Posted on: May 22, 2008 Posted by: James McQuiston Comments: 0

Midnight Oil – Diesel and Dust Deluxe Edition / 2008 Sony / 25 Tracks / / /

I remember back in the mid to late nineties, when I heard “Beds are Burning” for the first time. It was not a good time for a kid to like Midnight Oil, as virtually none of the people I went to school with had any clue who the hell the band was. The deluxe edition of 1987’s “Diesel and Dust” has a full version of the long out of print “Blackfella / Whitefella”, a film that had not ever made it to the DVD format. Furthermore, a track – “Gunbarrel Highway” – was included on this edition of “Diesel and Dust” that had not previously been present on earlier iterations of the American version of the album.

The $22 list price for the CD/DVD is well worth it, considering the high price of normal CDs and the fact that something so rare is bundled with the package. Despite the fact that the tracks are all well over twenty years old, one has to still hear the power present in a “Warakurna” or a “Sell My Soul”. The additional context that is given Midnight Oil by the narrative present in “Blackfella / Whitefella” is invaluable, considering the fact that newer fans (as was mentioned above) may not have a complete idea of who Midnight Oil were and why exactly they should listen.

What I would like to see Sony Classics do in the next few years would be to re-release other Midnight Oil albums in much the same way; add tracks that were previously not available on the American releases and find different documentaries and shows with which (1990 Exxon protest show) to fill out the albums. The success of this album (currently charting well with online retailers) should bring more albums in the Midnight Oil discography out. In my opinion, the deluxe edition of “Diesel and Dust” should be purchased by any Midnight Oil completist, but should also be purchased by anyone that is looking to introduce an individual to the band. The combination of visual and aural will be enough to show anyone the glory of the act, and get them searching out the rest of the band’s work.  Here’s to hoping that Peter Garrett can get the hell out of the Australian government (ey is a member of Labor, as well as a Minister for Environment), and can get the band back together for one long, last tour.

Top Tracks: Gunbarrel Highway, Beds are Burning

Rating: 7.0/10

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