11 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

By uniting with producer Andy Johns (The Who, Eric Clapton), Midnight Oil was poised to make 1981’s Place Without a Postcard the breakout album of its career. Instead, Johns’ boxy production was ill-matched to the Oils; then the band refused to return to the studio when CBS requested it re-record some songs for the American market. Although those conflicts left Place Without a Postcard in a grey zone, longtime Oils fans have come to regard it as underrated. While songs like “Armistice Day,” “Burnie," and “Loves on Sale” find the group searching out new textures and song structures, the album is best defined by its sweeping hard rock songs—some of the last that Midnight Oil would write before entering a period of finely crafted pop music with 1982’s 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. This album is bookended by “Don’t Wanna Be the One” and “Lucky Country,” two songs that exude passion and intensity equal to The Clash. But the standout is “Basement Flat.” Over a sing-along chorus, frontman Peter Garrett uses the image of a crummy apartment as a metaphor for being stuck at one of life’s dead ends.

EDITORS’ NOTES

By uniting with producer Andy Johns (The Who, Eric Clapton), Midnight Oil was poised to make 1981’s Place Without a Postcard the breakout album of its career. Instead, Johns’ boxy production was ill-matched to the Oils; then the band refused to return to the studio when CBS requested it re-record some songs for the American market. Although those conflicts left Place Without a Postcard in a grey zone, longtime Oils fans have come to regard it as underrated. While songs like “Armistice Day,” “Burnie," and “Loves on Sale” find the group searching out new textures and song structures, the album is best defined by its sweeping hard rock songs—some of the last that Midnight Oil would write before entering a period of finely crafted pop music with 1982’s 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. This album is bookended by “Don’t Wanna Be the One” and “Lucky Country,” two songs that exude passion and intensity equal to The Clash. But the standout is “Basement Flat.” Over a sing-along chorus, frontman Peter Garrett uses the image of a crummy apartment as a metaphor for being stuck at one of life’s dead ends.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.3 out of 5
10 Ratings

10 Ratings

PeterFlick ,

Early MO > Later MO

This album is an example of how I think Midnight Oil's early material is better than the material they released in their later years (for me, post Diesel And Dust). The songs are raw and have a great style to them. You can see them beginning to experiment with songs merging into one another - something they would use in 10,9,8... On this album are some greatly missed hits such as Lucky Country, Basement Flat and Burnie, If Ned Kelly Was King. This is a great album even after sooo many years.

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