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Midnight Oil

Midnight Oil were an Australian rock band known for left-wing political activism. The former lead singer Peter Garrett is an active campaigner for social and environmental issues and this reflected in many of the bands songs. Peter decided to quit on the 2nd December 2002 after 25 years from 1977, bringing the band to a close. The other members resolved to continue working together, but not under the Midnight Oil name.

The Oils, as they were called by their fans, began as a band called the Farm in the early 1970s, then under the Oils name became an aggressive, loud group associated with the surfer community near Sydney. Their first international recognition came in 1982, after several albums, 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." In 1984, Garrett ran for political office in Australia under the Nuclear Disarmament Party banner, and lost. Between 1988 and 1992, the band's Diesel and Dust and Blue Sky Mining discs became known worldwide, as did their political activism for causes ranging from nuclear disarmament to aboriginal rights and environmental issues. Their subsequent albums sold less well outside Australia, but the Oils maintained a following throughout the 1990s and into the new century.

The band performed during the closing ceremony of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. The word "SORRY" was conspicuously printed on the band's clothes, making a political statement by offering apologies to the Aboriginal people for their suffering during more than 200 years of white settlement.


The Midnight Oil lineup remained quite stable over the band's long career: Garrett as lead singer (and, early on, synthesizer), Jim Moginie on guitar and keyboards, Martin Rotsey on guitar, and Rob Hirst on drums. Andrew "Bear" James, the first bass player, left in 1979, replaced by Peter Gifford, who left in 1989 to be replaced by New Zealander "Bones" Hillman, who remained with the group until its dissolution in 2002. Gary Morris was the band's manager and effective sixth member (often credited with the simple title "Business" on albums) throughout.

External links

  • Midnight Oil (http://www.midnightoil.com/)
  • Oilbase (http://www.deadheart.org.uk/oilbase/) - last updated 1994

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