May 26 – Little River Flowed Easily Across Pacific

Southern California easy rock and smooth harmonies with a side of vegemite? That’s perhaps how people view the Little River Band, an Aussie band which perhaps sounded like it originated on the other side of the Pacific. And those of us on this side of the Pacific got to learn a lot more about their sound with the release of their fourth album, Sleeper Catcher, this day in 1978. It continued to build their growing fanbase at home and was their first major foray into the hearts and charts of North American music.

The band had begun in Melbourne just three years earlier, going by the name Mississippi at first. They were formed from a number of musicians who’d done well in the Australian East Coast music scene (among them Beeb Birtles, a guitarist for them who’d played bass in a band called Zoot, which was where Rick Springfield first started into music) but were unknown internationally.

They changed names and signed to Capitol Records internationally, with their records coming out on EMI in their homeland and Harvest Records (the label known for putting out Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon) in the Americas and Europe. The very first song they recorded was a cover of the Everly Brothers “When Will I Be Loved”… a fine showcase for their voices and pop stylings. Unfortunately – or possibly fortunately – for them, Linda Ronstadt also loved the song and put out a version which became a hit just before they were ready to, so the label filed their cover of it away and got them working on their own songs.

Their first trio of albums each did a little better than the previous in Australia and New Zealand but made little dent elsewhere despite having a modest hit in ’77 with the single “Help Is On The Way.” Capitol knew they had talent and made a harder push for Sleeper Catcher, after bringing in John Boylan to produce the record. Boylan had ironically risen to fame working with Linda Ronstadt, and had also co-produced Boston’s huge debut. It didn’t hurt that the group showed up with probably their strongest set of songs to that point.

As per usual, the album contained a mix of songs penned by lead singer Glenn Shorrock, a couple from Birtles and a couple of collaborations, but the album’s two standout tracks – and hits – both came from guitarist/backing vocalist Graham Goble: “Lady” and “Reminiscing.” Shorrock suggested Goble “was the Brian Wilson of the band,” which we assume was meant as a compliment.

Surprisingly, neither of those songs were big at home for them; “Shut Down/Turn Off” was the only top 20 entry from the record in Australia. But over here, they really made themselves known with “Lady” being a top 10 hit and the lovely retro-sounding “Reminiscing” (which even references Glenn Miller’s music in the lyrics) making it to #3 in the U.S. and #7 in Canada. That (as well as opening for a number of Doobie Brothers concerts the year before) helped the album get to #16 in the States, and become their first platinum record. At home, it reached #4, their third-straight top 10 LP. Critics there liked it as well as the public – they took home several Australian Music Awards for it including Best Male Singer (Shorrock), Best Live Band and Most Popular Group.

Little River Band kept the momentum going through the end of the decade with the equally-popular First Under the Wire in ’79 and the singles “Cool Change” and “Lonesome Loser.” However, even though they’re still rolling like a river, by the early-’80s, the popularity of their new releases began to decline and as members came and went there became increasing numbers of conflicts over things like which ones could legally use the “Little River Band” name; the current incarnation contains no members who were part of the band in their ’70s heyday.

May 14 – International Success The One Thing For INXS

A gamble paid off well for Australian band INXS this day in 1983. That’s when their single “The One Thing” became their first to make the top 40 charts (or any really) in the U.S. Which is doubtless what they hoped to accomplish and were so confident of, they paid to make it themselves.

By that time INXS were quite well-established in their homeland, having a small record deal, and two albums out that each went gold there and garnered them a trio of charting singles. But they felt they were destined for bigger and better, and weren’t sure their small label, Deluxe, was designed to accommodate that. So they rented a studio and recorded this song themselves. They liked the result so they kept the producer, Mark Opitz, around to do three more. These they used as a demo to shop themselves around to international companies, soon getting signed by Warner Bros. for much of the globe, and Polygram for Europe.

They kept “The One Thing” for their international debut album, Shabooh Shoobah – a title allmusic note is “one of the most annoying…ever” and supposedly derived from the sound of the rhythm of one of the songs on it. Thankfully, most agreed the music was better than the name of the record. Allmusic called it “a talented bunch of performers still finding their identity” but loved this song, “a strutting number that gives (Michael) Hutchence a real chance to shine as a singer” with “synth/guitar/sax hooks” that made it “instantly memorable.”

Hutchence wrote the lyrics about the guy obsessed with a girl who has lots of suitors (and provided his girlfriend as one of the many models for the video) , and though it was short of words, Andrew Farriss thought that a plus. Andrew, one of three Farriss brothers in the group, wrote the music and said of Hutchence “when he felt he had nothing more to say, he wouldn’t say anything more…he wouldn’t try to justify his lyric, and I think there’s a strength to that.”

Seems he said enough, the song became a hit…helped along by their extensive touring of North America that spring and summer. At various times they opened for the Go Gos, Kinks and Hall & Oates and they were on the big stage at the US Festival. It all helped push Shabooh Shoobah to gold status in the States, and “The One Thing” all the way to #2 on the then-new Mainstream Rock chart. Overall, it got to #30, first of nine top 30 hits they’d eventually have Stateside, and #31 in Canada. At home, it helped their career along too, hitting #14, their high mark to that point, although one they’d eclipse many times in the following eight or nine years, particularly with the multi-platinum Kick. So, seemingly having confidence might be “the one thing”. At least it was for INXS.

May 2 – The Men Went Back To Work

Lightning never strikes twice.” Meteorologists will tell you this isn’t true, but the gist of the statement sometimes is… particularly in music. It’s exceedingly hard to follow up a mega-successful record, particularly if it was a totally unexpected fluke one. Men At Work found that out with their sophomore album, Cargo, released this day in 1983.

The fun Aussie quintet had been big news in their homeland for pretty much the whole decade to that point, but had just broken through internationally in a huge way with their debut, Business as Usual and its two smash hits, “Down Under” and “Who Can It Be Now?”. Although CBS Records had been reluctant to release it outside of, well, “down Under”, eventually they did and it jumped to the top of the charts in North America and parts of Europe, selling upwards of 10 million copies. that’s a tough act to follow if you’re the Eagles or Pink Floyd, a gigantic one if you’re a relatively new, easy-going Australian pop band. Particularly when the record company wants to strike while the iron is hot and rush you.

So came about Cargo. They recorded some of it at home and some of it in L.A., but brought back the same producer, Peter McIan. And they seemed to try to replicate the relative formula for Business As Usual, with a few (supposedly) laugh out loud sing-a-longs (“Dr. Heckyll and Mr. Jive”), a few standard pop ditties and one or two laughably paranoid ones (“It’s a Mistake.”) . As before, Colin Hay, the singer, wrote the majority of the album with a little help from lead guitarist Ron Stykert on a couple of tracks. What they couldn’t necessarily duplicate was the easy-going, spontaneous feel of their first album.

Critics generally picked up on that. While it wasn’t a bad album at all, neither was it fantastic or as much fun as their debut. For instance, Record magazine liked Hay’s voice, compared it favorably to Sting’s, but found the album “inoffensive, but forgettable.” Rolling Stone gave it a favorable 4-stars, but spent a fair bit of the review praising the predecessor rather than looking at the new one, but did find the LP decent and also compared Hay to Sting and the band to “The Police as a five-piece.” Later on, allmusic gave it a very generous 4-stars too, but summed it up well as “considerably more diverse – but not more ambitious – than its predecessor”… featuring “two extraordinary singles – the soaring ballad ‘Overkill‘ and the satiric, anti-nuclear ‘It’s a Mistake’” supplemented with a lot of “filler.”

The public weren’t entirely sure what to make of it. It did well, but didn’t come close to the success of Business as Usual. the first single, “Dr Heckyll and Mr. Jive” made it to #6 in Australia and was a top 30 in North America and New Zealand. the next pair of singles, the ones allmusic correctly lauded, “Overkill” and “It’s a Mistake” did decently too; the former especially, with it going gold in Canada and hitting the top 10 there as well as the U.S. and Australia. The album overall got to #1 in their homeland and #3 in North America, and sold to triple-platinum levels in both the U.S. and Canada.

If “Overkill” was likely the album’s highpoint, it also signaled the band’s future. Colin Hay wrote it (as he did most of their stuff), but he told the Chicago Tribune, “”I really thought I’d written something that might last. I was really quite excited. I didn’t get a reaction (from his bandmates), so I just decided to play everything (and record it) because I didn’t want to wait for them to get excited.”

Men At Work would record one more album, 1985’s almost-forgotten Two Hearts, which flopped, then broke up..by the time that album came out, three members had already quit. Hay however, has had a decent career since as a solo artist although never matching the highs of his band’s first album and two hits.

November 22 – Pressures Got To Be In Excess For Hutchence

Remembering the life, and unfortunately death, of Michael Hutchence who died on this day in 1997 in his homeland of Australia. Hutchence was only 37.

The INXS singer’s passing was ruled a suicide by hanging although circumstances were deemed by some to be suspicious. The singer was said to be unhappy with the band’s fortunes coming off a lengthy world tour that still only saw their then-current Elegantly Wasted album hit #41 in the U.S. and fail to make the top 10 “Down Under” (the first INXS release since ’81 to miss that mark) and more distraught by his personal life. Hutchence was involved with Paula Yates, a British TV personality who’d been married to Bob Geldof and the couple had a daughter, Heavenly Tiger Lily, together. Earlier in the night of his death, Hutchence was apparently impaired and arguing on the phone with Yates and Geldof over having the daughter sent to Australia to see him. Rather ironically, Geldof ended up with custody of Heavenly as Yates died three years later.

Hutchence death came 10 years after this song from Kick was racing up the American charts; it would end up being their only U.S. #1. Kick was their high-water mark at home and internationally, being the #1 seller of 1988 in Australia, going multi-platinum there, the U.S., UK and Canada and topping 15 million copies worldwide. It also made Hutchence, with what Rolling Stone term “a lithe, magnetic stage presence” a major international star.

After Hutchence’s death, INXS took a break but started up again about a year later before taking the unusual step of finding a new permanent singer by way of a TV reality show. Although that winner, JD Fortune arguably shared Hutchence’s good looks, he didn’t have the same fan appeal and the band’s two post-Hutchence’s albums were met with only moderate interest and the band called it quits in 2012. Meanwhile, a self-titled album by Michael was released posthumously in 1999, with Andy Gill of Gang of Four working to finish up some demos Hutchence had made in the mid-’90s. Most noteworthy of the tracks was likely “Slide Away,” a song Bono added vocals to in honor of his friend. The album went gold in Australia but was largely unnoticed elsewhere.

November 13 – Men At Work’s Appeal Stretched Far Beyond Down Under

Crikey mate, seems like those Aussie blokes knew what’s for after all! So might have been the conversation in Columbia Records’ American headquarters this day in 1982, because that was the day Men At Work would hit #1 on the album chart with Business As Usual. It would end up staying on top for a remarkable 15-straight weeks. The last time an album had bested that streak was Saturday Night Fever in 1978. It was a little surprising…but more surprising was how reluctant Columbia were to release it in the northern hemisphere.

Men At Work were formed in Melbourne, Australia in 1978. They were always Colin Hay’s band, and soon got their core lineup and a local following together. In 1980, they put out an indie single in Aus, “Keypunch Operator.” It was noteworthy perhaps because the b-side was a little ditty called “Down Under”. The original pressing was only 300 copies so, even in the relatively-sparsely populated Australia, it didn’t make any sales charts (by the way, if you’re interested, I did track down one copy for sale online… for about $450). What it did though, was catch the attention of some music execs in Sydney. Soon they signed to CBS Records, but only for Australia and New Zealand. They quickly put out “Who Can It Be Now?” as a single, and it got to #2 there. Encouraged by the results, CBS had them record a whole album…Business As Usual.

The 10-song LP was largely Hay’s work and vision. He was the primary writer (only “Helpless Automation” by sax and flute man Greg Ham and “People Just Love To Play With Words” from guitarist Ron Strykert weren’t his) and vocalist, as well as rhythm guitarist at times. The album was fast-paced and fun, and as Ian McFarlane (author of the Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop) put it succinctly, “the production sound was low-key, but clean” and the appeal was largely the “bright, melodic sing-along quality” of the songs. Soon the re-recorded version of that original b-side, “Down Under” was #1 in their homeland, quickly followed by the album itself. What’s more, it also was at #1 in New Zealand, which incredibly enough was the first time an Aussie act hit #1 on that chart across the strait.

Seeing how North America and Britain were warming up quickly to new wave, or just “new” sounds, and the success of “Down Under”, well, down under, you’d think CBS/Columbia would be raring to go with the album worldwide. But you’d have been wrong. Inexplicably, CBS in the U.S. didn’t think it could work here, or almost anywhere and twice turned down requests from the Australian office to put it out elsewhere. Eventually, they grudgingly gave in. they changed the album background color from white to yellow and released Business As Usual about eight months after its home release. Probably a good decision!

Rolling Stone jumped on the bandwagon very quickly, given that the band was new and foreign. They compared them to Split Enz due to geography but opined Split Enz took the “high-art pop road” like Roxy Music or Beatles at their most complex whereas Men At Work were accessible. They “have absorbed the sparse, rhythmic spunk of reggae and the punchy, yet articulate brevity of post-punk” and compared them favorably to Elvis Costello or the Police.

They were right. The fresh sound and fun videos on the fledgling MTV network pushed both the first two singles (“Who Can it Be Now?” and “Down Under”) to #1 and the third, “Be Good Johnny” onto radio as well and into the Canadian top 20, although it didn’t quite score as well in the States.

The album ended 1982 at #1, making it an Australian sandwich for American listeners that year. The first #1 album of the year was AC/DC’s For Those About To Rock. Men At Work eventually fell out of the top spot due to Michael Jackson’s Thriller, but not until late-February ’83. It won them the Grammy award for Best New Artist and also topped charts in Canada and Britain, and even hit #3 in Japan. Worldwide sales topped 10 million … likely the biggest debut album since Meat Loaf’s in 1977. And nowhere was it more popular than in the reluctant U.S., where it’s 6X platinum. Seems Rolling Stone was right…except for one thing. They concluded their initial review by suggesting Men At Work’s “future in rock is secure.” Of course, their rushed follow-up, Cargo, sold only about half as well, and due to falling sales and internal disputes between the members, they failed to even play on into the second-half of the ’80s.

October 16 – People Liked Record…But Not ‘InXs’ive Amounts

A few casual listeners back in the ’80s might have thought INXS was some kind of overnight sensation that arrived with “Need You Tonight”. Of course, that was far from the case. The Sydney sextet had quite a slow, gradual path to worldwide stardom, playing countless shows in their Australian homeland before even putting out an indie record in 1980. They took an important step forward on their career on this day in 1982, with the release of their third album – the first with widespread international distribution – Shabooh Shoobah. Most agree, it was a better album than their previous pair, and a better album than record title!

They’d built up a following at home, and sold decent quantities for an indie act in ’80-81, so they recorded a new single, “The One Thing.” It had a clean, modern sound and great groove, and that in turn got the big labels interested. Warner Brothers signed them to a contract for a good chunk of the world, on various labels it owned including WEA and Atco; somehow the UK and all of Europe saw them come out on Polygram simultaneously. They went back into the studio about six months after doing “The One Thing” and recorded the other nine songs, all self-written, mostly by keyboardist Andrew Farriss and singer Michael Hutchence. They worked with another Aussie rising star, producer Mark Opitz, who’d later win the Australian award for producer of the year twice running in the late-’80s. “Mark was the first producer (to) capture some glimmer of what the band felt like it was like live,” Tim Farriss said, which was to say clean-sounding but energetic and even a bit loud at times.

Although few of the album cuts really resonated widely at the time or later on with the masses, the singles really introduced INXS to the world…and the world paid attention. Although the media didn’t seem to pay as much attention as the newbie fans did. Rolling Stone did review it, giving it a middling 3-stars, saying “perhaps it is too glib to dismiss INXS as the next Duran Duran, but (it) has all the hallmarks of current British pop.” It’s not entirely clear whether that was seen as a good thing or not, or if the mag even knew they were Australian rather than English. Then again, it was easy to miss that; unlike the Aussie pop-new wave sensations of the day, Men At Work, INXS certainly didn’t wear their nationality on their sleeves, something which might have worked in their favor years down the road. Allmusic would give it a similar grade later on, deciding that beyond the title (“one of the most annoying titles ever!”) they were getting better but “INXS wasn’t quite there yet” although “there’s a smart, slick punch to this album that suggest later-period Roxy Music crossed with a younger, brasher energy.”

Black and White,” the third single off it made the Australian top 30, but the two that preceded it got them fans far and wide. “Don’t Change” hit #14 at home, and garnered some North American airplay on college radio but “The One Thing” was the one thing they needed – not only a hit at home, but a top 40 hit in North America, with it reaching #2 on Billboard‘s rock charts. It helped the album squeak into the American top 50 and go gold in the U.S., while back down under, it reached #5, stuck around on the charts for 94 weeks and got them their first platinum record…later double that in fact. As big as that was, their follow-up, The Swing, would end up doubling those sales levels around the globe, making them something of an overnight sensation after about seven grueling years.

August 10 – Imagine If Jon Had Started At Nine

Singers usually get the bulk of the publicity in a band, so it’s no surprise when people think of INXS, they typically only think of ill-fated singer/lyricist Michael Hutchence. While he undoubtedly made them sound distinctive with his voice, the core of the Aussie band was really a trio of brothers – so much so that their original name was The Farriss Brothers. Today we wish a happy 60th birthday to the youngest of the brothers, drummer Jon Farriss.

Jon, along with his brothers, guitarist Tim and keyboardist Andrew began the band around 1977, along with Hutchence, Garry Beers and Kirk Pengilly. By that point, jon was already a veteran behind the kit, having begun playing them around the age of three and trying out (unsuccessfully mind you) for a rock band when he was only nine! By the end of the ’70s, they were opening up for then also-young Midnight Oil, one of whom actually suggested the new name for them – INXS. In 1980 they signed to a Sydney label, Deluxe Records, and soon after put out their first single, “Simple Simon.” That one didn’t quite take the nation by storm, but soon they’d be on their way with their first album out by the end of 1980 and their first top 20 hit Down Under, “The Loved One” early the following year. They’d go on to win the Australian RIA award for Group of the Year three times (1987, ’89 and ’92) and by the mid-’80s were a major worldwide draw, eventually scoring seven platinum albums in the U.S., highlighted by Kick which went 6X that.

While he co-wrote a few songs along the way for INXS, including the hit “Disappear”, Jon’s major contribution was always laying down the beat. He is, in the words of DrummersZone “a drummer’s drummer”, and unlike many, equally at home behind conventional drums as with an electronic drum machine, helping expand the band’s sound through the years. As did his love of funk music, which gives him a bit of a different flavor compared to many rock/new wave drummers. It also lured Nile Rodgers in to work with them, producing their ’84 breakthrough album The Swing, mainly because he was a fan of his.

The death of Hutchence was hard on him, as were all the band, since they had remained in tact as a unit with little change for some 20 years by then. “INXS is a family,” he told a Las Vegas newspaper in 2011, “we have to give each other the respect and the slack to expand.” (an interesting aside in the same story, he said Tom Jones was a fan of theirs and played “Need You Tonight” in some of his shows and they got together to record a song at Willie Nelson’s studio in Texas, although he lost track of what happened to the end product!).

Although they soldiered on after Hutchence’s death, mainly with new singer J.D. Fortune, they never regained the same level of popularity and eventually called it quits in 2012. Part of that might be the result of the band’s changing lives. Jon by then was married to his current wife, Kerry, and had two small kids. He told the interviewer before the children he and her used to “sit around and watch TV or movies. Now it’s all about sleep!”.

Outside of the main band, Jon’s kept himself busy, producing records for several other Australian artists, as well as co-producing an INXS tribute album (Original Sin) and occasionally playing with other artists including Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band in their 2013 Australian shows.

August 7 – Maybe Gold Records Would Mend It?

Though they’re remembered as the undisputed Kings of Disco, the Bee Gees started out as a soft rock, harmony-laden outfit. they scored their first #1 hit in the U.S. on this day in 1971 with such a tune, “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?”.

It might seem surprising to younger listeners that back then, this was a pretty typical song for them . They’d had soft rock hits with “Massachusetts” and “”Gotta Get a Message To You”; “Jive Talkin’” seemed like the outlier when it presented an upbeat dance band about four years later. The song was apparently written about a rift between the brothers and once the basic melody was in place, “it took about an hour to complete” the recording, according to Robin Gibb. An hour well-spent! It also hit #1 in Canada, where it was their fourth, and Australia although curiously it didn’t hit the UK charts despite being recorded there and coming off the patriotically-themed Trafalgar album.

Al Green recorded a popular cover version of it which has since been used in movies including Good Will Hunting and Notting Hill. While it was their first #1 single in the States, it wouldn’t be their last. The Bee Gees scored nine #1’s in the decade. Curiously, it was recently used as the title of a documentary about the band.

July 1 – Low Men Drew High Praise

Creating a sophomore album is always a bit of a challenge for a group, particularly if the debut one was surprisingly well-received and ever-so-slightly quirky. Such was the position Neil Finn found himself in about 34 years back. His Crowded House debut was a worldwide hit both at the store and to critics. Which led to a lot of pressure from Capitol Records for him and his band to follow-up with more of the same. Quickly. The result was Temple of Low Men, which came out this day in 1988.

Opinions varied considerably over whether or not Finn and crew succeeded. Commercially, the album failed to match the overall popularity of their first one. Critically, many panned it, some loved it, but almost all agreed it was a darker and different sort of affair for the Aussie-New Zealand act. Despite having been made much the same way as the first. Neil wrote all the songs on Temple… and once again, they enlisted Mitchell Froom to produce it, as well as play keyboards, thus supplementing the trio of Neil (the lead singer and guitarist), bassist Nick Seymour and drummer Paul Hester.

The songs again highlighted Finn’s great Beatlesque songwriting qualities and ear for melody, but was also rather sombre; gloomy at times even. Not quite what people expected after the relatively upbeat first record and the quirky pop of Split Enz before. Critics were of mixed feelings about that. The Village Voice for instance, grudgingly graded it a “C” decrying “Finn has neglected the only thing he has to offer the world: perky hooks.” Rolling Stone would appraise it better, giving it 4-stars. However, they suggest “it seemed like such a victory when the lovely ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’ from the band’s first album…cracked the top 10 (but) that victory may have rung hollow.” They speculate “success seems to have made Finn feel more vulnerable, less sure of himself.” Allmusic, retrospectively, gave it a great 4.5-stars (tied with the follow-up, Woodface, as their best) saying while Finn showed his “mastery of melody” and in terms of playing and composition it showed “great leaps in quality over its predecessor”, the downbeat lyrics made it a “darkly difficult album.” The Aussie music Awards liked it well enough though, naming it their Album of the Year, Crowded House the Band of the Year and the single “Better Be Home Soon” the Song of the Year.

Crowded House toured Australia and Canada to promote the record. Perhaps no coincidence then that the album hit #1 in Australia (their adopted home), #2 in New Zealand and #10 in Canada, going platinum in the latter two. However, in the huge U.S. market it only scraped up to #40 and in Britain it was entirely snubbed by the consuming-public. This might be largely from the popularity of the lead single, “Better Be Home Soon.” It was a #2 hit in Australia – their biggest hit there – and in New Zealand and #8 in Canada, but missed the American top 40 altogether. Subsequent singles, “Into Temptation”, “When You Come” and “I Feel Possessed” were sadly missed by most charts and radio programmers everywhere.

I don’t know if Finn is superstitious or not, but the album’s success or lack of didn’t seem to bother him. They released their third album, Woodface, on July 1 as well, three years later in 1991.

May 28 – The Dust That Sailed Across The Pacific

Crikey! Throw a shrimp on the barby and crack open a Fosters, mate – it was a good day for Australia! Midnight Oil got to #1 on Canadian album charts this day in 1988 and would stick there eight weeks with their brilliant Diesel and Dust .

It was their first to top charts outside of their homeland (it also got to #1 in New Zealand several months earlier) and made them international stars. As Jim Harrington notes, “by 1984, fans Down Under had figured out that Midnight Oil was one of Oz’s most political and best bands. The rest of the world got the picture with Diesel and Dust.” The rocking, politically-charged album came about after the band toured the Outback with some aboriginal artists the previous year in the “Black fella/White Fella” tour and were horrified by the conditions some natives lived under. The result was the “punk at heart but not in sound” diatribe that featured “Beds Are Burning” that song hit #1 in Canada and NZ and was the band’s first top 20 in the U.S. It advocated giving back the traditional lands to the native Pintupi people who’d been moved to reservations by the government decades earlier. Other songs rhapsodized about the desert (“Dead Heart”) and railed against drilling for oil in the arctic and lamented their land’s inattention to their own history (“Dreamworld”). At home, it was one of nine platinum albums they scored and it won them the distinction of the “third best Australian album” ever according to the national recording arts society.

After leaving the band, 6’4″ Peter Garrett entered politics and was a member of the Aussie House of Representatives. However, after a stint there, Garrett’s returned to music, and Midnight Oil, with them releasing a new album, The Makarrata Project last fall.