Midnight at the Oasis
|"Midnight at the Oasis"|
|Single by Maria Muldaur|
|from the album Maria Muldaur|
|B-side||"Any Old Time"|
|Producer(s)||Lenny Waronker, Joe Boyd|
|"Midnight at the Oasis" on YouTube|
"Midnight at the Oasis" is a 1973 song written by David Nichtern. It was recorded by the singer Maria Muldaur for her self-titled album and is her best-known recording; it peaked at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #21 in the UK Singles Chart in the spring of 1974. Billboard ranked it as the No. 13 song for 1974. It was also nominated for both Record of the Year and Song of the Year at the 17th Annual Grammy Awards, held in 1975. In Canada, the song reached #2 in the RPM magazine singles charts and #45 in the year-end chart.
The song is a saucy, teasing offer of a desert love affair, in a fantasy setting that owes more to Rudolph Valentino sheik movies than to real Middle Eastern deserts. AllMusic reviewer Matthew Greenwald describes the song as "so sensual and evocative that it was probably one of the most replayed records of the era and may be responsible for the most pregnancies from a record during the mid-'70s". Some of the lyrics are doubtlessly suggestive (such as: "let's slip off to a sand dune ... and kick up a little dust"; "you won't need no camel ... when I take you for a ride"), but the tone is playful throughout.
The lyric, "Cactus is our friend", is used several times in the song, but cacti are actually New World plants, native to North America, South America, and the West Indies, and are not naturally found on the Arabian Peninsula. However there are species of cactus native to the Sahara, although their forms would not fit with the song's lyrics.
In 2008, Muldaur recalled that she wanted to add the song to her album as an "afterthought" at the last minute. She has acknowledged that people do approach her at her concerts or events and claim that this song has inspired sexual encounters, loss of virginity, and pregnancy.
Brand New Heavies version
|"Midnight at the Oasis"|
|Single by The Brand New Heavies|
|from the album Brother Sister|
|Label||FFRR, Delicious Vinyl|
|The Brand New Heavies singles chronology|
A version of this song was recorded by the group Brand New Heavies, attributed to "Brand New Heavies featuring N'Dea Davenport". This version reached number 13 in the UK and number 11 in Scotland in August 1994, and was their biggest hit up until the departure of Davenport, when "Sometimes" made #11. The song featured on their 1994 album Brother Sister.
Music & Media said, "Usually lite funky music is identified with garden parties and romantic restaurants at night by trendy clubbers, but not if marketed under the Acid Jazz banner. This is hip guys!" Alan Jones from Music Week gave it 4 out of 5. He wrote, "Stripped of the stretched jazzy gliding that typified Maria Muldaur's original, this 1974 hit is speeded up somewhat but adapts perfectly to the Acid Jazz treatment. More radical overhauls are also included for clubs, where the record is already going down a storm."
- CD single, UK
- "Midnight at the Oasis" (Radio Version) – (3:48)
- "Midnight at the Oasis" (Rogers Brand New Radio Anthem) – (4:35)
- CD single, UK (BNHCD 05)
- "Midnight at the Oasis" (Radio Version) – (3:48)
- "Midnight at the Oasis" (Extended Version)
- "Midnight at the Oasis" (Opaz 7" Version)
- "Midnight at the Oasis" (Roger's Brand New Radio Anthem) – (4:35)
|Germany (Official German Charts)||68|
|New Zealand (RIANZ)||48|
|Scotland (Official Charts Company)||11|
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||13|
|UK Dance Singles (Music Week)||8|
- Simon Bartholomew
- N'Dea Davenport – Vocals
- Jan Kincaid
- Richard Stilgoe
- Andrew Levy
This section does not cite any sources. (August 2020) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
- Jazz versions of this song have been recorded by Hubert Laws on The Chicago Theme and by Freddie Hubbard on the live album Gleam and the studio album Liquid Love.
- Percy Faith recorded an easy listening version on Chinatown Feat. the Entertainer (1974), which features the guitar work of Larry Carlton.
- A cover version of the song appears on the album Dust Yourself Off (1975) by the funk band Pleasure.
- Saxophone instrumental version by Rudy Pompilli, player for Bill Haley & His Comets), was included on his 1976 album Rudy's Rock: The Sax That Changed the World.
- Betty Wright Live (1978), by Betty Wright, includes a medley version of "Clean Up Woman" that includes parts of "Midnight at the Oasis".
- The Sun City Girls released a version of the song on their album Midnight Cowboys from Ipanema (1986).
- The American jazz guitarist Steve Oliver released a version of the song on his album First View (1993).
- That Dog released a version of the song on the album Spirit of '73: Rock for Choice (1995).
- Jazz guitarist Martin Taylor included an instrumental version on his album Kiss and Tell (2000) with support from saxophonist Kirk Whalum.
- Actress and Broadway singer Valarie Pettiford of UPN's Half & Half covered the song on her album Hear My Soul (2004).
- Renee Olstead sings the song on her 2004 self-titled album.
- Marina Prior recorded the song for her album Both Sides Now (2012).
In 2004, Muldaur's original version was featured on the CD What Is Hip: Remix Project 1, a compilation of pop songs remixed for the clubs. The single is billed as the "Cuica Remix", with the track extended from its 3:49 recording to 4:49, incorporating portions of the background vocal, strings, and instrumental break with semi-chilled out Ibiza-themed elements.
In popular culture
- An instrumental version was used in the movie White Line Fever (1975), as was another David Nichtern song, "Drifting and Dreaming of You".
- It was performed in American Pie at the prom.
- The song is sung by the lounge act at the hotel in Sofia Coppola's film Lost in Translation.
- In the film The First $20 Million Is Always the Hardest (2002), Andy (played by Adam Garcia) plays this song while sitting on the floor of his room, and Alisa (Rosario Dawson) comes in singing and dancing.
- In Whisper (2007), when Roxanne (Sarah Wayne Callies) lulls the kidnapped boy, David Sandborn (Blake Woodruff) to sleep.
- The song was frequently used as bumper music on Coast to Coast AM with Art Bell.
- The song was performed by Sheila and Ron Albertson (Catherine O'Hara and Fred Willard) in their audition for the community theatre musical "Red, White, and Blaine" in the Christopher Guest mockumentary "Waiting for Guffman".
- Fontenot, Robert (February 21, 2016). "Too Much Information: The 10 Ickiest '70s Love Songs". About.com. Archived from the original on May 7, 2016. Retrieved March 16, 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Top Pop Singles" (PDF). Billboard. New York, New York: Billboard Publications, Inc. December 28, 1974. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
- Greenwald, Matthew. "Song Review: Midnight at the Oasis, Maria Muldaur". AllMusic. Retrieved 16 March 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Amos Garrett". Homespun Video. Archived from the original on 2006-11-05. Retrieved 2007-03-18. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- on YouTube from Living Legends (January 8, 2008)
- "Maria Muldaur (LP)". aln3.albumlinernotes.
- Maria Muldaur at Discogs
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 211. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
- "RPM Top Singles". RPM Weekly. RPM. 8 June 1974. Retrieved 16 March 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "RPM Pop Music Playlist". RPM Weekly. RPM. 22 June 1974. Retrieved 16 March 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Adult Contemporary". Billboard. 4 May 1975. Retrieved 16 March 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "The Top 200 Singles of '74". RPM Weekly. RPM. 28 December 1974. Retrieved 16 March 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Topp 100 Hits of 1974/Top 100 Songs of 1974". Music Outfitters. Retrieved 16 March 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Arena, James (5 December 2016). Stars of '90s Dance Pop: 29 Hitmakers Discuss Their Careers. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co. p. 232. ISBN 978-1476667560. Retrieved 16 March 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "New Releases: Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. 10 September 1994. p. 10. Retrieved 15 March 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Jones, Alan (23 July 1994). "Market Preview: Mainstream - Singles - Pick of the Week" (PDF). Music Week. p. 20. Retrieved 18 April 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "the brand new heavies - midnight at the oasis ( viva tv )". YouTube. Retrieved 23 August 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100 07 August 1994 - 13 August 1994". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 15 March 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Dance Singles" (PDF). Music Week. 13 August 1994. p. 26. Retrieved 26 April 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)