About Midnight Oil
Politically charged and unapologetically outspoken, Midnight Oil has bucked convention for more than four decades while becoming one of Australia’s greatest rock bands.
∙ Originally known as Farm, the group recruited frontman Peter Garrett in 1975 and changed their name to Midnight Oil—a phrase pulled from Jimi Hendrix’s “Burning of the Midnight Lamp.”
∙ After years of building a following on Australia’s pub-rock circuit, Midnight Oil broke through with their 1982 LP, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, which reached No. 3 on the charts.
∙ Diesel and Dust, a 1987 album highlighting the plight of indigenous Australians, was the group’s first international smash, ultimately selling more than six million copies worldwide.
∙ “Beds Are Burning,” from Diesel and Dust, was their biggest-ever hit, earning a Grammy Award nomination and winning both Song and Single of the Year at 1988’s ARIA Awards.
∙ Never afraid to bring politics into their performances, the band staged a guerilla concert in front of Exxon headquarters in 1990, protesting the company’s Valdez oil spill from the prior year.
∙ Midnight Oil won 11 ARIA Awards and were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2006.
∙ In 2004, two years after departing the band to focus on his political career, Garrett was elected to Parliament, where he served nine years, several of them as a cabinet minister.