MIDNIGHT OIL

(AUSTRALIA)

RED SAILS IN THE SUNSET

(1984)
LABEL:

COLUMBIA

GENRE:

ROCK

TAGS:
80's, Experimental, Fusion
""Red Sails In The Sunset" is certainly the strangest, the most experimental and the most complex album of Midnight Oil"
NESTOR (15.11.2010)  
4/5
(0) opinions (0) comment(s)
After the excellent "10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1" which was a first big success in Australia, this "Red Sails In The Sunset" marks the beginning of the international recognition and especially the beginning of the golden period of Midnight Oil. Here, the maturity is reinforced by the confidence of the band. It's simple, they dare everything, and thus produce what is certainly their strangest, most experimental and most complex album.

We go from the 'rapped' "When The Generals Talk", to the epic "Jimmy Sharman's Boxers", passing by the fleeting "Bakerman" and its 'Marching band' atmosphere, and "Helps Me Help You" which, beyond its didgeridoo intro, revives the US Rock'n Roll of the early 60's, or even the Pop, with the superb "Sleep". Without forgetting some tracks closer to the typical Midnight Oil's Punk/Rock style like "Best Of Both Worlds" and "Kosciusko". The band experiments and explores different styles, but as ambitious as it is, this record remains quite coherent. As a result, it is sometimes considered to be the 'white album' of Midnight Oil, in reference to the Beatles' double disc touching everything. The only common thread remains the energy that the band shows in its music as well as in its lyrics.

If the cover of the record, a vision of Sidney after a nuclear incident, confirms the attachment of the band to values related to the preservation of the environment, the themes addressed are not limited to this subject. Indeed, whereas their previous opus was a thematic album largely centered on the fear of the nuclear threat and weapons in general, the present record presents a much wider range of concerns, which go from the defense of the rights of oppressed people, to the criticism of the shortcomings born of our modern societies. The nuclear issue is always present, but more under the angle of the consequences of an incident ("Who Can Stand In The Way", and "Harrisburg" which is the name of the city where the Three Mile Island incident took place in March 1979), than that of the rejection of the arms race. To this end, the record includes some quite successful illustrations of tidal waves and Kangaroos perched on the remains of the Opera House, one of the symbols of Australia.

Thus with "Jimmy Sharman's Boxers", we penetrate in a kind of itinerant 'Freakshow' where the aboriginals are exploited in violent fights of boxes punctuated by the phenomenal drums of Robert Hirst. This, with in filagram the emphasis of a voyeurism which prefigures a little the crosses which will make the success of the programs of TV reality. "Bells And Horns In The Back Of Beyond" is an ode to the respect of nature while "Sleep" confronts us with the difficulties encountered by the homeless. As for "Helps Me Helps You", it is a vibrant critique of the development of materialism and selfishness.

But Midnight Oil should not be reduced to its militant speach, it is also and above all a group that expresses its primary rage with intelligence and irony. A band carried by the artistic sense and the talents of composers of Robert Hirst (drums, and vocals on "When The Generals Talk") and James Moginie (guitars, keyboards), but also by a inhabited singer, Peter Garrett, who insufflates to the songs his force of conviction.
- Official website
SIMILAR BANDS:
CRISLUNA, INXS

TRACK LISTING:
01. When The Generals Talk - 03:33
02. Best Of Both Worlds - 04:05
03. Sleep - 05:09
04. Minutes To Midnight - 03:07
05. Jimmy Sharman's Boxers - 07:25
06. Bakerman - 00:54
07. Who Can Stand In The Way - 04:35
08. Kosciusko - 04:41
09. Helps Me Helps You - 03:47
10. Harrisburg - 03:50
11. Bells And Horns In The Back Of Beyond - 03:28
12. Shipyards Of New Zealand - 05:54

LINEUP:
Jim Moginie: Guitares / Claviers
Martin Rotsey: Guitares
Peter Garrett: Chant
Peter Gifford: Basse
Robert Hirst: Batterie
   
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