Sunday, 20 January 2013

Five Star Songs- Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark- Telegraph

Quietly last week, veteran synth pop band Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) announced they were releasing a new album in April. The news seemed to be lost in all of the hype over  other artists, old and new (Bowie, Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Depeche Mode, Black Sabbath etc....), who will be coming out  with LPs later this year. The album will be titled English Electric and has a release date of April 9th.

On top of that, the original 4 piece band featuring Andy McCluskey, Paul Humphreys, Malcolm Holmes and Martin Cooper will be reuniting for a 35th anniversary tour of the UK and Europe (No word on any North American dates yet)

OMD's popularity peaked in the mid-eighties, but their second best album, Dazzle Ships, was released in 1983, and is notorious for being the band's biggest flop. The album was chalk full of sound collages and shortwave radio recordings that turned off many listeners and critics alike. However, mixed in with the mess of foghorns and robot voices, were a few brilliant pop songs including the singles Genetic Engineering and Telegraph.

Telegraph was the best track on the album, but only made it to number 42 on the British charts. The song honours obsolete electronics at a time when technology was rapidly it still is today. The song is a stand out on Dazzle Ships compared to all of the other experimental din on the avant-garde LP. Listen to the track below:

After Dazzle Ships tanked, OMD went into a poppier direction and had their biggest U.S. hit with If You Leave from the Pretty in Pink soundtrack. By the mid-nineties the synth pop sound was dead and was overtaken by the rave scene, In 1996, OMD lead singer Andy McCluskey disbanded the band and went on to form all girl pop group Atomic Kitten.

Synth pop has regained a renaissance in recent years and the original lineup of OMD decided to re-form in 2006. The band have been releasing new material, touring and reissuing their older material ever since.

Dazzle Ships was rereleased plus remastered with added bonus tracks in 2008, and gained critical acclaim from many music critics. You can find the reissue CD and the original vinyl at Amazon or check your local record store.

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