In Sides is the fourth album recorded by Orbital, released in 1996. The name is a reference to the fact that the album was originally available as a 3-LP vinyl box set, with one track per "side" of each LP.
"The Girl with the Sun in Her Head" was dedicated to the memory of Volume magazine photographer Sally Harding who died in 1995. The track was recorded using electricity from a Greenpeace solar power generator. It opens with the sound of a heartbeat which serves as bass and develops into a cyclopean soundscape which many critics hold as one of Orbital's most accomplished peices.
"P.E.T.R.O.L." was included in the soundtracks for the video game wipE'out" and also the film π. The title of the fifth track, "Dŵr Budr" is Welsh for dirty water and was written with the recent MV Sea Empress oil tanker disaster just off the coast of Wales in mind. "Adnan's" was originally written for 1995's The Help Album benefitting War Child.
Vocals on the album are credited to the mysterious Auntie, a pseudonym used by Alison Goldfrapp on this release. Her singing on "Dŵr Budr" is nonsensical chanting, and has been rumoured to have been played backwards, though neither the brothers nor Alison will divulge any information.
American and other overseas versions of the album contained a bonus CD of tracks that had been previously released in the UK, such as "Times Fly", "The Saint", "The Sinner", "The Box" and live versions of "Satan" and "Halcyon".
The album spent 12 weeks in the UK charts in 1996, and reached a high of #5 the week of its release. By late May 2006, over 60,000 copies of the album had been sold.
The album was also included in British music magazine Melody Maker's, end-of-year, best albums / singles retrospective, among others:
Melody Maker, United Kingdom, "Albums of the Year", 1996 Position: 31
NME, United Kingdom, "1996 NME Albums", 1996 Position: 3
Mixmag, United Kingdom, "Best of 1996", 1996 Position: 3
The album was also included in Q magazines "90 Best albums of the 1990s"
The single "The Box" also made NME's Best singles of 1996 list coming in at number 5.
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