In his memoir Big Blue Sky, Peter Garrett cites an iron law of rock (and Regurgitator): fans will always tell you that they like your old stuff better than your new stuff. That’s because, for any band that has a long career, songs are associated with the memories that we attach to them when we were growing up.
I grew up with Midnight Oil. They were the first band I ever saw in concert, I’ve seen them more than most, and I was immensely privileged to write liner notes for their Overflow Tank boxset. In compiling this list, I’ve tried to bear in mind that my memories are no measure of a song’s quality, much less cultural impact.
Even so, in this inevitably subjective list, I’ve succumbed to the iron law. By my reckoning, Midnight Oil have released three outright classic albums. Those are Head Injuries, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 (usually abbreviated as 10–1) and Diesel And Dust. Ten songs here are drawn from the last two alone. They were impossible to leave out.
But those 10 songs don’t adequately tell the story of Midnight Oil’s career. I’ve tried to do that in this list.… Read more..