Midnight at the Oasis

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"Midnight at the Oasis"
"Midnight at the Oasis" Single by Maria Muldaur.jpg
Single by Maria Muldaur
from the album Maria Muldaur
B-side"Any Old Time"
ReleasedFebruary 1974
GenreSoft rock[1]
Songwriter(s)David Nichtern
Producer(s)Lenny Waronker, Joe Boyd
Official audio
"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.[2] 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".[3] 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.[citation needed]

The song features an instrumental section that features the guitar work of Amos Garrett.[4]

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.[5]



Chart performance[edit]

Brand New Heavies version[edit]

"Midnight at the Oasis"
The Brand New Heavies-Midnight at the Oasis.jpg
Single by The Brand New Heavies
from the album Brother Sister
ReleasedAugust 1994
RecordedMarch 1994
GenreAcid jazzFunk
LabelFFRR, Delicious Vinyl
Songwriter(s)David Nichtern
The Brand New Heavies singles chronology
"Back to Love"
"Midnight at the Oasis"

A version of this song was recorded by the group Brand New Heavies, attributed to "Brand New Heavies featuring N'Dea Davenport".[14] 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.

Critical reception[edit]

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!"[15] 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."[16]

Music video[edit]

A music video was made to accompany the song. It was directed by directors Max Giwa and Dania Pasquini, known as just Max & Dania.[17]

Track listing[edit]

CD single, UK
  1. "Midnight at the Oasis" (Radio Version) – (3:48)
  2. "Midnight at the Oasis" (Rogers Brand New Radio Anthem) – (4:35)
CD single, UK (BNHCD 05)
  1. "Midnight at the Oasis" (Radio Version) – (3:48)
  2. "Midnight at the Oasis" (Extended Version)
  3. "Midnight at the Oasis" (Opaz 7" Version)
  4. "Midnight at the Oasis" (Roger's Brand New Radio Anthem) – (4:35)


Chart (1994) Peak
Germany (Official German Charts) 68
New Zealand (RIANZ) 48
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[18] 11
UK Singles (Official Charts Company) 13
UK Dance Singles (Music Week)[19] 8


  • Simon Bartholomew
  • N'Dea Davenport – Vocals
  • Jan Kincaid
  • Richard Stilgoe
  • Andrew Levy

Other covers[edit]

Remix version[edit]

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.[citation needed]

In popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ "Top Pop Singles" (PDF). Billboard. New York, New York: Billboard Publications, Inc. December 28, 1974. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  3. ^ Greenwald, Matthew. "Song Review: Midnight at the Oasis, Maria Muldaur". AllMusic. Retrieved 16 March 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "Amos Garrett". Homespun Video. Archived from the original on 2006-11-05. Retrieved 2007-03-18. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Maria Muldaur (4 of 8) – Midnight at the Oasis on YouTube from Living Legends (January 8, 2008)
  6. ^ "Maria Muldaur (LP)". aln3.albumlinernotes.
  7. ^ Maria Muldaur at Discogs
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ "RPM Top Singles". RPM Weekly. RPM. 8 June 1974. Retrieved 16 March 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ "RPM Pop Music Playlist". RPM Weekly. RPM. 22 June 1974. Retrieved 16 March 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ "Adult Contemporary". Billboard. 4 May 1975. Retrieved 16 March 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ "The Top 200 Singles of '74". RPM Weekly. RPM. 28 December 1974. Retrieved 16 March 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ "Topp 100 Hits of 1974/Top 100 Songs of 1974". Music Outfitters. Retrieved 16 March 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  14. ^ 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)
  15. ^ "New Releases: Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. 10 September 1994. p. 10. Retrieved 15 March 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  16. ^ 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)
  17. ^ "the brand new heavies - midnight at the oasis ( viva tv )". YouTube. Retrieved 23 August 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  18. ^ "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)
  19. ^ "Dance Singles" (PDF). Music Week. 13 August 1994. p. 26. Retrieved 26 April 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]