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Review: Midnight Oil, Diesel and Dust (Legacy Edition)

June 2nd, 2008 · No Comments

Midnight Oil, Diesel and Dust

Midnight Oil
Diesel and Dust (Legacy Edition)

When it was originally released in 1988, Midnight Oil’s Diesel and Dust gave the Australian band a U.S. hit with “Beds Are Burning,” a politically-charged singalong that showcased the group’s struggle to bring attention to the plight of the Aboriginal people. Lead singer Peter Garrett–who had political aspirations throughout the band’s career and is now the Australian Minister for Environment, Heritage and Arts–sought to write about things he witnessed during a 1986 tour through remote Aboriginal settlements. Songs like “The Dead Heart” (with lyrics, “We don’t serve your country / Don’t serve your king / Know your custom don’t speak your tongue / White man came took everyone”), “Put Down That Weapon” and “Dreamworld”, all of which hold up 20 years later, brought these political issues to a U.S. audience, most of which were unfamiliar with the band’s previous releases.

The newly released “Legacy Edition” of Diesel and Dust includes a remastered version of the original album–which hit platinum status in the U.S.–and is enhanced by the inclusion of the previously banned “Gunbarrel Highway” [Ah Tipper, we will never forget!]. A DVD of Midnight Oil’s documentary film, Blackfella/Whitefella, makes this release definitely worth checking out. While bands like U2 and, to a lesser extent, The Alarm, attracted the majority of the sociopolitical attention around this time, Midnight Oil shouldn’t be overlooked for their contribution and attempts at bringing injustice to worldwide attention.

More information on Midnight Oil’s music can be found at www.midnightoil.com.

Tags: Miscellaneous · Music · Reviews

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