Aussie rock legends Midnight Oil will receive the 2018 Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music, one of the country’s highest music honors.
The Oils, as they’re affectionately known in these parts, will be feted at APRA Music Awards, to be held next Tuesday (April 10) at the International Convention Centre Grand Ballroom on Sydney’s Darling Harbour.
“Midnight Oil’s uniquely Australian songs took on societal issues with fiery determination and a musical conviction that continues to connect on a global scale,” comments APRA Chair Jenny Morris in a statement issued Thursday. “I don’t want to say there will never be another Midnight Oil because the world will always need a band like Midnight Oil – now, more than ever.”
The award caps a previously-unthinkable comeback year, during which the classic lineup reunited and hit the road for a global, Great Circle tour. These were the rockers’ only shows since they disbanded in 2002, save for a pair of stadium benefit concerts, “Waveaid” at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 2005 and “Sound Relief” at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 2009.
After forming in 1972, Midnight Oil went on to become one of Australia’s most popular bands – and certainly its most politically-charged. Led by the charismatic frontman Peter Garrett (who later entered federal politics), the group pushed for indigenous rights, and they took an anti-war stance. The 1987 set Diesel and Dust came in at No. 1 in the 100 Best Australian Albums, a compendium of homegrown recordings published in 2010.
Diesel and Dust single “Beds Are Burning” came in at No. 3 in APRA’s list of best Australian songs of all time, published in 2001. The group was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2006.
The prestigious honor, named after late Alberts founder Ted Albert, is decided by the APRA board of writer and publisher directors. Previous recipients include Paul Kelly, Michael Gudinski, Denis Handlin, Slim Dusty, The Seekers, Lindy Morrison of the Go-Betweens, Cold Chisel and last year’s honoree, Archie Roach.
Ahead of its flagship ceremony, APRA announced Ed Sheeran is the winner of the international work of the year for “Shape of You”, co-written with Kevin Briggs, Kandi Burruss, Tameka Cottle, Steven McCutcheon and John McDaid.
Also, the rights organization announced the Australian Music Vault, a free music exhibition at Arts Centre Melbourne, will acknowledge the rockers with a special display that will include footage and memorability.
Producer/songwriters M-Phazes and PJ Harding, (aka Thief) lead the race for this year’s APRAs with four nominations each.