Midnight Oil: Black Rain Falls

Released: 2014

On May 30, 1990, Midnight Oil interrupted its North American tour for a “special guerilla action” on the crowded Avenue of the Americas in midtown Manhattan. The agit prop event was a live concert from the back of a flat-bed truck and drew a crowd of more than 10,000 people out of the nearby buildings and onto the street. The Oils were responding to one of the worst environmental disasters in US history when 11 million gallons of oil were spilled onto the pristine Alaskan coastline by the Exxon Valdez. Twenty five years on the effects of the spill on the landscapes and wildlife of southern Alaska are still being felt. “There are things we think are so important that they have to be said,” lead singer Peter Garrett told a packed international press conference after the performance, “and the best way we could say it was with song. What happened this morning was just another of the things that this band has tried to do for the last decade or so. We want to take some of the issues that are in the songs back onto the streets where they belong.” Here are the six songs captured live that day: “Progress” (From the 1986 EP, Species Deceases); “Sometimes” and “Dreamworld” (from 1987’s Diesel And Dust); “Blue Sky Mine” and “River Runs Red” (from Blue Sky Mining, 1990); the apropos tribute to John Lennon, “Instant Karma”; and finally, the video clip for Midnight Oil’s “King Of The Mountain”(also from Blue Sky Mining).