Midnight Oil

[Powderworks] Re: some questions

Powderlurker . powderlurker@hotmail.com
Wed, 01 Oct 2003 13:07:41 +1000


Hello folks!!.......some questions

1. Which was the last oils album released by the powderworks label? and the 
first one released by columbia?  Do we know anything about the terms or 
conditions of the contract between the Oils and columbia?  a number of 
albums to be released in a certain period or something like that?

Powderworks would have been Head Injuries (actually... Bird Noises e.p.)
that would have made the first Columbia album Place Without A Postcard.

2-What does "sprint" means? is it a minilabel for the oils inside columbia 
which distinguishes the band? where does it come from?

I think Sprint was the publishing company set up, by Oils, to handle the 
publishing rights to their own music. This was in 'partnership' with Rondor. 
Rondor is an established publishing house that's existed since about 1962 
(and was bought by Universal Music Publishing in 2000).
As all the (battered & scarred) musos know... the real bucks are in the 
publishing rights...

Some of the most famous songs in the Rondor catalogue are:
“California Girls,” “Good Vibrations,” “Wouldn’t it Be Nice ” The Beach Boys
“Let’s Stay Together,” “Love and Happiness” Al Green / “We’ve Only Just 
Begun,” “Rainy Days and Mondays” The Carpenters / “American Girl,” 
“Breakdown” Tom Petty / “Tears in Heaven” Eric Clapton
“You are So Beautiful” Joe Cocker / “Money for Nothing” Dire Straits / “Baby 
I Love Your Way” Peter Frampton / “Thriller,” “Rock with You” Michael 
Jackson / “In the Midnight Hour” Wilson Pickett
“Sitting on the Dock of the Bay Otis Redding / “Respect” Aretha Franklin / 
“Higher Love” Steve Winwood
“White Rabbit,” “Somebody to Love” Jefferson Airplane / “Shaft” Isaac Hayes 
/ “A Song For You” Leon Russell / “My Heart Will Go On” Celine Dion / 
“Dreamer” Supertramp / “I Am Woman” Helen Reddy
“Soul Man” Sam & Dave / “The Air That I Breathe” The Hollies

3-How did they get in touch with some of their producers? for example Glyn 
Johns, Nick Launa, Keith Walker or Francois Kevorkian?

Pretty much the same way any band does.... band management gets in touch 
with the producer / producer's management & they try & negotiate the terms 
for a meeting (to check each other out & to check out the viability of such 
a collaboration) and the schedule for any possible work, together. If the 
band is smart, they have an awareness of who has produced what and will 
approach a producer according to what they feel their next recording needs. 
Dumb bands just try & hook in to whoever's 'hot' at the moment (and pay 

4-I´m aware of some information regarding A&M Records having made an offer 
to the Oils at the time they were recording the PWPostcard. is it true? why 
the oils or A&M  refused?

A&M were pursuing just about every prominent Aust. band, at the time, but 
the terms may not have been appealing to the Oils. A&M bought up the rights 
to many 1st-line (at the time) acts such as Australian Crawl (I think), 
Models, Mondo Rock, Mental As Anything, Sports etc. and promptly re-mixed 
all their albums for 'suitability' for a US release (and sometimes got them 
to re-record their material... with huge 'orchestras' behind them... and a 
whole bunch of 'ring-in' session musos). I can't imagine that the Oils would 
have been too happy having their music 'fixed' by some faceless producer, 
for release to the rest of the world.
I think most of these bands were sifted onto the generic 'Boomerang' 

I have no idea what the actual terms of these contracts actually were, but 
all the bands that signed to A&M seemed to be set to a pretty standard 
'basic' coverage.

Having said that, the Clouds (in the 90's), were courted by A&M and were 
pretty impressed by the attention (and contract) they were offered by them. 
Having said THAT, they still signed with Elektra (because of the Pixies 
connection) and were subsequently dumped about a year later.

back to reality,


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