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
Format7" 45rpm
GenreSoft rock[1]
Songwriter(s)David Nichtern
Producer(s)Lenny Waronker, Joe Boyd

"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"; "cactus is our friend ... he'll point out the way"), but the tone is playful throughout.[citation needed]

The song features a 1970s-defining instrumental bridge, particularly memorable for 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.

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"
Single by The Brand New Heavies
from the album Brother Sister
ReleasedAugust 1994
7 inch vinyl
RecordedMarch 1994
GenreAcid jazzFunk
LabelFFRR, Delicious Vinyl
Songwriter(s)David Nichtern
The Brand New Heavies singles chronology
"Back To Love"
"Midnight at the Oasis"
"Spend Some Time"

A version of this song was recorded by the group Brand New Heavies, attributed to "Brand New Heavies featuring N'Dea Davenport".[12] This version reached #13 in the UK 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.

Track listing[edit]

UK CD Single[edit]

  1. "Midnight at the Oasis" (Radio Version) – (3:48)
  2. "Midnight at the Oasis" (Rogers Brand New Radio Anthem) – (4:35)

UK CD Single BNHCD 05[edit]

  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)


  • 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.
  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.
  4. ^ "Amos Garrett". Homespun Video. Archived from the original on 2006-11-05. Retrieved 2007-03-18.
  5. ^ Maria Muldaur (4 of 8) – Midnight at the Oasis on YouTube from Living Legends (January 8, 2008)
  6. ^ Maria Muldaur at Discogs
  7. ^ "RPM Top Singles". RPM Weekly. RPM. 8 June 1974. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  8. ^ "RPM Pop Music Playlist". RPM Weekly. RPM. 22 June 1974. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  9. ^ "Adult Contemporary". Billboard. 4 May 1975. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  10. ^ "The Top 200 Singles of '74". RPM Weekly. RPM. 28 December 1974. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  11. ^ "Topp 100 Hits of 1974/Top 100 Songs of 1974". Music Outfitters. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  12. ^ Arena, James. Stars of '90s Dance Pop: 29 Hitmakers Discuss Their Careers. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co. p. 232. ISBN 147666756X. Retrieved 16 March 2018.

External links[edit]