Sailing on the Seven Seas

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"Sailing on the Seven Seas"
Single by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
from the album Sugar Tax
B-side Burning
Released 18 March 1991
Format CD single
Genre Synthpop
Length 3:45
Label Virgin Records
Writer(s) Andy McCluskey
Stuart Kershaw
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark singles chronology
"Brides of Frankenstein"
(1988)
"Sailing on the Seven Seas"
(1991)
"Pandora's Box"
(1991)

"Sailing on the Seven Seas" is a 1991 single by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) released from their album Sugar Tax. Along with 1981's, "Souvenir", it is the band's highest-charting UK hit to date, peaking at #3. It also charted at #5 in Ireland and #9 in Germany. The single marked a commercial renaissance for the band in their native UK, becoming their first Top 10 hit since 1984's "Locomotion".

The song pays homage to two rock groups: firstly to The Velvet Underground, with the song "Sister Ray" being directly referenced (OMD had previously covered "I'm Waiting for the Man" as a B-side to 1980 single "Messages"); and secondly to The Who, with the line "people try to drag us down" being near-identical in melody and lyrical content to the opening line of "My Generation".[1]

Critic Dave Thompson in AllMusic lauded the song as "a glorious musical mélange, an inspired melding of synth pop soar, 2-Tone yore, and glam rock roar, the anthemic chorus to the fore with a fist-in-the-air punch that shouts out for more."[2]

MTV Europe ranked "Sailing on the Seven Seas" as the 21st greatest song of 1991.[3]

Track listings[edit]

7": Virgin / VS 1310 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Sailing on the Seven Seas"
  2. "Burning"

12": Virgin / VS 1310 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Sailing on the Seven Seas (Extended Version)"
  2. "Floating on the Seven Seas"

CD Single (VSCDT1310)[edit]

  1. "Sailing on the Seven Seas"
  2. "Floating on the Seven Seas"
  3. "Sailing on the Seven Seas" (Larrabee Mix)
  4. "Sugar Tax"

CD Single (VSCDX1310)[edit]

  1. "Sailing on the Seven Seas"
  2. "Burning"
  3. "Dancing on the Seven Seas"
  4. "Big Town"

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1991) Peak
position
German Singles Chart 9
UK Singles Chart 3
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play 7

References[edit]

  1. ^ Andy McCluskey interview. Granada Reports. ITV Granada. July 1991. Presenter: "OMD...have enjoyed a career revival of late with smash hit 'Sailing on the Seven Seas' which was influenced by, of all things, rock groups like The Who and The Velvet Underground."
  2. ^ "Sailing on the Seven Seas" review at AllMusic
  3. ^ "Top 100 of 1991". MTV Europe. December 1991.