Midnight Oil – The 12″ Collection

middyMike B has kindly put together a few 12″s from Aussie band Midnight Oil, with a few rarities in there as well.

So I’ve re-wrapped them and put them in chronological order so you can see the developing sound of the band.

Starting with 1982’s “Armistice Day” with their rawer, much more sparse sound and antiwar message. Intricate guitars weave around a military beat. B-side “Stand In Line” is a live version that shows off the musicianship , boarding on heavy rock, I think I’m going to use the word incendiary (never appeared on this blog before!) to describe the performance!

“The fixers do the fixing, the locals do the lynching, the TV never lies”




CBS BA 12032armisticecov

A Armistice Day 4:28
B Stand In Line (Live) 5:54


Next is “The Power And The Passion” choppy guitars and extended Simmon’s drumming. Very New Wave until the brass flourishes at the climax .A song about American culture destroying identity  Nick Launey (INXS) was on studio duties giving the band a commercial sheen to their sound. The Dub demonstrates more electronic drumming from the super Rob Hirst with various experimental, studio trickery, I like it!. The B-side is a gentle instrument combining some synth and piano with some strumming acoustic and surf guitar. Originally from their an E.P. back in 1980, think The Shadows via The Beach Boys but far better.



CBS  TA 3176SAM_5331 (2)

A Power And The Passion 5:38
B1 Glitch Baby Glitch (Power & The Passion – Dub) 4:44
B2 Wedding Cake Island 3:08

Next we have “Dead Heart” from 1986 with a more political message and anticipating the themes “Beds Are Burning.” This was written for the film Uluru – An Anangu Story. Acoustic guitar led it delivered a message through catchy pop. It climaxes with Cello and French Horn (from Jeremy Smyth of the band Hunters And Collectors) towards the end.This is the Nick Launey “Final Mix” deadcov





Okay, now with the epic “Beds Are Burning” from 1987. The one that most people are familiar with. This was the later released “Kintoris Mix” from 1989  There is a great article about that particular track over here.


Given the remix treatment by John Luongo, I’m going to get the Spear Of Destiny comparison in now! (More Cowbell!)

I’m liking the stripped down mix (Yuendumu Percapella Mix) making that distinct lyric even more powerful.

“Gunbarrel Highway” is a quality B-side, a repeated riff and some subtle synths, I’m thinking Mad Max. US censors left this track off the album (From Diesel And Dust) because of the lyric “Shit falls like rain on a world that is brown”, harsh by todays standards.




SAM_5358 (2)

A1 Beds Are Burning (Kintoris Mix) 8:01
A2 Beds Are Burning (Single Version) 3:52
B1 Beds Are Burning (Yuendumu Percapella Mix) 4:27
B2 Gunbarrel Highway 3:37


Finally we have a very cheerful track from 1990, “Blue Sky Mine” Harmonica led and very commercial sounding this was again mixed by Nick Launey and mastered by Vlado Meller. Sing-along chorus with weird sampled sounds the mix puts the bass back in this rare mix. Starting with the “Beds Are Burning” riff it goes off on it’s own journey. The message is there, describing asbestos exposure in the Wittenoom mine tragedy, all wrapped up in a lovely pop song!



Columbia CAS 2020SAM_3337 (2)

A Blue Sky Mine (Food On The Table Mix) 6:35
B Blue Sky Mine (Food On The Table Mix) 6:35

I thought I might as well put my own contribution to this epic post with “Truganini”  (1993) from a year ago over here. (With New Links)



8 thoughts on “Midnight Oil – The 12″ Collection”

  1. I love Midnight Oil, massively under rated band. I was lucky enough to see ’em 3 times. Last of which was at The Academy on the Earth and Sun and Moon tour. I wish Peter Garrett would take a year off politics and take them back on the road.

    1. Exactly, I missed them on that tour but saw them on the Diesel and Dust tour (Previously in Australia-Melbourne) in group concert series with Men at Work, Divinyls, Dragon, The Angels, Eurogliders & more…

      Yes! Peter Garrett & the rest need to do a full fledged tour. they have been performing Down Under on special appearances /Quick Sows but nothing big. Peter Garrett think music not politics !!!

  2. The ‘Food on the Table mix’ of Blue Sky Mine would completely decimate the dance floor back in its day. From the moment the opening riff started the floor would suddenly pack out with every guy and girl in the joint, and when the final Beds Are Burning refrain would kick in people would cheer. An incredibly important band and song(s) for our country at that time. Thanks for spreading their legacy.

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