Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) are an English electronic band formed in the Wirral, Merseyside, in 1978. The group consists of founding duo and principal songwriters Andy McCluskey (vocals, bass guitar) and Paul Humphreys (keyboards, vocals), along with Martin Cooper (keyboards, saxophone) and Stuart Kershaw (drums). Regarded as pioneers of electronic music, OMD combined an experimental, minimalist ethos with pop sensibilities, becoming key figures in the emergence of synth-pop; McCluskey and Humphreys also introduced the "synth duo" format to British popular music. In the United States, the band were an early presence in the MTV-driven Second British Invasion.

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
Founders Andy McCluskey (left) and Paul Humphreys performing at Corona Capital in Mexico City, 2011
Founders Andy McCluskey (left) and Paul Humphreys performing at Corona Capital in Mexico City, 2011
Background information
Also known asOMD
OriginMeols, Merseyside, England
DiscographyOrchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark discography
Years active
  • 1978–1996
  • 2006–present
Spinoff of
Past members

McCluskey and Humphreys led precursor group the Id from 1977 to 1978, and re-recorded their track "Electricity" as OMD's debut single in 1979. Weathering an "uncool" image and a degree of hostility from music critics, the band achieved popularity throughout Europe with the 1980 anti-war song "Enola Gay", and gained further recognition via Architecture & Morality (1981) and its three hit singles. Although later reappraised, Dazzle Ships (1983) was seen as overly experimental, and eroded European support. The group embraced a more radio-friendly sound on Junk Culture (1984); this change in direction led to greater success in the US, and spawned hits including "If You Leave" (from the 1986 film Pretty in Pink).

In 1989, creative differences saw Humphreys and other members form the spin-off band the Listening Pool, leaving McCluskey the only remaining member of OMD. The group returned with a new line-up and explored the dance-pop genre: Sugar Tax (1991) and its initial singles were hits in Europe. OMD then began to flounder amid the guitar-oriented grunge and Britpop movements, eventually disbanding in 1996. McCluskey later founded girl group Atomic Kitten, for whom he served as a principal songwriter and producer, while Humphreys formed the duo Onetwo alongside lead vocalist Claudia Brücken of Propaganda.

In 2006, OMD reformed with McCluskey and Humphreys revisiting the more experimental territory of their early work. The band have achieved 14 top-20 entries on the UK Albums Chart, as well as global sales of 40 million records. Their 20th century output yielded 18 top-40 appearances on the UK Singles Chart, along with four top-40 entries on the US Billboard Hot 100. Described as one of the most influential synth-pop acts in history, OMD have inspired many artists across diverse genres and disciplines.

History edit

1975–1979: Roots and early years edit

Lead vocalist and co-founder Andy McCluskey in 2011

Founders Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys met at primary school in Meols in the early 1960s, and in the mid-1970s, as teenagers, they were involved in different local groups but shared a distaste for guitar-driven rock with a macho attitude popular among their friends at the time.[6][7] By 1975, McCluskey had formed Equinox as bassist and lead vocalist, alongside schoolmate Malcolm Holmes on drums, while Humphreys was roadie. During that time, McCluskey and Humphreys discovered their electronic style, inspired by German band Kraftwerk.[8] After Equinox, McCluskey joined Pegasus,[9] and, later, the short-lived Hitlerz Underpantz, alongside Humphreys.[10][11] McCluskey would usually sing and play bass guitar; roadie and electronics enthusiast Humphreys, who shared McCluskey's love of electronic music,[12] graduated to keyboards.

In September 1977, McCluskey and Humphreys put together the seven-piece (three vocalists, two guitarists, bassist, drummer, and keyboardist) Wirral band the Id, whose line-up included drummer Malcolm Holmes and McCluskey's girlfriend Julia Kneale on vocals. The group began to gig regularly in the Merseyside area, performing original material (largely written by McCluskey and Humphreys). They had quite a following on the scene, and one of their tracks ("Julia's Song") was included on a compilation album of local bands called Street to Street – A Liverpool Album (1979).[11][13] Meanwhile, Humphreys and McCluskey collaborated on a side project called VCL XI, whose name was adapted from a diagram on the back cover of Kraftwerk's fifth studio album Radio-Activity (1975), reading "VCL 11". This project allowed them to pursue their more obscure electronic experiments.[11]

In August 1978, the Id broke up due to musical differences. The same month, McCluskey joined Wirral electronic outfit Dalek I Love You as lead vocalist, but quit in September.[13] Later that month, he rejoined Humphreys and their VCL XI project was renamed Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. The name was gleaned from a list of song lyrics and ideas that were written on McCluskey's bedroom wall;[7] and was chosen so they would not be mistaken for a punk band.[14][15] Given that OMD intended to play only one gig, the duo considered their moniker to be inconsequential.[16] McCluskey has since expressed regret over choosing "such a very silly name".[15] The contrasting personalities of Humphreys and McCluskey established the band's dynamic, with the former saying that "two Pauls wouldn't get anything done and two Andys would kill each other."[17] They have further described their creative roles as "The Surgeon" (Humphreys) and "The Butcher" (McCluskey).[18] As working class youngsters,[19][20] OMD had a limited budget, using second-hand "junk-shop" instruments including a left-handed bass guitar (which McCluskey would play upside-down).[20][21] The pair also created their own devices, with Humphreys "making things out of his aunt's radios cannibalised for the circuit boards".[20][22] Eventually, they acquired a basic Korg M-500 Micro Preset synthesizer, purchased via McCluskey's mother's mail-order catalogue for £7.76 a week, paid over 36 weeks.[23][24]

OMD began to gig regularly as a duo, performing to backing tracks played from a TEAC 4-track tape-recorder christened "Winston" (after the antihero of George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four). Their debut performance was in October 1978 at Eric's Club in Liverpool.[22] Finding themselves on the cusp of an electronic new wave in British pop music, they released a one-off single, "Electricity", with independent label Factory Records. The track was supposed to be produced by the Factory Records producer Martin Hannett. However, the A-side was the band's original demo produced by their friend, owner of Winston and soon to be manager, Paul Collister,[25] under the pseudonym Chester Valentino (taken from a nightclub called Valentino's in the nearby city of Chester). The single's sleeve was designed by Peter Saville, whose distinctive graphics contributed to OMD's public image into the 1980s.[11][12] "Electricity" became a seminal release within the burgeoning synth-pop movement,[26][27] and led to the band receiving a seven-album recording contract with Dindisc, worth over £250,000.[7][22]

In 1979, OMD were asked to support Gary Numan on his first major British tour. Humphreys noted, "[Numan] gave us our first big break. He saw us opening for Joy Division and he asked us to go on tour with him... we went from the small clubs to playing huge arenas. Gary was very good to us."[28] Along with Numan, OMD became key figures in the rise of synth-pop.[7][29][30] Numan later supported OMD on a 1993 UK arena tour.[31]

1980–1988: Classic line-up edit

"Musically, we were pushing boundaries as far as we could. At one Virgin meeting, the head of A&R asked us, 'Come on guys, are you [Karlheinz] Stockhausen or ABBA?' Andy [McCluskey] and I said together, 'Can't we be both?'"

Paul Humphreys[18]

Rather than hire studio time to record their eponymous debut album (1980), McCluskey and Humphreys used their advance payment from Dindisc to build their own Liverpool recording studio, called the Gramophone Suite. They predicted that they would be dropped by the label due to disappointing sales, but would at least own a studio.[22] The album showcased the band's live set at the time, and included some guest drums from former Id drummer Malcolm Holmes and saxophone from former Dalek I Love You member Martin Cooper. It had a raw, poppy, melodic synth-pop sound.[32][33] Dindisc arranged for the song "Messages" to be re-recorded (produced by Gong bassist Mike Howlett) and released as a single—it gave the band their first hit.[34] Dave Hughes (another Dalek I Love You alumnus), who joined OMD in 1980,[13] is featured in the "Messages" music video. A tour followed; Winston was augmented with live drums from Malcolm Holmes, and Dave Hughes played synthesizers. Hughes left OMD in late 1980.[35]

The band's second studio album, Organisation (a reference to the band which preceded Kraftwerk,[36] founded by Kraftwerk's original members Florian Schneider-Esleben and Ralf Hütter), followed later that year, recorded as a three-piece with Humphreys, McCluskey and Holmes. It was again produced by Howlett, and had a darker, moodier feel largely inspired by the passing of Joy Division lead vocalist and former Factory label-mate Ian Curtis.[37] The album included the anti-war[38][39] hit single "Enola Gay", named after the plane that dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima.[34] The song was intended to be included on the debut studio album, but was left out at the final selection. The tour for this album had a four-piece band line-up, with Martin Cooper recruited for keyboard duties and enlisted as an official group member.[12] The McCluskey/Humphreys/Cooper/Holmes unit came to be regarded as the band's classic line-up.[40] In early 1981, readers of Record Mirror voted OMD the fourth-best band and eighth-best live act of 1980;[41] NME and Sounds readers named the group the eighth and 10th best new act of the year, respectively.[42] In Smash Hits, they were voted both the fifth-best band of 1980 and the eighth-hottest new act for 1981.[43]

Howlett then presided over the recording of a further hit single, "Souvenir", co-written by Cooper and Humphreys. It ushered in a lush choral electronic sound. The song also became OMD's biggest UK hit to date.[12][44] The band's third studio album, Architecture & Morality, was released in the UK and Europe in November 1981, becoming their most commercially successful studio album. The group went into the studio with Richard Manwaring producing.[12][44] Cooper then temporarily dropped out and was replaced by Mike Douglas, but this change was reversed by the time the album was released and a tour followed.[45] The album's sound saw OMD's original synth-pop sound augmented by the use of the Mellotron[46] (an instrument previously associated with progressive rock bands), adding atmospheric swatches of string, choir, and other sounds to their palette. Two more hit singles, "Joan of Arc" and "Maid of Orleans" (which became the biggest-selling single of 1982 in Germany[47]) were on the album. Both songs were originally titled "Joan of Arc"; the name of the latter single was changed to Maid of Orleans (The Waltz Joan of Arc) at the insistence of the publishers and to avoid confusion.[12] Readers of Smash Hits voted OMD the seventh-best group of 1981,[48] while Record Mirror readers named them the eighth-best band (as well as the 10th-best "new artist") and the third-best live act of the year.[49] The group came close to breaking up in 1982, with McCluskey later saying, "We had never expected the success, we were exhausted."[50]

Longtime instrumentalist Martin Cooper in 2018

In 1983, the band lost commercial momentum somewhat, with the release of their more experimental fourth studio album Dazzle Ships, produced by Rhett Davies, perhaps best known for his previous work with Roxy Music and Brian Eno. The record mixed melancholy synth ballads and uptempo synth-pop with musique concrète and short wave radio tape collages. Its relative commercial failure caused a crisis of confidence for Humphreys and McCluskey, and brought about a deliberate move towards the mainstream.[47] Their following studio album, 1984's Junk Culture, was a shift to a more pop-style sound, and the band used digital sampling keyboards such as the Fairlight CMI and the E-mu Emulator. The album was a success, reassuring the group about their new direction.[34] The "Locomotion" single returned them to the top five in the UK. Record Mirror readers named OMD the eighth-best live act of 1984.[51]

In 1985, the band expanded to a sextet with the addition of brothers Graham Weir (guitar, keyboards, trombone) and Neil Weir (keyboards, trumpet, bass guitar), and released their sixth studio album, Crush, produced by Stephen Hague in Paris and New York.[52] OMD had been an early presence in the Second British Invasion of the US,[53][54] but achieved their first Billboard Hot 100 hit with the no. 26 entry "So in Love". This led to some success for Crush, which entered the American Top 40. Later in 1985, the group were asked to write a song for the John Hughes film Pretty in Pink (1986). They offered "Goddess of Love", although the ending of the film was re-shot due to a negative response from test audiences. OMD then wrote "If You Leave" in less than 24 hours,[7] and it became a top 5 hit in the US, Canada, and New Zealand. Journalist Hugo Lindgren argued that the success of "If You Leave" has concealed from US audiences the band's history of making innovative music.[7]

In September 1986, the same six piece line-up also released their seventh studio album, The Pacific Age, but the group began to see their critical and public popularity wane notably in the UK. The album's first single, "(Forever) Live and Die", was a top 10 hit across Europe[55] and entered the top 20 in both the UK[56] and US. On 18 June 1988, OMD supported Depeche Mode at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California where they played to over 60,000 people. They also released the top 20 US hit "Dreaming" and a successful greatest hits album, The Best of OMD. Graham and Neil Weir left the band at the end of the 1988 US tour.

1989–1996: McCluskey-led OMD and disbandment edit

Keyboardist and co-founder Paul Humphreys departed in 1989

As OMD appeared poised to consolidate their US success, the band continued to fracture. Humphreys departed in 1989 amid personal and creative dissension with McCluskey.[4] Cooper and Holmes then left OMD to join Humphreys in founding a new band called the Listening Pool.[34][57] McCluskey recalled, "We were all in agreement that something was wrong. How to fix it was where we disagreed."[58]

This left only McCluskey to carry on, essentially becoming a solo artist working under the OMD banner. McCluskey's first album from the new OMD was the dance-pop studio album Sugar Tax in May 1991, which charted at No. 3 in the UK. McCluskey recruited Liverpool musicians Raw Unlimited (Lloyd Massett, Stuart Kershaw, Nathalie Loates) as collaborators for the making of Sugar Tax; writing credits carefully distinguished between songs written by OMD (i.e., McCluskey) and songs written by OMD/Kershaw/Massett.[59] This iteration of the group was initially successful, with hits such as "Sailing on the Seven Seas" and "Pandora's Box", with lesser success on fellow chart entries "Call My Name" and "Then You Turn Away". McCluskey's live band was then composed of Nigel Ipinson (keyboards), Phil Coxon (keyboards), and Abe Juckes (drums) from late 1990. Smash Hits readers voted OMD the sixth-best British group of 1991.[60]

The group's next studio album would be 1993's Liberator, which ventured further into dance territory.[61] It peaked at No. 14 on the UK Albums Chart. The lead single "Stand Above Me" peaked at no. 21 on the UK Singles Chart, with a follow-up single, "Dream of Me", charting at no. 24. Paul Humphreys was credited as co-writer of the single "Everyday" (a No. 59 UK chart entry). The fifth track from Liberator, "Dream of Me", was built around a sample from "Love's Theme" by Love Unlimited Orchestra, a song written and produced by Barry White.[62] To release the track as an OMD single, however, McCluskey had to agree that the single release would remove the actual "Love's Theme" sample, but still be officially titled "Dream of Me (Based on Love's Theme)", and furthermore would still give a writing credit to White.[63]

Also in 1993, McCluskey made contributions to the Elektric Music album Esperanto, a project by former Kraftwerk member Karl Bartos.[64]

McCluskey returned with a rotating cast of musicians for the more organic Universal (1996),[22] which featured two songs co-written by Humphreys as well as a holdover from the Esperanto sessions, co-written by Bartos. The record spawned OMD's first Top 20 hit in five years, "Walking on the Milky Way".

Although both Liberator and Universal produced minor hits, McCluskey retired OMD in late 1996, having faced waning public interest amid the grunge and Britpop movements.[4][65] A particular source of frustration was the modest commercial response to "Walking on the Milky Way", over which McCluskey said he "sweated blood", considering it "about as good a song as I could write". However, the track was not playlisted by BBC Radio 1, and Woolworths did not stock it. McCluskey said, "I just thought: 'Screw this, I'm not going to bang my head against a brick wall'."[66] A second singles album was released in 1998, along with an EP of remixed material by such acts as Sash! and Moby.[67][68]

Post-1996, McCluskey decided to focus on songwriting for such Liverpool-based acts as Atomic Kitten and Genie Queen, and trying to develop new Merseyside artists from his Motor Museum recording studio. With McCluskey focusing his talents elsewhere, Humphreys decided to work with his new musical partner Claudia Brücken (of the ZTT bands Propaganda and Act) as Onetwo. He also undertook a US live tour under the banner "Paul Humphreys from OMD".[69]

2006–2012: Reformation and comeback releases edit

McCluskey performing the "Trainee Teacher Dance" in 2018

An unexpected request to perform from a German television show led the group to reunite.[7] On 1 January 2006, McCluskey announced plans to reform OMD with the "classic" line-up of McCluskey, Humphreys, Holmes, and Cooper. The original plan was to tour the studio album Architecture & Morality and other pre-1983 material, then record a new studio album set for release in 2007. In May 2007, the Architecture & Morality remastered CD was re-released together with a DVD featuring the Drury Lane concert from 1981 that had previously been available on VHS. The band toured throughout May and June, beginning their set with a re-ordered but otherwise complete re-staging of the Architecture & Morality album. The second half of each concert featured a selection of their best known hits.[70]

Spring 2008 saw the release of a live CD and DVD of the 2007 tour, OMD Live: Architecture & Morality & More, recorded at the Hammersmith Apollo in London. Also released was a 25th anniversary re-release of Dazzle Ships, including six bonus tracks. To tie-in with the re-release, the band made the brief "Messages 78-08 30th Anniversary Tour", featuring China Crisis as a support act.[71] A cover of Atomic Kitten's 2001 hit, "Whole Again" (which had been co-written by McCluskey), was included on Liverpool – The Number Ones Album (2008), marking OMD's first new studio recording in 12 years.

In June 2009, an orchestral concert with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic was played in Liverpool; a recording of this concert was released on DVD in December.[72] The band returned to arena touring in November and December, supporting Simple Minds on their Graffiti Soul Tour.[73] OMD had performed at the Night of the Proms festival in December 2006 in Germany, renewing the experience again in Belgium and the Netherlands that year. They were the headline act at Britain's first Vintage Computer Festival at The National Museum of Computing in June 2010.[74] Their eleventh studio album, History of Modern, was released in September 2010, reaching No. 28 in the UK Albums Chart and being followed by a European tour.[75] On 28 September, OMD performed as a special guest at the "first ever gig" of the Buggles.[76][77]

In March 2011, OMD played their first North American tour as the original line-up since 1988. In September, the band appeared at the Electric Picnic 2011 festival in Stradbally, County Laois, Ireland. In November 2011, OMD returned to the studio and started work on their next album, English Electric.[78] On 12 March 2012, the band played a concert in the Philippines at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City. In August, OMD performed to South African audiences in Cape Town and Johannesburg.[citation needed]

2013–2019: Return to prominence edit

"Being in Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark right now is just the most blessed thing... it's like being 19 again. We can do what the hell we want."

Andy McCluskey[79]

In 2013, OMD performed at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California, on 14 and 21 April.[80] "Metroland", the first single from the forthcoming studio album English Electric, was released on 25 March 2013.[81] The album was released in the UK on 8 April, and entered the UK album chart at No. 12 and the German chart at No. 10. Reviews for both the album and their concerts were generally positive.[7] "The Future Will Be Silent", a 500-copy limited edition 10-inch picture disc EP from English Electric, was made available for Record Store Day 2013, and included a then-exclusive non-album track titled "Time Burns".[82][83] For Record Store Day 2015, a 1000-copy limited edition 10-inch EP of "Julia's Song (Dub Version)" from Junk Culture was made available, which includes an exclusive non-album track titled "10 to 1".

OMD performed a one-off concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London on 9 May 2016 to a sell-out crowd, playing both Architecture & Morality and Dazzle Ships in their entirety, along with other songs from before 1983. The only song post-1983 played was "History of Modern Part 1". The concert was recorded and made available on double CD right after the show, with a triple LP vinyl recording of the concert also being made available.[84] The band collaborated with Gary Barlow, Taron Egerton and Hugh Jackman on the OMD song "Thrill Me", co-written by Barlow and McCluskey for the soundtrack of the 2015 film Eddie the Eagle.[85] Work began in October 2015 on what was to be their thirteenth studio album The Punishment of Luxury,[86] which was released on 1 September 2017 and charted at no. 4 in the UK.[87][88] OMD toured Europe and North America in support of the album, with Stuart Kershaw replacing Holmes as the band's drummer, due to the latter's health issues.[89]

In 2018, OMD published a book titled Pretending to See the Future, which is a first-person "autobiography" about the band. It mixed fan-submitted memories with commentary from McCluskey, Humphreys, Cooper, Holmes, and Kershaw. For people who pre-ordered the book on PledgeMusic, they received a limited-edition flexi-disc containing a previously unheard demo of "Messages" from 1978.[90][91] That summer, the group played to stadium audiences throughout the UK as support for 1980s peers a-ha.[92]

As part of OMD's 40th-anniversary celebrations, they embarked on a UK and European tour in 2019.[93] The band won "Group of the Year" and "Live Act of the Year" in the 2019 Classic Pop Reader Awards.[94] A retrospective deluxe box set titled Souvenir was also released. The 40th anniversary collection includes the band's forty singles, including a new release titled "Don't Go". It also contains 22 previously unreleased recordings from the group's archive, selected and mixed by Paul Humphreys. Two audio live shows (one from 2011 and one from 2013) are also included, together with two DVDs bringing together two more live concerts (Drury Lane in 1981 and Sheffield City Hall in 1985) plus Crush – The Movie, and various BBC TV performances from Top of the Pops, The Old Grey Whistle Test and Later... with Jools Holland.[95]

2020–present: Continued acknowledgement edit

OMD at Sheffield City Hall during 2024 UK Tour

During the COVID-19 lockdown imposed in March 2020, McCluskey "rediscovered the creative power of boredom" and began writing material for OMD's next studio album.[96] In October, the band returned to live performance with a limited-capacity gig at London's indigo at The O2, with proceeds going to their road crew; the event was also streamed online.[97] In 2021, the Souvenir box set was nominated for "Best Historical Album" at the Grammy Awards.[98] Also that year, OMD celebrated the 40th anniversary of 1981's Architecture & Morality with a UK tour, and released a triple-vinyl set of the album's singles containing associated B-sides, demo recordings, and live tracks.[99]

In March 2022, a pair of concerts with a heavy emphasis on the group's more experimental work (rescheduled from September 2020), took place at the Royal Albert Hall, with a live album based on the shows released through the OMD store.[100][101] Another re-issue of 1983's Dazzle Ships, featuring previously unheard recordings, was announced for a March 2023 release.[102]

OMD's fourteenth studio album, Bauhaus Staircase, was released on 27 October 2023;[103] it was preceded by a single, the title track, on 22 August.[104] The record debuted at no. 2 on the UK Albums Chart, matching the peak achieved by The Best of OMD (1988).[105] McCluskey has said that Bauhaus Staircase is likely to be the band's final album.[106] Their latest 2024 tour runs from March to October including gigs in the UK, South Africa, Canada and the US.[107]

Artistry and image edit

Spin wrote that "OMD set about reinventing punk with different applications of dance beats, keyboards, melodies, and sulks", rejecting the genre's "sonic trappings but not its intellectual freedom".[108] The group found commercial success with a style of synth-pop described as "experimental", "minimal[ist]" and "edgy".[2][109][110] OMD often eschewed choruses, replacing them with synthesizer lines, and opted for unconventional lyrical subjects such as industrial processes, micronations and telephone boxes;[111][112] the BBC said that the band "were always more intellectual" than "contemporaries like Duran Duran and Eurythmics".[113] Despite the group's experimentation, they employed pop hooks in their music,[114] attaining what AllMusic described as "the enviable position of at once being creative innovators and radio-friendly pop giants".[115] According to the NRC, OMD are "known as the band that managed to wring emotion from synthesizer pop".[116]

OMD have been recognised as the first of Britain's many "synth duo" acts.[117][118] Although the two original members enlisted other musicians over time, PopMatters wrote that the group remained, "in essence, the songwriting/recording duo of Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys".[119] OMD continues to be termed a "duo" in the media.[120][121][122]

McCluskey and Humphreys were influenced by electronic artists such as Kraftwerk, Brian Eno and Neu!,[12][123] as well as more mainstream acts like David Bowie and Roxy Music.[57] OMD drew inspiration from former Factory Records label-mates Joy Division, particularly during the making of Organisation (1980).[22] The band also recorded two Velvet Underground covers.[124]

OMD were indifferent to celebrity status, and avoided the calculated fashion stylings of many of their 1980s peers.[16][125] During live performances, McCluskey developed a frenetic dancing style that has been dubbed the "Trainee Teacher Dance";[126] he explains that it stemmed "from the perception that [OMD] were making boring robotic intellectual music that you couldn't dance to".[127] Journalist Hugo Lindgren noted that the group were perceived as "oddballs, freaks" on the Liverpool scene,[7] while McCluskey has identified himself and Humphreys as "synth punks" and "complete geeks".[128][129] OMD weathered an "uncool" image,[23][130] and faced hostility from sections of the music press in the 1980s.[131][132][133] Critic Andrew Collins asserted, however, that the band would eventually "become cool" to the public.[23]

Record Mirror pondered in 1980 whether McCluskey and Humphreys were emerging as "the Lennon and McCartney of the electronic world".[134] The press began to describe the duo as "the Lennon–McCartney of synth-pop", which the A.V. Club saw as "a weighty mantle that has as much to do with their hailing from Liverpool as anything".[5] The Salt Lake City Weekly remarked that the label "might be a bit hyperbolic, but OMD was indeed ahead of its time".[135] The Scotsman had no reservations about the moniker, labelling OMD a "thoroughly sparkling pop group" with "more hooks than a chain of angling megastores".[136]

Mid-1980s style change edit

OMD's mid-1980s reinvention alienated some listeners, but was embraced by others, including bassist Tony Kanal of No Doubt.

The experimental Dazzle Ships (1983) was a critical and commercial disappointment upon release. Facing potential excision from Virgin Records, OMD moved towards a more accessible sound on the black music-influenced Junk Culture (1984); the band also donned more vibrant garments on the album's accompanying tour.[137][138] The group continued to incorporate elements of sonic experimentation,[114][139] although their sound became increasingly polished on the Stephen Hague-produced studio albums Crush (1985) and The Pacific Age (1986).[140][141]

The Quietus founder John Doran, who was supportive of the band's reinvention, told how it became "quite popular to see OMD as nose-diving into the effluence after Dazzle Ships".[142][143] Author Richard Metzger refused to "stick up for anything they recorded" afterwards,[144] while the A.V. Club alleged that McCluskey would "give up" following that album.[145] Conversely, music journalist Ian Peel observed "two brilliant, but very different, bands. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, the early 80s Factory descendents... and OMD, the late 80s stadium pop act."[146] The Miami New Times asserted that "even their poppiest records of that postexperimental era, such as Junk Culture and Crush, were clever and beautifully arranged."[65]

Musicians have commented on OMD's post-Dazzle Ships output. Michael "Telekinesis" Lerner was unable to "sink [his] teeth into" Junk Culture, and did not invest in the group again for many years.[147] Moby remarked, "Their earlier records were just phenomenal... a few years on they were making music for John Hughes movies, and they were good at it and I'm glad that they had success with it, but it wasn't nearly as creatively inspiring."[148] Conversely, bassist Tony Kanal of No Doubt told how his band experimented with OMD-esque "John Hughes prom-scene movie moment kind of songs", adding that "Junk Culture is great".[149] Angus Andrew of Liars referred to "the complexity and mastery in OMD's later pop material", calling himself "a fan of OMD albums from all of their phases".[150]

The group themselves defend Junk Culture as an enjoyable "collection of songs" as opposed to a "deep, conceptual" record,[151] and argue that Crush features some strong material despite being hastily written and excessively produced.[140][151] They concede, however, that The Pacific Age "[does]n't work" and marks their "musical nadir".[4][152] Critic Jessica Bendinger reflected on OMD's stylistic journey by the late 1980s, saying that "their music has been colored by continual exploration... which has run the gamut from Gregorian-chant-inspired anthems of love to a union of Orchestral-Motown."[153] SF Weekly stated, "It's hard to think of any 1980s new wave bands that could navigate the genre's spectrum of sound and mood as well as Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark."[154]

Subsequent reinventions edit

The McCluskey-led OMD explored a dance-oriented approach on Sugar Tax (1991) and Liberator (1993);[61] the latter has since been dismissed by McCluskey.[22] Ian Peel wrote that the band "defied expectations by updating their sound and becoming, if only briefly, relevant in the 90s".[146] The group disbanded shortly after the release of Universal (1996), on which they strained for a more organic and acoustic sound.[22] In reviewing The OMD Singles (1998), AllMusic asserted that the band "covered in a single career that same territory explored by the Human League, Erasure, Yaz[oo], New Order, and beyond."[67]

Since OMD's 2006 reformation, their material has been seen as more akin to their early output.[155][156] PopMatters wrote that the group's 21st century work represents "one of the more successful second acts in modern pop history".[119] The band are noted for their diverse contributions to the electronic, new wave, experimental, dance and post-punk genres.[3] OMD have undertaken regular UK and international gigs since they reformed, staging their own tours and also embracing '80s revival festivals such as the Rewind Festival and Heritage Live.[157][158]

Legacy and influence edit

Depeche Mode in 1981. Co-founder Vince Clarke (bottom left) said that the band would never have happened without OMD.[159]

OMD have sold over 40 million records,[a] and are considered one of synth-pop's most influential acts.[136][154][162][163] They were identified by the A.V. Club as "one of the earliest synthesizer-driven bands to break out of the post-punk scene and lead the charge toward the defining sound of the [1980s]."[5] PopMatters noted how OMD's work "gave credibility to ambitious pop" and led to "the emergence of a generation of electronic bands", including Talk Talk, ABC, Blancmange, and the Vince Clarke projects Depeche Mode, Yazoo and Erasure.[2] Clarke recognised OMD as being "ahead of their time", and cited 1979's "Electricity" – also an early influence on Duran Duran[164] – as his inspiration to become an electronic musician.[165][166] The Pet Shop Boys followed the group in their youth, drawing particular inspiration from "Souvenir" (1981).[167][168] Lead singer Neil Tennant named OMD as "pioneers of electronic music"[168]—a viewpoint shared by multiple outlets.[b]

OMD served as an inspiration to the likes of Tears for Fears,[174] Frankie Goes to Hollywood,[175] Howard Jones,[176] Alphaville,[177] Men Without Hats[178] and China Crisis,[179] and became "heroes" to Kim Wilde songwriter/producer, Ricky Wilde.[180] New Order frontman Bernard Sumner said the band helped him to understand that one "could make music without guitars".[181] OMD directly inspired rock group ZZ Top's use of electronic instruments and onstage dancing,[c] and were influential on the guitar melodies of Red Hot Chili Peppers' John Frusciante.[185] The band have also been noted as an influence on Nine Inch Nails,[186][187] and former touring partners, a-ha.[186][188] Elsewhere, OMD have received endorsements from 1980s peers including Kraftwerk's Karl Bartos,[176] U2's Adam Clayton,[189] Simple Minds' Jim Kerr,[118] the Human League's Philip Oakey,[176] and Gary Numan, who credited the group for "some of the best pop songs ever written".[176]

OMD helped to inform the 1990s dance music scene.[190] They became a formative influence on figures such as Paul van Dyk,[191] Mike Paradinas,[192] David Guetta,[193] and Moby, who cited the band as crucial to his career choice.[163][194] OMD have continued to inspire pop artists including Anohni,[195][196] Gary Barlow,[27] Robyn,[197] La Roux,[17] Neil Hannon,[198] and Belle and Sebastian's Stevie Jackson,[199] along with rock-oriented groups like No Doubt,[149] the Killers,[197][200] the xx,[17] Barenaked Ladies,[201] MGMT,[202] AFI,[176][203] LCD Soundsystem,[197][204] and the Shins.[205] Anohni said of Architecture & Morality (1981) and Dazzle Ships (1983): "Those records, they really changed me when I was a kid. I'd never heard anything quite like it... this really scary, futuristic landscape."[196] The experimental Dazzle Ships has influenced various artists including Radiohead,[18][206] Arcade Fire,[18] Death Cab for Cutie,[207] Saint Etienne,[111] Future Islands,[208] and producer Mark Ronson,[209][210] while its content has been sampled by hip hop acts such as Kid Cudi and Lushlife.[126][211]

Elsewhere, "Electricity" directly inspired the creation of indie pop band Nation of Language,[212] as well as the radio career of Steve Lamacq.[213][214] Singer Boy George said he wished he had written 2017's "The View from Here".[215] OMD's influence extends to the indie folk singer Sharon Van Etten,[216] alternative metal group Deftones,[217] country duo Sugarland,[218] novelist Anna Smaill,[219] filmmaker Noah Baumbach,[220][221] physicist Brian Cox,[222] and progressive rock musician/producer Steven Wilson, who commented, "OMD... were like a wonderful collision of ideas. Their records stand up very, very well as experimental pop [music] with the most enjoyable kind of songwriting."[130] The group were inducted into the Goldmine Hall of Fame in 2014, being described as "leader[s] in the synthpop movement" and "one of rock's most underrated and underappreciated bands".[3]

Members edit

Stuart Kershaw (pictured) replaced longtime drummer Malcolm Holmes in 2015

Current members edit

Former members edit

  • Malcolm Holmes – drums, percussion (1980–1989; 2006–2015)
  • Dave Hughes – keyboards (1979–1980)
  • Michael Douglas – keyboards (1980–1981)
  • Graham Weir – guitar, brass, keyboards (1984–1989)
  • Neil Weir – brass, keyboards, bass guitar (1984–1989)
  • Phil Coxon – keyboards (1991–1993)
  • Nigel Ipinson – keyboards (1991–1993)
  • Abe Juckes – drums (1991–1992)

Timeline edit

Discography edit

Studio albums

Notes edit

  1. ^ OMD have sold over 40 million records.[112][160][161] In 2019, Music Week recorded sales of 15 million albums and 25 million singles.[1]
  2. ^ OMD have been recognised by multiple outlets as pioneers of electronic music.[1][169][170][171][172][173]
  3. ^ ZZ Top emulated OMD's use of electronic instruments,[182][183] as well as McCluskey's jerky dancing style.[126][184]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c Hanley, James (24 October 2019). "'It's been a remarkable journey': OMD toast their 40th anniversary". Music Week. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  2. ^ a b c Shand, Max (8 November 2019). "OMD at 40: Making Sense of a Synthpop Legacy". PopMatters. Retrieved 2 May 2021.
  3. ^ a b c Marder, Phill (13 March 2014). "Goldmine's Hall of Fame Inductees - Volume 43". Goldmine. Retrieved 12 December 2023.
  4. ^ a b c d "Mad World: An Oral History of New Wave Artists and Songs That Defined the 1980s". PopMatters. 15 May 2014. Archived from the original on 27 October 2021. Retrieved 2 May 2021.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g O'Neal, Sean (29 July 2008). "Paul Humphreys of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  6. ^ Taylor, Paul. Popular Music Since 1955. Mansell Pub., 1985. ISBN 0-7201-1727-5, ISBN 978-0-7201-1727-1
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i Lindgren, Hugo (10 May 2013). "The Plot Against Rock". The New York Times Magazine. The New York Times Company. Archived from the original on 15 May 2013. Retrieved 20 October 2013.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  8. ^ "Liverpool: E". Link2wales.co.uk. 7 February 2016. Retrieved 27 April 2009.
  9. ^ "Liverpool: P Q". Link2wales.co.uk. 7 February 2016. Retrieved 27 April 2009.
  10. ^ "Liverpool: H". link2wales.co.uk. Retrieved 28 April 2009.
  11. ^ a b c d "OMD | Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark | home". Omd.uk.com. Archived from the original on 11 February 2001. Retrieved 14 November 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  12. ^ a b c d e f g Lindores, Mark (1 August 2019). "Classic Album: Architecture & Morality". Classic Pop. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  13. ^ a b c Pete Frame's Rock Family Trees, 1993
  14. ^ Rock Formations: Categorical Answers to How Band Names Were Formed, Dave Wilson, 2004, p. 58
  15. ^ a b Rexroat, Dee Ann (13 May 1988). "OMD maneuvering its way to American success". The Gazette. p. 36 (Weekend!, p. 2C).
  16. ^ a b "Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark". BBC Breakfast. 13 September 2010. BBC One. British Broadcasting Corporation. We were trying to have no image.
  17. ^ a b c Bray, Elisa (5 April 2013). "Our Friends Electric: Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark". The Independent. Archived from the original on 24 May 2022. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  18. ^ a b c d Earls, John (February 2020). "OMD Interview: 'Stockhausen or ABBA? Can't We Be Both?'". Classic Pop. Archived from the original on 28 July 2020. Retrieved 30 April 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  19. ^ Hiles, Hannah (9 March 2022). "OMD Singer Champions Unsung North Staffordshire Artist in New Exhibition". Stoke-on-Trent Live. Retrieved 28 April 2023.
  20. ^ a b c "Paul Humphreys". Neil McCormick's Needle Time. 21 February 2017. Vintage TV.
  21. ^ Seaman, Duncan (17 October 2019). "OMD: 'Our whole raison d'etre is to try to ask musical questions'". The Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h Wilson, Lois (30 September 2019). "OMD". Record Collector. Retrieved 21 February 2021.
  23. ^ a b c "1981". Britain's Favourite 80s Songs. Season 2. Episode 2. 5 March 2021. 6–9 minutes in. Channel 5.
  24. ^ Wright, Jade (10 October 2014). "Why 80s music group OMD are no museum pieces". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  25. ^ Browne, Paul (15 November 2011). "Electricity". Messages. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  26. ^ Harron, Mary (6 November 1981). "Rock". The Guardian. p. 11.
  27. ^ a b Mettler, Mike (17 June 2016). "Gary Barlow didn't just meet his '80s heroes, he made a retro album with them". Digital Trends. Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  28. ^ Smyers, Darryl (18 March 2011). "Q&A: OMD's Paul Humphreys Talks Reformation, The Return of Intelligent Music and Being in Hitler's Underpants". Dallas Observer. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  29. ^ Lester, Paul (20 October 2022). "Things That Dreams Are Made Of: The Birth of Synth-Pop". Classic Pop. Archived from the original on 20 October 2022. Retrieved 25 May 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  30. ^ O'Brien, Jon. "Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark: Live in Berlin". AllMusic. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  31. ^ Houghton (2019), pp. 81–82
  32. ^ Browne, Paul. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (2003 remaster). Sleeve notes. Virgin Records.
  33. ^ Browne, Paul (22 February 2020). "Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark: Strange Directions". Messages. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  34. ^ a b c d Kellman, Andy. "Biography: Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark". AllMusic. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  35. ^ Browne, Paul (26 June 2019). "The New Recruit". Messages. Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  36. ^ Porter, Christopher (28 September 2010). "Synthesized Past: 'History of Modern,' OMD". The Washington Post. Retrieved 12 June 2021.
  37. ^ "Organisation". OMD. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  38. ^ Wuench, Kevin (4 November 2016). "Even in the '80s sometimes you pray history doesn't repeat itself". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  39. ^ Meagher, John (15 October 2017). "80s hitmakers OMD – Coming out of the dark". Irish Independent. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  40. ^ Mansfield, Brian (4 April 2013). "On the Road Again: Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark". USA Today. Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  41. ^ "1980 Poll Results". Record Mirror. 10 January 1981. p. 16.
  42. ^ West, p. 26
  43. ^ "The Smash Hits Readers' Poll Results". Smash Hits. Vol. 3, no. 5. 5–18 March 1981. p. 20.
  44. ^ a b "Architecture & Morality". OMD. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  45. ^ Waller; Humphreys, pp. 92–96
  46. ^ Browne, Paul (12 March 2003). "Architecture & Morality Interview: Andy McCluskey". Messages. Retrieved 11 July 2022.
  47. ^ a b Stanley, Bob. How to lose 3 million fans in one easy step. The Guardian. 7 March 2008. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  48. ^ "Smash Hits 1981 Poll Winners: Best Group". Smash Hits. Vol. 3, no. 26. 24 December 1981 – 6 January 1982. p. 15.
  49. ^ "1981 Poll Results". Record Mirror. 23 January 1982. p. 9.
  50. ^ @OfficialOMD (14 April 2020). "Yes. We had never expected the success" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  51. ^ "Readers Poll Winners: 1984". Record Mirror. 5 January 1985. p. 15.
  52. ^ Righi, Len (14 December 1985). "OMD: British Synth Band Maneuvers Its Way Onto American Radio". The Morning Call. Archived from the original on 27 April 2021. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  53. ^ Riccio, Richard (23 August 1991). "Sugar Is Sprinkled with Gems". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 15 July 2022. One of new wave's original invaders. [...] What always has separated OMD from the majority of the second British invasion was their talent for memorable melodies.
  54. ^ Charry, Eric (2020). A New and Concise History of Rock and R&B through the Early 1990s. Wesleyan University Press. pp. 159–160. ISBN 978-0819578952.
  55. ^ "OMD (Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark) - (Forever) Live And Die". Hitparade.ch.
  56. ^ "(forever) live and die | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Officialcharts.com.
  57. ^ a b Fisher, Kyle (8 April 2013). "OMD, English Electric". PRS for Music. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  58. ^ Pendras, Peter (4 October 1991). "Former Blasters' guitarist finds his own success". North County Blade-Citizen. p. 64 (13A).
  59. ^ Sugar Tax liner notes. 1991. Virgin Records.
  60. ^ "The Smash Hits Readers Poll 1991". Smash Hits. Vol. 13, no. 21. 30 October 1981 – 12 November 1991. p. 12.
  61. ^ a b Evans, Paul (2004). "Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. p. 607. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  62. ^ "Liberator". Omd.uk.com. Archived from the original on 26 July 2017. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  63. ^ Liberator liner notes. 1993. Virgin Records.
  64. ^ Henderson, Alex. "Esperanto > Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  65. ^ a b Cárdenas, Patricia (27 August 2019). "Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark Pioneered Millennial Pop Music". Miami New Times. Retrieved 25 March 2022.
  66. ^ Alexis Petridis (23 November 2001). "The power behind pop". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
  67. ^ a b Schulte, Tom. "The OMD Singles". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 August 2022.
  68. ^ Jeffries, David. "The OMD Remixes". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 August 2022.
  69. ^ "Electropop (no. 5: Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark)". Top Ten. 7 April 2001. Channel 4.
  70. ^ OMD Live: Architecture & Morality & More. 2008. Eagle Records.
  71. ^ "OMD Gigography". omd.me.uk.
  72. ^ "OMD News: December 2009". Archived from the original on 9 December 2009. Retrieved 9 December 2009.
  73. ^ "Graffiti Soul Tour". Dream Giver Redux.
  74. ^ "Vintage computers inspire next generation of scientists". BBC News. 21 June 2010.
  75. ^ Michaels, Sean (21 May 2010). "OMD announce first studio album in 14 years". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  76. ^ "OMD to support The Buggles on 28.09.10". TrevorHorn.com. 8 September 2010. Retrieved 13 December 2010.
  77. ^ "The Buggles and OMD, Supperclub, London England 28 September 2010". Release Magazine.
  78. ^ "OMD Blog: Next Album". Archived from the original on 6 December 2011. Retrieved 25 April 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  79. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "Pete Price chats to Andy McCluskey". Radio City Talk. 19 September 2019. 19–20; 30 minutes in. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  80. ^ "Coachella Lineup". Archived from the original on 1 May 2013. Retrieved 24 February 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  81. ^ "Metroland Pre-Order". Official OMD website. 11 February 2013. Archived from the original on 26 March 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  82. ^ "OMD News – Record Store Day". Archived from the original on 18 April 2013. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
  83. ^ "OMD debuts new track "Night Café", announces 10-inch EP for Record Store Day". Slicing Up Eyeballs. 18 March 2013. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
  84. ^ "OMD: Live at Royal Albert Hall on PledgeMusic". Pledgemusic.com. Archived from the original on 3 April 2016. Retrieved 3 April 2016.
  85. ^ Fly: Songs Inspired by the Film Eddie the Eagle. AllMusic. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  86. ^ "Exploring OMD's Next Studio Album The Punishment Of Luxury". OMD-Messages.co.uk. 22 January 2017. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
  87. ^ Slingerland, Calum (15 May 2017). "Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark Return with 'The Punishment of Luxury'". Exclaim!. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  88. ^ Jones, Alan (8 September 2017). "Official Charts Analysis: The Script debut at No.1 on albums chart". Music Week. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  89. ^ The Punishment of Luxury (liner notes). Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. 100% Records. 2017. 100CD66.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  90. ^ "Pretending To See The Future – 40th Anniversary Book". OMD. 14 June 2018. Archived from the original on 15 August 2020. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  91. ^ "OMD to release 40th anniversary book 'Pretending to see the future'". Side-line. 14 June 2018. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  92. ^ "a-ha to play UK stadiums with OMD, Thompson Twins' Tom Bailey next summer". Slicing Up Eyeballs. 14 November 2017. Retrieved 24 March 2024.
  93. ^ "UK & Europe 40th Anniversary Tour – Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark". Archived from the original on 4 December 2020. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  94. ^ Harnell, Steve. "2019 Reader Awards". Classic Pop. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  95. ^ "Souvenir – New Greatest Hits & Deluxe Boxset Announced – Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark". Archived from the original on 18 September 2019. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  96. ^ Marshall, Olivia (14 November 2020). "OMD discuss their upcoming tour, Covid-19 and Enola Gay". The Argus. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  97. ^ Hanley, James (17 September 2020). "OMD announce special show to support touring crew". Music Week. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  98. ^ "Grammy Nominations 2021: See the Full List of Nominees Here". Pitchfork. 24 November 2020. Retrieved 21 February 2021.
  99. ^ "OMD celebrate 40 years of 'Architecture & Morality' with 12" vinyl singles box set". Retro Pop. 2 September 2021. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  100. ^ "Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark". Royal Albert Hall. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  101. ^ "OMD announce live album from London's Royal Albert Hall". Retro Pop. 5 March 2022. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  102. ^ Sinclair, Paul (2 February 2023). "OMD / Dazzle Ships reissue". Super Deluxe Edition. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  103. ^ Pearis, Bill (22 August 2023). "OMD announce new album 'Bauhaus Staircase,' share title track". BrooklynVegan. Retrieved 23 August 2023.
  104. ^ "OMD debuts title track off upcoming 14th studio album 'Bauhaus Staircase'". Slicing Up Eyeballs. 22 August 2023. Retrieved 23 August 2023.
  105. ^ Griffiths, George (3 November 2023). "Taylor Takeover! Taylor Swift dominates the UK's Official Singles and Albums Chart with the biggest opening week of 2023 so far". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 29 November 2023.
  106. ^ Brayden, Kate (4 April 2023). "OMD's Andy McCluskey: 'I'm really happy that I don't have to pander to a TikTok generation to get my songs heard'". Hot Press. Archived from the original on 4 April 2023. Retrieved 5 April 2023.
  107. ^ "Bauhaus Staircase Tour". OMD.com. OMD.
  108. ^ Hunter, James (January 1999). "Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark: The OMD Singles". Spin. p. 116.
  109. ^ Tingen, Paul (April 1986). "King of Techno Pop". Electronics & Music Maker. pp. 75–77. Retrieved 22 March 2022.
  110. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Liberator review". AllMusic. Retrieved 12 September 2013.
  111. ^ a b Ware, Gareth (4 March 2013). "OMD: Of All the Thing We've Made: 'Dazzle Ships' At 30". DIY. Archived from the original on 26 January 2016. Retrieved 21 February 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  112. ^ a b Awbi, Anita (19 March 2013). "Andy McCluskey, OMD". PRS for Music. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  113. ^ "OMG its OMD!". BBC News. 20 September 2010. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  114. ^ a b Bergstrom, John (17 April 2008). "Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark: Dazzle Ships Review". PopMatters. Retrieved 28 January 2016. Starting with 1984's Junk Culture, OMD morphed from a risk-taking art-pop band to the still-inventive but commercially calculating act that found American success.
  115. ^ Raggett, Ned. "Organisation". AllMusic. Retrieved 21 May 2021.
  116. ^ Vollaard, Jan (27 October 2023). "OMD Resumes the Search for the Soul of Electronic Pop". NRC (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 27 October 2023. Retrieved 5 November 2023.
  117. ^ Earls, John (November–December 2023). "Final Messages?". Classic Pop. No. 84. pp. 40–45.
  118. ^ a b Kerr, Jim (28 October 2009). "OMD – Electricity". SimpleMinds.com. Retrieved 5 November 2023.
  119. ^ a b Bergstrom, John (6 November 2023). "Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark's 'Bauhaus Staircase' Shines". PopMatters. Retrieved 12 December 2023.
  120. ^ Silver, Marc (13 September 2010). "OMD: The Kings of Synth-Pop Meet the Queen of Soul". NPR. Retrieved 14 December 2023.
  121. ^ Smith, Mat (25 October 2023). "OMD - Bauhaus Staircase". Clash. Retrieved 14 December 2023.
  122. ^ Roy, David (18 September 2023). "OMD Announce Irish Shows for 2024". The Irish News. Retrieved 14 December 2023.
  123. ^ Wilson, Lois (26 November 2019). "My Favourite Record". Record Collector. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  124. ^ "The Pop of Lou Reed". Classic Pop. October 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2021.
  125. ^ McCluskey, Andy (24 November 2010). "The Future, the Past and Forever After". Athens Voice. We weren't trying to be pop stars and weren't terribly interested in presenting ourselves as sexy or colourful... we were just about the music.
  126. ^ a b c Ryan, Gary (14 October 2019). "Does Rock 'N' Roll Kill Braincells?! – Andy McCluskey". NME. Retrieved 21 February 2021.
  127. ^ "Orchestral Leap in the Dark". The Scotsman. 3 February 2007. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  128. ^ Watkins, Jack (21 April 2013). "Mute Record". Record Collector. Retrieved 11 August 2021.
  129. ^ Morgan, David (10 July 2015). "Andy McCluskey on Enola Gay, making a comeback and why pop music goes around in circles". Wirral Globe. Retrieved 12 June 2021.
  130. ^ a b The linked page features Wilson's introduction. Move to page (i.e. slide) 6 for his comment on OMD:
  131. ^ Ludgate, Simon (1 March 1980). "Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark: OMD". Record Mirror. p. 15.
  132. ^ Waller; Humphreys, p. 173
  133. ^ Jackson, Josh (21 June 2021). "The Best Albums of 1981". Paste. Retrieved 21 January 2024.
  134. ^ Hall, Philip (15 November 1980). "On the Carpettes". Record Mirror. p. 21.
  135. ^ Hardee, Howard (14 March 2018). "Live Music Picks: March 15–21". Salt Lake City Weekly. Retrieved 24 April 2023.
  136. ^ a b "Music review: OMD, Kelvingrove Bandstand, Glasgow". The Scotsman. 6 August 2018. Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  137. ^ Thomson, Graeme (May 2023). "Radio Waves". Uncut. pp. 74–78.
  138. ^ Waller; Humphreys, pp. 132–133
  139. ^ Mark, Elliott (25 March 2015). "Junk Culture – OMD". Record Collector. Retrieved 30 May 2021. Experimentation with the new music technologies [is] still at the heart of the duo's creative process.
  140. ^ a b Waller; Humphreys, p. 149
  141. ^ Muretich, James (4 October 1986). "Pop Develops the Blahs When Teamed with Bowie". Calgary Herald. p. 71 (F7). [OMD's] once bold musical strokes are now merely pretty colors.
  142. ^ Turner, Luke (7 August 2023). "Low Culture Podcast: An Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark Special!". The Quietus. Retrieved 11 February 2024. John [Doran] talks about Pretty in Pink and makes the case that OMD's later, more commercial records are just as good as these two classics [Architecture & Morality and Dazzle Ships].
  143. ^ Doran, John (25 September 2008). "Messages – Greatest Hits". The Quietus. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  144. ^ Metzger, Richard (23 February 2016). "Not just for John Hughes films: OMD were a much better group than they get credit for". Dangerous Minds. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  145. ^ O'Neal, Sean (26 December 2006). "Permanent Records: Albums from the A.V. Club's Hall of Fame". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on 13 May 2011. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  146. ^ a b Peel, Ian. "Messages: Greatest Hits". Record Collector. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  147. ^ Lerner, Michael (23 April 2013). "Michael Lerner (Telekinesis) talks OMD's English Electric". Talkhouse. Retrieved 29 November 2021.
  148. ^ Turner, Luke (24 September 2013). "Corrupting Sonic DNA: Moby's Favourite Albums". The Quietus. p. 12. Retrieved 4 April 2021.
  149. ^ a b Marchese, David (24 September 2012). "No Doubt Explain OMD, EDM, and Peter Hook Basslines on 'Push and Shove'". Spin. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
  150. ^ Turner, Luke (16 April 2014). "No Barrier Fun: Angus Andrew of Liars' Favourite LPs". The Quietus. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  151. ^ a b "OMD interview - Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys (part 3)". FaceCulture. 29 April 2013. Archived from the original on 3 December 2021. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  152. ^ Marsh, Phil (1994). "Talking with the Listening Pool". Telegraph. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  153. ^ Bendinger, Jessica (July 1988). "Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark". Spin. Vol. 4, no. 4. p. 14.
  154. ^ a b Casagrande, Tim (21 March 2018). "Three Acts To See This Week: OMD, SSION, and Moon Hooch". SF Weekly. Archived from the original on 22 March 2018. Retrieved 18 February 2022.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  155. ^ O'Brien, Steve (3 June 2021). "Top 20 Reunion Albums". Classic Pop. Retrieved 9 February 2024. The very earliest incarnation of OMD... found a happy halfway point between avant-garde experimentalism and chart-friendly pop. 2010's History of Modern, the group's first record since 1986's The Pacific Age, echoes that golden period, even down to its Peter Saville-designed cover.
  156. ^ Zaleski, Annie (31 August 2017). "OMD examines the complications of progress on the sparkling The Punishment of Luxury". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 9 February 2024. The Punishment of Luxury follows in the sonic footsteps of 2013's English Electric, in that it's a gentle upgrade of that sculpted-from-marble early '80s sound.
  157. ^ Fort, Hugh. "Rewind Festival 2015: 80s legends OMD gearing up for headline performance". Berkshire Live. Reach PLC. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  158. ^ French-Morris, Kate. "Soft Cell bring magnetic Soho sleaze to a stately home for Heritage Live". Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 12 August 2023.
  159. ^ Niasseri, Sassan (2 November 2019). "OMD in Portrait: Back to Orléans". Rolling Stone (in German). Retrieved 2 February 2023.
  160. ^ Simpson, Dave (28 October 2019). "OMD review – clap-along electropop sounds even better with age". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 March 2024.
  161. ^ Sherwin, Adam (16 October 2020). "OMD forced to postpone benefit gig for roadies after Andy McCluskey tests positive for Covid-19". iNews. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  162. ^ Clayton-Lea, Tony (24 February 2024). "The Guide: Rhiannon Giddens, OMD, Diversity and more events to see, shows to book and ones to catch before they end". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 24 February 2024. Retrieved 31 March 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  163. ^ a b Shey, Brittanie (23 March 2011). "March Madness". Houston Press. Retrieved 1 June 2023.
  164. ^ Taylor, John (2012). In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death and Duran Duran. Dutton. pp. 104–105. ISBN 978-0525958000.
  165. ^ Turner, Luke (19 December 2013). "Oh L'Amour: Vince Clarke of Erasure's Favourite Albums". The Quietus. p. 9. Retrieved 7 January 2024.
  166. ^ "Erasure". The O-Zone. 29 November 1995. 8 minutes in. BBC 2. British Broadcasting Corporation. When I was 18 or 19 I heard a single called 'Electricity' by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. It sounded so different from anything I'd heard; that really made me want to make electronic music, 'cause it was so unique.
  167. ^ Myers, Marc (2022). "54: 'Being Boring' – Pet Shop Boys". Anatomy of 55 More Songs: The Oral History of Top Hits That Changed Rock, Pop and Soul. Grove Press. ISBN 978-1611856583.
  168. ^ a b Lucas, Dan (19 April 2013). "Pet Shop Boys: Always Fascinating". Under the Radar. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  169. ^ Sexton, Paul (10 September 2017). "The Script Land Fourth UK No. 1 Album". Billboard. Archived from the original on 25 April 2021. Retrieved 30 April 2021.{{cite magazine}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  170. ^ O'Toole, Lucy (5 September 2019). "Tiny Magnetic Pets set to join Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark on tour". Hot Press. Archived from the original on 21 May 2023. Retrieved 23 May 2023.
  171. ^ "BBC Music Day 2017 Ambassadors". BBC Music. Retrieved 23 May 2023.
  172. ^ "Seven Tracks: Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark". Clash. 14 October 2019. Retrieved 10 April 2024.
  173. ^ "Classic Artist: OMD". Virgin Radio UK. 8 December 2019. Retrieved 10 April 2024.
  174. ^ Multiple sources:
    • "Tears for Fears". Rock. 25 September 1995. MCM. [Interviewer:] Was your early sound influenced by new wave? [Roland Orzabal:] It was more a question of the new synthesizer bands, people like Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Depeche Mode, [the] Human League – all those guys, really.
    • "Tears for Fears: Songs from the Big Chair". Classic Albums. 14 February 2020. 15 minutes in. BBC Four. British Broadcasting Corporation. [Roland Orzabal:] We found ourselves right at the beginning of the electronic explosion, and I found myself – although I'm a guitarist – absolutely loving the synthesizer [...] Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, bands like Depeche Mode, bands that didn't have a drummer, bands that used to work mainly in the studio... became the thing.
    • "Tears for Fears' "Mad World": The Story Behind the Unexpected Hit". Consequence. 1 March 2022. Archived from the original on 11 March 2022. Retrieved 11 March 2022. [Interviewer:] You transitioned [to synth-pop], and Gary Numan was one of the reasons why? [Roland Orzabal:] Absolutely... then there were these other bands emerging, like Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Depeche Mode, of course, [the] Human League. And then we [bandmate Curt Smith and I] were into an entirely different area of music.
  175. ^ Upchuck, Matt (19 June 2017). "Brian Nash Interview". Brighton Source. Retrieved 21 February 2021.
  176. ^ a b c d e "OMD's 'Pretending to See the Future'". Mersey FM. 17 May 2020. Archived from the original on 17 May 2020. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
  177. ^ McPherson, Douglas (September 2019). "Godfathers of Pop: Marian Gold". Classic Pop. Archived from the original on 23 September 2020. Retrieved 5 May 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  178. ^ Patania, Matthew (8 October 2021). "Interview: Canadian New Wave Electro-Pop Pioneers Men Without Hats Release New EP, 'Again (Part 1)'". Pulse Music Magazine. Retrieved 23 July 2023.
  179. ^ Wilson, PF (20 July 2022). "Concert Review: China Crisis, Ludlow Garage, Cincinnati, OH". Pop Culture Beast. Retrieved 17 August 2023.
  180. ^ @Wildericky (19 August 2018). "Ahh.. just had a lovely chat with @OfficialOMD Andy McCluskey" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  181. ^ Dax, Max (2 September 2012). "Max Dax interviews Bernard Sumner". Electronic Beats. Retrieved 23 July 2023.
  182. ^ Breihan, Tom (28 July 2021). "ZZ Top's Dusty Hill Dead At 72". Stereogum. Archived from the original on 28 July 2021. Retrieved 29 July 2021.
  183. ^ Hann, Michael (12 November 2018). "Gimme All Your Lovin' was a perfectly calibrated rock song — and was admired and covered by electronic acts". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 9 August 2021. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  184. ^ Simmons, Sylvie (1–15 July 1982). "Over the Top!". Kerrang!. No. 19. p. 6. [Billy Gibbons:] We steal our moves heavily off Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark.
  185. ^ Apter, Jeff (2010). Fornication: The Red Hot Chili Peppers Story (updated ed.). Omnibus Press. p. 320. ISBN 978-1-84449-829-1. 'That was very much the way I wanted my guitar playing to be', [Frusciante] explained, when asked about what influence this [synth-pop] time in music had on his playing. He spent much of his time learning parts from Kraftwerk and Depeche Mode, [the] Human League and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark.
  186. ^ a b "Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark: Related". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 14 August 2012. Retrieved 24 March 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  187. ^ Magnotta, Andrew (14 August 2017). "Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark Played Its First Show as a Dare". Q104.3. iHeartRadio. Retrieved 10 September 2023.
  188. ^ Hart, Ron (5 January 2016). "The 10 Best Reissues of 2015". The New York Observer. Retrieved 10 April 2024.
  189. ^ Houghton (2019), pp. 91–92
  190. ^ Multiple sources:
    • Sullivan, Caroline (18 June 1993). "Dark's Dancing Melodies". The Guardian. p. 31 (Music, 6/7). Much of today's dance-pop is descended from OMD's early sound
    • Green, Thomas H (23 October 2010). "Theartsdesk Q&A: Musician Andy McCluskey of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark". The Arts Desk. Retrieved 23 May 2023. The true populist musical movement of the Nineties was the post-acid house scene coming out of clubland, the music that [OMD] helped bring to fruition.
    • Browne, Paul (7 August 2015). "Sash! Q&A". Messages. Retrieved 12 August 2015. OMD is one of the leading bands in the 80s and 90s regarding electronic music/production and therefore influenced a lot of DJ/Producers who are successful now [in 1998].
  191. ^ Moayeri, Lily (21 April 2020). "20 Questions With Paul van Dyk". Billboard. Retrieved 21 February 2021.
  192. ^ Doran, John (11 March 2013). "Melancholy Euphoria: A Heterotic Interview & Full Album Stream". The Quietus. Retrieved 31 March 2024.
  193. ^ "David Guetta". Rip It Up. No. 254. October 1998. p. 3 (of 120 Seconds With... supplement).
  194. ^ Turner, Luke (24 September 2013). "Corrupting Sonic DNA: Moby's Favourite Albums". The Quietus. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  195. ^ Geary, Tim (17 March 2005). "The Boy Who Would Be George". The Telegraph. Retrieved 8 June 2023.
  196. ^ a b "Instagram video by Anohni". Instagram. 3 January 2023. 1 minutes in. Archived from the original on 4 January 2023. Retrieved 6 January 2023.
  197. ^ a b c Ranta, Alan (23 April 2013). "Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark". Exclaim!. Retrieved 14 July 2023.
  198. ^ Cummings, Damien (18 October 2019). "'Being an oddball is part of it': The Divine Comedy's Neil Hannon". Exberliner. Retrieved 21 February 2021.
  199. ^ "Interview: Stevie Jackson - Belle and Sebastian guitarist". The Scotsman. 22 November 2011. Retrieved 29 November 2021.
  200. ^ Argyrakis, Andy (25 June 2021). "The Killers' Dave Keuning drops 'A Mild Case of Everything', looks on the 'Mr. Brightside'". Chicago Concert Reviews. Retrieved 14 July 2023.
  201. ^ "Kevin Hearn of Barenaked Ladies". Cryptic Rock. 12 April 2017. Retrieved 31 March 2024.
  202. ^ Fitzmaurice, Larry (18 February 2018). "MGMT Are Still Perfectly Strange". Vice. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  203. ^ Rosen, Steven (28 September 2009). "AFI: 'We Wanted to Do Rock but Keep It Interesting'". Ultimate Guitar. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  204. ^ Murphy, James (22 May 2010). "LCD Soundsystem: This Is Happening". NME. p. 13. Murphy guides you through his new New York dance-punk troupe's new album." ... [Murphy:] "I was constantly listening to the 'Sweet Dreams'-era Eurythmics stuff and Bronski Beat and the first couple of OMD records.
  205. ^ Walters, Barry (6 September 2017). "OMD on the Dawn of Synth Pop". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  206. ^ Wade, Ian (8 April 2013). "Souvenirs: Andy McCluskey of OMD's Favourite Albums". The Quietus. Retrieved 10 April 2024.
  207. ^ Harward, Randy (18 August 2011). "Death Cab for Cutie: The Concepts Behind Codes & Keys". Salt Lake City Weekly. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  208. ^ Stamp, Tony (6 April 2017). "The Past and Present of Future Islands". Radio New Zealand. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  209. ^ Petridis, Alexis (3 April 2023). "OMD / Dazzle Ships reviewed". SuperDeluxeEdition. Retrieved 1 June 2023.
  210. ^ Travis, Ben (1 September 2015). "OMD: watch 'Genetic Engineering' live from Dazzle Ships show in Liverpool – exclusive". Evening Standard. Retrieved 10 April 2024.
  211. ^ Ashurst, Hari (16 April 2012). "Lushlife: Plateau Vision Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved 13 June 2023.
  212. ^ Bullock, Paul (22 May 2020). "Nation of Language: Introduction, Presence". Under the Radar. Retrieved 21 January 2024.
  213. ^ Lamacq, Steve (1 March 2014). "Soundtrack of My Life". NME. p. 25.
  214. ^ Houghton (2019), pp. 69–72
  215. ^ "Instagram video by Boy George". Instagram. 10 December 2020. 81 minutes in. Archived from the original on 25 December 2021. Retrieved 4 February 2024.
  216. ^ Ramirez, Ramon (26 September 2016). "Interview: Sharon Van Etten on taking charge in the studio". Austin360. Archived from the original on 1 March 2021. Retrieved 19 August 2022.
  217. ^ Madden, Emma (11 December 2020). "Deftones Talk 'Ohms' Album of the Year Nod, 'Black Stallion,' Fave Music of 2020". Revolver. Retrieved 21 February 2021.
  218. ^ Wood, Mikael (9 October 2010). "In a Big Country". Billboard. pp. 18, 20.
  219. ^ Lowe, Helen (27 May 2015). "An Interview with Anna Smaill, Author of The Chimes". HelenLowe.info. Retrieved 20 July 2022.
  220. ^ "Greta Gerwig: Mistress America". Female.com.au. Retrieved 23 August 2023.
  221. ^ Charlton, Lauretta (27 March 2015). "Noah Baumbach Shares His Musical Obsessions". Vulture. Retrieved 21 January 2024.
  222. ^ Houghton (2019), p. 4 (foreword by Brian Cox)

Bibliography edit

External links edit