Left of the Middle

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Left of the Middle
Natalie Imbruglia - Left of the Middle.png
Studio album by Natalie Imbruglia
Released November 24, 1997
(see release history)
Recorded 1997
Genre Pop rock, acoustic, post-grunge,[1] trip hop,[1] dream pop
Length 55:52
Label RCA
Producer Matt Bronleewe, Mark Goldenberg, Phil Thornalley, Andy Wright, Gareth Parton, Nigel Godrich
Natalie Imbruglia chronology
Left of the Middle
White Lilies Island
Alternative cover
Alternative cover
Singles from Left of the Middle
  1. "Torn"
    Released: 27 October 1997
  2. "Big Mistake"
    Released: 8 March 1998
  3. "Wishing I Was There"
    Released: 31 May 1998
  4. "Smoke"
    Released: 11 October 1998
  5. "Identify"
    Released: 22 March 1999
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[2]
Entertainment Weekly C+[3]
Robert Christgau C+[4]
Q 3/5 stars[5]
Rolling Stone 2/5 stars[6]

Left of the Middle is the debut studio album by Australian singer Natalie Imbruglia. Released in 1997, the album was a worldwide hit. Spurred by the success of lead single "Torn", the album reached number one in her home country and the top 10 in both the UK and US. It won the 1998 ARIA Music Award for Best Pop Release. The album went on to secure Imbruglia three Grammy nominations, Best Pop Vocal Album, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for the lead single "Torn", and Best New Artist.

RCA released Left of the Middle in the United Kingdom on December 8, 1997. The album’s first single, “Torn” quickly topped the British charts, even nudging out Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind” in October of 1997 for the number one spot. Although the record and single were not released in the United States until the spring of 1998, Imbruglia was already gaining attention with the American alternative/pop audience. KROQ radio station is the first radio station that gave Torn its first spin in the US, for which many radio stations soon followed due to overwhelming on-air requests. Radio stations began playing “Torn” as import single weeks before the album’s official debut in the United States.

Imbruglia performed live on MTV for the debut of her “Torn” video on March 6, 1998, followed the next night by an appearance on the television comedy show Saturday Night Live. On March 10, 1998, Left of the Middle entered store shelves in the United States and entered the Billboard chart at number ten, selling more than 84,000 copies. The album went certified platinum just five weeks after its release date, making it the fastest album to break that mark in RCA history.[7] Moreover, by March 18, 1998, Imbruglia’s first album became the largest debut for a new, alternative pop–rock female artist in history, selling more in its first week than records by Alanis Morissette, Meredith Brooks, and Fiona Apple combined. The album sold over 7 million copies worldwide by 2002,[8] making it the best-selling debut album ever by a female Australian singer.[9][10] The single "Identify", which Imbruglia recorded for the soundtrack of the 1999 film Stigmata, only appears on the Taiwanese edition of the album.

Critical reception[edit]

Billboard 200 (March 1998):

Set up by the runaway success of the alterna-pop single "Torn", debut album by Australian child actress-turned-songwriter Natalie Imbruglia exploded onto The Billboard 200 at No. 10 last issue and stays impressively high this issue. The photogenic, UK-based singer--whose career path is not too different from that of Canadian contemporary Alanis Morissette--stands to follow the success of "Torn" with such other viable pop and rock cuts as "Leave Me Alone", "Don't You Think", "Impressed" and "Wishing I Was There". An album with ample possibilities at modern AC, modern rock, mainstream rock, and pop stations.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Music Length
1. "Torn"   Scott Cutler, Anne Preven, Phil Thornalley 4:04
2. "One More Addiction"   Natalie Imbruglia, Dave Munday, Thornalley 3:30
3. "Big Mistake"   Imbruglia, Mark Goldenberg 3:54
4. "Leave Me Alone"   Imbruglia, Andy Wright 4:21
5. "Wishing I Was There"   Imbruglia, Colin Campsie, Thornalley 3:52
6. "Smoke"   Imbruglia, Matt Bronleewe 4:37
7. "Pigeons and Crumbs"   Imbruglia, Goldenberg 5:21
8. "Don't You Think?"   Campsie, Thornalley 3:55
9. "Impressed"   Imbruglia, Rick Palombi, Nick Trevisik 4:47
10. "Intuition"   Imbruglia, Munday, Thornalley 3:22
11. "City"   Imbruglia, Thornalley 4:34
12. "Left of the Middle"   Imbruglia, Steve Booker 3:46


Chart (1998) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[12] 1
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[13] 21
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[14] 2
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[15] 11
Canadian Albums (CRIA) 9
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[16] 2
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[17] 8
French Albums (SNEP)[18] 14
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[19] 4
Hungarian Albums (Mahasz) 15
Irish Albums (IRMA) 53
Italian Albums (FIMI)[20] 4
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[21] 10
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[22] 39
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[23] 2
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[24] 3
UK Albums (OCC) 5
US Billboard 200 10

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1998) Position
German Albums Chart[25] 22


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[26] 5× Platinum 450,000[9]
Belgium (BEA)[27] Platinum 50,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[28] 3× Platinum 300,000^
France (SNEP)[29] Gold 230,300[30]
Japan (RIAJ)[31] Platinum[32] 200,000^
Mexico (AMPROFON)[33] Gold 100,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[34] Gold 50,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[35] Platinum 15,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[36] Platinum 100,000^
Sweden (GLF)[37] Gold 100,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[38] Platinum 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[39] 4× Platinum 1,150,422[40]
United States (RIAA)[41] 2× Platinum 2,000,000^
Europe (IFPI)[42] 2× Platinum 2,000,000*

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

Release history[edit]

Country Release date
United Kingdom November 24, 1997 (1997-11-24)
United States March 10, 1998 (1998-03-10)


  1. ^ a b J., Lachlan (July 4, 2013). "Left Of The Middle – Natalie Imbruglia". WordPress. Retrieved November 30, 2013.  "may expect with its clever mixture of post-grunge noise, trip-hop trances..."
  2. ^ Allmusic review
  3. ^ Entertainment Weekly review
  4. ^ Robert Christgau review
  5. ^ CD Reviews at CD Universe
  6. ^ Rolling Stone review
  7. ^ http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3494500034.html
  8. ^ Minogue wins battle of Aussie divas. Billboard. 2002-01-19. Retrieved 2014-05-21. 
  9. ^ a b "Natalie Imbruglia's Album Loss in Australia reported by Billboard". Billboard. 1998-12-25. 
  10. ^ http://www.colheradacultural.com.br/content/20090815173423.000.8-M.php
  11. ^ Left of the Middle on Discogs
  12. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Natalie Imbruglia – Left of the Middle". Hung Medien.
  13. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Natalie Imbruglia – Left of the Middle" (in German). Hung Medien.
  14. ^ "Ultratop.be – Natalie Imbruglia – Left of the Middle" (in Dutch). Hung Medien.
  15. ^ "Ultratop.be – Natalie Imbruglia – Left of the Middle" (in French). Hung Medien.
  16. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Natalie Imbruglia – Left of the Middle" (in Dutch). Hung Medien.
  17. ^ "Natalie Imbruglia: Left of the Middle" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  18. ^ "Lescharts.com – Natalie Imbruglia – Left of the Middle". Hung Medien.
  19. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH.
  20. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Natalie Imbruglia – Left of the Middle". Hung Medien.
  21. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Natalie Imbruglia – Left of the Middle". Hung Medien.
  22. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Natalie Imbruglia – Left of the Middle". Hung Medien.
  23. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Natalie Imbruglia – Left of the Middle". Hung Medien.
  24. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Natalie Imbruglia – Left of the Middle". Hung Medien.
  25. ^ "Top 100 Album-Jahrescharts" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved September 8, 2016. 
  26. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1998 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  27. ^ "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – 1998". Ultratop & Hung Medien / hitparade.ch. Retrieved 2011-09-28. 
  28. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Natalie Imbruglia – Left of the Middle". Music Canada. Retrieved 2011-09-28. 
  29. ^ "French album certifications – Natalie Imbruglia – Left of the Middle" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 2011-09-28. 
  30. ^ "Les Albums Or" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 2010-11-30. 
  31. ^ "Japanese album certifications – Natalie Imbruglia – Left of the Middle" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. Retrieved January 17, 2014. 
  32. ^ "GOLD ALBUM 他認定作品 2000年5月度" [Gold Albums, and other certified works. May 2000 Edition] (PDF). The Record (Bulletin) (in Japanese). Chūō, Tokyo: Recording Industry Association of Japan. 488: 8. July 10, 2000. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 29, 2013. Retrieved January 17, 2014. 
  33. ^ "Certificaciones – Natalie Imbruglia" (in Spanish). Asociación Mexicana de Productores de Fonogramas y Videogramas. Retrieved 2011-09-28. 
  34. ^ "Natalie Imbruglia - Left of the Middle (x1)" (in Dutch). NVPI. Archived from the original on 2009-02-21. Retrieved 2012-08-15. 
  35. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Natalie Imbruglia – Left of the Middle". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 2016-05-14. 
  36. ^ "Solo Exitos 1959-2002 Ano A Ano: Certificados 1996-1999". Solo Exitos 1959-2002 Ano A Ano. 
  37. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. Retrieved 2011-09-28. 
  38. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Natalie Imbruglia; 'Left of the Middle')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-09-28. 
  39. ^ "British album certifications – Natalie Imbruglia – Left of the Middle". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Left of the Middle in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
  40. ^ Jones, Alan. "Official Charts Analysis: Jess Glynne follows singles success with No.1 album". Music Week. Intent Media. Retrieved 29 August 2015. 
  41. ^ "American album certifications – Natalie Imbruglia – Left of the Middle". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2009-04-09.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  42. ^ "IFPI Platinum Europe Awards – 1999". International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2011-09-28. 
Preceded by
Hello Nasty by Beastie Boys
Australian ARIA Albums Chart number-one album
23–29 August 1998
6–12 September 1998
26 October - 1 November 1998
Succeeded by
Follow the Leader by KoЯn