Beginner’s guide to William Orbit

The slightly crazy producer and remixer who helped make Madonna‘s comeback a reality also has an extended solo career behind him, and if you hadn’t realised that before now then you really have a lot of great music to look forward to.

Key moments

That time he reinvented the concept of classical music with the original Pieces in a Modern Style, or perhaps when he helped Beth Orton kick off her career with the amazing Water from a Vine Leaf.

Where to start

Start with 1995’s Strange Cargo Hinterland (it doesn’t actually have his name on the front), as it’s probably his most varied and representative work.

What to buy

Definitely grab Pieces in a Modern Style (2000) to see what he did to all those classical pieces, and Hello Waveforms (2006) to hear some of his non-themed work, including a great collaboration with Sugababes. Finally go with 1993’s Strange Cargo III, because a music collection without Water from a Vine Leaf would be meaningless.

Don’t bother with

His 1987 debut Orbit, which is largely forgettable.

Hidden treasure

The remixes of his 2009 singles Optical Illusions and Purdy are pretty much all exceptional. All the Strange Cargo albums contain surprises, but my personal favourite is the guitar-driven Via Caliente from the original Strange Cargo (1987).

For stowaways

1 thought on “Beginner’s guide to William Orbit

  1. Pingback: The complete beginner’s guide | Music for stowaways

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