[The Power and the Passion] -- Midnight Oil's breakthrough album – 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 – burst out of Australia 40 years ago this month. 10 to 1 (as fans refer to it) was Midnight Oil's fourth studio album, but it was their first album to break into the top ten of the Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart (it peaked at #3), as well as their first to chart on the US Billboard 200 (at #178). And singer Peter Garrett knew they had something special. In response to the producer's question of what kids (particularly the surfer kids in Mullumbimby) would think of it, Garrett answered: “They’ll be in shock. But they’ll recover.”
In November 1982, I did not know a single song by Midnight Oil. No, my introduction to the band would have to wait until after March 1983 and the release of 10 to 1's second single: "Power and the Passion." I don't remember the date, but I do recall I was at home watching MTV. Shortly after midnight, the music video for "Power and the Passion" aired (that is a link for a story about the song and video; the music video is included in the embedded YouTube playlist below). That's right: My first introduction to Midnight Oil was in music video, not radio. I did not, at the time, understand the lyrics, but the ... well ... the band's power and passion, as well as Garrett's Frankensteinesque dance moves, entranced me. I wondered, "What is this, and where do I get more of it?"
I have since come to realize that this particular song "highlights disparities between those ‘living in paradise’ and those falling behind" (NFSA), themes that are, sadly, still very much relevant today. I also love the remix of "Power and the Passion," titled "Glitch Baby Glitch (Power And The Passion Dub Mix)."
What is your memory of this album? Do you have a favorite track?
Flashback: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 (November 1982)
And that's the Flashback for this week. Dedicated 80s-philes can find more flashbacks in the Prophet or Madman archives or via Bookended's 80s Flashback tag. As always, your comments are welcome on today's, or any other, flashback post. And if you like what I'm doing here, please share the link with your friends. If, however, you don't like the flashback, feel free to share it with your enemies.
I'll see you in seven!