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Midnight Oil

The Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music, 2018

The Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music is one of the nation’s most prestigious music awards. It is awarded each year by the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) in honour of pioneering independent record producer Ted Albert whose company, Albert Productions, was home to iconic acts such as The Easybeats, AC/DC, The Angels, Rose Tattoo and John Paul Young. Previous winners of the award include Paul Kelly, The Seekers, Ian “Molly” Meldrum, Lindy Morrison, Fifa Riccobono, Cold Chisel and last year’s winner Archie Roach.

This year’s recipients Midnight Oil stand tall in the Australian musical landscape as artists whose work has helped to shape the way we see ourselves both as Australians and as global citizens. In a pre-Internet world Midnight Oil was the canary in the coal mine alerting us to dangers posed by environmental destruction, nuclear armament and our continuing failure to reconcile with our Indigenous and First Nations peoples.

Midnight Oil

Midnight Oil
Photograph by Kathleen O’Brien

Formed in Sydney’s northern beaches in 1976, Midnight Oil gained a loyal live following with their fiery onstage performances and provocative social commentary. In 1982 their breakthrough album 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 seared songs like “Power and The Passion” and “US Forces” into the national consciousness. This paved the way for later international success with the 1987 single, “Beds Are Burning” which has been lauded as one of the 500 Songs That Shaped Rock by the U.S. Rock n Roll Hall of Fame and ranked No. 3 in APRA’s Top 30 Australian Songs of All Time.

Peter Garrett by Tony Mott

Peter Garrett
Photograph by Tony Mott

Midnight Oil were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2006. Following a break of fifteen years the band reformed last year to embark on an ambitious six month world tour that saw them perform to sell-out crowds across six continents.   

To celebrate, the Australian Music Vault has created a special display featuring iconic items including a handwritten score for “Beds Are Burning” and rare copies of the band’s newsletter, Oil Rags.
APRA AMCOS

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