Hello, maybe i'm posting too late these days-about an hour later as usual, this time no exception. Obviously over the years i posted a decent amount of socalled eighties music, in general i stayed clear of the more commercial acts as these get enough attention. Well the band today collapsed several times and at the moment is succesful again after basicly being lifted by the audience.... That said i still don't understand why their first album wasn't a mega success, fresh electronic music streaming out the speakers, it's still lifting my mood today. Their 2nd album was a bit of a downer-in sync with the times somewhat, held up by a leftover from the first album, Enola Gay. With the third album, which caught me by the tirtle Architecture and Morality, they switched direction again going for a strong melodic sound, Europe loved it, personally i was less impressed, and why i bought their next three albums i dont know, these are in my cabinet with less then 10 spins put together as it where. And now, the best and brightest of Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark coming up.
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Founders Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys met at primary school in Meols on the Wirral Peninsula, in the early 1960s, and in the mid-1970s, as teenagers, they were involved in different local groups. By the mid-1970s McCluskey had formed Equinox, as bassist and vocalist, alongside schoolmate Malcolm Holmes on drums, while Humphreys was their roadie. During that time McCluskey and Humphreys discovered their electronic style influenced by Kraftwerk.
In September 1977,McCluskey and Humphreys put together the seven-piece (three singers, two guitarists, bassist, drummer, and keyboard player) Wirral 'supergroup' 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 record of local bands called Street to Street. In August 1978, The Id split due to the traditional musical differences. The same month, McCluskey joined the electronic Wirral quartet Dalek I Love You as lead singer, but quit in September.
In September 1978, the same month he left Dalek I Love You, McCluskey rejoined Humphreys and their project was named Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. They began to gig regularly as a duo, performing to backing tracks played from a Teac 4 track tape-recorder .Their debut performance was in October 1978 at Eric's Club in Liverpool. Finding themselves on the cusp of an electronic new wave in British pop-music, they released a one-off single, "Electricity", with celebrated independent label Factory Records. The track was supposed to be produced by the legendary Factory Records producer Martin Hannett, in fact, the A-side was the bands original demo produced by their friend, and soon to be manager, Paul Collister. The single's sleeve was designed by Peter Saville, whose distinctive graphics provided OMD's public image well into the mid-80s.
In 1979 they were asked to support Gary Numan on his first major British tour. They were always grateful to Numan for his help and support. He let them travel on his bus and use his trucks to transport their gear. They returned the favour some 13 years later when they asked Numan to support them on their arena tour in the mid-nineties
The eponymous first album (1980) showcased the band's live set at the time, and was basically recorded by the Humphreys/McCluskey duo, although included some guest drums from Id drummer Malcolm Holmes, and saxophone from Wirral musician Martin Cooper. It had a simple, raw, poppy, melodic synthpop sound. Dindisc arranged for the song "Messages" to be re-recorded (produced by Gong bassist Mike Howlett) and released as a single – this gave the band their first hit. A tour followed, the tape recorder was augmented with live drums from Malcolm Holmes, and Dalek I Love You's Dave Hughes on synths. Hughes then left OMD in November 1980, replaced by Martin Cooper.
The second album Organisation followed later that year, recorded as a 3 piece with Humphreys, McCluskey and Holmes. It was again produced by Howlett, and saw a rather moodier, dark feel. The album spawned the hit single "Enola Gay", named after the plane that dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. The song was originally intended to be included on the debut album, but was left out at the final selection, which may explain why the song is somewhat at odds with the darker feel of the second album.
November 1981 saw the release of their most commercially successful album in the UK and Europe – Architecture & Morality. The album's sound saw OMD's original synth-pop sound augmented by the Mellotron, an instrument previously associated with prog rock bands. They used it to add very atmospheric swatches of string, choir and other sounds to their palette. Two more hit singles "Joan of Arc" and "Maid of Orleans" were taken from the album, which eventually sold more than 3 million copies.
1983 saw the band lose commercial momentum somewhat, with the release of their more experimental Dazzle Ships album, which mixed melancholy synth ballads and uptempo synthpop with musique concrete and short wave radio tape collages. It was recorded by the 4-piece Humphreys/Holmes/Cooper/McCluskey line-up, and produced by Rhett Davies. Its relative commercial failure caused a crisis of confidence for Humphreys and McCluskey and brought about a deliberate move towards the mainstream. 1984's Junk Culture was a return to a poppier sound and saw the band using 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. The "Locomotion" single returned the group to the top five in the UK and was a good indicator of the group's new found sound In 85 the band expanded to a sextet, featuring new band members Graham (guitar, trombone, keys) and Neil Weir (trumpet), and released Crush, produced by Stephen Hague. The success of the single "So in Love" in the US Hot 100 also led to some success for the LP which entered the American Top 40, establishing the group in the US as well as making Stephen Hague a sought-after producer.
Later in 1985, the band wrote the song "If You Leave" for the John Hughes movie Pretty in Pink. The song was featured on the soundtrack and became a huge hit in the US and Canada where it reached the Top 5. The same six piece line-up also released The Pacific Age in 1986, but the band began to see their critical and public popularity wane in the UK while they failed to capitalise upon their breakthrough in the US market. The Pacific Age contained the UK #11 hit single, "(Forever) Live & Die" . However, the band's increasingly commercial direction was causing growing dissatisfaction among the band's long-term fans, as well as within the band itself.
During 1988 the band appeared poised to consolidate their US success, with a support slot for Depeche Mode's 101 tour at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California on 28 June 1988, a top 20 US hit with "Dreaming" and a successful "Best of" album. However, it was at this point when OMD broke in two. Co-founder Paul Humphreys was the first to depart the group in 1989, unhappy with the band's commercial orientation. The Weirs were then downgraded to auxiliary members and soon left the fold. Finally, Cooper, and Holmes left OMD by 1990 to join Humphreys in founding a new band called The Listening Pool.
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 critically acclaimed Sugar Tax LP in 1991, which charted admirably at #3 in the UK. McCluskey would then work with keyboardists Nigel Ippinson and Phil Coxon for the album Liberator (1993). McCluskey returned with a rotating cast of musicians for the 1996 album Universal. For this last album, Humphreys returned as a co-writer of a few songs, though not as a performer or group member.
Though both Liberator and Universal produced minor hits and the latter also spawned their first Top 20 hit in five years with "Walking On The Milky Way", McCluskey retired the OMD name in late 1996, due to waning public interest in an 80's synth band at the height of the guitar-based Britpop era.
Post-1996, McCluskey decided to focus on management and songwriting , with McCluskey focusing his talents elsewhere, Humphreys decided to play many revival shows using the OMD banner. On 1 January 2006, Andy McCluskey announced plans to reform OMD with the McCluskey, Humphreys, Holmes and Cooper line up. The original plan was to tour the album Architecture & Morality and other pre-1983 material, then record a new album set for release in 2007..
Through May and June, the band toured with the "classic" line up of McCluskey, Humphreys, Holmes and Cooper. They began their set with a re-ordered but otherwise complete restaging of the Architecture & Morality album. The second half of each concert featured a selection of their best known hits, and audience reaction was consistently positive. In June 2009 an orchestral concert with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic was given in Liverpool. A recording of this concert was released on DVD in December 2009.November and December also saw a return to arena touring as support for Simple Minds. OMD's 11th studio album, History of Modern, was released on 20. September 2010 to positive critical acclaim, reaching #28 in the UK album charts, and has sold well over 100,000 in Europe. A European tour to promote the album followed in November 2010. In March of 2011 OMD played their first North American tour as the original line up since 1988. The shows were hugely popular with unanimously positive reviews reflecting a general acknowledgement of the bands influential place in musical history combined with their ability to still deliver an incredibly powerful live show.
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OMD's first full-length album won as much attention for its brilliant die-cut cover -- another example of Peter Saville's cutting-edge way around design -- as for its music, and its music is wonderful. For all that, this is a young band, working for just about the last time with original percussionist Winston; there's both a variety and ambition present that never overreaches itself. The influences are perfectly clear throughout, but Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys would have been the last people to deny how Kraftwerk, Sparks, and other avatars of post-guitar pop touched them. What's undeniably thrilling, though, is how quickly the two synthesized their own style. Consider "Almost," with its dramatic keyboard opening suddenly shifting into a collage of wheezing sound beats and McCluskey's precise bass and heartfelt, lovelorn singing and lyrics. The chilly keyboard base of "The Messerschmitt Twins" gets offset by McCluskey's steadily stronger vocal, while the swooping, slightly hollow singing on "Mystereality" slips around a quietly quirky arrangement, helped just enough by Martin Cooper's at-the-time guest sax. Even the fairly goofy "Dancing" has a weird atmosphere at play in the metallic vocals and groaning tones. In terms of sheer immediacy, there's little doubt what the two highlights are -- the re-recorded and arguably better version of "Electricity" is pure zeitgeist, a celebration of synth pop's incipient reign with fast beats and even faster singing. "Messages," though it would later benefit from a far more stunning reworking, still wears the emotion of its lyrics on its sleeve, with a killer opening line -- "It worries me, this kind of thing, how you hope to live alone and occupy your waking hours" -- and a melody both propulsive and fragile. The mysterious chimes and spy movie dramatics of "Red Frame/White Light" (inspired by a phone box) are almost as striking. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark is just like the band that made it -- perfectly of its time and easily transcending it. Bonus Tracks (11 Messages (Single Version) 4:46, 12 I Betray My Friends 3:52, 13 Taking Sides Again 4:22, 14 Waiting For The Man 3:00, 15 Electricity (Hannett / Cargo Studios Version) 3:36, 16 Almost (Hannett / Cargo Studios Version) 3:52
OMD - Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark ( 141mb)
01 Bunker Soldiers 2:53
02 Almost 3:44
03 Mystereality 2:45
04 Electricity 3:39
05 The Messerschmitt Twins 5:41
06 Messages 4:12
07 Julia's Song 4:41
08 Red Frame / White Light 3:11
09 Dancing 2:58
10 Pretending To See The Future 3:47
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OMD made a return to form, however, on their third album, 1981's Architecture & Morality. Shaking off the dread of their music engaging with the public while simultaneously weathering critical scrutiny, OMD shows a greater facility for pop melody, crafting songs of aching fragility rather than off-putting gloom. Along with the Human League's Dare-- also initially released in 1981-- Architecture & Morality is a bridge between synth-pop's more bleak, industrial beginnings and the shimmer and shine of ambitious New Pop. Lush ballads such as "The Beginning and the End" and "Souvenir" effortlessly cast aside OMD's final notions of Gary Numan-esque faux-robotics. Re-Mastered issue of the 1981 album. Contains 7 bonus tracks which are b-sides of the singles from the album and also "Gravity Never Failed", recorded during the A&M sessions.
OMD - Architecture & Morality ( 143mb)
01 The New Stone Age 3:18
02 She's Leaving 3:26
03 Souvenir 3:36
04 Sealand 7:42
05 Joan Of Arc 3:48
06 Joan Of Arc (Maid Of Orleans) 4:10
07 Architecture & Morality 3:38
08 Georgia 3:20
09 Beginning & the End 3:44
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