The Middle of Nowhere (Orbital album)

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The Middle Of Nowhere
Studio album by Orbital
Released 5 April 1999
Recorded 1997–1998
Genre Techno, house, ambient techno
Length 63:59
Label FFRR
London/Sire Records (US)
Producer Orbital
Orbital chronology
In Sides
The Middle of Nowhere
The Altogether
Singles from The Middle Of Nowhere
  1. "Style"
    Released: March 1999
  2. "Nothing Left"
    Released: July 1999

The Middle of Nowhere is the fifth album released by Orbital. It was released in 1999, where it peaked at #4 and spent 7 weeks in the UK albums chart.

The album[edit]

The track "Know Where to Run" was featured in the PlayStation game Wipeout 3.

While released in April 1999, it was finished much earlier, and unspecified problems led to the record label delaying its release for nearly 6 months. [1]



Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[2]
Entertainment Weekly B+[3]
NME 8/10[4]
Spin 7/10[5]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[6]
Melody Maker 4.5/5 stars[7]
Almost Cool 7.5/10[8]
Release Magazine 7/10[9]

John Bush of Allmusic noted that "even considering the lack of real progression in sound, Middle of Nowhere reflects the pair once again making all the right moves and not slowing down a bit," giving the album four stars out of five.[10] Mark Bautz's review for Entertainment Weekly concluded that ravers should take note, as the album, "which has the goods to become this summer's feel-good record...will soon be everywhere," giving the album the grade of B+.[11] NME gave the album the score of 8/10 and concluded that "this, if you want it, is therapy. As the boundaries of the future and the beyond are slowly mapped and planed, it's the confines of the skull the Hartnoll brothers are delicately probing here. It might take you a while, but you'll get there in the end. The middle of nowhere is always closer than you think."[12]

Rolling Stone gave the album three and a half stars out of five, saying the "songs meld into each other as they would during a DJ set, female vocalists moan in and out of the mix, and syncopated rhythms dance the funky robot. You'll do the same."[13] Almost Cool rated the album 7.5/10, telling readers that "if you've listened to much Orbital at all, the disc will probably sound familiar to you the first time you listen to it. It's not to say that it isn't innovative or interesting, but there's a quality about it like you haven't seen a good friend in awhile and they're just telling you some new stories. If there's ever a electronic music hall-of-fame, these guys had better get in there in a dang hurry,"[14] while Spin Magazine noted how "in the high-turnover world of dance culture, Orbital...[craft] tunes that sing in your heart."[15] Perhaps the most praise came from Melody Maker, who awarded the album four and a half stars, telling readers the album is "their best yet."[16]

Marshall Bowden of PopMatters noted that The Chemical Brothers' 2002 track "Hoops" "with its weird Association sample ("Round Again") spun into a minor key acoustic guitar calliope that morphs into a groove not unlike something from Orbital's Middle of Nowhere."[17]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Paul Hartnoll & Phil Hartnoll unless stated. 

No. Title Writer(s) Additional performers Length
1. "Way Out →"   Paul Hartnoll, Phil Hartnoll, Barbara Cohen, Paul Robb Brother Sun Sister Moon 8:00
2. "Spare Parts Express"       10:07
3. "Know Where to Run"       9:42
4. "I Don't Know You People"       7:47
5. "Otoño"   Hartnoll, Hartnoll, Natasha Jones, Sharon Lewis Pooka 5:48
6. "Nothing Left 1"     Alison Goldfrapp 7:49
7. "Nothing Left 2"     Alison Goldfrapp 8:21
8. "Style"       6:24


  1. ^
  2. ^ Bush, John. "Orbital: The Middle of Nowhere > Review" at AllMusic. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  3. ^,,64140,00.html
  4. ^
  5. ^ Spin (7/99, pp.128,130) - 7 (out of 10) - "...THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE picks up where 1996's IN SIDES left off- stirring soundtrack music in search of a movie....enjoyably old-fashioned....In the high-turnover world of dance culture, Orbital...[craft] tunes that sing in your heart."
  6. ^ Walters, Barry (10 June 1999). "Orbital: The Middle Of Nowhere". Rolling Stone (Straight Arrow) (RS 814). ISSN 0035-791X. Archived from the original on 1 October 2007. 
  7. ^ Melody Maker (4/3/99, p.37) - 4 1/2 stars (out of 5) - "...Their best yet."
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^,,64140,00.html
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ Spin (7/99, pp.128,130) - 7 (out of 10)
  16. ^ Melody Maker (4/3/99, p.37)
  17. ^

External links[edit]