Midnight Oil

[Powderworks] My letter to Hartford Courant reviewer

andrew pye apye@bigpond.com
Sat, 6 Apr 2002 13:12:22 +1000

My sentiments exactly Jane!!!

Personally, I have little to no interest in reading reviews on Oils stuff,
simply because I just don't care what anyone else thinks about what they
have done. If I listen to the album and like it, then that's enough for me.
And if I don't like and it gets rave reviews, well so be it too. And as you
have pointed out, the Oils don't care either!

Music is a personal thing, as is just about everything in life, and what
someone else thinks shouldn't matter to anyone else. That's not directed at
Bill in any way what so ever either! Just IMHO! After all, I think I'm the
only person who was embarrassed by the Sorry suits!

> 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
> 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
> a concert takes into account.  Rewiews are just a tool. If they are good
> bad they are still advertising the fact that there is a new CD out, or
> is a tour happening. That extra advertising doesnt hurt, it gets the
> out.   In the end the Oils are right, reviews arent worth worrying about.
> Jane.
> >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
> >it.
> >
> >Bill Wolfe
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >May I suggest that Eric Danton get his facts straight before he presumes
> >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
> >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
> >remain in Australia with their families.  Nevertheless, they released
> >excellent albums, none of which Mr. Danton has apparently ever heard:
> >1996's "Breathe," 1998's "Redneck Wonderland," and 2000's "The Real
> >(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
> >be called either a "screed" or "shrill."  I wonder what songs Mr. Danton
> >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,"
> >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
> >what specific political issue any other song on the CD addresses.  That
> >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
> >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"
> >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,
> >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
> >likes of Creed, Pink, or Alien Ant Farm?  At the very least, he should
> >Midnight Oil when they perform in Hartford; he obviously needs to
> >experience one of the greatest, most passionate live acts ever if he is
> >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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