It's 30 Rocking Years Since Diesel And Dust Was Released

The Mighty Mighty Oils!

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Midnight Oil's Diesel And Dust was an absolute monster of an album, that took this proudly Australian band to the world and beyond.


Original Release Date: August 2, 1987


Peak Chart Positions:

  • Australia: 1
  • US: 21
  • UK: 19


The Track Listing



5 Things You Might Not Know About Diesel And Dust?

  1. The album was a concept album, designed around the struggles of Indigenous Australians and environmental causes, two issues that formed many narratives throughout the band's songwriting.
  2. This would be the last Midnight Oil album that bassist Peter Gifford would contribute to. Gifford left the band before Diesel And Dust was released, reportedly due to the intensive touring schedule planned to support the album. Gifford's bass playing on Beds Are Burning is a significant driver in that smash hit.
  3. Midnight Oil requested that all royalties for The Dead Heart be directed towards indigenous communities. That particular song reached the 4th spot in Australia, and cracked the top 100 in both the US and UK.
  4. The iconic album cover for Diesel And Dust features the Burra Homestead, located in South Australia and shot by one of Australia's most acclaimed landscape photographers, Ken Duncan. Word is the Oils manager, Gary Morris, heard Duncan had done a big photographic trip and asked him to come into the 'Oils office and show some of his stuff. They loved his photo of the homestead and selected it as the cover art for Diesel And Dust.
  5. In 1989, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Diesel And Dust as the 13th best album of the '80s, a fair accomplishment considering how widely respected that magazine is.


Living It Live

Like many of their Aussie peers, Midnight Oil cut their teeth on the Aussie pub circuit. As a result, the 'Oils are a powerhouse on stage. Here's just one of the many clips that show their wares, the classic Put Down That Weapon, live from NYC earlier this year.



Written by: @dantheinternut

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2 August 2017

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