Midnight Oil

Midnight Oil was a 1980s rock band with a driving political message couched in 'isms': environmentalism, pacifism, anti-imperialism and proletarianism. The Australian group never quite achieved the fame of contemporaries U2 and INXS, but had several hits throughout the '80s and '90s. Their politically heated songs ranged from "Beds Are Burning," an anthem about Aboriginal land rights, to "Diesel and Dust," a hit that evolved out of an '86 odyssey Midnight Oil took through the most remote outback settlements with Aboriginal rockers, The Warumpi Band. In addition to using lyrics to drive social issues, Midnight Oil was known for hands-on activism that included frontman Peter Garrett's run for the Australian Senate on the Nuclear Disarmament Party ticket. Oil's classic-guitar-rock-meets-bleeding-heart-social-issues style appealed more to the liberal rocking sort than to the average MTV viewer.

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