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Flashback Video: 'Beds Are Burning' by Midnight Oil

Ever since the dawn of MTV and Friday Night Videos, the music video has significantly impacted musical tastes and pop culture. It might not be as extreme as when the Buggles declared that "Video Killed the Radio Star", but there is no arguing that the music video certainly could make or break a song's popularity. So this regular Flashback Video feature will serve to remember some of the music videos from the great '80s decade that made an impact on me in one way or another.

This issue we will cover "Beds Are Burning" by Midnight Oil. The Australian band gained worldwide attention after releasing this song in August of 1987. It would peak at #17 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and is generally considered one of the most recognized songs to come from Australia. In case you didn't know, the song is actually a political song about Aboriginal land rights. I remember it standing out with a very distinct sound and the music video portraying a very distinct look.

The music video for "Beds Are Burning" was directed by fellow Australian Andrew de Groot whose experience seems to be primarily in Cinematography outside of this video. It was shot in the Australian outback on the striking landscape and red terrain of the Mundi Mundi Plains. Lead singer Peter Garrett is often shown singing from a side profile and there are some cool portions later in the video shot in a shadowy silhouette. Here is the music video for "Beds Are Burning" by Midnight Oil...

Even thought they are more or less considered a "one-hit wonder" in the U.S., Midnight Oil's legacy is one of the strongest in Australian music history, spanning five decades, 13 albums and over 20 million in album sales.

Hope you enjoyed another trip back to the '80s thanks to Flashback Video!

1 comment

1 Comment

Dec 08, 2022

2-hit wonder. I always liked "Blue Sky Mine" which should have cracked the Top 40. I remember watching Beds Are Burning late one night on MTV and laughing hysterically when ho does his shadowy "WAHHHH" interjections during the song.

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