Head Injuries

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Head Injuries
MidnightOil HeadInjuries.jpg
Studio album by Midnight Oil
Released October 1979 (1979-10)
Recorded July 1979 – August 1979
Genre Post-punk, pub rock
Length 34:04
Label Powderworks, Sprint, CBS
Producer Leszek J. Karski
Midnight Oil chronology
Midnight Oil
(1978)Midnight Oil1978
Head Injuries
Bird Noises
(1980)Bird Noises1980

Head Injuries is the second studio album by Australian pub rockers Midnight Oil, which was released in October 1979 on their own Powderworks label and distributed by Columbia Records. The album was produced by Leszek J. Karski. It was the last Midnight Oil album to feature founding bass guitarist Andrew James, who quit the band due to illness. It peaked at No. 36 on the Australian Kent Music Report and by mid-1980 had achieved gold status.

The Midnight Oil logo with the open hand, as seen on the cover of Scream in Blue and in all other albums, comes from a photo in the liner notes of this album.

The album was certified platinum in Australia in 2014. [1]


Head Injuries is the second studio album by Australian rock band, Midnight Oil. They had formed in 1971 with Rob Hirst on drums, Andrew James on bass guitar, and Jim Moginie on keyboards and lead guitar.[2][3] By 1972 they added Peter Garrett on vocals and synthesiser.[2][4] The group began to develop an aggressive, punk-hard rock sound for their pub rock audiences.[4] In 1977 Martin Rotsey joined on guitar.[3] Their debut eponymous album, Midnight Oil, was released by their own label, Powderworks, in November 1978.[5] 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.[4] They became known for their furious live performances, which featured the two guitarists Moginie and Rotsey, the drumming and backing vocals of Hirst and the presence of the towering, bald Garrett as lead singer.[2][4] The first album had disappointed some critics as it did not capture their powerful live performances, with undemanding playing and Garrett’s vocals sounding stilted.[2]

In October 1979 Head Injuries was released on Powderworks, it was produced by former Supercharge member, Leszek J. Karski.[3] It mixed solid guitar rock with progressive flourishes and was an improvement by highlighting the group’s strengths and growth.[2][4] It peaked at No. 36 on the Australian Kent Music Report and by mid-1980 had achieved gold status.[2][5] In April 1980 founding bass guitarist James left because of ill-health and was replaced by Peter Gifford (ex-Huntress, Ross Ryan Band).[3] 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.[5] 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, was released by CBS Records in November 1981.[3][4]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars link

At the time of release, Stuart Coupe said, "Right from the opening bars of "Cold Cold Change", it's obvious that Head Injuries is a major development for Midnight Oil. This really sounds like the band live - soaring guitars, relentless thrashing of drums, Peter's strong voice... gee wiz, he's learnt how to pronounce words. You can understand the lyrics without referring to the lyric sheet."[6]


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[7] 1× Platinum 70,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Cold Cold Change" Hirst, Moginie 3:29
2. "Section 5 (Bus to Bondi)" Garrett, Hirst, Moginie, Rotsey 3:04
3. "Naked Flame" Hirst, Moginie, Rotsey 3:27
4. "Back on the Borderline" Garrett, Hirst, James 3:09
5. "Koala Sprint" Garrett, Moginie, Rotsey 5:12
6. "No Reaction" Hirst, Moginie, Rotsey 2:59
7. "Stand in Line" Garrett, Hirst, Moginie, Rotsey 4:48
8. "Profiteers" Hirst, Moginie, Rotsey 3:46
9. "Is It Now?" Garrett, Moginie 4:20


Midnight Oil
Additional personnel
  • Leszek J. Karski - producer
  • Peter J. Walker - engineer


  1. ^ http://www.aria.com.au/pages/httpwww.aria.com.aupagesaria-charts-accreditations-albums-2014.htm
  2. ^ a b c d e f McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Encyclopedia entry for 'Midnight Oil'". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86448-768-2. Retrieved 20 October 2008. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Holmgren, Magnus; Stenerlöv, Carl-Johan. "Midnight Oil". Australian Rock Database. Passagen.se (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 27 September 2012. Retrieved 12 February 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Ed Nimmervoll (ed.). "Midnight Oil". Howlspace. Archived from the original on 27 July 2012. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. Australian Chart Book, St Ives, N.S.W. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  6. ^ Coupe, Stuart (November 1979). "Midnight Oil's Powderworks Explode Causing Head Injuries". Roadrunner. Parkside, SA: 6. 
  7. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2014 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 31 December 2014. 

External links[edit]