"Midnight at the Oasis"
"Midnight at the Oasis" Single by Maria Muldaur.jpg
Single by Maria Muldaur
from the album Maria Muldaur
B-side"Any Old Time"
ReleasedFebruary 1974
GenreSoft rock[1]
Songwriter(s)David Nichtern
Producer(s)Lenny Waronker, Joe Boyd
Official audio
"Midnight at the Oasis" on YouTube

"Midnight at the Oasis" is a 1973 song written by David Nichtern. It was recorded by American folk and blues singer Maria Muldaur for her self-titled album and is her best-known recording; it peaked at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #21 in the UK Singles Chart in the spring of 1974. Billboard ranked it as the No. 13 song for 1974.[2] It was also nominated for both Record of the Year and Song of the Year at the 17th Annual Grammy Awards, held in 1975. In Canada, the song reached #2 in the RPM magazine singles charts and #45 in the year-end chart.


The song is a saucy offer of a desert love affair, in a fantasy setting. AllMusic reviewer Matthew Greenwald describes the song as "so sensual and evocative that it was probably one of the most replayed records of the era and may be responsible for the most pregnancies from a record during the mid-'70s".[3]

The song includes an instrumental section that features the guitar work of Amos Garrett.[4]

The lyric, "Cactus is our friend", is used several times in the song, but cacti are New World plants (native to North America, South America, and the West Indies) and are not naturally found on the Arabian Peninsula.

In 2008, Muldaur recalled that she wanted to add the song to her album as an "afterthought" at the last minute. She has acknowledged that people do approach her at her concerts or events and claim that this song has inspired sexual encounters, loss of virginity, and pregnancy.[5]



Chart performance

Brand New Heavies version

"Midnight at the Oasis"
The Brand New Heavies-Midnight at the Oasis.jpg
Single by The Brand New Heavies
from the album Brother Sister
ReleasedAugust 1994
RecordedMarch 1994
GenreAcid jazzFunk
LabelFFRR, Delicious Vinyl
Songwriter(s)David Nichtern
The Brand New Heavies singles chronology
"Back to Love"
"Midnight at the Oasis"

A version of "Midnight at the Oasis" was recorded by British group Brand New Heavies, attributed to "Brand New Heavies featuring N'Dea Davenport".[14] This version reached number 13 in the UK and number 11 in Scotland in August 1994, and was their biggest hit up until the departure of Davenport, when "Sometimes" made number 11 in 1997. The song was featured on their 1994 album, Brother Sister.

Critical reception

Caroline Sullivan from The Guardian stated that N'Dea Davenport, "whose glistening voice glorifies even a lazy cover version of Midnight At The Oasis."[15] Music writer James Masterton described it as a "faithfully rendered cover" in his weekly UK chart commentary.[16] A reviewer from Music & Media said, "Usually lite funky music is identified with garden parties and romantic restaurants at night by trendy clubbers, but not if marketed under the Acid Jazz banner. This is hip guys!"[17] Alan Jones from Music Week rated it four out of five, writing, "Stripped of the stretched jazzy gliding that typified Maria Muldaur's original, this 1974 hit is speeded up somewhat but adapts perfectly to the Acid Jazz treatment. More radical overhauls are also included for clubs, where the record is already going down a storm."[18]

Music video

A music video was made to accompany the song. It was directed by directors Max Giwa and Dania Pasquini, known as just Max & Dania.[19]

Track listing

  1. "Midnight at the Oasis" (Radio Version) – (3:48)
  2. "Midnight at the Oasis" (Rogers Brand New Radio Anthem) – (4:35)
  1. "Midnight at the Oasis" (Radio Version) – (3:48)
  2. "Midnight at the Oasis" (Extended Version)
  3. "Midnight at the Oasis" (Opaz 7" Version)
  4. "Midnight at the Oasis" (Roger's Brand New Radio Anthem) – (4:35)


Chart (1994) Peak
Germany (Official German Charts) 68
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40 Tipparade)[20] 15
Netherlands (Dutch Single Tip)[21] 8
New Zealand (RIANZ) 48
Scotland (OCC)[22] 11
UK Singles (OCC) 13
UK Dance (OCC) 8
UK Dance (Music Week)[23] 8


Other covers

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Remix version

In 2004, Muldaur's original version was featured on the CD What Is Hip: Remix Project 1, a compilation of pop songs remixed for the clubs. The single is billed as the "Cuica Remix", with the track extended from its 3:49 recording to 4:49, incorporating portions of the background vocal, strings, and instrumental break with semi-chilled out Ibiza-themed elements.[citation needed]

In popular culture


  1. ^ Fontenot, Robert (February 21, 2016). "Too Much Information: The 10 Ickiest '70s Love Songs". About.com. Archived from the original on May 7, 2016. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  2. ^ "Top Pop Singles" (PDF). Billboard. New York, New York: Billboard Publications, Inc. December 28, 1974. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  3. ^ Greenwald, Matthew. "Song Review: Midnight at the Oasis, Maria Muldaur". AllMusic. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  4. ^ "Amos Garrett". Homespun Video. Archived from the original on 2006-11-05. Retrieved 2007-03-18.
  5. ^ Maria Muldaur (4 of 8) – Midnight at the Oasis on YouTube from Living Legends (January 8, 2008)
  6. ^ "Maria Muldaur (LP)". aln3.albumlinernotes.
  7. ^ Maria Muldaur at Discogs
  8. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 211. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  9. ^ "RPM Top Singles". RPM. 8 June 1974. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  10. ^ "RPM Pop Music Playlist". RPM. 22 June 1974. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  11. ^ "Adult Contemporary". Billboard. 4 May 1975. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  12. ^ "The Top 200 Singles of '74". RPM. 28 December 1974. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  13. ^ "Topp 100 Hits of 1974/Top 100 Songs of 1974". Music Outfitters. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  14. ^ Arena, James (5 December 2016). Stars of '90s Dance Pop: 29 Hitmakers Discuss Their Careers. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co. p. 232. ISBN 978-1476667560. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  15. ^ Sullivan, Caroline (15 April 1994). "Music: Love 'em or leave 'em - Rock/Pop". The Guardian.
  16. ^ Masterton, James (7 August 1994). "Week Ending August 13th 1994". Chart Watch UK. Retrieved 6 September 2021.
  17. ^ "New Releases: Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. 10 September 1994. p. 10. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  18. ^ Jones, Alan (23 July 1994). "Market Preview: Mainstream - Singles - Pick of the Week" (PDF). Music Week. p. 20. Retrieved 18 April 2021.
  19. ^ "the brand new heavies - midnight at the oasis ( viva tv )". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-19. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
  20. ^ "The Brand New Heavies – Midnight At The Oasis" (in Dutch). top40.nl. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  21. ^ "THE BRAND NEW HEAVIES - MIDNIGHT AT THE OASIS" (in Dutch). dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  22. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100 07 August 1994 - 13 August 1994". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  23. ^ "Dance Singles" (PDF). Music Week. 13 August 1994. p. 26. Retrieved 26 April 2021.