Central Reservation (album)

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Central Reservation
Beth Orton-Central Reservation (album cover).jpg
Studio album by
Released9 March 1999
StudioThe Church · September Sound · RAK · Olympic · Little Joey's · The Garden Shed
LabelHeavenly RecordsHVNLP 22
ProducerVictor Van Vugt, Ben Watt, Mark Stent
Beth Orton chronology
Trailer Park
Central Reservation

Central Reservation is the second studio album by English singer-songwriter Beth Orton, released on 9 March 1999. The album featured contributions from folk musician Terry Callier (with whom she also recorded the b-side "Lean on Me"), Dr. Robert and Ben Harper. Several tracks were also produced by Ben Watt of Everything but the Girl.

Central Reservation received critical acclaim and garnered Orton a second Mercury Music Prize nomination, and won her Best British Female at the 2000 BRIT Music Awards.


Central Reservation was released on 9 March 1999 on Heavenly Records. It reached number 17 on the UK Albums Chart and stayed on the chart for eight weeks.[3] It went to number 34 on the ARIA albums chart in Australia,[4] number 35 on the RIANZ albums chart in New Zealand[5] and number 110 on the Billboard 200 chart in the United States.[6] It also went to number two on the US Heatseekers albums chart.[7] By 2002 it had sold 244,000 copies in United States. [8] The first single from the album was "Stolen Car", which was released on 13 March 1999 and peaked at number 34 on the UK Singles Chart.[3] "Central Reservation", the second single, peaked at number 37 on the UK Singles Chart.[3]

On 30 June 2014, British independent record label 3 Loop Music re-released Central Reservation as a 2CD Expanded Edition which included b-sides, original demos and live recordings.[9]


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[11]
Entertainment WeeklyA−[12]
Houston Chronicle4/5 stars[13]
Los Angeles Times3/4 stars[14]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[17]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide4/5 stars[18]
Uncut5/5 stars[20]

Central Reservation received generally positive reviews from critics. Jason Ankeny of AllMusic gave the album a rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 and called it "stunning".[11]

Orton won the award for British Female Solo at the 2000 BRIT Awards.[21] The album is included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[22]

The album is ranked number 982 in All-Time Top 1000 Albums (3rd. edition, 2000) [23].

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Beth Orton except "Love Like Laughter" by Orton and Ted Barnes. [11].

Standard edition
1."Stolen Car"Victor Van Vugt5:26
2."Sweetest Decline"Van Vugt5:40
3."Couldn't Cause Me Harm"Van Vugt4:48
4."So Much More"Van Vugt5:41
5."Pass in Time"Bruce Robert Howard7:17
6."Central Reservation"Mark Stent4:50
7."Stars All Seem To Weep"Ben Watt4:39
8."Love Like Laughter"Van Vugt3:06
9."Blood Red River"David Roback4:15
10."Devil Song"Roback5:04
11."Feel To Believe"Orton4:02
12."Central Reservation" (The Then Again Version)Watt4:00


  • ^a signifies remixer



Chart (1999) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[4] 37
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[5] 35
UK Albums (OCC)[3] 17
US Billboard 200[6] 110

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[25] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[27] N/A 244,000[26]
Worldwide N/A 478,000[28]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ Lanham, Tom (6 June 2016). "Beth Orton: Kidsticks and California Dreaming". Paste. Retrieved 3 October 2016.
  2. ^ Walsh, Ben (6 December 2012). "Beth Orton, Union Chapel, London". The Independent. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d "Beth Orton". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 1 September 2010.
  4. ^ a b "Australiancharts.com – Beth Orton – Central Reservation". Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 September 2010.
  5. ^ a b "Charts.nz – Beth Orton – Central Reservation". Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 September 2010.
  6. ^ a b "Beth Orton Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 1 September 2010.
  7. ^ "Central Reservation – Beth Orton (Awards)". AllMusic. Retrieved 7 September 2010.
  8. ^ https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/76598/billboard-bits-gorillazd12-beth-orton-mudhoney
  9. ^ "Beth Orton announces reissue of her 1999 Heavenly album 'Central Reservation'". Heavenly Records. 6 June 2014. Archived from the original on 12 June 2014. Retrieved 6 June 2014. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  10. ^ "Reviews for Central Reservation by Beth Orton". Metacritic. Retrieved 1 September 2010.
  11. ^ a b c Ankeny, Jason. "Central Reservation – Beth Orton". AllMusic. Retrieved 1 September 2010.
  12. ^ Brunner, Rob (26 March 1999). "Central Reservation". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 1 September 2010.
  13. ^ Chonin, Neva (28 March 1999). "Beth Orton Still Suffering, But With a Clearer Eye". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  14. ^ Hilburn, Robert (12 March 1999). "Record Rack: A Hesitant Beth Orton Is Pulled in Two Directions". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 1 September 2010.
  15. ^ Stubbs, David (10 March 1999). "Beth Orton – Central Reservation". NME. Archived from the original on 17 August 2000. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  16. ^ Fowler, Shan. "Beth Orton: Central Reservation". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on 11 October 2000. Retrieved 1 September 2010.
  17. ^ Sheffield, Rob (18 March 1999). "Beth Orton: Central Reservation". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 30 April 2008. Retrieved 1 September 2010.
  18. ^ Sheffield, Rob (2004). "Beth Orton". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. p. 608. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  19. ^ Clover, Joshua (March 1999). "All Folked-Up". Spin. 15 (3): 139–40. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  20. ^ "Beth Orton: Central Reservation". Uncut (22). March 1999.
  21. ^ Sturges, Fiona (28 March 2003). "Beth Orton: No More Reservations". The Independent. Retrieved 7 September 2010.
  22. ^ Dimery, Robert, ed. (2010). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition. Universe. ISBN 0-7893-2074-6.
  23. ^ "Rocklist". Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  24. ^ a b c "Central Reservation – Beth Orton (Credits)". AllMusic. Retrieved 1 September 2010.
  25. ^ "British album certifications – Beth Orton – Central reservation". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Central reservation in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  26. ^ iegler, Dylan (1 March 2002). "Billboard Bits: Gorillaz/D12, Beth Orton, Mudhoney". Billboard. p. 20. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  27. ^ "American album certifications – Beth Orton – Central reservation". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  28. ^ "Brit Awards: Controversial As Ever". Billboard. 18 March 2000. p. 85. Retrieved 24 April 2019.