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U.F.Orb is the second studio album by English electronic music group The Orb, released on 6 July 1992 by Big Life. Upon its release, the album reached number one on the UK Albums Chart.

The Orb-U.F.Orb (album cover).jpg
Studio album by
Released6 July 1992 (1992-07-06)
LabelBig Life
The Orb chronology
The Orb's Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld
Live 93
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic5/5 stars[1]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music4/5 stars[2]
Entertainment WeeklyA[3]
Record Collector4/5 stars[5]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide4/5 stars[6]
Spin Alternative Record Guide9/10[8]
Uncut4/5 stars[9]
The Village VoiceB−[10]



Orb member Kris Weston integrated his technical and creative expertise with Alex Paterson's Eno-influenced ambience on U.F.Orb, creating "drum and bass rhythms" with "velvet keyboards" and "rippling synth lines".[11] U.F.Orb reached number one on the UK Albums Chart to the shock of critics, who were surprised that fans had embraced what journalists considered to be progressive rock.[12] Heavily influenced by The Orb and U.F.Orb in particular, many trip hop groups sprang up emulating The Orb's "chill-out blueprint".[13] U.F.Orb expresses The Orb's fascination with alien life with its bizarre sound samples and in the album's title itself.[14] The album's single, "Blue Room", is itself a reference to the supposed Blue Room of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, which was investigated as a possible UFO evidence-holding room.[15]

"Blue Room", a near 17-minute piece, features bass playing by Jah Wobble and guitar by coproducer Steve Hillage. The full version of the song is 40 minutes and was released as a single. The initial UK vinyl release featured a limited edition which came in a sealed blue heavy PVC cover and featured two art prints and a bonus 12-inch of the soundtrack to the film The Orb's Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld: Patterns and Textures.

On 1 October 2007, the album was reissued on two CDs as part of Universal Music's "Collector's Series". Although all the tracks are remastered, its release is to coincide with 15th anniversary of the album's release. The second CD includes remixes from the singles released around the period of the original album.

Track listingEdit

Original releaseEdit

Big Life – BLRLP 18, 513 749-1
Side one
1."O.O.B.E"Alex Paterson, Kris Weston, Thomas Fehlmann12:51
2."U.F.Orb"Paterson, Weston6:08
Side two
1."Blue Room"Paterson, Weston, Miquette Giraudy, Steve Hillage, John Joseph Ward, Neil Fraser17:34
Side three
1."Towers of Dub"Paterson, Weston, Fehlmann14:58
Side four
1."Close Encounters"Paterson, Weston, Orde Meikle, Stuart McMillan10:27
2."Majestic"Paterson, Weston, Martin Glover11:06
3."Sticky End"Paterson, Weston0:49
Total length:1:13:55

1992 US double CD editionEdit

15th anniversary editionEdit


  1. ^ Bush, John. "U.F.Orb – The Orb". AllMusic. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  2. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-85712-595-8.
  3. ^ Svetkey, Benjamin (4 December 1992). "u.f.orb". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 23 August 2009.
  4. ^ George, Iestyn (7 April 1992). "The Orb – UF Orb". NME. Archived from the original on 17 August 2000. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  5. ^ Grady, Spencer (December 2007). "The Orb – UFOrb". Record Collector (343). Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  6. ^ Wolk, Douglas (2004). "The Orb". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 604–05. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  7. ^ Perry, Andrew (August 1992). "The Orb: U F Orb". Select (26): 96.
  8. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
  9. ^ "The Orb: U.F.Orb". Uncut. 2007. Peppered with surreal humour, hypnotic sound paintings like 'Close Encounters' and Top 10 single 'Blue Room' have barely dated.
  10. ^ Christgau, Robert (November 23, 1993). "Turkey Shoot". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved July 5, 2013.
  11. ^ Prendergast, Mark (2003). The Ambient Century: From Mahler to Moby-The Evolution of Sound in the Electronic Age. Bloomsbury Publishing PLC. pp. 407–412. ISBN 1-58234-323-3.
  12. ^ Sullivan, Caroline (9 April 1993). "Breakdown". The Guardian.
  13. ^ Shapiro, Peter (1999). The Rough Guide to Drum 'n' Bass. Rough Guides. pp. 327–329. ISBN 1-85828-433-3.
  14. ^ Holthouse, David (30 April 1997). "Eye of the Orb". Phoenix New Times.
  15. ^ Sandall, Robert (12 July 1992). "Hippie dippie draw". The Times.

External linksEdit