Left of the Middle

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Left of the Middle
Natalie Imbruglia - Left of the Middle.png
Studio album by
Released24 November 1997
LabelRCA Records
ProducerMatt 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
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

Left of the Middle is the debut studio album by Australian singer Natalie Imbruglia. Released by RCA Records 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.[3] 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.[4]

RCA released Left of the Middle in the United Kingdom on 8 December 1997. Although the record and single were not released in the United States until spring 1998, Imbruglia was already gaining attention with the American alternative/pop audience. KROQ-FM was 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 6 March 1998, followed the next night by an appearance on the television comedy show Saturday Night Live. On 10 March 1998, Left of the Middle entered store shelves in the United States and entered the Billboard chart at No. 10, selling more than 84,000 copies.[5] The album went certified platinum just five weeks after its release date, making it the fastest album to break that mark in RCA history.[6] By 18 March 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,[7] making it the best-selling debut album ever by a female Australian singer.[8][9] 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]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[2]
Entertainment WeeklyC+[10]
Los Angeles Times3/4 stars[11]
Q3/5 stars[12]
Rolling Stone2/5 stars[13]
The Village VoiceC+[14]

Billboard 200:

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]

2."One More Addiction"
  • Natalie Imbruglia
  • Dave Munday
  • Thornalley
3."Big Mistake"3:54
4."Leave Me Alone"
5."Wishing I Was There"
  • Imbruglia
  • Matt Bronleewe
7."Pigeons and Crumbs"
  • Imbruglia
  • Goldenberg
8."Don't You Think?"
  • Campsie
  • Thornalley
  • Imbruglia
  • Rick Palombi
  • Nick Trevisik
  • Imbruglia
  • Munday
  • Thornalley
  • Imbruglia
  • Thornalley
12."Left of the Middle"
  • Imbruglia
  • Steve Booker


Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1998) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[16] 1
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[17] 21
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[18] 2
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[19] 11
Canadian Albums (CRIA) 9[citation needed]
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[20] 2
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[21] 8
French Albums (SNEP)[22] 14
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[23] 4
Hungarian Albums (Mahasz) 15[citation needed]
Irish Albums (IRMA) 53[citation needed]
Italian Albums (FIMI)[24] 4
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[25] 10
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[26] 39
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[27] 2
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[28] 3
UK Albums (OCC) 5[citation needed]
US Billboard 200 10[citation needed]

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1998) Position
German Albums Chart[29] 22


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[30] 5× Platinum 450,000[8]
Belgium (BEA)[31] Platinum 50,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[32] 3× Platinum 300,000^
France (SNEP)[34] Gold 230,300[33]
Japan (RIAJ)[36] Platinum[35] 200,000^
Mexico (AMPROFON)[37] Gold 100,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[38] Gold 50,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[39] Platinum 15,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[40] Platinum 100,000^
Sweden (GLF)[41] Gold 100,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[42] Platinum 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[44] 4× Platinum 1,150,422[43]
United States (RIAA)[45] 2× Platinum 2,000,000^
Europe (IFPI)[46] 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)


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  3. ^ "History". ARIA. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
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  5. ^ Mayfield, Geoff (28 March 1998). "Between The Bullets". Billboard. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
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  7. ^ Minogue wins battle of Aussie divas. Billboard. 2002-01-19. Retrieved 2014-05-21.
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  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-11-12. Retrieved 2011-10-07.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
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  11. ^ Scribner, Sara (14 March 1998). "Natalie Imbruglia, 'Left of the Middle,' RCA". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  12. ^ "Natalie Imbruglia: Left of the Middle". Q (163): 111. April 2000.
  13. ^ Sheffield, Rob (23 March 1998). "Natalie Imbruglia: Left Of The Middle". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 15 October 2007. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  14. ^ Christgau, Robert (1 December 1998). "Consumer Guide: Turkey Shoot". The Village Voice. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
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  23. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH.
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  37. ^ "Certificaciones" (in Spanish). Asociación Mexicana de Productores de Fonogramas y Videogramas. Retrieved 2011-09-28. Type Natalie Imbruglia in the box under the ARTISTA column heading and Left of the Middle in the box under TÍTULO
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  40. ^ "Solo Exitos 1959-2002 Ano A Ano: Certificados 1996-1999". Solo Exitos 1959-2002 Ano A Ano.
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  43. ^ Jones, Alan. "Official Charts Analysis: Jess Glynne follows singles success with No.1 album". Music Week. Intent Media. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  44. ^ "British album certifications – Natalie Imbruglia – Left of the Middle". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Left of the Middle in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  45. ^ "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. 
  46. ^ "IFPI Platinum Europe Awards – 1999". International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2011-09-28.