Screaming the Midnight Oil...live
Daniel J. Hamlow | Narita, Japan | 03/05/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Scream In Blue Live is taken from these five concerts:1) Hordern Pavilion, Sydney, 1984
2) Brisbane Boondall Centre, 1990
3) Capitol Theatre, Sydney, 1982
4) 6th Avenue, NY, NY
5) Our Common Future, Darlinghurst, 1989The title track, originally on their 10,9,8... album, is presented here as a brief instrumental before launching into another song from that same album, the social and political ills outlined in the punkish "Read About It." The opening guitar playing sounds rougher and less polished compared to the studio version and drives the effectiveness of this song. The song of some driven insane by a life of alienation, of a life consisting of eating and sleeping in "Only The Strong" is given a hard-driving treatment and is a very energetic number, ending with some Native American chanting.The pained viewpoint of an activist fighting a battle against mass media and politicians in "Brave Faces" from Place Without A Postcard with its lively guitar makes for a great performance.Blue Sky Mining is represented solely by "Stars Of Warburton," where the hallmarks of aborigine culture is being superceded by hypermart malls, industrial technology, and ATMs.The breakthrough Diesel And Dust is represented by four tracks. "Dreamworld," on white industry encroaching on the free spaces of the aboriginal wilderness. "Beds Are Burning" starts with a speech from Peter Garrett on aborigines living in Australia for 40-60,000 years. "They didn't sell it to anybody...they didn't trade it in for houses up the coast/they had it stolen off of them." Hence, the need to give back some form of recompense to the disenfranchised aborigines. I didn't quite picture this as a good live song, but leaving it off would be a glaring omission. That's followed by "Sell My Soul," on farmers who struggle to keep their heritage and dignity instead of giving in to mechanized industry and expanding cities, and then by "Sometimes," whose guitarwork matched the punk fury of material from the 10,9,8... album, was a definite candidate to do live and its inclusion here is well-chosen. Like "Beds Are Burning," this was taken from Our Common Future."You've been trapped in your building all morning with a window that never opens, come and stand underneath this tree and you'll understand what this argument is all about," says Garrett as he gets into "Progress" from the Species Decreases EP, in a denunciation of pollution, world McDonaldization, increased technology resulting in unemployment. As he states quite clearly, "Some say that's progress/I say that's cruel.""Who needs a stealth bomber?" asks Garrett before launching into the slamming "Hercules," taken from the Species Decreases EP and performed at Brisbane, decries the US military presence in the South Pacific: "Keep us radioactive free/Strike a bell in Hiroshima Park." Indeed, "why sink Pacific Dreams"?After a drum solo, the group do "Powderworks" from their self-titled debut. This angry tune decries a life of being cheated. The album ends with an uncredited track, a new studio version of "Burnie" from Place Without A Postcard, of someone loving their beach home the way it is: "This is my home/This is my sea/Don't paint it with the future, of factories."Choosing the most poignant themes echoing the ecological and political danger befalling Earth, Midnight Oil's compilation of live tracks also demonstrates the energy and passion they have in their form of protest rock."
Russell Diederich | Littleton, CO United States | 02/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Scream In Blue" is Midnight Oil's collection of live cuts recorded around Australia (and one cut from New York) from 1982 to 1990. Midnight Oil is one of those bands that seem to explode with energy once on the stage, which makes their live albums a step above their studio productions. Peter Garrett is nothing but energy to begin with, and he conveys that through his vocals to the listener. The band picks up on it, and rise to the occasion to deliver a great album. This album has a bunch of their greatest hits, but appear here a little different than their studio versions. "The Stars of Warburton" is the strongest cut off the album. Great arpeggio guitars from Jim Moginie and Martin Rotsey, and of course Garretts lyrics make this song very powerful. The album starts off with a feedback, disharmonized intro that sets the fillings in your teeth to rattling, then segues into "Read About It". The energy is already pumping as the song starts, and they keep the same level throughout the album. Everything on this album is great. "Dreamworld", "Beds Are Burning", and "Sell My Soul" are a few of the excellent tracks here.If you like some of the stuff Midnight Oil has done, and like a high energy show, this is definitely a must have. The songs are great, and Garrett's energy is passed on to you as you listen. How a live album should be."