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OMD Album Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Havoc, Dec 4, 2014.

  1. Havoc

    Havoc Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Poland
    Another of my very favorite bands that has thankfully come back to release some great music lately. OMD has a great body of work and like many bands, they had their ups and downs which also included a lot of shuffling around of band members but if you were ever a fan of synthesizer driven music with catchy tunes then there's a good chance this group caught your ear.

    I've always felt this was one of the most underrated bands and not just one of the great synth bands to come out but one of the best bands period.....to paraphrase another music magazine writer who said exactly what I had felt for quite some time. OMD has a great body of work even though at times getting to like some of their albums took a little work and perhaps a very open mind. Like many others, I've found something to like about each album although admittedly some of them had to grow on me but I think the investment in time was well worth it.

    Formed in Scotland by Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphries in the late 70's, OMD caught the wave of Kraftwerk influenced musicians as a kind of protest against the guitar driven music that dominated the airwaves. The members had crossed paths while members of other groups but were able to gel together and find local success fairly quickly with the release of the single "Electricity" and a following tour in support of Gary Numan.

    Their debut album was received fairly warmly and got the band on its way to very solid success with the help of songs such as "Enola Gay" and the classic album "Architecture and Morality". The band achieved arena level success in the mid-80's and appeared on the "Pretty in Pink" soundtrack with "If You Leave" which helped maintain a huge level of popularity. The band then started to falter a bit and McCluskey found himself carrying the OMD banner through the 90's and although he released some solid albums and memorable songs, he hung the banner up in 1996. The band recently reformed and released "History of a Modern" and "English Electric" which were both well received. Theirs in another of my favorite collections that I turn to regularly and I hope this thread will help illuminate how important this band's contributions really were, I really put them up there with the heavy hitters of their generation and they are looked upon as a driving force that helped influence a lot of 80's bands.

    [​IMG]

    Orchestral Manoeuvers in the Dark

    Produced by OMD and Chester Valentino

    OMD's debut is a great album and one of the best of the decade. This was one of those along with Big Country's "The Crossing" that really made you wonder how a new group could pull something like this off. Recorded with the help of their tape player named "Winston", this album is full of great melodies and very impressive arrangements. "Electricity" is just a great song and is supported by several strong album cuts...definitely a sign of great things to come and they didn't disappoint. Thankfully it was well received at the time and is looked back upon very fondly by fans and critics alike.

    Side one
    No.
    Title Writer(s) Length
    1. "Enola Gay" McCluskey 3:31
    2. "2nd Thought" McCluskey 4:12
    3. "Bunker Soldiers" 2:51
    4. "Almost" 3:46
    5. "Electricity" 3:32
    6. "Statues" 4:08
    Side two
    No.
    Title Writer(s) Length
    7. "The Misunderstanding" 4:45
    8. "Julia's Song" McCluskey, Humphreys, Julia Kneale 4:32
    9. "Motion And Heart" 3:13
    10. "Messages" 3:59
    11. "Stanlow"
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2014
  2. Former Scientist

    Former Scientist Now on wheels....

    Location:
    UK
    A great band. I've only seen them twice, once supporting Gary Numan, in, what, 79? when they played on what looked like AstroTurf as a pair with a revox, and on the History of Modern comeback in Aintree Liverpool, both great gigs....I think I have most of their releases from the Electricity single to English Electric (one of those signed Amazon copies) so I'm a bit of a fan....if you are starting with the first album, I have to say it has my favourite song about telephone boxes on it, the naggingly catchy Red Frame, White Light....argh, I'll be singing that all day now....
     
    Front 242 Addict likes this.
  3. rxcory

    rxcory proud marching band parent

    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    English Electric got me in to OMD when it came out last year. Can't believe how much great stuff they released over the years that I never knew about.
     
  4. Neonbeam

    Neonbeam All Art Was Once Contemporary

    Location:
    Planet Earth
    Loved them in the 80's but lost touch around the time of the fallout. Somehow I hated "Sailing On The Seven Seas" and "Pandora's Box" back in the day - even though the latter had a lovely Louise Brooks connection. But at the time it seemed such a cash in. And I was more into Sub Pop anyway:)

    My girlfriend recently played the album ("Sugartax") on CD and I found myself defending it while she put it down. This has aged pretty well acually:)

    At the moment I have their debut and "Architecture" on vinyl, one is a UK original in die-cut sleeve - if this was by Joy Division or another Factory band prices would be skyhigh but since it is only OMD it can be had fairly cheap - the other a Japanese release. I think both are fantastic albums. Oh....and "English Electric". Which I think is...well...definitely not bad but also a little obvious.

    What else do I want? I'd definitely pick up any interesting copy of "Dazzle Ships" because back in the day I loved it. "Organisation" never did much for me anyway and then there are "Junk Culture", "Crush" and "Pacific Age". Totally unsure if I really need to revisit them. Once again, if I see an interesting pressing (a promo, Japanese edition or a signed copy) for a good price I MIGHT be tempted but I don't really expect to like them as much as I did back in the day.
     
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  5. D.H.

    D.H. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Malmö, Sweden
    Is there something wrong with the track listing in the OP or did the american (?) version combine their debut with some tracks from their second album Organisation?

    Anyway. Great band.
     
  6. Former Scientist

    Former Scientist Now on wheels....

    Location:
    UK
    I didn't know the US edition cut some tracks and glommed on the singles from the second album...you didn't get Red Frame, White Light!
     
  7. Sammy Waslow

    Sammy Waslow Just watching the show

    Location:
    Ireland
    I love OMD. I've seen them four times since the reunion, and every time was a joy. In fact, the last time, on the English Electric tour, was my favourite show of theirs.

    The track listing you've posted is for a US-only album that was a hybrid of the UK debut (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark) and the follow-up (Organisation).
    I think I'll make up an iTunes playlist for my drive to work so I can assess it in the guise you have it in, but with three killer singles and the closing epic Stanlow (surely one of their greatest songs), this is an impressive set.
    However, on the negative side, this version does exclude the aforementioned gem, Red Frame White Light and the debut's closing track, Pretending to see the Future.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2014
    Markyp, Front 242 Addict and JeffMo like this.
  8. D.H.

    D.H. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Malmö, Sweden
    I think the original track listing is awesome. Love Pretending to See the Future.
     
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  9. T'mershi Duween

    T'mershi Duween Forum Resident

    Location:
    Y'allywood
    I just picked up the current cd of Architecture & Morality and I have to say that is sounds terrible. Definitely not the vinyl I remember. I guess I need to track down a vinyl copy? Is there a good digital version of this album?

    I also picked up Dazzle Ships (my favorite) and it sounds much better. Still not as good as the original vinyl. I still have that.

    Really disappointed in the current crop of remasters. I wish they were as good as the Yello remasters. Those sound fabulous.

    OMD are a very underrated group.
     
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  10. Havoc

    Havoc Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Poland
    I was in a hurry and the UK list wouldn't copy over for some odd reason. Feel free to list the UK disc, I just don't feel like tapping it out at the moment or I'll post a correction tomorrow.
     
  11. Pavol Stromcek

    Pavol Stromcek Forum Resident

    Location:
    SF Bay Area

    The OP appears to have mistaken this compilation (which collects songs from the first two albums) for their debut.

    To my knowledge, all versions of the debut (including the US) have this track listing:

    Bunker Soldiers
    Almost
    Mystereality
    Electricity
    The Messerschmidt Twins
    Messages
    Julia's Song
    Red Frame/White Light
    Dancing
    Pretending To See The Future


    So, let's make sure we have a discussion about the actual debut!
     
  12. davers

    davers Forum Resident

    In addition to Electricity, I've always considered Messages to be one of their very best songs. I'll never forget that performance from the Architecture And Morality tour...the synth line was so powerful if felt like they were shaking the foundation!
     
  13. Havoc

    Havoc Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Poland
    Let's not and say we did................since getting my physical copy of Simple Minds Big Music, I developed attitude and got PO'd at why the UK version wouldn't move off my clipboard properly so I displayed "the bird" and copied the other one over that seemed a bit more cooperative. I blame Wikipedia....locusts....the government....traffic....it's not my fault!!!!!
     
  14. jimod99

    jimod99 Daddy or chips?

    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    I'm sure you know, but Electricity was originally released on Factory.
     
    JeffMo likes this.
  15. jimod99

    jimod99 Daddy or chips?

    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    OMD were formed in Liverpool, not Scotland.
     
  16. Havoc

    Havoc Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Poland
    I had read they met in Glasgow then moved to Liverpool so their roots were technically Glaswegian. Don't ever argue with me in front of the men again. :nyah:
     
  17. Neonbeam

    Neonbeam All Art Was Once Contemporary

    Location:
    Planet Earth
    Yes:) I think the whole first album has a Martin Hanett vibe. Which is maybe why I never really liked the second. But back then this and the Simple Minds were two terrific bands. Well....up to 1983 at last;) But I prefer ANY post-1983 OMD album to any post-1983 Simpe Minds record;) BUT...."Blindfolded" - from "Big Music" - is a terrific track!
     
  18. Former Scientist

    Former Scientist Now on wheels....

    Location:
    UK
    Erm...they are from the Wirral, just across the Mersey from Liverpool....Stanlow is the big refinery there, hence the song.
     
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  19. Wmcmanus

    Wmcmanus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cayman Islands
    Got all excited thinking this was a thread about the Ozark Mountain Daredevils. Oh well. It'll shine when in shines...
     
  20. jimod99

    jimod99 Daddy or chips?

    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    Never trust Wikipedia!!

    They are most certainly NOT from Glasgow!
     
  21. Tony L

    Tony L Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    They actually come from Meols on the Wirral, across the Mersey from Liverpool, which was the area I grew up. A lot of their earliest gigs were in this area, some under the earlier band name of The Id. I saw them a couple of times. The Id's version of Julia's Song can be found on the Street To Street compilation on Open Eye records (link).

    [​IMG]

    Here's a picture of the telephone box outside the Railway Inn in Meols, which has the phone number 632-3003 as mentioned in Red Frame White Light. It still has that number - I took the pic earlier this year when I went back for a cycle around the area (I now live elsewhere).

    There are many versions of the first OMD album on vinyl with differing covers, by far the nicest being the original die-cut slatted Peter Saville design which was pressed in several different colours (blue outer, orange inner being the earliest). The debut remains my favourite OMD album - I grew up with it, OMD were a couple of years older than me (Andy Mc went to the same school).

    It's also worth noting that there are several different versions of the Electricity 7" (Factory and at least two Dindisc, plus the LP version) and the 10" single of Messages (an entirely different recording to the album) is an amazing sounding record, very weighty! Rather annoyingly I seem to have lost my Factory copy of Electricity somewhere over the years.

    PS A very closely related album (some member overlap from The Id) which is absolutely wonderful and hopelessly neglected from the era is Dalek I's Compass Kum'pass. Well worth tracking that one down IMO.
    .
     
  22. JeffMo

    JeffMo Format Agnostic

    Location:
    New England
    I'd never heard a song quite like "Messages", before or since!

    It would be wrong not to mention the original LP sleeve was done by Peter Saville of Factory Records fame.

    Havoc, I do hope you have actually heard the real debut album. If not you are in for a treat.
     
  23. jimod99

    jimod99 Daddy or chips?

    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    I first saw OMD in 1979 in Glasgow supporting Gary Numan!
     
  24. Natcat

    Natcat Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    I remember saving up my pocket money for Architecture & Morality 1981 so it really has a special place in my heart. Years ago I picked up the early 80s CD (CDID 12) and it's the best I've heard on digital. It's also worth noting that the CD contains pre-emphasis and is warm and natural, quite the opposite of the remasters which are ghastly imo.

    Hope that helps.
     
  25. Former Scientist

    Former Scientist Now on wheels....

    Location:
    UK
    Hey, same tour I saw them, but at the Manchester Apollo! Was it AstroTurf or some sort of artificial grass they performed on??? Lucky they didn't break a leg....
     

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