#TBT – Natalie Imbruglia – Left Of The Middle (1997)

Time for another look back at the history of modern pop music and reminisce. I like taking the time to listen to music of old and reflect on how good it was and what it brought to the table at the time.

Natalie Imbruglia

This time, it is time to discuss the debut album of Australian singer and actress Natalie Imbruglia. Natalie was mega famous in both Australia and the UK in the early-90’s after her stint of acting in the popular soap opera “Neighbours”. She left the soap in 1994 to move to London and pursue a music career. This does bear some resemblance to the makings of fellow Australian singer and actress Kylie Minogue, who also starred in the very same soap opera as Natalie. Natalie wanted to be a bit different though and wanted to be seen more as a rock chick rather than a pop princess.

Roll on to 1997, and Natalie is preparing the release of her very first debut music solo album, called “Left Of The Middle”. It was preceded by a massive breakthrough hit called “Torn” which I think is the song Natalie is well remembered for.The song reached #2 in both Australia and the UK but the radio airplay of the song was huge, I think it must have been played every minute somewhere and on some station. You couldn’t escape the enormosity of the song. The song even got Natalie recognised in the USA and in European markets too. It was a fantastic start to the career of Natalie Imbruglia, the music star and the album was on the way.

What I love about the album more than anything is how fresh that sound was back in 1997, like it was the pop-rock sound that Alanis Morisette had made popular but intwined with a grungey London type sound too. The album had some massive hits on there including, of course, “Torn” but also “Smoke”, “Big Mistake” but also my favourite “One More Addiction”. I often listen ot it on my iTunes and I can’t help but belt along to the songs if they come on in my car, they are proper drivetime tunes. The album went 4x Platinum in the UK alone and to date, has sold a total of 7million+ worldwide.

Billboard (US) reviewed the album in early 1998 when it was to be released over there and described it like this:

Set up by the runaway success of the alterna-pop single “Torn”, debut album by Australian child actress-turned-songwriter Natalie Imbruglia exploded onto The Billboard 200 at No. 10 last issue and stays impressively high this issue. The photogenic, UK-based singer–whose career path is not too different from that of Canadian contemporary Alanis Morissette–stands to follow the success of “Torn” with such other viable pop and rock cuts as “Leave Me Alone”, “Don’t You Think”, “Impressed” and “Wishing I Was There”. An album with ample possibilities at modern AC, modern rock, mainstream rock, and pop stations.

So let’s watch a couple of music videos shall we? First up is the big world wide hit, “Torn” which has had a total of 74 plays on my Last.FM:

Next up is another big hit from the album, this is “Big Mistake” which was released in 1998 and to date has had a total of 28 plays on my Last.FM:

Do you still enjoy listening to this album? Maybe you haven’t heard it and would like to, well you can find the link to listen to it on Apple Music embedded in the cover art below. Do you have any memories of this album from back in the day? Please get in touch.