Midnight Oil – Midnight Oil: #483 of best 1,000 albums ever!

Midnight Oil - Midnight Oil

So why is Midnight Oil on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?

This selection is a bit of a deep cut, perhaps even for Midnight Oil superfans – of which I consider myself to be one.

I’m a Midnight Oil superfan who grew up on 1980s and early 1990s Oil, though, so the band’s 1978 self-titled debut can’t help but sound to me like a slightly more raw, slightly more punk version of Midnight Oil revved up on late 1970s guitar rock levels.

And I can only say but two words to all of that: dig it.

If that’s not an odd enough way to start off, let me add this: it wouldn’t shock me at all if the opening guitar hook on “Head Over Heels” was central to the band Urge Overkill forming some years later.  Which is to say it’s very ‘70s arena rock before segueing into something more unusual, new wave-y and angular. It’s not Midnight Oil the band operating at peak powers but you can get a sense of all the influences and raw talent at work here.

“Dust” might be the… funkiest song that Midnight Oil ever produced? A funk bass line that gets straight up prog-y at times maps against airy ethereal organs. It’s kind of an odd mix that points to what the band might have been like as more of a concept album operation, but it’s interesting and good as a standalone song and experiment.

“Nothing Lost – Nothing Gained” is a flat out gorgeous slower number. A Pink Floyd-y flanger effect on the guitar gives it a slight surreal flavor, and arguably it’s Peter Garrett’s best vocal performance on the album.

Some stats & info about Midnight Oil

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, Australian Bands, Album Rock, New Wave
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
  • All Music’s rating – 3 out of 5 stars
  • When was Midnight Oil released? 1978
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #483 out of 1,000

Midnight Oil on Spotify

A lyrical snippet from Midnight Oil that’s evocative of the album in some way, maybe

There’s a bubble a bouncing, and it’s bouncing my way. There’s two sticks in the powderworks, I think it’s gonna blow today.

What’s something interesting thing about Midnight Oil that most people don’t know?

Midnight Oil was initially released independently in a limited quantity of only 800 vinyl copies. The band sold these copies at live shows and to local record stores. Due to its limited release, the original vinyl version of the album has become a collector’s item among fans.

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.

But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.