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OMITD in early 1980 with tape recorder Winston

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) are an English new wave/synthpop group formed in 1978, whose founding members, Andy McCluskey (vocals, bass guitar) and Paul Humphreys (keyboards, vocals), are originally from the Wirral Peninsula, Merseyside, England. While steadily eschewing pop star status, the band cultivated a fanbase in the United Kingdom from 1978–1980, aided also by a live support slot to Gary Numan in 1979. They gained popularity throughout Europe with the 1980 single 'Enola Gay', and achieved broader recognition via the album Architecture & Morality (1981) and its singles. They fell from grace somewhat with fans with the release of their 1983 experimental album Dazzle Ships which was preceded by their fourth and final Peel session.(Read more at Wikipedia)

Links to Peel

OMD were part of a cluster of bands that emerged from Liverpool’s Eric’s club in the late 1970s, and Peel was happy to give airtime to their debut single, ‘Electricity’, which was released on Manchester's Factory Records (introducing their debut session on 03 September 1979 he refers to them as "The Electricity Boys"). Quickly snapped up by Virgin’s Dindisc imprint, the band became chart regulars in the early 1980s, although their first two albums, both released in 1980, were still featured by Peel. The session versions of their first two hit singles "Messages" and "Enola Gay" were both recorded some months prior to their respective release dates and as a result are radically different to the final official releases. The group had the last of four sessions, featuring tracks from their new experimental album Dazzle Ships, in 1983. Andy McCluskey was quoted as saying that he was much happier with the recording of the then new single "Genetic Engineering" than he was with the official studio version, while Peel commented that it featured "a much more muscular sound than we are used to from OMD" [1]. The DJ also introduced OMD on Top Of The Pops.

In August 1979, Peel played a version of 'Julia's Song' by an earlier incarnation of the band, then called the Id, from the “Street To Street” compilation of bands from the Liverpool area.[1] (The DJ had written the sleevenotes for the collection.[2]) On introducing the session version of the song he said the The Id and Orchestral Manoeuvres were in fact the same bands.

Like OMD, Peel was from the Wirral, on the other side of the Mersey from Liverpool, and this may have encouraged him to give an unexpected play in 2002 to their track ‘Stanlow’, from their 1980 album Organisation, about a local oil refinery in Ellesmere Port.[3]

Festive Fifty Entries

  • None

Sessions

Four sessions. All tracks except the version of 'Bunker Soldiers' from #4 released on Peel Sessions 1979-83 CD, 2000 (Virgin, 7243 8 49068 2 5). The version of 'Electricity' released on the CD is a bonus track and not taken from a Peel session. 'Messages' from #1 also available on Various Artists: Movement: BBC Radio 1 Peel Sessions 1977-1979 2xCD, 2011 (EMI ‎– CDPEEL 7779).

1. Recorded 1979-08-20. First broadcast 03 September 1979. Repeated 08 October 1979.

  • Julia's Song / Messages / Red Frame White Light / Bunker Soldiers

2. Recorded 1980-04-14. First broadcast 21 April 1980. Repeated 06 May 1980, 02 June 1980, 25 June 1980.

  • Pretending To See The Future / Enola Gay / Dancing / Motion And Heart

3. Recorded 1980-09-29. First broadcast 06 October 1980. Repeated 03 November 1980.

  • Annex / The Misunderstanding / The More I See You

4. Recorded 1983-01-29. First broadcast 21 February 1983. Repeated 09 May 1983, 28 December 1983.

  • Genetic Engineering / Of All The Things We've Made / Abc Auto-Industry / Bunker Soldiers

Other Shows Played

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark - Peel Session 1983

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark - Peel Session 1983

1979
1980
2002
  • 30 July 2002: Maid Of Orleans (12") Dindisc (JP: "Not quite sure why I played that, but I was looking for something else and came across it and thought I'd like to hear it. And I thought you might like to hear it as well.")
  • 24 October 2002: Stanlow (album - Organisation) Dindsc DID 6
The Id

Top Of The Pops

See Also

External Links

Footnotes
  1. OMD - Peel Sessions 1979-1983 sleevenotes.
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