Our Top 10 Beth Orton Songs list presents the best Beth Orton Songs like “She Cries Your Name,” “Stolen Car” “Central Reservation” and many more. Best known for her mixing elements of electronica and folk music together, folktronica musical artist Elizabeth Caroline Orton first began to make a name for herself as a recording artist in 1993 after the release of her debut album, Superpinkymandy. It was named after a rag doll she purchased at a jumble sale when she was six years old. (A jumble sale is to the United Kingdom what a secondhand store is to North Americans.)
Prior to Beth Orton’s debut as a recording artist, she was born on December 14, 1970, in East Dereham, Norfolk, and was raised as one of three children to parents who were journalists. However, her father left the family when she was eleven years old. Shortly after doing so, he passed away.
When she was fourteen, she moved to East London’s Dalston. Five years later, her mother passed away from cancer. For Orton, the loss of her mother prompted her to briefly stay with Buddhist nuns in Thailand before returning to London.
After working as a waitress, then managing her own catering company, Beth Orton embarked on an acting career that had her tour throughout the U.K., Russia, and Ukraine before shifting her interest to performing and recording music.
1993’s Superpinkymandy was the result of Beth Orton’s debut as a recording artist. This was an album that was released only to the Japanese market at the time as a limited edition of no more than 5,000 copies. The music featured here had versions of songs that were very different from 1996’s Trailer Park.
Trailer Park was Beth Orton’s big debut as a musician for her native U.K. audience. This was also her first studio recording that would be released in the U.S. as well. The album received positive reviews after it was released, as well as earning Orton a loyal fan following.
In addition to a solo career as a musical artist, Orton also collaborated with William Orbit, Andrew Weatherall, Red Snapper, and The Chemical Brothers.
For Orton, her popularity as a musician grew even more after her 1999 album, Central Reservation, earned a BRIT Award for Best Female Solo Artist. In 2002, Daybreaker served as another successful studio album that kept Orton’s momentum going as a fan favorite around the world. This led to 2006’s Comfort of Strangers before she took a break so she could start a family. It would be at this time she gave birth to her daughter, Nancy. Five years later, she gave birth to her son, Arthur. It was the same year she married his father, fellow musician Sam Amidon.
Comebacks and Impressions
2012’s Sugaring Season was Beth Orton’s comeback. Unlike her previous albums, the tracks were mostly acoustic performances. This was followed by 2016’s Kidsticks, then 2022’s Weather Alive. So far, Orton has eight studio albums to her credit. Trailer Park and Central Reservation both became certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry while Daybreaker became silver.
In addition to Orton’s studio albums are two compilation albums and three extended plays. There were eighteen singles that were released between 1993 to 2018 that’s been credited to her as a solo artist, along with two promotional singles. As a featured artist, Orton’s discographic portfolio includes an impressive series of singles performed with a long list of recording artists.
As for Orton’s fan following, not only did the devout applaud her return as a performer but it grew even further as popular television shows such as Charmed, Dawson’s Creek, and Grey’s Anatomy were among the few that featured her music on various episodes of their programs.
Top 10 Beth Orton Songs
#10 – Thinking About Tomorrow
As a singer, Beth Orton often covered musical material that revolved around hard relationships that either ended bitterly or too soon. Isn’t that what makes a song great to begin with? The blues made a niche out of songs that revolved around events that did a number on a person’s psyche. For Orton, “Thinking About Tomorrow” was a song about letting go of the past and present so that tomorrow’s possibilities have a chance at a brighter future. This fan favorite became a number fifty-seven hit on the UK Singles Chart after it was released in 2003 from the album Daybreaker.
#9 – Touch Me with Your Love
Released in 1997 from the album, Trailer Park, “Touch Me With Your Love” was a number sixty hit on the UK Singles Chart. As a song, Beth Orton’s reflection of a past love served as a beautifully haunting song of wanting. The warmth of Orton’s voice as she performed a refreshing approach to a love song was simply spectacular. There’s a reason why she has a loyal fan following as her brand of folk music never conformed to the commercialized mainstream standards that always seem to take center stage.
#8 – Anywhere
What made “Anywhere” great as a song was not just the beautiful opener of instrumentals but Beth Orton’s promise to help make things better for the listener as they take in this folksy number. On the UK Singles Chart, “Anywhere” became a number fifty-five hit after it was released as a single in 2002 from the album, Daybreaker.
#7 – Best Bit
As an EP, Best Bit was released just prior to her 1999 album release, Central Reservation. As a single, “Best Bit” charted as high as number thirty-six on the UK Singles Chart. As a song, this is a fan favorite among a fan base that truly appreciates Beth Orton’s brand of folk music. It was also a song that reflected upon reality and how sometimes certain expectations lead to results that aren’t always as optimal as we’d like them to be. For a good reflective song to listen to without too much instrumental noise, “Best Bit” is it.
#6 – Someone’s Daughter
In 1997, “Someone’s Daughter” was the fourth single Beth Orton released from her album, Trailer Park. On the Official UK Singles Chart, it peaked as high as number forty-nine. For Orton, the loss of her father happened twice while she was still in her youth. The first time was when he separated from her mother, then when he passed away shortly after. Orton was eleven years old when this occurred. Eight years later, she lost her mother to cancer. After spending time doing some soul searching, Beth Orton turned to music as a means to express herself. In addition to performing as a folk artist, the blend of electronica-style music in her performances is what made Orton stand out as a fan favorite.
#5 – Concrete Sky
On the US Billboard Adult Album Alternative chart, “Concrete Sky” became a number fourteen hit after it was released as a single in 2002. It came from the album, Daybreaker. As a song, “Concrete Sky” has been used during special events among a fan base that appreciated Beth Orton’s musical approach to what a little faith can do to lift a person’s spirit.
#4 – Conceived
“Conceived” was a single that came from Beth Orton’s sixth studio album, Comfort of Strangers. It was first released as a download before as a physical copy. On the UK Singles Chart, it became a number forty-four hit. On the US Billboard Adult Album Alternative chart, “Conceived” peaked as high as number four. The beauty behind Orton’s has been the ability to captivate the audience with clean lyrics that are distinct, rich, and soothing to the soul.
#3 – Central Reservation
“Central Reservation” was the title track from the award-winning album that served Beth Orton’s most successful recording to date. This was a different version than its original acoustic version, one which became a number thirty-seven hit on the UK Singles Chart in 1999. It also made a number forty-three chart impression on the US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart. The music video for “Central Reservation” was filmed in New York City and has so far received nearly half a million views on YouTube.
As a vocal talent, Beth Orton always knew how to deliver. Instead of allowing Crohn’s Disease to get the better part of her, she continually impresses the listener with a sound quality that’s meant to entertain with a musical story. In that regard, she’s done that very well throughout her recording career.
#2 – Stolen Car
From Central Reservation, “Stolen Car” became Beth Orton’s most successful single as a recording artist. On the US Billboard Adult Album Alternative chart, it was a number nine hit. On the US Billboard Alternative Airplay chart, it peaked at number thirty-two. In addition to making her biggest impression on the American audience, Orton’s success with “Stolen Car” also became a number thirty-four hit on the UK Singles Chart. Among some fans, “Stolen Car” suggested the song revolved around an abusive relationship. However, among all fans, this song was a solid favorite, thanks to what Orton brands as folktronica.
#1 – She Cries Your Name
“She Cries Your Name” was a 1996 release that came from Beth Orton’s debut album, Superpinkymandy. There was also a slightly different version released on her 1996 album, Trailer Park. The first release saw this song peak at number seventy-six on the UK Singles Chart while the second release peaked at number forty. Prior to this, she also performed this song with William Orbit in 1995 for his album, Strange Cargo Hinterland. With over one million YouTube views of “She Cries Your Name,” this has become one of Orton’s most popular songs.
The song seemed to reflect upon the dying embers of a relationship. When this song was first recorded, Beth Orton was close to fellow recording artist, William Orbit. This was at the start of Orton’s career while Orbit’s was at its peak. The hint of loneliness is felt while listening to what truly is one of Orton’s best lyrical performances to date.
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Top 10 Beth Orton Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022
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