Midnight Oil

[Powderworks] My letter to Hartford Courant reviewer

Jane R bunge91@hotmail.com
Sat, 06 Apr 2002 12:51:47 +1000

Well structured and written letter Bill.
I have to say however that Eric Danton's review is the opinion of one 
person. As Peter said "We (the Oils) dont respond to critics at all, kind or 
unkind".  I have to agree with them.
Who really looks at a review and thinks, I wont buy the CD because the 
reviewer thinks its crap. Ultimatley it is up to the person thinking about 
buying the CD or going to a concert for that matter. You would think they 
would take into account if they have heard the band before and liked the 
music, or if they have heard a new track on radio and liked it, or even if 
someone like a powderworker has shoved it under their nose and said listen 
to this!!.
They are all factors someone wanting to buy a CD or thinking about going to 
a concert takes into account.  Rewiews are just a tool. If they are good or 
bad they are still advertising the fact that there is a new CD out, or there 
is a tour happening. That extra advertising doesnt hurt, it gets the message 
out.   In the end the Oils are right, reviews arent worth worrying about.


>From: "Laura Wolfe" <casalobo@lightspeed.net>
>Reply-To: "Laura Wolfe" <casalobo@lightspeed.net>
>To: "Powderworks" <powderworks@cs.colorado.edu>
>Subject: [Powderworks] My letter to Hartford Courant reviewer
>Date: Fri, 5 Apr 2002 08:50:08 -0800
>Here is the letter I just emailed to the editor at the Hartford  Courant 
>regarding Eric Danton's moronic review of "Capricornia."  Hope y'all like 
>Bill Wolfe
>May I suggest that Eric Danton get his facts straight before he presumes to 
>review an album?  His review of Midnight Oil's excellent return to form, 
>"Capricornia," contains numerous errors of fact; it also suggests that he 
>did not listen to the album closely or often enough to form a valid 
>critical opinion.
>Mr. Danton states that Midnight Oil's 1987 breakthrough album, "Diesel and 
>Dust," sold "reasonably well."  In fact, it sold approximately 2 million 
>copies in the U.S. alone and spent a fair amount of time in the Billboard 
>top 20.
>He then states that, in the 15 years since then, the band has released 
>eight albums which "have gone nowhere on the charts or...in the American 
>musical consciousness."  Wrong again.  Their 1990 release, "Blue Sky 
>Mining," sold over a million copies and made the top 20.  Oil did a 
>worldwide tour of large venues for most of 1990.  In the southern 
>California region where I live, they played three shows in four days to a 
>total of nearly 30,000 people.  They returned in 1993 with "Earth and Sun 
>and Moon," which sold well and was the basis for a US tour that ran from 
>June through October of that year.  The last figure I saw indicated that 
>Midnight Oil has sold more than 4 million albums in the U.S. alone.
>Midnight Oil's low profile since 1994 was a conscious choice by the band to 
>remain in Australia with their families.  Nevertheless, they released three 
>excellent albums, none of which Mr. Danton has apparently ever heard: 
>1996's "Breathe," 1998's "Redneck Wonderland," and 2000's "The Real Thing" 
>(a collection of unplugged performances and four new songs that was 
>released only in Australia).
>As for his comments about "Capricornia," it seems that Mr. Danton has a 
>different CD in his possession than I do.  In fact, the band's "political 
>screeds" have not become "increasingly humorless and shrill."  On the new 
>album, I would venture to say there is not a single song that could fairly 
>be called either a "screed" or "shrill."  I wonder what songs Mr. Danton is 
>referring to.  Midnight Oil has become much less political and far more 
>spiritual in their approach to issues.  In this regard, I would draw Mr. 
>Danton's attention to "Golden Age," "Under the Overpass," "Tone Poem," and 
>the title track. Other than "Say Your Prayers," a track about East Timor 
>from a 2000 benefit album, I'm willing to bet that Mr. Danton can't tell me 
>what specific political issue any other song on the CD addresses.  That is 
>the band's intention.  They have matured and mellowed, and they are, 
>objectively speaking, neither humorless nor shrill.
>Finally, although Mr. Danton states that the CD feels like an album "even 
>the musicians didn't put their hearts into," "Capricornia" was a labor of 
>love for Midnight Oil during the past two years.  They believe it is their 
>best album since at least 1993, if not 1987.  The fact that radio is 
>embracing the album -- and that Midnight Oil is about to launch a long 
>North American tour (from late April through July)-- shows that this 
>comeback album is resonating with their fans.  I believe "Capricornia" will 
>be discovered by many new fans as well.
>Perhaps Mr. Danton needs to listen to it a few more times, paying close 
>attention to both the music and the lyrics.  Should I send him my copy, so 
>we can be sure he's listening to an actual copy of "Capricornia"?  Or 
>perhaps he'd rather listen to the wonderful musical contributions from the 
>likes of Creed, Pink, or Alien Ant Farm?  At the very least, he should see 
>Midnight Oil when they perform in Hartford; he obviously needs to 
>experience one of the greatest, most passionate live acts ever if he is to 
>appreciate their music and message.
>Bill Wolfe
>The thought manifests as the word;
>the word manifests as the deed;
>the deed develops into the habit;
>and habit hardens into character.
>So watch the thought and its ways with care,
>and let it spring from love
>born out of concern for all things.
>-- The Buddha

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