Midnight Oil (album)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Midnight Oil
MidnightOil MidnightOil.jpg
Studio album by Midnight Oil
Released 1 November 1978 (1978-11-01)
Recorded Albert Studios, Sydney
Genre Punk rock
Length 33:59
Label Powderworks/Sprint
Producer Keith Walker
Midnight Oil chronology
Midnight Oil
Head Injuries
Singles from Midnight Oil
  1. "Run by Night"
    Released: December 1978

Midnight Oil is the debut album by Australian hard rock band Midnight Oil which was recorded in 1977 and released in November 1978 on the band's independent Powderworks label. It reached the top 50 on the Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart. The album was later distributed by CBS Records and issued as a CD. The LP has a blue cover, however, the CD has a black cover.[1] Because of the blue cover, the former version is often referred to, by fans, as the "blue album"[2] or "the Blue Meanie". The lead single, "Run By Night", became the band's first minor hit in Australia and appeared on the Kent Music Report Singles Chart Top 100.[3] It also had a video clip.[4]


Midnight Oil was the debut album by the Australian hard rock group of the same name.[5] In late 1976, the line-up of Peter Garrett on vocals and synthesiser, Rob Hirst on drums, Andrew James on bass guitar and Jim Moginie on keyboards and lead guitar were performing together in Sydney as the progressive and surf rock group, Farm.[5] In late 1976 they changed their name to Midnight Oil and began to develop an aggressive, punk-hard rock sound for their pub rock audiences.[6][7] Guitarist Martin Rotsey joined in 1977[6] and Midnight Oil, with their manager Gary Morris, established their own record label Powderworks.[6]

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 Kent Music Report Albums Chart.[3] Midnight Oil's first single "Run by Night" followed in December,[5][7] but had very little chart success peaking at No. 100 on the related singles chart.[3]

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.[7] 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.[5][7][8] The Midnight Oil LP disappointed some critics as it did not capture their powerful live performances, with undemanding playing and Garrett’s vocals sounding stilted.[5]


Reviewed in Australian Rolling Stone, by Richard McGregor, it was described as, "a reasonably accurate showcase for the talents of the band, and as such it emphasises all the strengths and weaknesses. The main problem seems to be Peter Garrett's voice. Stripped of the menace of his mesmerising onstage presence, it often sounds fragile".[9] McGregor noted that, "Midnight Oil's strength is in the kinetic energy of their playing" and described them as "an authentic Sydney band, unlike The Angels, Cold Chisel, and Dragon".[9]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[10]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Powderworks" Hirst, James, Moginie, Rotsey 5:35
2. "Head over Heels" Hirst, Moginie, Rotsey 4:08
3. "Dust" Garrett, Hirst, Moginie 3:21
4. "Used and Abused" Hirst, Moginie 3:13
5. "Surfing with a Spoon" Garrett, Hirst, Moginie, Rotsey 5:23
6. "Run by Night" Hirst, Moginie, Rotsey 3:59
7. "Nothing Lost - Nothing Gained" Moginie 8:31


Midnight Oil
Recording details
Art works
  • Design – Jan Paul, Midnight Oil (sleeve & cover)
  • Photography – Kathleen O'Brien, Kevin Fewster; Jan Paul (back cover)


  1. ^ The Dead Heart Midnight Oil FAQ, retrieved 11 March 2007.
  2. ^ The Dead Heart Midnight Oil information guide, retrieved 11 March 2007.
  3. ^ a b c Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. Australian Chart Book, St Ives, NSW. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  4. ^ Midnight Oil official site's Flat Chat page, retrieved 11 March 2007.
  5. ^ a b c d e McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Encyclopedia entry for 'Midnight Oil'". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86448-768-2. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c 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. 
  7. ^ a b c d Ed Nimmervoll (ed.). "Midnight Oil". Howlspace. Archived from the original on 27 July 2012. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  8. ^ Fricke, David (2004). "Midnight Oil Biography". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  9. ^ a b McGregor, Richard (22 March 1979). "Australian Reviews". Rolling Stone. North Sydney, NSW: Silvertongues Pty Ltd: 43. 
  10. ^ Allmusic Review

External links[edit]