Orbital 20
Halcyon (USA Best of)
Blue Album
The Altogether
The Middle of Nowhere
In Sides
Brown Album
Green Album
Album Section - LOOPZ Online Orbital Discography
Blue Album

  After 15 years working together as Orbital, Paul and Phil Hartnoll have announced that their forthcoming LP the “Blue Album” will be their last. Following the album’s release on 21st of June, Orbital will play a couple of gigs in the UK including a few festivals.

“I think we feel that Orbital has run it’s course,” says Paul Hartnoll. “We’re both pursuing different avenues with our music. And we’ve been sat, as brothers, in the same room for 15 years now–and studios are always confined spaces–I think it’s time for a change.”

Since their first single, ‘Chime’ entered the top 20 in April 1990 Orbital have released six albums and developed a live show that evolved, by common consent into one of the landmark performance shows of the last decade. They have helped to shape and develop both the character and credibility of electronic music far beyond the disposable anonymity of the first white labels and the acid house scene that they came from. In 1989–when Chime was recorded onto their dad’s cassette player–no–one expected things to come this far, least of all the band themselves.

The brothers extra–mural interests have all informed the character of The Blue Album, the bands seventh, which evolved gradually over the course of 2003 with the band free from record company expectations and schedules for the first time since their career began. “If anything,” says Paul “It’s closer in character to our first album than our later ones, if only because we made it in our own time and for ourselves.”

Fans will recognise the trademark Orbital sound when they hear it. Familiar themes from previous albums, such as religion, are also present.
“There’s a couple of references to that,” says Paul. One of my favourite tracks, “You Lot” has got this speech from Christopher Eccleston from this fantastic drama called The Second Coming. I just really loved that programme and that speech is quite typically orbital, like our other track Forever, that’s got a speech halfway through and I really love the sentiment behind that. That whole programme was about the second coming, obviously, and God.”

“We’ve got another track [One Perfect Sunrise] we did with Lisa Gerrard who was in Dead Can Dance, singing on it. That’s a spin off from something we wrote for a Sunrise scene, in another film …that’s turned out well.”

Noted for their collaborations, Orbital’s last album is no exception
featuring work from fellow sibling legends, Sparks.
“We were wanting some vocals on the track Pants, something fairly odd, and thought Sparks would be perfect,” says Paul. “It turned out they’re quite up for a bit of collaboration and said yes when we approached them. After we’d asked them I set about listening to some of their recent work and was pleasantly surprised to find it was even more bonkers than their original stuff. It was all done across the Atlantic, via file sharing and CD’s, and when we heard it we realised it was really a track in it’s own right so we remixed it and it’s ended up here as Acid Pants, it’s own thing.”

Another audible influence on the album is that of legendary transsexual composer Walter/Wendy Carlos. “Absolutely,” says Paul, “I tried to do something with a sort of Clockwork Orange feel, and that became ‘Bath Time’ . It started off by being hummed in the bath on tour before I was about to go and meet everyone for a pint in San Francisco. Got out of the bath and scribbled it down on my laptop and finished it over last summer, adding little bits in buses and vans while I was travelling. And it went on from there. It became like Clockwork Orange and Kraftwerk combined. Electronic music for electronic musics sake, dodging all real instrument sounds. Wheras ‘Easy Serve’ is weird supermarket muzak, almost like hospital muzak. Maybe it’s a supermarket where they only sell hospital items. Here’s the lip section…Either way, it’s not going to be a coffee table album. But then we’ve never done one of them. Maybe a coffee table album at three in the morning, when everyone is blind drunk and no one can remember anything anyway.”

With the album complete the band are turning their attention to their final show at Glastonbury. An appropriate venue for a farewell as it was here, exactly ten years before that Orbital delivered a live show that Q magazine listed as one of the fifty greatest live show of all time. “It’s nice to know that we’re finishing, it’s not many bands that do that. They tend to just fade away. And it’s nice to have our last gig at Glastonbury. It’s gonna be a party set, a best of Orbital. We’re not gonna sit there and try and promote the new album. I think if we’re gonna do a last gig we should do distilled set of all the best stuff we’ve done. And that’s what we’re gonna do, play all the stuff that’s stuck around for all this time because they are the favourite ones. This will definitely be our last ever live shows,” confirms Paul, “Although I’m sure Status Quo keep telling themselves the same thing.”

Blue Album release dates

UK CD / Limited Edition Vinyl - 21st June 2004
Japan with bonux track "Initiation" - 3rd July 2004
Spain - 14th June 2004
Ireland - 18th June 2004
America - 10th August 2004

1. Transient
2 . Pants
3 . Tunnel Vision
4 . Lost
5 . You Lot
6 . Bath Time
7 . Acid Pants
8 . Easy Serv
9 . One Perfect Sunrise


Sparks were made famous by their 1974 single "This town aint big enough for both of us". They have since released 19 albums. Sparks said "Paul (Hartnoll) contacted us and asked if we'd be interested in collaborating in some way for their new album. It was a process of them sending us a track which they wanted us to come up with some vocal elements. We took their track in our studio in LA, and then came up with the line, 'when the laugh track starts, then the fun starts.' It was in various permutations to fit with their track. We sent our work back to the guys in Brighton and they spliced and diced"

Written / Produced by Orbital


UK Promo CD

Orbital Music Records

Cat Number = Orbitalcd0002

UK General Release
Cd Version - Orbitalcd001
Lp version - Orbitalv001

Written / Produced by Orbital except:-
Transient written by Orbital / Instrumental
Vocals on Acid Pants - Sparks
Vocals on One Perfect Sunrise - Lisa Gerrard

1. Transient
2 . Pants
3 . Tunnel Vision
4 . Lost
5 . You Lot
6 . Bath Time
7 . Acid Pants
8 . Easy Serv
9 . One Perfect Sunrise

UK General Release - June 21st 2004

Orbital Music Records

One Perfect Sunrise is the full version.

Lost is a reworked version of the Octane demo.

CD - Orbitalcd001
Limited Edition LP - Orbitalv001

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