Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, better known as OMD, is an English group formed in 1978 by Andy McCluskey, singer and bass player, and Paul Humphreys, singer and keyboard player.
Originally, the 2 friends formed the group "Id" which will leave in history only the single "Julia's song". Ephemeral group which gives way to a project called "VCL XI" which allows them to deepen their experiments in electronic music.
It was in 1978 that the project was officially renamed "Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark", an obscure name which is apparently the fruit of McCluskey's intimate thoughts.
In 1979 their first single "Electricity" was released under the Factory Records label.
At the same time, Gary Numan, a singer very in vogue at the time across the Channel and a fan of their innovative music, took them on tour with him, allowing them to considerably increase their notoriety.
Released in 1980 their first album, named after the group, which contains the flagship title "Messages". Album with big esteem success.
This is the second album "Organization", released the same year, which will brutally change their destiny in a lasting way.
Because it contains the enormous interplanetary tube "Enola Gay", in reference to the plane which dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. It’s a huge success and the title sets fire to all the dancefloor on the planet.
Note the presence on the album of another quality track, namely the excellent "Motion and heart".
In 1981 the album "Architecture & Morality" was released, which remains their biggest commercial success to date. In particular thanks to the enormous single "Souvenir", as well as to the bewitching and surrealist tracks "Joan of Arc" and "Maid of Orleans".
Two years passed before their new album "Dazzle ships" was released in 1983. Surely the most experimental but unfortunately with much more limited success than the previous one. Two flagship titles will be extracted, namely the excellent "Telegraph" and "Genetic engineering".
The success returns in 1984 with the release of the album "Junk Culture" which contains the huge hit "Locomotion", as well as "Tesla girls", single of good quality and the sublime "Never turn away" with the atmosphere so particular.
A year later in 1985, the album "Crush" was released, which was to break through across the Atlantic thanks to the flagship title "So in love". Without forgetting the excellent "Secret".
In 1986, it was the single "If you leave", which was part of the soundtrack of the film "Pretty in pink", which in turn was a hit. Especially in Australia, Canada and the USA.
Released the album "The pacific age" which contains the wonder "(Forever) Live & die", surely one of their most beautiful titles in all albums.
Despite this, their popularity is starting to wane ...
In 1988, the group exploded ... Humphreys formed a new group "The Listening Pool" and McCluskey therefore remained alone at the helm.
The new album “Sugar tax” of the new WCO was released in 1991 and was a definite success.
In particular thanks to the titles "Sailing on the seven seas" and "Then you turn away".
In 1993 the album “Liberator” was released, and it was mainly released “Dream of me” which in truth is a cover of the cult “Love’s theme” from the group “Love Unlimited Orchestra”.
The adventure ended in style in 1996 with the release of the album "Universal" from which the excellent "Walking on the milky way" will be extracted.
It will end in style for the 90s. Because they will come back later, but that's another story ...
OMD will stay in history as one of the most innovative, avant-garde, and prolific groups of the 1980s.
To discover or rediscover.
Discography (among others ...) :
• Electricity 1979
• Red frame 1980
• Messages 1980
• Enola gay 1980
• Promise 1980
• Souvenir 1981
• Joan of arc 1981
• Maid of Orleans 1982
• She's leaving 1982
• Genetic engineering 1983
• Telegraph 1983
• Locomotion 1984
• Talking loud and clear 1984
• Tesla girls 1984
• Never turn away 1984
• So in love 1985
• Secret 1985
• If you leave 1986
• (Forever) Live and die 1986
• We love you 1986
• Shame 1987
• Dreaming 1988
• Sailing on the seven seas 1991
• Pandora's box 1991
• Then you turn away 1991
• Call my name 1991
• Stand above me 1993
• Dream of me 1993
• Everyday 1993
• Walking on the milky way 1996
• Universal 1996
• If you want it 2010
1979 ... their beginnings. They arrive with an incredible sound, hitherto unknown. Youg men out of nowhere who will become one of the major groups of the decade, even of the twentieth century
1980 ... the first classified hit. It did not take long for this very promising group to demonstrate that they were there for everything except for doing some figuration. And that's just the beginning...
1980 ... a suite which confirms an already extraordinary talent, just like their inspiration. There is really something special going on with this group, that's clear ...
1980 ... then comes this title ! They simply sign here one of the most HUGE hits of the decade and of the end of the XXth century. The group becomes one of the biggest phenomena of the moment thanks to this title which will remain as a musical monument of the 80s. A consecration quite deserved ! MO-NU-MEN-TAL !
1980 ... and the rest is just as effective even if it cannot reach the same level of consecration. Each title now becomes an event in itself ...
1981 ... now it's a title released = at least 1 top hit. Including this one which will undoubtedly remain as one of their most beautiful and most emblematic. What talent !
1981 ... a sumptuous and astonishing tribute to Joan of Arc ... Would our English friends have remorse ...? Anyway, we simply enjoy !
1982 ... and what about that one ! Absolutely sublime music always in homage to our national Maid, a virgin who will have particularly inspired them, to say the least !
1982 ... a decidedly exceptional year with a shower of very very large caliber titles with extraordinary inspiration. But where are they going to get it all !
1983 ... the 1st phase of mutation. The sound changes, evolves towards new sound spheres. The group senses new trends in advance and immediately transposes them into notes and sounds ...
1983 ... another proof of the change ! They may evolve and mutate, they are still as good and always as inspired ! Another title that will undoubtedly remain as one of their most emblematic. HU-GE !
1984 ... another title that will win all the honors. A new HUGE hit which consolidates their position as the flagship group of the decade and which maintains them at a literally stratospheric level of success !
1984 ... a little country delirium antipodes from what they usually do. From time to time, it is good to think outside the box, but watch out for the big gap that could cause a regrettable departure from the road ...
1984 ... the year with 4 top hits, just that. Only 1991 will do as well ! The group is at the top of its possibilities and transforms everything it touches into solid gold. Totally stunning !
1984 ... the WONDER. An amazing title that literally floats in the air. And who will not be the last, far from it. The group manages to sublimate himself in all areas, whether in Dance or in the Intimist. Extremely incredible extreme versatility !
1985 ... new year, new album and ... new mega hit ! The inspiration of the group does not weaken an iota and allows them to once again crush the competition. A habit with them now !
1985 ... there is no secret, when one is good, one is good ! And they are incredibly good ! Another of their best titles without a doubt !
1986 ... the years go by and nothing changes. Neither quality, talent, nor inspiration. Are not many groups on the market at this time to remain as stable...that's clear !
1986 ... which will remain as one of their biggest hits. On average, it's 1 mega hit per year with them ! For 1986, it will be this one. With the key a level of success to drool all the competition ...
1986 ... another year of triple hits ! This will be the 'little' hit of the year but a little hit among them and a top hit among others. It's all about scale !
1987 ... an amazing empty year. The group will release only one title during this year 1987, which will meet only after all limited success. Industrial accident as they say ...
1988 ... fortunately business resumes in this year 1988. Already almost 10 years of uninterrupted top hits. An almost record ! But they are worth it !
1991 ... they were born at the end of the decade 70, will have grown then exploded during the decade 80. And we find them at the beginning of the decade 90 fresh like roaches...not beautiful that !
1991 ... the other year with 4 top hits. 7 years after a remarkable 1984, the group still manages to surprise us. Here they sign their biggest hit of the 90s. Class !
1991 ... certainly the last 2 titles of the year will be minor hits concerning them but we are not going to turn away from such a brilliant and talented group. Impossible !