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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 22 April 2004
This is easily the best of Midnight Oil's albums, far superior to its three predecessors and also its successor (Red Sails in the Sunset). The guys rock harder on this than on some of their other albums.
The opening track 'Outside World' starts amicably, and breaks into the next track 'Only The Strong' which really starts the pace. The next tracks 'Short Memory', 'Read About It', 'Scream In Blue', 'US Forces', 'Power & The Passion', 'Maralinga', 'Tin Legs and Tin Mines' are all among the finest tunes the Oils wrote and performed. The last track 'Somebody's Trying to Tell Me Something' sound a bit on the weird side when you first here it. Its a good song once you get used to it but not as good as the rest of the album.
Peter Garrett's vocals are driving throughout and the lyrics are excellent. It is that along with their live shows that makes Midnight Oil my favourite Australian band by a long way.
Although 'Diesel and Dust' was a bigger hit and another personal favourite of mine, this one comes out on top. Buy this one and 'Scream In Blue' live and you won't be disappointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 23 January 2011
There is an unfortunate review of this album on Amazon that I think will completely mislead people. This is the Oil's fourth album, long before the worldwide commercial success of Diesel & Dust, and as a result it still has the raw, twin guitar led sound of their early days. If you want the smooth, produced, big choruses of their later records, you will have bought the wrong record, but what you will get is, I think, far more exciting and ultimately rewarding.

The key factor being that this album is a stayer..it warrants repeated listens and before long you realise that behind all the committed political lyrical posturing, and Peter Garret's (admittedly acquired taste) vocal style, there are some fantastic tunes and huge riffs. US Forces and Read About It were fearsome live favourites for many years after this came out, but there is also haunting beauty in Scream in Blue and Tin Legs & Tin Mines....and Power and the Passion was a huge hit in Oz and remains something of a radio classic to this day.

One of the album's most interesting factors is the band's first significant use of keyboards...employed to great effect alongside the crashing angry guitars. The result is a record that sounds, to my ears, unique evokes an eerie, desolate (but beautiful) mood throughout.

This album is not to everyone's taste, but if you like bands like the Clash you may find a lot in here to enjoy... if you like electrifying, passionate raw rock music, you may well enjoy the whole record!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 September 2010
The other comment is unfortunate because this is an excellent album and a darn sight better than Men at Work, bless 'em! Midnight Oil are a band with a strong moral code, committed to many important causes, and they are not all talk - as Australians know, the lead singer Peter Garrett became leader of the Nuclear Disarmament Party, was President for Australia's Conservation Foundation and since 2004 has been Minister for the Environment and has had other, related portfolios. Although this is raw rock n'roll, the lyrics are impassioned and powerful. If you like your music extremely melodic and not much else, then you won't like this at all. But if you think music should make a difference, and you don't mind rough and ready rock with heart and soul, you - like me - will respect this band and fall in love with these songs. If this is a bit too raw, try some of their later stuff before giving up. It will be worth it! Rock on, Pete!!!
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on 2 April 2011
I was in Australia when this album (vinyl only, of course!) was released so I have sentimental attachments to the music on it. Nevertheless, it was a big hit in Oz then and deservedly so. Other reviewers have written of the rawness of it; the first of the Midnight's to use keyboards; its uniqueness. I hadn't known of them before arriving in Oz in 82 so this album came at me with no baggage, as it were, and I heard it with no bias.

From the first hearing of 'POWER AND THE PASSION' on the radio I was struck by its difference, its uniqueness, and its power. On the album itself some tracks segue into each other through musical links, others are separated by barely a pause. There are passages that remind me of acoustic elements of The Who's 'TOMMY', indeed, there is something vaguely mini-operatic about the track MARALINGA; the politics are expressed in clear messages without labouring points and the music underpinning each is of a power and passion that is committed and heartfelt.

The music stands the test of time. I also have 'DIESEL AND DUST', which, though a good album with similar messages and powerful rock music, doesn't quite hit the spot when it comes to inventiveness, musicality, experimentation, range of sounds and effects, time signature changes and overall vision. Overall POWER! Standout tracks are not something I can list as every track has something to offer: there are many albums that I own that have certain tracks that are the only ones I play or, if playing the complete album first, return to after, not wishing to hear the less satisfying. With '10, 9, 8, . . .' it is the whole album that is repeated, and repeated. The album itself is the standout!

Many groups and performers in their careers hit a unique high with perhaps one album, or even one song, which is never again matched despite their efforts (and their fans' hopes). I believe Midnight Oil achieved that pinnacle of greatness with this album.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 24 April 2004
And this album still grows on me, 21 years since its original release. Joyful listening throughout.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 March 2012
Forget 'Best Of' compilations - this is the best place to start! A fantastic album through and through, with no filler and all killer! Stand outs are 'Short Memory', 'Only The Strong' and 'Read About It'. Great production too - and without a doubt my favourite Oils album!
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on 16 July 2015
Great Remaster!
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on 28 April 2015
Super!
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0 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 14 June 2010
Midnight Oil was recommended by the Amazon website because I had ordered "Business as Usual" by "Men at Work". Apart from both being Australian groups, there is not a lot of similarity between Midnight Oil and Men at Work. I particularly dislike vocalists who constantly sing just off-key and I doubt if I will ever play this CD by Midnight Oil more than once. If I was allowed to give zero stars I would have done.
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