In the Middle

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This article is about the Sugababes song. For other uses, see In the Middle (disambiguation).
"In the Middle"
Single by Sugababes
from the album Three
B-side
  • "Colder in the Rain"
  • "Disturbed"
Released 22 March 2004
Format
Genre
Length 3:55
Label Island
Writer(s)
Producer(s)
Sugababes singles chronology
"Too Lost in You"
(2003)
"In the Middle"
(2004)
"Caught in a Moment"
(2004)

"In the Middle" is a song by English girl group Sugababes, released on 22 March 2004 as the third single from their third studio album, Three (2003). The Sugababes were inspired to compose the song based upon the different situations experienced on a night out; they wrote it in collaboration with Miranda Cooper, Brian Higgins, Niara Scarlett, Shawn Lee, Lisa Cowling, Andre Tegler, Phil Fuldner and Michael Bellina. Higgins, Xenomania and Jeremy Wheatley produced the song. "In the Middle" is a dance-pop, R&B and funk-influenced record that contains a sample of German DJ Moguai's song "U Know Y".

The song received rave reviews from critics, who commended its production and appeal, and was nominated for Best British Single at the 2005 BRIT Awards. The single reached the top ten on the charts in Hungary, Netherlands and the United Kingdom. It also peaked within the top forty on the charts in Australia, Austria, Germany, Ireland and Switzerland. Matthew Rolston directed the song's music video, which was filmed at Pinewood Studios, London. It features the green screen effect and magical settings for the video's environments. The Sugababes performed the song on their tours in support of Three, Overloaded: The Singles Collection (2006) and Change (2007).

Development and release[edit]

The Sugababes wrote "In the Middle" in collaboration with Miranda Cooper, Brian Higgins, Niara Scarlett, Shawn Lee, Lisa Cowling, Andre Tegler, Phil Fuldner and Michael Bellina, for their third studio album, Three (2003).[1] Group member Heidi Range revealed that the band wanted to write a song with which they could have fun; it was inspired by different situations experienced during a night out.[2] Keisha Buchanan, another member of the Sugababes, told Digital Spy that she wrote 90% of the song but could not comprehend the meaning of the lyrics: "I think it's because as I've got older I don't really relate to the lyrics. It was more of a fun song but I just don't really feel that attached to it any more."[3] Higgins, Xenomania and Jeremy Wheatley produced the song; the latter mixed it at the Town House Studios, London.[1] "In the Middle" was programmed by Matt Duguid, Nick Coler, Tim Powell and Tim Larcombe.[1]

The Sugababes confirmed through their official website in February 2004 that "In the Middle" would be the released as the album's third single.[2] Island Records released it on 22 March 2004 as a CD single and digital download.[4] The song's release coincided with the commencement of the group's UK tour in March 2004.[5] The CD single and digital download releases contain a B-side titled "Disturbed".[6][7] A maxi single was released; it includes the B-side "Colder in the Rain", and two remixes of the track, including one by DJ Hyper,[8] which appears on his remix album, Wired (2004).[9] "In the Middle" is featured on the Sugababes' greatest hits album Overloaded: The Singles Collection.[1]

Composition and lyrics[edit]

A sample of the "club-style experimental" "In the Middle".[4] The song is reminiscent of previous productions by Xenomania, namely "Round Round" and "Hole in the Head".[4][10]

Problems playing this file? See media help.

"In the Middle" is a dance-pop song with elements of R&B and funk.[11][12] The Jerusalem Post's Harry Rubenstein described it as a "club-style experimental".[13] According to the digital sheet music published by Hal Leonard Publishing, "In the Middle" was composed in the key of B minor using common time, with a tempo of 128 beats per minute.[14] It is reminiscent of the group's singles "Round Round" and "Hole in the Head", both of which were also produced by Xenomania.[4][10] "In the Middle" contains a sample of "U Know Y" by German DJ Moguai, and features guitar and keyboard instrumentation.[1] The song contains a low bassline that derives from a synthesised trombone.[4] The lyrical content of "In the Middle" is about finding a man after a night out,[15] in which the chorus is opened with the lines, "I'm caught up in the middle, jumping through the riddle, I'm falling just a little tonight".[14]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

"In the Middle" received rave reviews from critics. Natasha Perry of Contactmusic.com named the song one of Three's "instant winners";[15] Harry Rubenstein from the Jerusalem Post similarly considered it one of the album's best tracks.[13] The Guardian writer Andrew Mueller regarded "In the Middle" as "vastly superior",[16] while Alan Braidwood of BBC described it as quality pop.[17] Ben Hogwood of musicOMH questioned the number of songwriters it took to write the track, although cited this as reasons for the "polished production and slicker than slick chorus".[4] Writing for the Daily Mirror, Gavin Martin commended the Sugababes' attitude in the song, which he described as "colourful and explosive".[18] Dan Gennoe of Yahoo! Music characterised "In the Middle" as a "retro hip-shake".[10] A critic from the Daily Record regarded the song as "addictive and dancey" and wrote that it highlights the group's "considerable charms".[11] The writer noted that it echoes the appeal of their number-one singles, "Freak Like Me" and "Round Round".[11] Daily Mail writer Adrian Thrills commented that the song replicates "the swaggering grandeur" of the group's older material.[19]

James Mortlock of the Eastern Daily Press described "In the Middle" as a pop classic from the Sugababes,[20] while Hot Press magazine's Phil Udell considered it one of the finest pop songs of the 2000s.[21] "In the Middle" earned the Sugababes a 2005 BRIT Award nomination for Best British Single.[22] However, the song was added to the category after the BRIT Awards organisers had made an error with the original list, as it was drawn up with the incorrect timescale.[23]

Chart performance[edit]

"In the Middle" made its first chart appearance on the Irish Singles Chart on 25 March 2004 in which it peaked at number thirteen.[24] It spent seven weeks on the chart, and was their second consecutive single to peak at this position.[25] The song debuted and peaked at number eight on the UK Singles Chart for the issue dated 3 April 2004 and became the group's third consecutive top-ten hit in the UK.[26][27] It spent eight weeks on the chart.[27] The single's highest chart peak was on the Netherlands' Dutch Top 40 chart, where it debuted at number thirty-one and reached number seven three weeks later.[28] It became the chart's 70th best-performing single of 2004.[29] "In the Middle" peaked at number twenty-three on the Swiss Singles Chart,[30] number twenty-nine on the German Singles Chart,[31] number thirty-three on the Austrian Singles Chart,[32] and number forty on the Belgian (Flanders) Ultratop chart.[33] The single reached number nine on the Hungarian Dance Chart and number thirty-three on the Hungarian Radio Chart.[34][35] "In the Middle" charted at number thirty-three on Australian Singles Chart, becoming the Sugababes' third consecutive top-forty hit in Australia.[36]

Promotion[edit]

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Matthew Rolston and filmed at Pinewood Studios, London in February 2004.

The music video for "In the Middle" was directed by Matthew Rolston,[37][38] who directed the video for the group's previous single "Hole in the Head".[37] It was filmed at Pinewood Studios, London in February 2004.[39] The photography was completed by Martin Ahlgren.[38] Buchanan refrained from revealing details about the video before its release, saying: "The shoot went very well but what actually happens in the video is being kept a secret until it's shown. We’re all really excited and can't wait to hear what our fans think about it!"[40] It aired on the Sugababes' official website, and on television, on 20 February 2004 and was included on the single's CD release.[8][40]

Rolston used the green screen effect to produce the video, while the designs and effects for its environments were created by Jerry Steele.[39] Rolston conceptualised a "prism-like" glass room with six sides and large glass walls, in which Steele was inspired to enhance it with effects including reflections and lights.[39] The video was developed in magical settings, as STEELE VFX created "glamorous virtual environments" such as a sparkling glass room.[39] Buchanan wore a bikini, covered in chains and spikes, for the video.[41] She is featured in a blue room and has rainbow-coloured sparkles on her face.[39] Buena, who is seen pole dancing in a green-coloured room,[42] is shown controlling "smoke elements" with her hands.[39] Range is shown in a pink room, and dances around a chair and against a wall.[43] Throughout the video, each group members' name appears on screen, Mutya's formed by smoke, Keisha's formed by diamonds and Heidi's formed by metallic cubes.[39]

Live performances[edit]

The Sugababes performed an extended version of "In the Middle" during their UK tour in March and April 2004 to promote Three,[44] in which they were supported by a four-piece band.[45] The group performed the single, along with "Hole in the Head" and "Too Lost in You", at Birmingham's Party in the Park festival on 10 July 2004.[46] "In the Middle" was included in the set list for the band's 2007 tour in support of Overloaded: The Singles Collection.[21] In addition, it was performed as part of the group's 2008 Change Tour,[47][48] in which the performances featured the group in large, mirrored skirts, while rays of light were reflecting around the venue.[49] Kat Keogh of The Journal praised their performance at the Newcastle City Hall as one of the show's highlights,[48] while a critic from The Scotsman described their performance at the Edinburgh Playhouse as "ridiculously camp", although admitted that the light effect was "simple yet fantastically effective".[49] The Sugababes performed "In the Middle" on 10 July 2009 at the Riverside Ground in County Durham, England, as part of a set list.[50]

Track listings and formats[edit]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Overloaded: The Singles Collection.[1]

Charts[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Overloaded: The Singles Collection (album). Sugababes. Universal Island Records. 2006. pp. 13–14. 1712650. 
  2. ^ a b "Next single announcement". Sugababes.com. 12 February 2004. Archived from the original on 12 February 2004. Retrieved 17 August 2012. 
  3. ^ Balls, David (19 December 2008). "Keisha reveals her favourite Sugababes hits". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines. Archived from the original on 9 August 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Hogwood, Ben. "Sugababes – In the Middle (MCA)". musicOMH. Archived from the original on 9 August 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  5. ^ "Five things to do this week". Sunday Mirror (Trinity Mirror). 21 March 2004. Retrieved 8 April 2013.  (subscription required)
  6. ^ a b "In the Middle: Sugababes". Amazon (UK). Archived from the original on 8 April 2013. Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "In the Middle – Single – Sugababes". iTunes Store (GB). Apple. Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  8. ^ a b c "In the Middle: Sugababes". Amazon (UK). Archived from the original on 8 April 2013. Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  9. ^ Hogwood, Ben. "Hyper – Wired (Thrive)". musicOMH. Archived from the original on 14 December 2006. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  10. ^ a b c Gennoe, Dan (28 October 2003). "Sugababes – Three". Yahoo! Music. Yahoo! UK & Ireland. Archived from the original on 6 April 2004. Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  11. ^ a b c "The Razz: Singles and albums". Daily Record (Trinity Mirror). 26 March 2004. Retrieved 28 June 2012.  (subscription required)
  12. ^ "Three is the magic number for the babes". Birmingham Post (Trinity Mirror). 1 November 2003. Retrieved 8 April 2013.  (subscription required)
  13. ^ a b Rubenstein, Harry (3 February 2004). "Sugababes: Pop girls with a difference". Jerusalem Post (Mirkaei Tikshoret). Retrieved 8 April 2013.  (subscription required)
  14. ^ a b "Digital Sheet Music – Sugababes – In the Middle". Musicnotes.com. Hal Leonard Publishing. 2003. SC0012998. 
  15. ^ a b Perry, Natasha. "Sugababes – Three – Album Review". Contactmusic.com. Archived from the original on 9 August 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  16. ^ Mueller, Andrew (4 March 2006). "New singles". The Guardian (Guardian News & Media). Archived from the original on 9 August 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  17. ^ Braidwood, Alan (23 September 2003). "Sugababes – Three – Review". BBC Music. BBC. Archived from the original on 9 August 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  18. ^ Martin, Gavin (24 October 2003). "Going into Threefall". Daily Mirror (Trinity Mirror). Retrieved 8 April 2013.  (subscription required)
  19. ^ Thrills, Adrian (24 October 2003). "The new Sophie: This blonde shoots to thrill". Daily Mail (Associated Newspapers). Retrieved 8 April 2013.  (subscription required)
  20. ^ Mortlock, James (9 February 2009). "Sugababes go down to the woods". Eastern Daily Press (Archant). Archived from the original on 8 April 2013. Retrieved 8 April 2013. 
  21. ^ a b Udell, Phil (10 April 2007). "Sugababes live at The Point, Dublin". Hot Press. Niall Stokes. Archived from the original on 9 August 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  22. ^ "The BRITs 2005". BRIT Awards. Archived from the original on 9 August 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  23. ^ "Brits admit error in awards list". BBC News (BBC). 21 January 2005. Archived from the original on 9 August 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  24. ^ a b "Chart Track: Week 13, 2004". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  25. ^ "Discography Sugababes". Irish-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 9 April 2013. 
  26. ^ a b "Archive Chart: 2004-04-03" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  27. ^ a b "Sugababes". Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 19 April 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2012. 
  28. ^ a b "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 15, 2004" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 30 June 2012.
  29. ^ a b "De Nederlandse Top 100" (PDF). Dutch Top 40 Stichting Nederlandse Top 40. Archived from the original on 9 August 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  30. ^ a b "Swisscharts.com – Sugababes – In the Middle". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  31. ^ a b "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline". Musicline.de. Media Control. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  32. ^ a b "Austriancharts.at – Sugababes – In the Middle" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  33. ^ a b "Ultratop.be – Sugababes – In the Middle" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  34. ^ a b "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Rádiós Top 40 játszási lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  35. ^ a b "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Dance Top 40 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
  36. ^ a b "Australian-charts.com – Sugababes – In the Middle". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  37. ^ a b Overloaded: The Singles Collection (DVD liner notes). Island Records. 
  38. ^ a b "Martin Ahlgren – Director of Photography". Dineor Management. Archived from the original on 9 August 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  39. ^ a b c d e f g "STEELE VFX Creates Virtual Magic For Hot Sugababes Video". Animation Artist. 13 April 2004. Archived from the original on 9 August 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  40. ^ a b "In The Middle video". Sugababes.com. Archived from the original on 12 February 2004. Retrieved 17 August 2012. 
  41. ^ "Keisha Buchanan: ‘I always say be better, not bitter’". Daily Mirror (Trinity Mirror). 18 July 2011. Archived from the original on 9 August 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  42. ^ "Sugababes learn pole-dancing for their sexiest video yet". Daily Mail (Associated Newspapers). 28 August 2008. Archived from the original on 9 August 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  43. ^ "Sugababes: In the Middle". MTV Australia. MTV Networks. Archived from the original on 9 August 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  44. ^ Hayden, Charlotte (31 March 2004). "In the Pink". icNewcastle. Trinity Mirror. Archived from the original on 9 August 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  45. ^ Caffery, Adrian (27 March 2004). "Sugababes spice up the stage". Birmingham Mail (Trinity Mirror). Retrieved 8 April 2013.  (subscription required)
  46. ^ "Singing in the rain!". Birmingham Evening Mail (Trinity Mirror). 12 July 2004. Archived from the original on 3 August 2004. Retrieved 28 April 2013. 
  47. ^ Sharp, Rob (27 March 2008). "Sugababes, Royal Albert Hall, London". The Independent (Independent News & Media). Archived from the original on 9 August 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  48. ^ a b Keogh, Kat (26 March 2008). "Review: Sugababes, Newcastle City Hall". The Journal (Trinity Mirror). Archived from the original on 9 August 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  49. ^ a b "Sugababes review: The new material girls". The Scotsman (Johnston Publishing). 28 April 2008. Archived from the original on 9 August 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  50. ^ Barr, Gordon (11 July 2009). "Sugababes thrill Durham Riverside crowd". Chronicle Live (Trinity Mirror). Archived from the original on 24 April 2013. Retrieved 24 April 2013. 
  51. ^ "Ultratop.be – Sugababes – In the Middle" (in French). Ultratip. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  52. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Sugababes – In the Middle" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 10 June 2012.

External links[edit]