Sugar Tax (album)
|Studio album by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark|
|Released||7 May 1991|
The Pink Museum, Liverpool
The Strongroom, London
The Townhouse, London
Amazon Studios, Liverpool
|Producer||Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
|Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark chronology|
|Singles from Sugar Tax|
Sugar Tax is the eighth album by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD), released in 1991 on Virgin Records. It was group's first studio album since 1986, and the first of three recorded without co-founder Paul Humphreys, who had departed in 1989. Essentially a solo venture for singer Andy McCluskey under the OMD moniker, it leans more towards the dance-pop genre that was prevalent in the early 1990s, than the experimental brand of synthpop which characterised the band's earlier recordings.
The album received modestly favourable reviews but was a resounding hit with the public, continuing the commercial renaissance initiated by 1988's The Best of OMD. It charted at No. 3 in the UK – the group's first Top 10 entry for a studio album since 1984's Junk Culture – and spawned two UK Top 10 hit singles: "Sailing on the Seven Seas" and "Pandora's Box". By early 2007, the record had sold over three million copies.
Sugar Tax is the only album in the OMD catalogue not to feature the songwriting contribution of Paul Humphreys.
|St. Petersburg Times||(favourable)|
Critical reaction to the album tended towards the positive. Richard Riccio was thoroughly impressed, describing the record as being "sprinkled with gems" in his review for the St. Petersburg Times. He added: "Sugar Tax is classic OMD, and after a four-year absence marks a triumphant return for one of new wave's original invaders." Gina Arnold in Entertainment Weekly was also favourable, writing: "OMD have never been afraid of combining naked emotion with their cold techno-mechanics, and it's this emotion — exhibited in lead singer Andy McClusky's [sic] sobbing, soaring vocals – that redeems their take on the otherwise fairly vacant dance-pop genre." A review in Q magazine lauded Sugar Tax as "an unflappable album of quality songs which re-establishes OMD's credentials as masters of synthesized melancholia and dreamy pop songs."
Conversely, Ned Raggett in AllMusic wrote: "[O]n Sugar Tax, McCluskey is comfortably settled into a less-spectacular range of songs that only occasionally connect...the album can best be described as pleasant instead of memorable, an exploration by McCluskey into calmer waters recorded entirely by himself outside of some guitar from Stuart Boyle. Without his longtime bandmates to help him, the results lack an essential spark." Raggett did, however, praise the album's lead single, saying: "There was one definite redeeming number at the start: 'Sailing on the Seven Seas', with glam-styled beats underpinning a giddy, playful romp that showed McCluskey still hadn't lost his touch entirely." He also named fourth (and last) single "Call My Name" as a highlight.
Notably, the album does not include the title track Sugar Tax, as it was not ready in time for release. It was instead included as the B-side to the single Then You Turn Away.
All songs written and composed by OMD (i.e. Andy McCluskey), except where noted.
|1.||"Sailing on the Seven Seas"||OMD, Stuart Kershaw||3:45|
|3.||"Then You Turn Away"||OMD, Kershaw, Lloyd Massett||4:17|
|4.||"Speed of Light"||4:29|
|5.||"Was It Something I Said"||4:29|
|7.||"Call My Name"||4:23|
|8.||"Apollo XI" (instrumental, contains sample from JFK "Landing a man on the moon" speech and Apollo 11-related radio transmissions)||4:13|
|9.||"Walking on Air"||OMD, Kershaw, Massett||4:49|
|10.||"Walk Tall"||OMD, Kershaw, Massett||3:55|
|11.||"Neon Lights" (reworking of Kraftwerk track from The Man-Machine)||Ralf Hütter, Florian Schneider, Karl Bartos||4:19|
|12.||"All That Glitters"||OMD, Kershaw, Massett||4:06|
|Release date||Single||United Kingdom||United States
|18 March 1991||"Sailing on the Seven Seas"||3||9||—||5||—||3||3||—|
|24 June 1991||"Pandora's Box"||7||11||19||19||49||7||7||—|
|9 September 1991||"Then You Turn Away"||50||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|18 November 1991||"Call My Name"||50||—||—||—||—||24||—||28|
- "Orchestral leap in the dark". The Scotsman. The Scotsman Publications. 3 February 2007. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
- Raggett, Ned. "Sugar Tax review". AllMusic. Retrieved 13 October 2009. Check date values in:
- Larkin, Colin. The Virgin Encyclopedia of Eighties Music. Virgin Books. 1997. ISBN 0753501597. p. 350.
- Arnold, Gina (14 June 1991). "Sugar Tax review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2013-07-11.
- Q. June 1991. Missing or empty
- Riccio, Richard. "Sugar is sprinkled with gems". St. Petersburg Times. 23 August 1991. p.21.
- "Chart Stats – Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark". Archived from the original on 2012-07-29. Retrieved 13 October 2009.
- "Sugar Tax > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles". AllMusic. Retrieved 13 October 2009. Check date values in:
- "irishcharts.ie search results for Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark". Retrieved 13 October 2009.
- "lescharts.com entry for Sailing on the Seven Seas". Retrieved 13 October 2009.
- "lescharts.com entry for Pandora's Box". Retrieved 13 October 2009.
- "lescharts.com entry for Call My Name". Retrieved 13 October 2009.