Essential Oils (album)

Essential Oils is a two-disc compilation album by Australian rock band Midnight Oil released in November 2012.[3][4]

Essential Oils
Essential Oils cover art.png
Greatest hits album by
Released2 November 2012
LabelSony Music Entertainment
Midnight Oil chronology
Flat Chat
Essential Oils
Armistice Day
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[1]
Popmatters7/10 stars[2]

The compilation covers Midnight Oil's entire career, starting with their 1978 self-titled album, and includes tracks from all their studio albums and EPs. Given its comprehensive track list, the two-disc Essential Oils effectively supplants Midnight Oil's previous greatest-hits compilation, 1997's one-disc album 20,000 Watt R.S.L. There is only one track on 20,000 Watt R.S.L. ("What Goes On") that is not included on Essential Oils.

Essential Oils contains twelve songs that were included on Flat Chat (2006), an 18-track compilation of Midnight Oil's heavier rock songs. The Flat Chat tracks that do not appear on Essential Oils are "Section 5 (Bus to Bondi)", "Tell Me the Truth", "Stand in Line", "Pictures", "Written in the Heart" and "Mosquito March". Essential Oils contains liner notes by American music journalist David Fricke. The album charted at number 7 on the ARIA Charts and on the Official New Zealand Music Chart.


  • Vintage Rock says The aptly named Essential Oils is a double CD compilation that pretty much spans the entire career of Australia’s Midnight Oil – beginning with tracks from their 1978 self-titled release, followed by more from the subsequent 10 albums and two EPs. The kinetic high-end bass, and a two-guitar kinetic punk-like sensibility of “Run By Night” is the only song on this 36-song collection from the band’s first album.[5]
  • Glide Magazine says One CD might have done the job, but there’s little bloat here and more than enough to entice die-hards and new listeners with a proper reflection on the group’s genesis, process and closure. Essential Oils draws from all 14 of their recordings between 1978 and 2002. At 36 songs, the album traces a journey of demanding social justice through song, ones that evolve from polished punk to textured pop to industrial mayhem.[6]
  • On Spectrum Culture they say that American audiences will likely know Midnight Oil for its 1987 hit “Beds Are Burning,” off the internationally popular Diesel and Dust. That platinum-selling album was the band’s first real success stateside, but Midnight Oil were already superstars back home in Australia, where their aggressive brand of politically-charged rock had taken on uranium mining, Tibet and a monopoly within the Sydney music industry.[7]

Track listingEdit

Disc 1
1."Run By Night"Rob Hirst, Jim Moginie, Martin Rotsey3:56
2."Cold Cold Change"Hirst, Moginie3:29
3."Back on the Borderline"Peter Garrett, Moginie, Andrew James3:09
4."Wedding Cake Island"Garrett, Peter Gifford, Hirst, Moginie, Martin Rotsey3:11
5."No Time for Games"Garrett, Gifford, Hirst, Moginie, Rotsey4:33
6."Don't Wanna Be the One"Garrett, Hirst, Moginie, Rotsey3:05
7."Armistice Day"Hirst, Moginie, Rotsey4:29
8."Lucky Country"Garrett, Hirst, Moginie, Rotsey4:53
9."Only the Strong"Hirst, Moginie4:34
10."Short Memory"Garrett, Hirst, Moginie3:52
11."Read About It"Garrett, Hirst, Moginie3:52
12."US Forces"Garrett, Moginie4:05
13."Power and the Passion"Garrett, Hirst, Moginie5:39
14."When the Generals Talk"Garrett, Hirst, Moginie3:32
15."Best of Both Worlds"Hirst, Moginie4:03
16."Kosciusko"Hirst, Moginie4:41
17."Progress"Garrett, Gifford, Hirst, Moginie, Rotsey3:54
18."Hercules"Garrett, Gifford, Hirst, Moginie, Rotsey4:29
Disc 2
1."Beds Are Burning"Peter Garrett, Rob Hirst, Jim Moginie4:15
2."Put Down That Weapon"Garrett, Hirst, Moginie4:38
3."Dreamworld"Garrett, Hirst, Moginie3:36
4."The Dead Heart"Garrett, Hirst, Moginie5:11
6."Blue Sky Mine"Hirst, Moginie, Garrett, Martin Rotsey, Bones Hillman4:15
7."Forgotten Years"Hirst, Moginie4:27
8."King of the Mountain"Hirst, Moginie3:49
9."One Country"Garrett, Moginie5:53
10."Truganini"Hirst, Moginie5:08
11."My Country"Rob Hirst4:53
12."In the Valley"Garrett, Hirst, Moginie4:40
13."Surf's Up Tonight"Garrett, Moginie3:05
14."Redneck Wonderland"Hirst, Moginie3:08
15."White Skin Black Heart"Garrett, Hirst, Moginie4:01
16."Say Your Prayers"Moginie4:25
17."Golden Age"Garrett, Hirst, Moginie3:41
18."Luritja Way"Rob Hirst, Jim Moginie4:00


Chart (2012-2017) Position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[8] 7
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[9] 7


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[10] Platinum 70,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ Essential Oils at AllMusic
  2. ^ Midnight Oil: Essential Oils Album Review at PopMatters
  3. ^ Naomi Fallon (1 November 2012). "Oils' hits stand up". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
  4. ^ Bernard Zuel (1 November 2012). "Midnight memories". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
  5. ^ Midnight Oil | Essential Oils – CD Review at Vintage Rock
  6. ^ Midnight Oil - Essential Oils Album Review at Glide Magazine
  7. ^ Midnight Oil - Essential Oils Review
  8. ^ " – Midnight Oil – Essential Oils". Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  9. ^ " – Midnight Oil – Essential Oils". Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  10. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2018 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 3 July 2018.