundation, whilst during 1993–1998 he was on the International Board of Greenpeace.[31] In 1990 Midnight Oil played an impromptu lunchtime set in front of Exxon headquarters in New York with a banner reading, "Midnight Oil Makes You Dance, Exxon Oil Makes Us Sick", protesting the Exxon Valdez oil spill the previous year.

Blue Sky Mining

In March 1990 Blue Sky Mining, produced by Livesey was released by CBS/Columbia, it peaked at No. 1 on the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) albums charts. It stayed at No. 1 for two weeks in Australia and had Top 5 chart success in Sweden, Switzerland and Norway. It peaked at No. 20 on the Billboard 200 and No. 28 on the UK charts. The album was more defiant and outspoken,the single "Blue Sky Mine" describes asbestos exposure in the Wittenoom mine tragedy. It peaked at No. 8 on the ARIA singles charts, top 15 in Norway and Switzerland, No. 47 on Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 on both their Mainstream and Modern Rock Tracks charts, and appeared on the UK charts. The second single "Forgotten Years" was more moderately successful, reaching No. 26 on the ARIA singles chart, No. 97 in the UK, No. 11 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks, and No. 1 on the Modern Rock Tracks.
In Sydney in 1990, while Midnight Oil were taking a break, Hirst joined up with guitarist Andrew Dickson, drummer Dorland Bray of Do-Ré-Mi, guitarist Leszek Karski (Midnight Oil producer) and bass guitarist Rick Grossman of Hoodoo Gurus to form a side project called Ghostwriters.[34] The name refers to ghostwriters where famous writers wish to be anonymous. Ghostwriters' line-ups – both live and in the studio – changed considerably through the years, with only founders Hirst and Grossman being mainstays. Between successive album releases Hirst and Grossman returned to active involvement with Oils and Gurus respectively. Ghostwriters have released Ghostwriters (1991), Second Skin (1996), Fibromoon (1999) and Political Animal (2007).
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. Morris, accepting awards for Midnight Oil, was criticised for a speech lasting 20 minutes.
Scream in Blue (Live) was their June 1992 live album produced with Keith Walker, it contained material from concerts between 1982–1990, including "Progress" from their Exxon Valdez protest gig. It peaked at No. 3 on the ARIA albums charts; Top 50 in Austria, Sweden and Switzerland; and appeared on the Billboard 200.

Earth and Sun and Moon

Midnight Oil's Earth and Sun and Moon album, produced with Nick Launay, was released in April 1993 and also drew critical acclaim and international success, it peaked at No. 2 on the ARIA albums charts, top 20 in Sweden and Switzerland, Top 50 on Billboard 200, and top thirty in the UK albums chart.The single "Truganini" referenced multiple issues including the 'last' Tasmanian Aboriginal, the treatment of indigenous artist Albert Namatjira and the Australian flag debate and republicanism. Liner notes for the single claimed "Truganini was the sole surviving Tasmanian Aborigine, the last of her race, when she died in 1876." The Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre, representing over 7000 contemporary Tasmanians, called for the single to be boycotted as it perpetuated a 'white' myth about the extinction of Tasmanian Aborigines, their Native Title claims hinged upon establishing links with ancestral lands. Morris responded with, "My suggestion to these people is to stop shooting themselves in the foot and let a band like Midnight Oil voice its appeal to white Australia on behalf of black Australia". Critics contended that Morris disparaged Indigenous Australians' ability to represent themselves and over-estimated Midnight Oil's ambassadorial powers while diminishing their errors, while some indigenous activists saw benefit in Midnight Oil's highlighting of the issues thus enabling their corrections to be widely heard. Nevertheless, "Truganini" released in March peaked at No. 10 on the ARIA singles charts, No. 10 on Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks and No. 4 on their Modern Rock Tracks charts, and top thirty for the UK charts.
In 1993, the band also participated in the Another Roadside Attraction tour in Canada, and collaborated with The Tragically Hip, Crash Vegas, Hothouse Flowers and Daniel Lanois on the one-off single "Land" to protest forest clearing in British Columbia.

Breathe to Capricornia

Breathe was released in 1996, it was produced by Malcolm Burn and had a loose, raw style with almost a low-key sound. It peaked at No. 3 on the ARIA albums chart, and had Top 40 success in New Zealand and Switzerland.[38] They returned to No. 1 on the ARIA albums charts with the compilation 20,000 Watt R.S.L. in 1997 on Sony Records, which achieved 4×Platinum sales. Later albums, Redneck Wonderland in 1998, The Real Thing in 2000 and Capricornia in 2002 again renuniting with producer Warne Livesey, all charted into the ARIA Top Ten.

Sydney 2000 Olympic Games performance

Midnight Oil again brought the politics of Reconciliation to the fore during their performance at the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics. Then Prime Minister John Howard had triggered controversy that year with his refusal to embrace symbolic reconciliation and apologise to Indigenous Australians and members of the stolen generations. Midnight Oil performed their reconciliation-themed single "Beds Are Burning" at the ceremony with the word SORRY conspicuously printed on their clothes as a form of apology to indigenous people for their suffering under white settlement, and to highlight the issue to Howard, who was in the audience at the Olympic stadium. Midnight Oil had consulted with tour mates Yothu Yindi and other indigenous activists, so that their performance brought popular protest to the world arena. In 2001, Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) surveyed 100 music industry people for their Top 10 Best Australian songs of all time, "Beds Are Burning" was voted No. 3 behind The Easybeats' "Friday on My Mind" and Daddy Cool's "Eagle Rock". At the 2001 APRA Awards ceremony "Beds are Burning" was shown on video and introduced by Australian Democrats Senator Aden Ridgeway as an indigenous spokesperson on Reconciliation. "Power and the Passion" was also listed in APRA's Top 30 best Australian songs.

Dissolution and reunion

Garrett announced his decision to quit Midnight Oil on 2 December 2002, to refocus on his political career. In the 1984 federal election, Garrett had stood for the Australian Senate under the Nuclear Disarmament Party banner, and narrowly lost. He won the seat of Kingsford Smith at the 2004 General Election for the Australian Labor Party and was selected as Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Environment, Heritage and the Arts. On Thursday, 29 November 2007, Prime Minister elect, the Hon Kevin Rudd MP, named Garrett as Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts. The other members of the band continued to work together but not under the Midnight Oil name, bringing the band's career to a close.
After a warm up gig the previous evening at the Manly-Warringah Leagues Club the band, including Garrett, reunited to perform at the WaveAid concert on 29 January 2005, to raise funds for the victims of the 26 December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. The concert, which took place at the Sydney Cricket Ground, also included performances by Powderfinger, Silverchair, Nick Cave, John Butler Trio, Finn Brothers and others.
On 29 October 2006 Midnight Oil was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame with ARIA chairman Denis Handlin describing them:
For 30 years, on their journey from inside Sydney's Royal Antler Hotel to outside the Exxon Building in New York, the Oils have always led from the front. They spoke to us – and to the world – in a uniquely Australian way. [...] Their music speaks first – it's powerful, it's uncompromising, it's unique rock music that inspires, entertains and will last forever. [...] My favourite Oils lyric, which summarises it all is: 'It's better to die on your feet than live on your knees.'
—Denis Handlin, 2006
Rob Hirst in his acceptance speech thanked his family, band mates, and support from fellow Australians. He also lamented the fact that unlike the Vietnam war which had inspired some of the best protest songs ever written, very few had been written because of the invasion of Iraq. Flat Chat, another compilation album, was released in November and peaked at No. 21 on the ARIA album charts.
Rumours of an appearance by Midnight Oil at the Sydney leg of the Live Earth concert in July 2007 were false. However Ghostwriters, founded by drummer Hirst and Hoodoo Gurus bass guitarist Rick Grossman and including former Oils guitarist Martin Rotsey, performed six tracks including the Oils' song "When the Generals Talk", whilst Peter Garrett gave a speech introducing a reformed Crowded House.
Aside from Ghostwriters, Hirst has also been a member of Backsliders, performed with former Olympian Paul Greene, with fellow Backsliders member Dom Turner on The Angry Tradesmen and with Rotsey assisted on Jim Moginie's solo album Alas Folkloric in 2006.

2009 reformation

On 14 March 2009, a reformed Midnight Oil, with Garrett, headlined the Sound Relief concert in Melbourne. A concert was held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on 14 March 2009 to raise money for victims of Victoria's February bushfire disaster. The event was held simultaneously with a concert at the Sydney Cricket Ground.All proceeds from the Melbourne Concert went to the Red Cross Victorian Bushfire relief. Appearing with Midnight Oil in Melbourne were Augie March, Bliss N Eso with Paris Wells, Gabriella Cilmi, Hunters & Collectors, Jack Johnson, Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson with Troy Cassar-Daley, Kings Of Leon, Liam Finn, Crowded House, Jet, Paul Kelly, Split Enz and Wolfmother.
Prior to the Sound Relief concert, Midnight Oil played two "warm up" shows in Canberra on 12 and 13 March, entitled "Up Close In The Capital". Both shows were sold out. Speculation about censorship of the band's setlist choices for these shows proved to be fruitless as the band played some of their most political hits, including US Forces, When The Generals Talk, The Dead Heart, Blue Sky Mine, and Read About It.
In a Channel V interview prior to the Sound Relief concert, Hirst joked that he wished Midnight Oil could reform for reasons other than a natural disaster.

Personnel

Hottest 100 of all time

In July 2009 Midnight Oil's "Beds Are Burning" came in at No. 97 in Triple J Hottest 100 of all time, voted by the Australian public.[citation needed]

Discography

Studio albums



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