The Altogether

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The Altogether
Orbital - The Altogether cover.jpg
Studio album by Orbital
Released 30 April 2001
Genre Techno
Acid house
Ambient techno
Label FFRR
London/Sire Records (US)
Producer Orbital
Orbital chronology
The Middle of Nowhere
The Altogether
Work 1989-2002
US edition cover
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 66/100[1]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2/5 stars[2]
NME 5/10[3]
Pitchfork Media 5.2/10[4]
Q 3/5 stars[5]
Blender 3/5 stars[6]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[7]
Almost Cool 6/10[8]
Release Magazine 8/10[9]
Mojo 3.5/5 stars[10]
Alternative Press 3.5/5 stars[11]
URB 4/5 stars[12]
Muzik 5/5 stars[13]

The Altogether is Orbital's sixth studio album and was released in 2001. It features guest vocals by the Hartnolls' brother-in-law, David Gray, a sampled Ian Dury, a sample from 'Sober' by Tool and a version of the Doctor Who theme. It was Orbital's last album for FFRR and received a mixed critical reception.

Track listing[edit]

UK edition[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Tension"   5:53
2. "Funny Break (One Is Enough)"   4:55
3. "Oi!"   5:04
4. "Pay Per View"   5:11
5. "Tootled"   4:51
6. "Last Thing"   5:12
7. "Doctor?"   5:30
8. "Shadows"   5:48
9. "Waving Not Drowning"   4:31
10. "Illuminate" (featuring David Gray) 5:27
11. "Meltdown"   10:18

US edition[edit]

For the US release, the album was given a double-disc treatment, with many of the songs on the second disc being B-sides from various other releases. Despite being initially billed as a limited-edition release,[citation needed] this version remains the standard US release.

Disc 1
No. Title Length
1. "Tension"   5:53
2. "Funny Break (One Is Enough)"   4:55
3. "Oi!"   5:04
4. "Pay Per View"   5:11
5. "Tootled"   4:51
6. "Last Thing"   5:12
7. "Doctor?"   5:30
8. "Shadows"   5:48
9. "Waving Not Drowning"   4:31
10. "Illuminate"   5:27
11. "Meltdown"   10:18
Disc 2
No. Title Length
1. "Bigpipe Style"   5:16
2. "Monorail"   6:18
3. "Much Ado About Nothing Left"   5:13
4. "An Fhomhair"   6:59
5. "Doctor Look Out"   5:13
6. "Beelzebeat"   8:26
7. "Nothing Left Out"   6:04
8. "Old Style"   5:55
9. "Funny Break (Weekend Ravers Mix)"   8:28
10. "Mock Tudor"   7:38
11. "New Style"   4:56

DVD Version[edit]

Because "The Strongroom" (Orbital's London studio run by the unofficial "third member", their producer Mickey Mann) had capabilities for mixing surround audio they decided to make a DVD release of The Altogether. The DVD is very rich in content and has an extensive navigation that invites the viewer to explore and try out various things to find hidden features, for example in the video to "Shadows" there are different angles available. The DVD features some fake commercials and an imaginary children's programme called "Play Factory" (in the video for "Waving Not Drowning"), which includes actor Brian Cant in a similar role to that as presenter of Play School.

It features mixed audio in stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1. The bonus tracks "Meltdown", "Doctor?" and the hidden track "Monorail" (not mentioned on the cover) are Dolby Digital 5.1 only.

No. Title Extras Length
1. "Tension"   alternative live footage 6:19
2. "Funny Break (One Is Enough)" (shortened) Funny Peculiar (the making of Funny Break) 3:57
3. "Oi!"     5:04
4. "Pay Per View"   • alternative audio: footage sound
• the commercials from "Pay Per View"
5. "Tootled"     4:50
6. "Last Thing"     5:12
7. "Shadows"   multiple angles 6:01
8. "Waving Not Drowning"   out-takes/behind-the-scenes (6 versions) 4:30
9. "Illuminate" (featuring David Gray)   5:27
Bonus tracks
No. Title Extras Length
10. "Doctor?"   multiple angles 5:32
11. "Meltdown" (extended)   22:00
12. "Monorail"   multiple angles 6:37


"The track grew out of incidental music we were doing for this BBC Two film [by photographer Nick Waplington for the TX series]," Paul Hartnoll told Q. "We had this '50s vocal sample and then decided to put a sort of surf guitar thing on top. It gives it this Batman-type feel. We decided to call it techno-skiffle or something."[14]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Bush, John. "Orbital: The Altogether > Review" at AllMusic. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Q (6/01, p.110) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...Their spikiest, most experimental album in some time...acknowledging their punk roots by sampling Ian Dury, The Cramps and Crass..."
  6. ^ Their grooves can sometimes roll on as if unattended -- which is fine for living-room techno, but not for the pop songs they're trying to emulate. [Jun/Jul 2001, p.114]
  7. ^ Blashill, Pat (11 October 2001). "Orbital: The Altogether". Rolling Stone (Straight Arrow) (RS 879). ISSN 0035-791X. Archived from the original on 28 April 2007. 
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ Mojo (Publisher) (5/01, p.116) - "...The trademark lush, sweeping soundscapes are here, but THE ALTIGETHER is more of an album of one-offs and collaborations, odd sound-sources and aural digs....the sound of a band having a lot of fun..."
  11. ^ While the album certainly is a lot of fun, it may turn off fans who have come to expect moody electronica from the Hartnolls. [Oct 2001, p.98]
  12. ^ The Altogether is, all stated evidence to the contrary, a remarkable work. Why? Because it is the product of two brothers who, understanding that they can kid neither the audience nor themselves, mapped a musical course based on their root love -- musical energy -- and never strayed. [Sep 2001, p.147]
  13. ^ Muzik (5/01, p.61) - 5 out of 5 - "...Slick, self-assured...Hartnolls' ability to surprise remains firmly intact....Orbital not only remind you how good the 'Dr Who' theme is - but they can make you dance to it as well..."
  14. ^ Q, May 2001

External links[edit]