Diesel and Dust

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{album, band, music}
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{country, population, people}
{black, white, people}

Diesel and Dust is an album by Midnight Oil that was released in 1987 under the CBS record label. The album is a concept album about the struggles of the Australian Aborigines and environmental causes, issues both near and dear to the band, and drew inspiration from the Black Fella White Fella tour of remote Indigenous communities with the Warumpi Band in 1985. The rhythm of "Beds are Burning" is said to be inspired by the noise of their vehicles' wheels on the corrugated dirt roads in the region.[citation needed]

The track "Gunbarrel Highway" was not included on the United States release of the album. Reportedly, it is because the line "shit falls like rain on a land that is brown" was deemed too strong for U.S. audiences.[1][2]

In 1989, Rolling Stone magazine ranked it number 13 on their list of the 100 best albums of the 1980s.



Track listing

^ Not available on the U.S. or the Canadian LP. As of 2008, the track is available on Canadian CD.



  • "Holden wrecks" ("Beds Are Burning") refers to the GMH Holden, the Australian make of car.
  • Warakurna is a small town in Western Australia, close to the Northern Territory border, which the band visited on their Black Fella White Fella tour.
  • "In Redfern as there is in Alice" ("Warakurna") refers to Redfern, an area in Sydney, and to Alice Springs, principal town in the centre of Australia.
  • "Lasseter" ("Warakurna") was a gold-seeking con man (died 1931) after whom the Northern Territory highway to Ayers Rock is named.
  • The "dead heart" is a traditional way of referring to the underpopulated desert centre of Australia, a continent which is largely desert with most of the people distributed along the coasts.
  • A bullroarer is a traditional Aboriginal musical instrument which produces a whirring sound.

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