Midnight Oil

Midnight Oil were an Australian rock band from Sydney that released two albums on Powderworks in 1978 and 1979, followed by five albums on CBS between 1981 and 1990. Starting with the 1982 release 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, all the band’s albums appeared in the Northern hemisphere, a market they ultimately conquered with the 1984–87 releases Red Sails in the Sunset and Diesel and Dust.

Members: Jim Moginie (guitar, keyboards), Rob Hirst (drums), Andrew “Bear” James (bass, 1972-80), Peter Garrett (vocals, 1975-2002), Martin Rotsey (guitar, 1976-2002), Peter “Giffo” Gifford (bass, 1980-87), Bones Hillman [Wayne Stevens] (bass, 1987-2002)

Midnight Oil evolved from the power-trio Farm, formed in 1972 by Sydney teenagers Rob Hirst (drums), Andrew James (bass), and Jim Moginie (guitar/keyboards). In 1973, they hired singer Peter Garrett (b. 1953), then enrolled at the Australian National University in Canberra. They initially gigged part-time for the east coast surfing community with a setlist comprised of Cream and Led Zeppelin covers.

In 1976, while Garrett was studying law at the University of New South Wales, the band became a full-time concern. They renamed themselves Midnight Oil, inspired by the Jimi Hendrix song “Burning of the Midnight Lamp,” itself inspired by the idiom “burn the midnight oil.” The following year, they added guitarist Martin Rotsey and signed to Powderworks.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *