Lunch Break: Midnight Oil, “Stars of Warburton”

I could have sworn I posted something on Midnight Oil before, but a search of the archives suggested otherwise.

If you know Midnight Oil at all, it is from their hit Beds are Burning from the Diesel and Dust disc.

That song was ok, in my opinion, but did not do a lot to make me a fan of the band. Although, I heard through circles that Midnight Oil had honed their skills by playing a shitload of bar dates for years, and as a result were a really hot live act.

So, when they toured on top of Blue Sky Mine, I think in 1990, I bought the disc and got tickets to see them at the Greek Theater in Berkeley, a nice outdoor venue (with, if memory serves, Hunter and Collector).

They were indeed one hell of a tight band, and put on a terrific show, holding their notch of the notion that they were a much better live band than studio one.

On the heels of Blue Sky Mine, came their live disc, Scream in Blue which is a killer set and displays just what a crisp live act the band was (they disbanded in 2003).

Part of what made the band interesting, too, was their lead singer Peter Garrett, an environmentalist and artist who had quite a life as a politician in Australia, as well as that of a rocker.

This song, Stars of Warburton, is subtle in that it is not really a cranked-out song in tempo, but it drives and builds and is just so well executed that it is sick.  Although, also note that this particular version is not from Scream in Blue. I chose it because it at least flashes on pics of the band and the outback and environment that the band wrote about (Garrett once said it would be silly for them to do love songs, as that just wasn’t what they did).

Check it out. The song–and album–really smoke.

3 thoughts on “Lunch Break: Midnight Oil, “Stars of Warburton”

  1. I saw Midnight Oil perform at an outdoor venue (the Pier) in New York in the mid-1980s. Peter Garrett had a commanding stage presence. Great live band

  2. If you liked that track, you must check out Warakurna again, off Diesel and Dust. It is a masterpiece in my opinion. Perfect production, great lyrics, perfectly builds to a crescendo. Look out for the line “Diesel and Dust is what we breathe”, it’s the peak of the album imo.
    It’s also followed by The Dead Heart, Whoah, and Bullroarer which are also amazing tracks imo.

  3. The Oils are certainly best experienced live! Their early stuff has incredible energy. It’s worth trawling back through their catalogue, try starting with 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
    Here also is a worthwhile from-the-desk recording of an early performance in Sydney for the radio station 2JJ

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